Healing in Warm Water

33520012_2Imagine entering a world where gravity seems to disappear, where your movements are slowed, where there is no stress on joints and muscles.   It not only soothes and refreshes the body, mind, and spirit, but also enables you to exercise and stretch in ways that are just not possible on land.

The soothing warmth and buoyancy of warm water makes it relaxing and safe, an ideal environment for relieving pain and stiffness.  Immersion in warm water can increase circulation, allowing muscles to become relaxed to facilitate movement.  Exercise in water limits overheating, straining, or loss of balance, thus minimizing the possibility of injury.  Confidence increases and progress can be quite rapid.  Optimism itself is healing.

Water exercise and therapy are safe, relaxing, and beneficial for people of all ages, levels of fitness and a wide variety of medical conditions.  It can improve your ability to do daily activities by improving flexibility, strength, balance posture, coordination, and cardiovascular health.

Water that is thermoneutral (92-96˚F) helps muscles to relax thereby decreasing pain. Thermoneutral water is an inherently therapeutic medium. It provides an enjoyable sensory experience and has a profound effect on the nervous system and therefore physiology. The parasympathetic nervous system effects are enhanced

  • Decreased heart rate
  • Decreased rate of respiration
  • Increased depth of respiration
  • Increased peripheral vasodilation/circulation
  • Increased smooth muscle activity
  • Decreased activation of skeletal muscles
  • Decreased spasticity
  • Decreased muscle spasm
  • Enhanced immune system response
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved sleep pattern
  • Decreased anxiety

while the sympathetic nervous system is inhibited.  This helps to decrease pain.

Water’s bouyancy supports the body and decreases joint compression allowing joints to move through their available range more easily.  It decreases weight bearing on hips, knees and spine, encouraging more freedom of movement and allowing those who are unable to support their own weight on land to perform weight bearing exercise in a controlled manner that is easily tolerated and progressed.  Floatation devices can be used to eliminate both gravity and friction as impediments to movement.  These devices can also transform the surface of the water into a floating treatment table allowing soft tissue massage, and other hands-on treatment to be performed.

Viscosity can add resistance to movement helping to increase endurance and muscle strength. Difficulty can be easily graded without the use of weights.