Workshop on “Aquatic Therapy Basics ”

Sancheti healthcare academy in collaboration with Physiotherapy department organising  workshop

“Aquatic Therapy Basics ”

Dr. Gajanan Bhalerao, HOD Physiotherapy department, Sancheti Hospital

Dr. Amruta Vedpathak, Coordinator of the workshop

Date 4/03/2016 -7/03/2016

Venue: Sancheti Healthcare Academy Shivajinagar Pune.

Course fees:Rs 8500. For Sancheti staff and students Rs 7500/-

Registration Form Aquatic therapy


Aquatic Therapy Basics C G Prashanth  2

Resource Person

Aquatic Therapy Basics C G Prashanth  4

Dr. C G Prashanth (profile is attached)

Assistant Professor, Aquatic Therapy Consultant

Certified in Halliwick Therapy & BRRM practitioner (Switzerland)

IATF(International Aquatic Therapy Faculty) Member

Watsu Practitioner, Ai Chi Instructor

SDM College of Physiotherapy



Dear Friends

 The Aquatic Environment has provided therapeutic benefit throughout the millennia. Aquatic Therapy is a new name for a treatment method with ancient roots. Over the centuries, health care practitioners have used various terms for the therapeutic and rehabilitative benefits conferred by water.

Aquatic rehabilitation describes a scientific theory, a medical rationale, & a set of clinical procedures using water immersion for the restoration of physical mobility and physiologic activity, & at times, for effecting psychological transformation.

A large variety of client populations and diagnosis are being treated today in an aquatic environment in conjunction with other rehabilitation services within individual treatment programs.

The benefits of incorporating treatment in the water environment in a client’s treatment plan are extensive. Many clinicians throughout the United states & Europe have been incorporating these treatment techniques very successfully in their client’s care plans. In India it is still in its budding stage & the Potential for success – Huge!!

This workshop is an honest attempt to bring the concept of aquatic therapy to India. As Physiotherapy is growing in multiple specialties & gaining ground in terms of clinical outcomes. It is only imperative to look into the applications & integrate new concepts in clinical practice. There are some challenges in India like infrastructure, awareness, training, socio cultural issues & so forth. All will be overcome step by step & solutions will be guided through this intense Four day workshop on aquatic therapy basics.

Hydrotherapy, as everyone knows this concept popularly, has grown over the years. It is practiced well in most parts of the world except in India. India growing economically & a larger class of people becoming aware of various developments in medical field; it is right time to take an initiative in making the growth of aquatic therapy to obtain clinical results.

Is Aquatic therapy useful? The answer is a Yes. The properties, physiology & dynamics of water make it happen. Is there enough evidence to prove it, Yes there are, in some clinical applications & in some it is yet to develop as the approach is gaining grounds recently in the past 20 years or so. There are many concepts of aquatic therapy that are being practiced in other parts of the world; I bring to you five of these concepts to you in Four days. One concept never works alone; it is always an integrated approach. I believe the Four days will be an enriching experience.

The fourth day will be exclusively kept for patient handling in the water by a group of 4 therapists teamed together. Pre-session evaluation, therapy planning, execution of therapy, and post session evaluation and clinical discussion to see or document changes will be guided by the resource person.

There is a small brief of all the concepts that will be covered in the Four days hands on workshop.

Halliwick Therapy

This concept was developed by James Mc Millan for enabling physically challenged people to learn to swim & enjoy unlimited mobility in water. Later finding therapeutic benefits of the concept it was evolved into halliwick Therapy enabling the principles of Halliwick idea of swimming to be used for developing motor abilities in people suffering from Neurological, Musculoskeletal & Pediatric neurodevelopment issues. The concept though evolved almost 15 years back, has not been potentially used for therapeutic purposes. The session is goal based; targeting specific problems of the client & the session can last up to 45 min. It is always one on one program. It is based on dynamic systems model. It is similar to NDT on land, using certain key points for facilitation & using buoyancy or gravity depending on depth of immersion. The clientele group those can benefit are pediatrics, Neuro cases like Hemi, Parkinsons, GB syndrome, spinal cord injured cases etc.

Bad Ragaz Ring Method

The idea evolved from making people do activities in water in supine position. Though initially developed by Dr. Knupfer, later it was adapted with floating tubes at neck, thorax & leg for the purposes of functional development of strength. It is an effective way of a strengthening both proximal as well as distal stability & mobility of neuromusculoskeletal clients. It can be used for core stability as well as for rehabilitation. The session will last upto 40 min maximum with an average duration of 30 min as it involves strengthening of various muscles. It is also one on one program. The clientele who can benefit will predominantly be spinal cord injury patients, & musculoskeletal cases

Aqua Aerobics

A mode of doing aerobic exercises in water that enables individual person to extract his complete potential to perform exercise but, yet, not stress his joints in any manner. It starts with warm up followed by strengthening or endurance training program & concludes by cooling phase. It usually lasts for about 45 min to an hour depending on the individual & the group. Noodles, floaters, balls, dumbbells & other materials are used along with music to enhance the fun of doing these exercises in water. This is also an effective way to reduce weight with lot of advantages offered by water. Aquatic Exercises on the other hand will be specifically designed for patient population is suffering with specific problems post op or post immobilization or specific weakness following neurologic weakness.  There is difference between aqua aerobics which is purely developing cardiovascular endurance & general fitness with aquatic exercises which are problem specific approach.

Ai Chi

Found by Jun Konno, these resemble Tai Chi like moves but consists of only 19 moves. This is usually practiced in land first to know the sequence & later done in the water. This enables a deep sense of meditation in water with lot of emphasis on breathing. It also improves attention on personal posture, body structure & core stability. It also has been found to improve concentration, reduce stress, anxiety & release tensions. It stretches the meridians of our body and also releases the Chi (energy). This can be done individually or in couples called Ai Chi Ne. This has 9 moves & improves mobility of upper trunk, coordination & strength. After Ai Chi your mind & body will be ready to receive Watsu. The session can last anywhere between 30 min to 45 min. This concept works well with all age groups in developing core balance, proprioception & prevention of falls. The major age group who benefits with this concept are middle & elderly population.


It is a wonderful idea of letting a person, passively experience the effects of water being held by another person. Floats will be tied to the legs of the person receiving & the session starts from the wall progressing to be floated by the giver. The receiver closes their eyes, & the giver does stretches, works on meridian points. The session lasts from 45 min to an hour. It induces a very deep state of relaxation. Liked by most people & as an advance it progresses to underwater sessions. There is an emotional release for some & some experience a lot of energy after the session & some have a deep sense of relaxation. The concept was found by Harold Dull. The concept is used from therapeutic view point to stretch the shortened muscle structures, reduce spasticity, improve mobility & as a preparatory phase for further therapy or can be used for a cool down after a good workout in water. It is a one on one session.

Why This Workshop?

This workshop gives an insight into various concepts available in Aquatic Therapy, their benefits and applications & to develop a new dimension for Physiotherapy in integrating Aquatic Therapy into practice.

What You Get?

  • Understanding Aquatic Concepts: Halliwick concept, BRRM, Watsu, Aqua Aerobics, Aqua Jogging,
  • Idea of developing/integrating pool into your practice.
  • Developing a business plan & ideas to spread the work of Aquatic Therapy.
  • Developing clinical reasoning for applying the concepts to the patient population.
  • Understand planning and executing aquatic therapy techniques with clients.



This is a basic module teaching skills to handle oneself in water & to support another person in water to make him do the desired exercises.

The workshop will have exclusive hands on with peer group in water for more than 16 hours during the course work.

Clinical questionnaires & group discussions will be given to channelize thinking to develop treatment plan for patients using the concepts taught during the course.

Some credit hours will be recognized by IATF – (International Aquatic Therapy Faculty)

Aquatic Therapy Network of India (ATNI) Membership is given to the participants of the workshop. This is a support group to help the members to develop Aquatic Therapy, conduct awareness programs for general population, develop evidence based practice, and establish standards of hygiene, standards of practice & spread the network to grow efficiently larger.

This will also strive to develop a parallel line of practice for Physiotherapists.

Workshop details

Title: Aquatic Therapy Module I – Basics

Duration:  4 Days

Total seats: 16/18 (even number)

Inclusions: Study materials, certificate, transcript, Pool hours, working lunch, tea & light snacks.

Total credit hours: 32 hours (16 pool hours & 16 theory hours)

Participating Eligibility:  PG’s, Physiotherapy Practitioners & Faculties

Hope to see you all at the pool & believe water will take you higher!!!


Time Schedule

 Day 1

 Module 1 

 7.30 am to 8.15 am

Written test of pre-course material

 8.30 am to 10.00 am

  • Introduction & History
  • Properties of water
  • Hydrodynamic principles

10.00 am to 10.30 am

  • Tea break

10.30 am to 12.30 pm

  • Pool work
    • Entries & Exits
    • Supports
    • Breath control & mental adaptation

12.30 pm to 1.30 pm Lunch break

1.30 pm to 3.00 pm

  • Introduction of people to water
  • Various positions
  • Problems disabled face in water
  • Safety aspects

3.00 pm to 3.30 pm

  • Video/tea break

 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm

  • Pool work – Halliwick therapy
  • Transverse rotations
  • Saggital rotations
  • Longitudinal rotations



Day 2                                                                                                 6.30 am to 7.15 am

  Ai Chi (land calisthenics)

 Module 3 & 4

 8.00 am to 10.00 am

  • Concepts
    • Halliwick therapy
    • BRRM
    • Watsu
    • Ai Chi
    • Aqua Aerobics
    • Aqua Jogging

10.00 am to 10.30 am

  • Video/tea break

10.30 am to 12.30 pm

  • Pool work – Halliwick therapy
  • Combine rotation
  • Up thrust
  • Balance in stillness
  • Turbulence

 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm Lunch break

 1.30 pm to 3.00 pm

  • Clinical Application
    • Orthopedics
    • Neurology
    • Pediatrics
    • Geriatrics
    • Sports & 0thers

3.00 pm to 3.30 pm

  • Video/tea break

3.30 pm to 5.30 pm

  • Pool work
  • BRRM
  • AiChi



Day 3                                                                                                 6.30 am to 7.15 am

 Ai Chi (land calisthenics)

Module 5 & 6

 8.00 am to 10.00 am

  • Assessment, progress & recording
  • Evidence of Aquatic therapy
  • Aquatic rehab equipments, Pool designing & maintenance
  • Integrating aquatic therapy into practice

 10.00 am to 10.30 am

  • Video/ tea break

 10.30 am to 12.30 pm

  • Pool work
    • Aerobic Exercises (strengthening & endurance)
    • WOTA testing

 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm Lunch break

 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm

  • Clinical Discussion

 3.30 pm to 3.45 pm

  • Info on Aquatic therapy/ tea break

 3.45 pm to 5.45 pm

  • Pool work
  • Basics of Watsu
  • Ai Chi Basic


Day 4                                                                                                 

 Module 5 & 6

 8.00 am to 10.00 am

  • General Instructions
  • Patient assessment & Therapy planning

 10.00 am to 10.30 am

  • Video/ tea break

 10.30 am to 12.30 pm

  • Treatment session for patients in group of 4 or more

 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm Lunch break

 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm

  • Clinical Discussion

 3.30 pm to 3.45 pm

  • Info on Aquatic therapy/ tea break

 3.45 pm to 5.00 pm

  • Revision of all concepts in pool and doubt clarifications

 pm to 6.15 pm

  • Valedictory
  • Certificate distribution
  • Feedback
  • High tea


Published by GajananBhalerao

DR. GAJANAN BHALERAO (PT) MPTh Neuro, NDT Adult (USA), Motor relearning (Australia), Aquatic therapist (Switzerland). Associate professor at Sancheti Institute College of physiotherapy, Shivajinagar, Pune. Founder Director of "School of neuro rehab and aquatic therapy" , speciality centre for neuro rehabilitation of stroke, brain and spinal cord injury. Mobile : 9822623701,

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