Let's get physical (therapy)!
Body aches, poor cardiovascular endurance, and other ailments are enough to hobble anyone. Fortunately, a simple regimen involving aquatic therapy can get you right back on track.
Plus, what better way to recover than in the pool?!
A Brief History:
Records show that aquatic therapy dates back as far as 2400 BC. There is evidence that civilizations in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, even turned to the water for its therapeutic purposes.
Of course, aquatic therapy has come a long way since then!
Doctor Charles Leroy Lowman, founder of the Orthopedic Hospital in Los Angeles, used therapeutic tubs to treat patients with cerebral palsy and spasms. In 1937, Dr. Lowman published his Technique of Underwater Gymnastics: A Study in Practical Application, in which he explained detailed aquatic therapy methods for specific underwater exercises that “carefully regulated dosage, character, frequency, and duration for remedying bodily deformities and restoring muscle function.” Dr. Lowman's work marked the beginning of an intentional effort to research and use aquatic therapy.
At the end of the day, here’s the most important takeaway: There are multiple ways to do aquatic therapy, and multiple ways it can benefit your body.
5 Physical Benefits:
1. Increased joint flexibility
Water helps relax muscles that are sore or tight. Buoyancy is key here: It reduces gravity and gravity's effects on the body, so you have a greater range of motion for your joints. Hello, relaxation!
2. Increased muscle strength
Did you know that it is easier to build muscle in water than it is on land? The reason is simple: Water is more resistant than air, so you have to work a bit harder to propel yourself.
3. Decreased pain
This is also simple: Being immersed in water eases pain because it increases the blood supply to your sore muscles. Then, when you are in less pain, you can get back to work!
4. Improved balance
Pressure and buoyancy support your body, which give you a faster reaction time. Plus, there is no risk of falling and getting further injured, so you are free to challenge yourself as much as you want.
5. Improved cardiovascular efficiency
Exercise relies on your cardiovascular system. Because of the hydrostatic pressure in the water, aquatic exercise increases endurance, lowers resting heart rate, and increases oxygen consumption.
So, is aquatic therapy for you?
At the end of the day, just about everyone will benefit in some way from exercising in the water. However, when it comes to aquatic therapy, there are some people who will find it especially useful. Aquatic therapy might be great for you if you have struggled with:
2. Low back pain
3. Knee and hip replacement
4. Shoulder disorders
5. Recovery of joint and spine surgery
6. Orthopedic or sport injuries
7. Multiple sclerosis
10. Cerebral Palsy
Whether aquatic therapy will benefit your more physically or mentally, it provides nearly everyone with the means to improve. If you are curious about starting aquatic therapy, ask your doctor or primary healthcare provider and see if it is a healthy option for you!