While the physiological benefits of exercise are well known, there are some unique and additional benefits of participating in aquatic therapy or aquatic programing. People can experience numerous psychological benefits when they engage in regular pool exercises. Aquatic therapy will not only help individuals strengthen their bodies and manage pain but can also improve their overall mental health. Below are a few unexpected psychological benefits of aquatic therapy.
Swimming is a common stress-relieving activity, and for a good reason. People often walk away from a dip in the pool feeling refreshed and relaxed, whether the activity was meant for recreation or therapy. There are a few reasons why aquatic therapy can help effectively reduce stress in patients and athletes. For example:
- Muscle relaxation: A patient’s muscle pain or tension can cause, or contribute to, stress. However, aquatic therapy in warm water is well-known for relaxing the muscles and relieving tension. Aquatic therapy stress relief has such a profound effect because it starts by soothing the body, which in turn helps soothe the mind.
- Natural fun: While aquatic therapy usually includes gentle, low-impact exercises, most people associate the water with fun and relaxation. Even in a physical therapy setting, water therapy may remind people of simpler times of past beach trips or afternoon swims in the backyard pool.
Increase in Body Awareness
Another mental health benefit of aquatic therapy is increased body awareness. Spending time in the water helps individuals improve their body awareness as they think more about their movements while working against the viscosity of the water. Similarly, because the brain is working hard on body awareness, aquatic therapy may also help folks to concentrate and become more alert.
Increased body awareness in water can be especially beneficial since the increased body awareness can carry over to land. However, no matter what, focus and awareness are useful psychological benefits.
Improved Outlook and Confidence
When individuals can move better in the water, they feel better. For those that have suffered an injury or undergone surgery, they can often make progress in the water sooner than they can on land. Seeing themselves performing activities that they want to get back to on land, such as walking or running, can provide an unexpected element of hope.
Incorporating aquatic therapy into your recovery or exercise routine creates an atmosphere that allows participants to reap not only physical benefits but psychological benefits as well. If you would like to learn more about how aquatic therapy can help or benefit you, check out our webpage at www.proactiverehab.com/services/aquatherapy. Contact us at (705) 788-1480 or by email [email protected] for answers to questions or to get started on your aquatic therapy journey. You too can feel the physical and psychological benefits of Aquatherapy!