At One with the Water, we regularly extoll the well-documented health benefits of swimming. Additionally, there are specific benefits for individuals with special needs. Water buoyancy allows previously restricted individuals to move freely and helps build muscle in low muscle tone individuals. Also, self-regulation, speech, oral motor control, strength, and coordination are just a few areas that can improve with therapy in the water.
According to the Disabled Sports USA, swimming not only offers flexibility within the joints and muscles but strengthens the cardiovascular system as well as the major muscle groups in the upper and lower body. And finally, because the heart works harder when the body is submerged, patients benefit from decreased swelling, reduced blood pressure and improved joint position. This, in turn, improves the swimmers’ proprioception or body awareness.
The buoyant nature of water provides persons with CP patients the opportunity to feel their body free from the constraints they experience on land. Source.
Aquatic therapy is an exceptional choice for children with Cerebral Palsy to increase their range of physical function. Besides the physical properties of water itself, a medium well known for its restorative effects, the aforementioned buoyancy makes both aerobic and anaerobic exercise easier to safely accomplish in the water. In fact, one recent study found that the gross motor function of children with Cerebral Palsy aged 5 to 14 years-old substantially improved in as few as six weeks.
Specific Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy creates unique opportunities to stretch, move, splash, and swim their way to the following benefits: (There are many). *Source
- Improved physical function
- Wider range of movement
- Reduced stress levels
- Alleviates pain and tension on the joints
- Improved cardiovascular function (as previously mentioned).
- Strengthening of weak muscles
- Reeducation of paralyzed muscles
- Improved balance, coordination and posture
Our special needs focused premium swim lessons use harmony, inclusion, and mastery to ensure your child becomes One with the Water. Register today for lessons with the only Level 5 certified disability coach in the area.
Molly is a member of our creative team, mom of four water-loving babies, and a fierce advocate for CPR training and really early swim instruction.