Water — the most nurturing of all the elements. Its restorative potential should not be taken for granted. The cells in our body forming our tissues and organs utilize water to function. There is no life without water.
Healing is not only thru drinking or ingesting water but also thru subjecting yourself to water submersion or flotation as a major part of Aqua Therapy (aka hydrotherapy, pool therapy).
The body begins to heal when it is in a relaxed state. Floating on water or simply being surrounded by water stimulates the body’s natural ability to relax. This is the very basis of Aqua Therapy. As a matter of fact, many spas offer hydrotherapy as one of their services. They believe that all you need to do is surrender to the healing powers of water.
What Is Aqua Therapy
Aquatic therapy is a physical therapy program performed in pool water, or other aquatic environment. This therapy is originally intended for people with injuries or disabled — individuals that cannot tolerate land exercises, and require decreased weight-bearing exercise options.
This is also helpful for those who need to work on their balance and bearing because the fear of falling is reduced in the water.
The physical properties of water – buoyancy, viscosity, resistance and hydrostatic pressure – create a perfectly safe environment for healing and rehabilitation.
Different Types Of Aqua Therapy
Watsu, also known as aquatic shiatsu, is a form of aquatic bodywork. This technique utilizes a series of stretching and pressure points to release stress and balance energy. Your face stays above the surface. This is held in 96 °F or 37°C saltwater – same with body temperature. The procedure was developed by Harold Dull.
You are carefully cradled in one arm of a therapist while you both float in the water, ideally in a pool. The head rests just above the water and the ears are just below it. The therapist slowly begins to move you around the pool. While moving through the water, your body is gently stretched and lightly massaged. With eyes closed, water’s physical properties will gradually relieve each part of your body, take the pressures and relax the muscles.
This bodywork promotes well-being, reduces anxiety and alleviates pain.
Aqua Bodyworks Therapy is a collection of techniques with folding- unfolding, swinging, waving and rotating of muscles. These movements give you the opportunity to meditate and enjoy the deepest possible state of relaxation. This bodywork releases endorphins and dopamine’s, reduces blood pressure, slows heart rate and improves cellular oxygen metabolism. You may be submerged under water completely with a nose clip to keep the water from entering your nose.
Healing Dance essence is flow, freedom and lightness. This involves a variety of advanced body mechanic techniques where the therapist creates a compassionate connection with you to expand yourself while being safely held. This is recommended for dancers, athlete, martial artist; swimmer and for those with back problems.
Water Dance is performed in body temperature water where you are guided through various movements underwater with a nose clip. The place is light-dimmed and almost quiet or with mellow sound. This will allow the both of you to have the sense of physical freedom, trust, and connection through the dance movements on and under the water.
Pregnancy Massage in water gives every pregnant mother a simple yet effective way to treat some of the discomfort during pregnancy. It helps prevents insomnia and promote more restful sleep. Pregnant women in their last trimester would benefit from this therapy as it helps them relax while strengthening their labor contractions.
A quick recap of Aqua Therapy Benefits
- Increases flexibility and range of motion
- Improves blood circulation
- Natural strengthening of respiratory muscles
- Warm water provides a relaxing and soothing environment for aching joints and muscles
- Strengthens muscles
- Promotes deep relaxation and therapy for stress
- Quieting the sympathetic and enhancing parasympathetic nervous system
- Profound beneficial effects for trauma – physical and emotional
- Therapeutic application for neuromuscular injuries
- Relieves expecting mothers in their discomfort during pregnancy
- Improves balance and coordination