Aqua therapy, also known as water therapy, refers to treatments and exercises used in the water to promote relaxation, physical rehabilitation, and fitness. Aqua therapy involves a licensed aqua therapist guiding people through motions in a safe environment. Aqua therapy is not the same as aquatic exercise because it is designed specifically for therapeutic services, and is often covered by insurance, unlike aquatic exercise, for that reason. This form of therapy is typically used by individuals who have a disability, chronic illness, or have suffered from an injury. It provides a healthy, relaxing way to regain connection to their body and feel confident that they are taking the right step towards recovery.

There are many reasons for why aqua therapy is beneficial:

  • The warm water used assists with muscle and joint pain, and promotes a soothing environment for relaxation
  • Water’s natural resistance can be used for strength endurance
  • Buoyancy assists with floating and reduces pressure on aching muscles or joints
  • Hydrostatic pressure helps individuals with balance and eases worry of falling and hurting oneself
  • Turbulence in the water lets the aquatic therapist gently and easily manipulate the client through recommended exercises
  • Respiratory muscles must work harder in water, providing natural strengthening benefits

Based on the benefits of aqua therapy, there are several goals that individuals typically wish to reach:

  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Building of muscle strength and endurance
  • Enhancing aerobic capacity
  • Assistance with gait and locomotion
  • Reduced stress and promotion of relaxation

If you are wishing to gain from the benefits of aqua therapy, you do not need to know how to swim. Aqua therapy is often performed in groups, so you can meet others who may be going through similar struggles and wishing to overcome them. Participating in this form of therapy may mean that you develop a greater ability to perform the activities that matter most to you – you will feel more confident in knowing that you have greater endurance, flexibility, and balance.

Aqua therapy is offered in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. If you or someone you love is considering this form of therapy, you or they should speak with a licensed healthcare professional to determine if this would be a good option and to obtain a referral. This form of therapy could greatly help reduce stress and pain, and could mean a healthier and more improved way of living.


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