The unique buoyancy of water supports the body, lifts the limbs and allows easy three-dimensional movement. The turbulence and viscosity of water create resistance to limb movement thus strengthening the muscles in use, like exercising in treacle! The hydrostatic pressure whilst immersed in water decreases swelling and improves circulation.
Already very popular as a form of exercise and therapy in the United States and around the world, hydrotherapy has arrived in Ireland. Not just a good way to keep fit, exercising in water can be used as a form of therapy in a variety of situations. Aileen is a fully qualified physiotherapist with a specialist certificate in hydrotherapy and has conducted research into the benefits of hydrotherapy with regard to preganancy and birth outcomes. Click on the links below for more details.
Conducting a literature search on the thesis 'that maternal exercise, specifically aquanatal exercise, during pregnancy improves birth outcomes at time of delivery' Aileen uncovered some interesting material in this field. In general, the fitter and healthier the mother, the more straightforward the delivery, the less the subjective pain rating is and the less intervention required during the birth.
The advantages of exercising in water are many, particularly for expectant mothers. Weight bearing is reduced on all joints particularly the back and pelvis which carries the excess pressure of the developing baby. In water chest deep 75% of on-land weight is made buoyant by the water, a great feeling of lightness! The hydrostatic pressure that achieves the buoyancy also causes a substantial central shift in body fluid which assists in reducing the oedema in hands and feet associated with the later stages of pregnancy.
Educational material is woven through the class particularly focusing on :
The following areas are included in the post-natal classes:
Hydrotherapy is ideal for those with degenerative orthopaedic conditions, stiffness in the spine, deconditioning, chronic pain and core stability weakness. The buoyancy of the water supports the body so that you can exercise with minimal stress on the principle joints. The warmth of the water reduces pain and improves tissue extensibility. It's amazing how much more you can do in the water than on land!
Aileen Convery (MSc,MISCP, Chartered Physiotherapist) qualified in physiotherapy in West Virginia University, USA in 1993, whilst on a swimming scholarship. In 1988, she represented Ireland swimming in the Olympic Games, Seoul, Korea. During her training in physiotherapy Aileen developed a keen interest in hydrotherapy. Whilst setting up a hydrotherapy facility in St. Giles Rehabilitation Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe in 1996, she gained an understanding of the benefits of hydrotherapy for a very wide range of conditions.
In summer 2002, Aileen completed a Specialisation Certificate in Hydrotherapy in the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath, United Kingdom.
In the classes Aileen combines her extensive hydrotherapy expertise with her love of being in the water.
Mary O'Driscoll and Lisa Kernan also run Aquanatal classes in other locations around Dublin.
© EurekaHydro 2011