Aquatic Massage Therapy
Aquatic Massage Therapy is a gentle, hands-on massage therapy treatment that takes advantage of the anti-gravity provided by a therapeutic pool. In many cases, aquatic massage therapy is more beneficial to a client because the body experiences a larger range of motion in the water than it does when its out of the water.
A therapeutic pool allows the therapist to guide their client through a series of gentle stretches without the hindrance of joint and muscle pain to impede the range of motion that they normally experience on land.
During an aquatic massage, a client floats peacefully on their back while the water helps the massage therapist support them. Oftentimes a pool-noodle or flutter board is used to support one end of the client (such as their legs) while the therapist supports the other end (such as the head and neck). Clients who are comfortable in water will benefit from the warm, gentle freedom of motion that aquatic massage permits.
Aquatic therapy employs a variety of the same massage techniques that are used on land, but they most commonly combine techniques from Watsu and Jahara massage.
Watsu Massage takes from a series of gentle Shiatsu stretches to promote flexibility while the client floats in the tranquil warm water.
Jahara Massage is based on a series of safe joint stretches that are meant to help elongate the spine. The stretches are based on bodys muscular structure and proper alignment.
The temperature of the therapeutic pool is typically kept around 95-degrees-Fahrenheit in order to keep the client relaxed and their muscles and joints loose during their aquatic massage. The temperature, combined with the low gravity that a client experiences in the water, in addition to the resistance provided by the gentle movements under the water allow for the therapist to move a clients body through a smooth range of motion without causing pain to their muscles and joints.
Professional massage therapists often recommend aquatic therapy for clients with a restricted range of motion from conditions such as severe arthritis or osteoarthritis, post-surgical injuries, pregnant women or newly post-pregnant women, and clients with any type of nerve damage (such as Fibromyalgia). Aquatic therapy is also known to be very relaxing for those with sleep disorders such as insomnia.