What is hydrotherapy?
In simple terms, hydrotherapy (application of a physical agent on biological tissues in order to obtain therapeutic changes), is based on the use of a wide variety of equipment and accessories in the water, making it a comfortable environment for treatment of users with neurological, orthopaedic and rheumatic disorders, among others.
Water facilitates movements with less effort, offering the possibility of assisting or resisting movement; It allows relaxation and pain reduction while favouring social interaction and promotes beneficial psychological effects for the person.
What is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic Therapy is the therapeutic procedure (a way of producing changes through the application of clinical techniques in order to improve function and generally requires the participation of the user), which results from the combined use of an aquatic environment, techniques, rehabilitation models and exercises in the water.
Designed by a qualified professional with a focus on improving health, conducted either individually or in groups, in order to produce curative and recreational effects in the person that facilitate functionality, adherence to treatment and achievement of the objectives proposed, by taking advantage of the thermal and mechanical properties that water possesses.
In this way, aquatic therapy goes further by integrating movements, reducing pain, while increasing circulation, muscle strength, balance and coordination.
What are the benefits of hydrotherapy, aquatic therapy and physical exercise in the pool?
When we dive into a heated pool, the force of the water (Archimedes’ principle) reduces our weight, that is, a person who is immersed in the pool up to shoulder height, weighing 100 kilos, will have an apparent weight of 10 kilos, which will allow you to move more freely, feeling lighter and reducing the load on your joints.
As well as the above, the tactile stimulation of the water plus its temperature, generate the release of heat, chemicals found in the body (endorphin, serotonin and dopamine) and block pain receptors, which lead to elimination of bodily aches and pains (spine, knees, hips, neck, among others) and is also an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.
Performing well-prescribed physical exercise in water generates totally different changes from when training in a gym; because about 650 muscles in your body work in a differentiated way, without generating an excessive overload in your musculoskeletal system, which could cause an injury (tear, sprain, tendon rupture).
So, depending on the type of exercise and according to your goals, you can tone your arms, thighs, calves and buttocks or generate muscle hypertrophy (increase in muscle size); In both cases, having strengthened muscles will improve your posture, as well as some orthopedic problems such as scoliosis, kyphosis, flat feet, scapular dyskinesia and other conditions that affect post-menopausal women and older adults.
If a certain prescription of exercises in the pool is practised, considering different user conditions, comorbidities (existing diseases) and physical capacity, it is possible to lose about 3 to 5 kilos of adipose tissue or fat in a period of 3 months, it is like doing a liposuction at a much lower cost, but exchanging fat for muscle.
In addition, by reducing adipose tissue, the levels of lipids in the blood and those that are deposited in our arteries, such as total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, are encouraged.
Finally, according to scientific research, the increase in body fat causes several systemic changes, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, dysautonomia, dyslipidaemia, heart attacks and cerebrovascular attacks.
Current problems in today’s world, such as traffic congestion, long and demanding working hours, have triggered an anxious and stressed population, which is reflected in developed and developing countries.
With aquatic therapy, these conditions are eliminated, relaxing the muscles or tense bands of the neck and shoulders, promotes better rest with deeper sleep, reduces cortisol levels (stress hormone) and increases serotonin levels, reducing emotional states depressives.
By reducing body pain, mental stress, medication doses, frailty, illnesses, while also increasing functionality, vitality, social participation; a virtuous circle is generated that enhances health, well-being, and quality of life in people who engage in this type of aquatic therapy in heated pools, using hydro kinesitherapy.
"Hydrotherapy, aquatic therapy and aquatic exercises, generate various benefits in all systems of the human body."