Aquatic therapy is based on the realization of physical therapy in an aquatic environment, in such a way that the mechanical properties of water associated with the forms of intervention of physiotherapy are used in order to improve the function, activity and participation of the patients. One of the main fields in which we can apply this form of treatment is neurorehabilitation, directed, among others, to adult patients suffering from neurological processes, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, brain damage, tumors cerebral, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, etc. or children with motor disorders for brain damage from birth or acquired.
Thus, we can intervene in a rehabilitative way, in a preventive way, of treatment, as a physical or sport activity or, simply, with the aim of providing a moment of well-being to the patient. Water provides us with a medium where the body acquires a large amount of freedom of movement and where it can carry out exercises and activities that are difficult to perform on firm ground, being able to act on balance, coordination, dexterity, walking, postural control, physical conditioning, lung function, etc.
Within many and diverse types of aquatic therapy, one of the most known and used is the Halliwick Concept. Its main objective is to give everyone freedom and independence to perform in the water. The idea is, then, to teach anyone, regardless of their pathology, to swim, providing the physical and mental foundations for that purpose. One of the characteristics that best define this concept is that one works with respect to the abilities that the person possesses in the water and not taking into account the disability that presents in “land”.
Even if one of the priorities is that the patient can swim independently, it is not the only thing that stands out within this concept. In Halliwick great importance is given to the relational aspect of the pool. For this reason, we work frequently in groups, mainly in the case of children, to encourage group stimulation, the demand for concentration of the participants and cooperation among them, also creating links between the members. Despite this, sessions can also be developed individually, often in the case of adults.
In the Clínica de Neurorehabilitación we have therapists trained in this Concept. Thus, the sessions will be adapted to the personal needs of each patient, either individually or in groups, counting with the help of family or friends who will also participate in the session in the water. Our objective will always be that the person becomes independent in the water as quickly as possible, so that he can even go to the pool as a physical activity or sport independently. Although we will always be willing to take a dip!
Author: Jesús Márquez Neila