Warm water can be relaxing and stimulating at the same time, plus water therapy can be turned into a very playful time so that therapy doesn’t feel like therapy.
Here are some of the reasons why you might consider aquatics therapy for your child:
- Exercises in the water are low impact. There is much less worry about stressing joints or muscles in the water. This can be a real plus for children with high muscle tone (hypertonia) who have difficulty moving. The warm water can also relax stiff muscles so kids can gain flexibility in the water they may not have on land.
- For kids and babies with low muscle tone (hypotonia), there is much less gravity in the water so it’s easier for them to move using less strength. We use equipment such as an underwater treadmill to help children build strength.
- Children with sight impairments often find it hard to process proprioceptive input. This means that they can find it difficult to understand where their body is or how it’s moving. Another problem common for kids with vision impairments is difficulty processing directional cues. Which way is up? Am I standing straight, or leaning to the side? The water with its constant push up is the perfect place to learn the concepts of up and down.
- Exercises in the water can be done in different positions comfortably and safely since you don’t have to worry about gravity or falling.
- Water provides a natural resistance that can increase muscle strength, but this resistance is proportional to the effort exerted against it, so the harder you push or kick, the more of a workout you get. If you can’t push as hard, you get a small work out. The water automatically adjusts to your child’s needs.
- The hydrostatic pressure in the water pushes evenly on all of the body at once. This helps the heart circulate blood and lowers blood pressure while in the water. This can also help relax the body and reduce stress.
Aqua Group is held every Tuesday with sessions beginning at 4:00pm, 4:45pm and 5:30pm at the Hobart YMCA indoor, warm water pool; each session is 45 minutes in length. Parent participates in the pool with their child. Full cost of the group is $30 per session / $120 per month. A limited number of scholarships are available for those who qualify.