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Nothing soothes and calms like peaceful flowing waters. Water is a natural healing property for one’s mind, body, and soul. It’s peaceful to observe in its still form. Its sounds can be both soothing and hypnotic. As it dances across our skin, it blankets us in its comforting softness, especially when it is warm and embracing.
It is no surprise, then, that water can be used to alleviate pain, soreness, and stiffness when it comes to aching muscles and joints. My 106-year-old grandma is very wise to this approach. When I was a young girl, I spent many summer afternoons up at her local swimming pool engaging in a series of exercises with her while in the water. She repeatedly emphasized that not only was it a great workout, but that the stress was minimal on the joints, which was why she been able to continually enjoy her workouts, both in and out of the water, to this very day.
Hydrotherapy, also referred to as aquatic therapy, uses water to provide therapeutic benefits. When exercises are performed in the water, one can participate to a greater extent and for a longer period of time than when on land, as the increased temperature of the water allows for greater flexibility and circulation and reduces swelling. What is also interesting to note, and I have experienced this first-hand, is that exercising in water has a significant impact on land workouts in terms of increased speed and endurance.
A hydrotherapy swimming pool is designed specifically for hydrotherapy treatments. The main difference between this and a regular pool is the temperature, which is set at approximately 35 degrees Celsius. This lets the patient release stress and tension. If you have ever jumped into a cold swimming pool, you will immediately understand the difference! The increased temperature also promotes pain relief and increased circulation.
Hydrotherapy is very beneficial in treating a variety of soft tissue and bone injuries, as well as neuromuscular conditions, such as muscular dystrophy.