Water exercise, often denoted as bathing therapy, makes use of the exceptional attributes of water and is performed in a soft manner with a view to work out the muscles and joints. It has several benefits which are discussed in detail here.
Floating or buoyancy is a bathing therapy which is turning out to be gradually more popular in the Western society, especially as a remedy for the demanding and tense contemporary lives. Although majority of people may benefit from this particular bathing therapy, it is advisable that people enduring conditions like kidney disorders, epilepsy, schizophrenia, severe skin problems, thrush or fungal contagions should never float.
Floating helps to lower blood pressure as well as the heart rate. In addition, this particular bathing therapy inhibits the brain waves and, simultaneously, facilitates in balancing the actions of the left and right segments of one's brain, resulting in more comprehensive and ingenious thoughts. When one floats on salts, it helps to reduce the extent of chemicals build-up in the body owing to stress and, at the same time, promotes endorphin (any peptide that occurs in the brain naturally) production. Floating also helps people to get relief from common pains and aches and, hence, this form of water therapy is becoming more and more popular among people suffering from ailments like arthritis, multiple sclerosis and ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - a neurological disease).
Many people have a fear before actually undertaking floating. Precisely speaking, they are usually apprehensive that they might have a suffocating experience or that the entire therapy may be unpleasant. However, such concerns are unfounded and disappear soon once they start floating. In effect, majority of the people experiencing this water therapy claim that they realize their capability to regain an internal felling of harmony. Normally, a calming music is played in the background during the initial ten minutes when majority of the people usually doze off to sleep.
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Generally, a float continues for approximately an hour and people who take this bathing therapy switch off from the material world completely, leaving behind their routine realism and concerns and are, thus, capable of accessing a more profound state of consciousness. It has often been implied that floating returns the feeling of lying in the womb of your mother and this possibly explains why this particular bathing therapy eases strain and stress.
The numerous gains from water exercise
Water is a wonderful means for remedy for recuperation from any type of injuries, including minor wounds, major injuries and surgery, as well as use for more than one sporting purpose or defensive fitness. In effect, water helps to diminish the deterioration or corrosion on the body owing to recreational or competitive sports or duties related to jobs. It assists in dealing with muscle disparities or postural troubles that have the potential to result in recurring, troublesome injuries owing to the excessive growth of the muscle groups that are made use of continually. Niggling injuries may develop owing to job prototypes as well as recreational sports and if these are not treated timely, they may develop into a persistent pattern or a major troublesome damage.
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It is important to treat the escalating symptoms appropriately as well as on time with a view to keep away from disturbing development or injury at some point. In this regard, water therapy is extremely effectual since it offers an assortment of remedial as well as healthcare advantages, particularly in comparison to any other physical activity. Prior to undertaking any water therapy schedule, it is essential to examine if you suffer from any precise health condition, such as open wounds, acute hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypotension (low blood pressure), skin infections, infections of the bladder or the vagina, allergic reactions to products used in pools, poor respiratory functioning, seizures or epilepsy, and/ or surgical stitches. In case you are enduring any of the conditions mentioned here, it is likely that you will be prevented from participating in any water exercise program. Alternately, as a minimum requirement to be able to participate in such programs you would be required to undergo medical examination and approval from qualified and competent healthcare providers prior to entering the water.
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The attributes of water
Water possesses numerous attributes and each of them is beneficial and curative. And when all the properties of water are combined, it makes this universal solvent and the basis of our life force all the more all-inclusive and favourable compared to any land exercise that one may undertake with the purpose of remedy and robustness.
- Buoyancy may be defined as a force that moves upwards owing to the pressure put forth by the fluid wherein the body is submerged. In effect, buoyancy works in opposition to the gravitational force permitting the body to move further liberally and more effortlessly compared to movement of the body on the land.
- Diminished power to compress
- The reduced compressive forces are also a result of the consequences of buoyancy. The more deep an individual is in water, the more the reduction in the weight-bearing or compressive forces on every joint, in addition to the discs of the spinal cord.
- Smooth hydrostatic force on immersed body parts
- Water exerts even pressure on all the parts of the body, but this increases as an individual goes deep under. Such additional water pressure is helpful in treating distension in the region of the joints or circulatory disorders. This is primarily owing to the fact that stagnant fluid just about the joints is driven in an upward direction on the way to the heart by way of hydrostatic pressure.
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Exercising for therapy
When used in a harmless and effectual environment, the attributes of water are perfect to attain the remedial objectives. Several persons who are not in a position to do their treatment in a usual clinical environment may take part in water exercise course with success. In effect, all types of restraints owing to latest surgeries or incessant pains can be accommodated in a better way in water owing to the encouraging as well as the environment where the gravitational forces are diminished. A number of factors are responsible for this and they are discussed in brief below.
- Flexibility or suppleness
- Owing to diminishing gravitational pressure in water, the body is able to move without restraint and in general the weight is reduced. This enables the body, for instance, to draw out and raise the legs with no or little pain. Excellent flexibility is considered to be a fundamental element for recuperating from any surgery or injury.
- Balance control
- In general, balance is improved by making forward, backward and sideways movements in energetic or continuously moving surroundings. While performing such movements, the environment is changing continuously, while the individual performing the water exercise too is moving all the time in such a multi-directional and resistant setting.
- Augmented motion range
- The supportive as well as reduced gravity environment of water has the aptitude to restore the complete loss of motion endured by any body part or extremity. Such attributes of water permits an individual to push that particular joint more in the direction of its objective to regain complete motion without much pain in general.
- The braced or casted arm or leg will achieve vigour and potency in the water owing to the fact that whichever direction it might have moved during the water exercise, it has been working against opposition. This also holds true especially for stroke patients, patients who have undergone back surgery as well as people suffering from sclerosis (a condition wherein the tissues of the body become stiff or hardened).
- Muscle re-education
- When any injury or surgery has altered the movement procedure, especially of the arms or legs, it is essential to make that particular area learn once again to move in line with the remaining body. Another instance of damaged movement prototypes is the limbs which have been put out of action by means of bracing or casting or even by a stroke. The failing area is propped up by means of buoyancy and, therefore, is restored more effortlessly as well as less excruciatingly.
- The basic appeal of water in the form of a remedial environment is generally safe. Several properties of water, such as buoyancy, its resistive nature and equal hydrostatic pressure on all the parts of the immersed body make it very supportive. Debility, distension of limbs and joints, loss of motion or suppleness of the body muscles as well as the general loss of stamina are all dealt with in a safe manner in the aquatic setting.
- Reduction in spasticity
- People who are suffering from any extent of spasticity owing to cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, strokes, Parkinson's disease as well as any other condition will experience a decrease in their muscle tone. In fact, despite their condition, it would be possible for them to move about without as much restraint in the water. The decrease in spasticity is mainly attributable to the increase in body temperature of the person as well as the warming of the body muscles by means of circulatory reactions.
Exercising for health
Water exercise is known to be versatile and multidimensional - offering numerous health benefits. Besides being an all-inclusive means of therapy, water provides widespread health advantages that are positive as well as constructive. When we undertake water exercise for our physiotherapy, some of the benefits obtained from this process can also be achieved when we are working out to maintain as well as improve our fitness levels. For instance, these benefits comprise flexibility, range of motion and strength. In addition to these benefits, there are several other reasons why we ought to opt for water exercise to enhance our general health and fitness levels. When we undertake water exercises for rehabilitation, we gain muscle symmetry, cross-training benefits, weight loss, lower levels of blood cholesterol and augmented functioning of the body organs.
- Muscle symmetry
- Maintaining healthy muscle equilibrium is very important, especially to keep off injuries sustained in recreational or competitive sports. In order to achieve this, it is important to possess analogous strength in all the muscle groups and simply not the major muscles, for instance, quadriceps (the frontal thigh muscles in athletes who are sprinters). It is possible to develop a superior general body strength or potency in different parts of the body my means of working in a multi-directional and resistive setting, as in the case of water exercises. Irrespective of the manner or the place you move during the exercise, you are working against the resistance put up by water all the time.
- Enhance physical functioning
- Several individuals who regularly undertake water exercise have claimed that they have experienced better sleep patterns. In addition, they have reported improved digestive systems following the water exercise classes. In effect, working out in the water has the aptitude to enhance the general efficacy of the different systems of our body.
- It is important for an athlete to receive training in more than one sport (cross-training) as this helps in improving the symmetry of the muscles. Nevertheless, sporting events that are basically unidirectional or one-sided need strength or potency in different muscle groups with a view to keep away from injuries caused by the excessive use of those muscles. Tennis, golf, pitching in baseball and different racquet sports are some examples of sports that are one-sided or unidirectional in nature.
- Weight loss
- Raising the heart rate as well as the rate of metabolism by way of exertion or hard physical labor helps an individual to burn up additional calories in the body. However, this is somewhat akin to trick mirror. Most of the times, the body sheds those extra flab or body fat, and it is only sometimes that one actually loses weight through exertion. In such cases, you may find that your clothes may be fitting better than before, but in reality your weight has not reduced. In effect, while you are losing the body fat, you may actually be developing the slender muscle mass. Thus, in this scenario, you muscles have a greater weight compared to your body fat. It is always advisable to gauge your loss of weight by the fitting and feeling of your clothes, instead of going by the number of pounds you have lost.
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- It has been found that participating in water exercises often results in reduced cholesterol levels.