The benefits of aquatic physiotherapy04/16/2021 | Written by Nikos Kaskaras in Fitness & Nutrition Tips
Achieving physical and mental stability is a constant human motivation. Especially during the current awkward times of the pandemic, it may be more than an incentive. Is it an overstatement to argue that now, more than ever, it's rather a necessity? After all, physical and mental stability are strongly correlated.
Aquatic physiotherapy is for all
Within such a social context, aquatic physiotherapy is a practice that is full of advantages for people of all ages. Either we are talking about children, adults or senior people, the fruitful consequences of water contact are there for all. The little ones can begin their beautiful journey in the water world and start to familiarise themselves with it. Adults may take a much-needed break from daily obligations and enjoy duty-free of mind. And senior ones can escape from any possible medical issues and revitalise their bodies. As much as aquatic physiotherapy is solely related to dealing only with injuries or neurological conditions, the truth is that it refers to all people who have the green light from their doctors to enter the water: Fit or unfit, competent swimmers or newcomers, perfectly healthy or having physical problems, all can join the majestic world of aqua.
The physical properties of water
Although the word therapy implies that aquatic physiotherapy is good only for people needing medical treatment for a specific problem, there is another wider perspective: Prevention. Indeed, relevant research shows that water-based exercise is a great preventive of chronic illnesses and heart diseases. It's also impressive that, as you can read on the first link, swimmers have about half the risk of death compared with inactive people. All these positive results come from the physical properties of water. Water is the source of the planet's life, but in our case, there's also another dimension: It is a remedy factor, one that provides relief and shelter for tired bodies and minds. The properties of buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure are the ones that are so beneficial for all people.
The physical benefits of aquatic physiotherapy
There is no doubt that the gains of getting into water are numerous and great. The therapeutic qualities of water are intensified when the water of the swimming pool is hot. It's then, when there is an increase in muscle power, because of the increased metabolism in the muscles. We would need a whole book to present analytically the range of benefits that aquatic physiotherapy offers. To make a synopsis, we could refer to the following principal ones:
- Body relaxation
- Strengthening of muscles
- Agility improvement
- Enhancing physical endurance
- Improving balance
- Increasing joint flexibility
What is even more intriguing, is the variety of sessions that one can practice for getting all the benefits of aquatic physiotherapy. Though the arranged conditions of a well-heated swimming pool are ideal, there is also the option of using the open sea, where conditions can be more challenging. The level of swim expertise, as well as the consequent growing confidence, are important factors for using that option too.
The mental benefits of aquatic physiotherapy
While many people tend to look for physical advantages when they enter the water, there are great mental advantages to gain. Aquatic physiotherapy functions like a cleansing process that can revitalise the state of mind. Again, the element of water plays a crucial role in that, as it stimulates the essential “strings” for reaching a state of relaxation and fulfilment. In general terms, the main mental benefits of aquatic physiotherapy are the following:
- Release of negative energy
- Increase of self-confidence
- Increased body awareness and appreciation
- Empowering the sense of self-fulfilment
- Appreciating team effort
As ancient Greeks first articulated it clearly, a healthy mind and soul come together with a healthy body. There is indeed a correlation among multiple factors that determine the quality of life. Relieving stress is a vital factor and doing so within an aquatic environment is both fulfilling and great fun. Similarly, body movement in water help us achieve better coordination of our movements and thus increase our self-confidence as well as our perception of ourselves relating to other people. Finally, constant communication with the swim physiotherapist and working together with fellow swimmers boosts the team effort ethics and highlights the values of teamwork and appreciation of the uniqueness of each individual.
Prioritising needs is the path to happiness
What shall be clear from this article is the significance of the holistic approach. Because human beings are both physical and mental entities, there shall not be a prioritisation of one aspect against the other. Just as material values are important for our existence, mental and psychological stability and evolution are essential for our wellbeing. This is why setting the right prioritisation is so necessary. Absolute happiness might be unattainable, but at least we could define the right path for approaching it.