Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hydrotherapy / Floatation Therapy

since just before christmas i have been visiting a hospital and getting hydrotherapy. before you get pictures in your head of me doing aquarobics with elderly ladies, it's actually a small pool in which a physiotherapist shows me gentle exercises. i say gentle, but actually mean "harder than one first suspects."

when i saw a physio at my local health centre she asked me to mark on a diagram where my pain was. after i gave her the diagram back, and it looked like it had been used for target practice, she didn't think acupuncture was going to do the trick so prescribed hydrotherapy instead. has it worked? not really, the pains are still there and it's tough work, but at least it got me out and about. they say it's important for hypermobile people to keep their fitness levels up, even if it hurts a little. otherwise you can end up staying in bed, and it's just a vicious circle from there.

the resistance of your limbs through the water provide a little more force than doing the same movements out of water, while the rest of your body is gently supported and feeling a little buoyant. the water in the hydrotherapy pool is slightly warmer than at the local swimming baths so it's more comfortable to be in.

after doing all they could for me, and showing me the exercises tailored to my body, they moved me on to seeing a physio on land. i've only been a couple of times but the main focus is on doing small push ups without the scapula winging. the idea is to strengthen all the small muscles around the shoulder area and stop my shoulder blades from sliding out so easily.

as well as water to exercise in, water can also be used for rest. using a floatation tank can be just what the body needs. it's at body temperature, nowhere near as warm as the hydro pool, but it is far more supportive. so much so, that it is impossible to sink, even when your asleep (i don't recommend sleeping on your front).

unfortunately my local floatation tank is out of commission for a few days. i found this out when in need of float yesterday. maybe i should get work towards getting one myself, and leading others to experience the rest it gives.

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