Therapy Junction therapists are trained to utilize the unique properties of water to further enhance functional gains and performance on land.
Occupational therapist harness the therapeutic properties of water to improve neurosensory processing, postural control, reflex integration, motor skill development, coordination, muscle tone, strength, endurance, oral motor skills, body awareness, and self cares. Self-cares are a natural part of aquatic therapy as the child can work on specific grooming and hygiene tasks along with dressing in order to prepare and finish the session.
Speech therapists get a chance to work on oral motor control for managing lip closure, blowing, and coordinating breath holding. The water naturally provides resistance to inhalation and facilitates exhalation which improves the length of utterance and can be used to improve diaphramic breathing for improved voice production. The water is also extremely motivating which increases arousal level and desire for communication. Therapists are able to properly position the children with greater ease for improved oral motor control and language production.
Why Treat In Water?
Pool water between 88-92 degrees leads to muscle relaxation, improved circulation, increased range of motion, and decreased sensitivity of sensory nerve endings (less pain).
Viscosity of water allows for increased time in making postural adjustments and receiving feedback from the body to work on balance and postural control within a safe environment. It also allows for increased resistance during movement for improved strength, endurance, and joint input.
Buoyancy provides relief from the constraints of gravity to promote relaxation, range of motion, ease of handling, freedom of movement, reflex integration, vestibular stimulation, and ease of work for increased motor repetitions leading to improved endurance, strength, and motor planning.
Hydrostatic pressure improves respiratory control and circulation with constant pressure to submerged body.
The combination of buoyancy, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure provided by the water allows for improved sensory integration. The input of water on the skin, resistance to movement of limbs, and vestibular stimulation produced in a reduced gravity environment contributes to overall arousal and awareness for optimal learning to occur.
The aquatic environment improves self confidence, communication skills, and can become a life long leisure activity for your child within the community.