The warm water, high air temperature and relief of body-weight combine to deliver relief from pain

For some of our students who may live with pain all the time, their sessions in the hydrotherapy pool can be a welcome break from this pain. Free from callipers, pain and gravity, users manage to move in ways that they cannot on land. Their exercises become more intensive and new movements are learned. These can be transferred to their everyday lives.

The Physical Benefits

The relief of pain and muscle spasm

The maintenance or increase in range of motion of joints

Strengthening of weak muscles & an increase in their tolerance to exercise

The re-education of paralysed muscles

The improvement of circulation

The encouragement of functional activities

The maintenance and improvement of balance, co-ordination and posture

Development of the swallow reflex

Independent standing in water to walking in water

For those with learning or profound and multiple difficulties, this physical environment satisfies and calms their sensory needs. This allows them to use the more complex thinking and communication parts of the brain, helped by the multi-sensory equipment in the pool area.

Social interaction

The difficulties the users suffer from mean they are unable to take part in sport and many social and physical activities. This can lead to social isolation. Our aim is to open up the world of water to these students and use it to help them achieve their true potential.

Psychological well-being – it’s fun!

From a psychological standpoint there is much to recommend hydro. Hydrotherapy in practice involves an ever present element of recreation – its fun! This is one of its key advantages over land based treatments. To get out of the wheelchair and change one’s body position, to cast aside the callipers and aids and find freedom of movement and independence brings about physical and psychological well -being which cannot be achieved elsewhere or in any other treatment.

Programmes that combine both therapeutic and recreational aspects are especially effective. Water is a medium in which many pupils/students achieve total independence and can compete with their able-bodied counterparts on equal terms. The social and psychological impact can be considerable. The ability to be independent in water, to achieve skills that may be difficult or impossible on land, can only have favourable and lasting psychological effects which boost confidence and morale, and these can be carried over into life on land.

The sedative effect of warm water and the values of water based exercise for those affected by mental illnesses have long been recognised (Wilson and Kasch 1963; Kraus, 1973)