What is Aquatherapy?
Aquatherapy is a therapeutic water based Physiotherapy treatment in thermal neutral water (34.5 deg – 35.5deg). The heat of the water and the physical properties of the water (buoyancy, decreased weight bearing through joints) helps in the reduction of pain; normalising muscle tone and spasming, and assist in the general rehabilitation, strengthening and flexibility of the muscular and neural system. It also induces relaxation.
What to expect?
A land based assessment to determine the specific problem and formulate goals. This will take between 30 to 45mins.
A form pertaining to medical history and on-going medical conditions must be completed prior to starting aquatherapy. As a precaution, you may be asked to see a doctor prior to starting treatment.
Following the initial assessment your aquatherapy session will commence. This session will last between 30 to 45mina depending on individual needs. From time to time a land-based revue may be provided on a one-to-one basis by the physiotherapist.
Conditions that will benefit from Aquatherapy:
- Spinal problems: Prolapsed disc, Degeneration, Sciatica, Back pain.
- Joint problems: Arthritis, Injuries, Pain, Stiffness, Cartilage injury.
- Soft tissue injuries: Muscles, Ligaments, Tendon.
- Post-surgery immobility: Rehabilitation after orthopaedic surgery, eg. Hip and knee replacement. ACL reconstruction.
- Fractures: To help increase the rate of healing and gain full function even while still on crutches.
- Neurological conditions: Strokes, Head injuries, Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral palsy.
Patient populations who can benefit from Aquatic physiotherapy:
- Acute and chronic spinal conditions
- Post-orthopaedic surgery
- Any condition requiring decreased weight bearing
- Gait rehabilitation
- Sports injuries
- Various types of rheumatological & arthritic conditions (including CA, RA, AS, osteoporosis) Post surgery (eg. Mastectomy)
- Neurological conditions
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Patients with chronic pain
- Ante and Post-natal patients
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Respiratory conditions (eg. COPD, asthma)
- The treatment of overweight and obese individuals who find it difficult to do land-based exercises.
What to wear:
- For the initial assessment, wear loose fitting clothes and preferably bring a pair of shorts for lower limb problems.
- For the pool session a swimming costume, towel, poolside shoes, personal toiletries and a water bottle.
- Changing facilities are available.
What is Watsu?
Watsu is a passive form of aquatic bodywork/therapy that supports and gently moves a person through warm water in graceful, fluid movements. Watsu promotes a deep state of relaxation with dramatic changes in the autonomic nervous system. Through quieting the sympathetic and enhancing the parasympathetic nervous systems, Watsu has profound effects on the neuromuscular system.
The sympatholytic effects of Watsu lead to enhancement of the parasympathetic nervous system. Physiological changes then occur throughout the body.
These changes may include:
- Decreased heart rate
- Decreased rate of respiration
- Increased depth of respiration
- Increased peripheral vasodilatation
- Increased smooth muscle activity (digestion)
- Decreased activation of striated muscles (skeletal)
- Decreased spasticity
- Decreased muscle spasm
- Decreased reticular activating system activity
- Enhanced immune system response
Clients report decreased pain as Watsu decreases their muscle spasm and muscle guarding, increases their range of motion, and promotes profound relaxation. The support of the water provides relief from compression forces in the joints. The movements through the water provide gentle stretching into all ranges for the spine and extremities while these joints are unloaded. Many clients also report a decrease in their emotional pain.
Watsu is being incorporated into aquatic therapy treatment programs in hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation centres around the world. Therapists are impressed by the benefits for so many of their clients. Many clients report that nothing else is as effective in decreasing their pain and improving their ability to move.
Some of the many populations who have benefited from Watsu include those with:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cerebral palsy
- Chronic pain
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Post mastectomy
- Post thoracic surgery
- Post traumatic stress disorder
Many clients report that nothing else is as effective in decreasing their pain and improving their ability to move.
About the Physiotherapist:
(Physiotherapist with a special interest in Aqua-Therapy)
She qualified as a Physiotherapist in the year 2000. Immediately following the completion of her undergraduate Honours degree in South Africa, she registered as a physiotherapist in the United Kingdom, where she spent approximately 5-years gaining experience in variety of roles and embarked upon the completion of a post-graduate diploma in Aqua-Therapy in the ancient city of Bath in South-West England. During 2005 she returned to South Africa and started a Physiotherapy practice in Hout Bay where she utilized various facilities to offer patients the benefit of Aqua-Therapy. Seven years later she relocated to Port Elizabeth where she provided Aqua-Therapy services at a well-known step-down facility. She is now back in Cape Town, where she is still pursuing her passion for water-based therapies. Pursuing her passion for water-based therapies has more recently encouraged her to explore WATSU (or water Siatsu) and she will be completing her advanced WATSU certificate this year (2017). Her knowledge of water-based therapy is complemented by her experience in land-based therapy and is underpinned by a wealth of post-graduate courses which she has completed including the post-graduate Orthopaedic-Manual Therapy (OMT) course and Sports Physical Therapy (SPT) course amongst others.
“I am excited to be joining HNA at what is a very exciting time for the practice and I believe my passion and experience in water-based therapy will complement the existing physiotherapy service allowing us to offer our patients holistic care that addresses their rehabilitation needs as comprehensively as possible.”
AquaPhysio is based at the indoor heated pool facility and out-patient physiotherapy practice at the newly built Tokai Estate Healthcare Facility.
For enquiries and appointments contact:
087 236 6518
Address: Vans Road Tokai, Cape Town