What is Hydrotherapy
The Hydrotherapy pool and swimming activities are a fun and unique opportunity for our children and young people to engage in new learning opportunities. The hydrotherapy pool and its fantastic multisensory equipment enable Jack Tizard students to encounter, develop and interact with endless new environments extending their topic work and enhancing their curriculum.
As well as developing communication, interpersonal, cognitive and physical skills, the hydrotherapy pool has numerous benefits to their sensory awareness;
- Visual Stimulation – developing the capacity to see and react through sensory lights under, above and through the water as well as brightly coloured toys and objects used in play and games
- Hearing Stimulation – learning to listen and react to sounds by using; the voice – talking, reciting and singing; the water – splashing, slapping, bubbling; music – using various types CD's
- Tactile Stimulation – Tactile stimulation is achieved by experiencing the feeling of a variety of objects and environments through use of; the water – sprinkled and poured through water cans, splashed, swirled, bubbled; objects that maybe hard, soft, spongy, prickly, smooth; vibration to identify position or as a signal. Temperature awareness, identifying changes in humidity, water temperature
- Smell Stimulation – learning to identify and increase the enjoyment of a variety of smells; stimulation of everyday smells (swimming pool); identify people through smells.
- Vestibular – the movement in the water stimulates the vestibular system, especially the jumping up and down, the swaying from side to side and moving round in circles in a variety of games. Movements that are difficult to facilitate to a child using a wheelchair on land.
- Proprioceptive –The resistance and movement through the water actively stimulates the proprioceptive system through input from muscles, joints and tendons.
- Psychological well-being – it's fun! Hydrotherapy in practice involves an ever present element of recreation. This is one of its key advantages over land based treatments. To get out of the wheelchair and change your body position and find freedom of movement and independence brings about physical and psychological well -being which cannot be achieved elsewhere or by any other treatment. The ability to be independent in water, to achieve skills that may be difficult or impossible on land, has favourable and lasting psychological effects which boost confidence and morale, and these can be carried over into life on land.
- Improved mobility – The support of the water and the reduced fear of falling can aid mobility practice, by improving balance, coordination and posture. Exercises against the resistance of the water can improve and maintain range of movement and increase physical fitness. The heat and calming environment of the pool contribute to reduce muscle spasm and joint pains.
- Relaxation – enables students to completely relax in the heated water and sensory environment with the confidence of experienced staff without fear
- Communication - Research shows that being in the water promotes vocalisation in some students The pool is a perfect place to work on breathing techniques, most importantly blowing and humming to manage the water, encouraging oral skills. Songs, music, themes and games all encourage social interaction between staff and pupils.