My experience of 16th Post-Bachelor Aquatic Therapy Modular Course Package in Valens (Bad Ragaz), Switzerland

My experience of aquatic therapy workshop Switzerland

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I was inspired by the C G Prashant’s 4 days aquatic therapy course in Pune. It was his teaching and training skill made me like the workshop. After completing the workshop i was enlightened with the new idea of aquatic therapy in neuro rehab. In NDT & neuro rehab we play with  gravity as force to challenge, alter, assist or resist the motor control. In water we will get one more force along with “gravity” to play with motor control training, that is “buoyancy “. This concept has encouraged me to do the 14 days Aquatic therapy workshop Switzerland.

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16th Post-Bachelor Aquatic Therapy Modular Course Package in Valens (Bad Ragaz), Switzerland

I have gone of Aquatic therapy course of 14 days in Kliniken Valens , Bad Regaz in Switzerland in month of May 2016. It was great learning experience. In Switzerland along with aquatic therapy I learned their culture, lifestyle and their teaching methods.


Main building of Kliniken Valens

klinic Valens Gajanan Bhaleraoklinic Valens Gajanan bhalerao 1

Valens is situated in valley. It is beautiful view from Valens.valens Klinic valens Gajanan bhalerao 2

Garden in front of the Kliniken Valensklinic valen- view from main gate Gajanan

Backyard of Clinic13233095_10153558280404109_6660432314713462092_n


This intensive postgraduate aquatic therapy course (134.5 academic contact hours of 45 minutes) is unique in the world. The basis is “learningby-reasoning-and-doing” or “think-pair-share”: pool practice encompasses 86.9 hours. Preparatory and additional studying time needs about 20 hours. Five aquatic treatment concepts form the practical implementation of evidence based, and competence guided approach to therapy. ( Participants will experience a variety of patients during 5 hands-on sessions in the pool, supervised by the lecturers. Included are a (digital) course book, plus beverages during coffee/tea breaks.)

The  concepts taught in the course 
– Water Specific Therapy (WST) + login to
– The Bad Ragaz Ring Method® +
– AquaT-Relax, passive relaxation including (spinal) joint mobilisation
– Clinical Ai Chi: addressing postural control and connective tissue
(e.g. neurodynamics) +
– Aquatic Fitness (AT-Fit) introduction: focus on music, measuring
endurance and falls prevention

Contents are focused on adults with neuro-musculoskeletal impairments.
The red line in 2016 will be the individual with a neurological disease.

Case related contents provide students with a comprehensive picture of current research that supports decision making, clinical reasoning, problem-solving and goal-setting in aquatic therapy.

My instructors Johan Lambeck and his wife Anne Bommer (ClinicalAi Chi and Watsu)


Things that impressed me a lot 

Teaching and training methods.

A. Didactic lectures

class aqautic

  1. Planning: Course was very well planned and organized with details of daily lecture schedule.
  2. Time management: time management was extremely good. Course schedule was not just written but each lecture schedule and timing of lecture delivery and completion of each session was dot on time.
  3. Handout and notes: Whatever the didactic lecture were given in training all that was covered in all notes and hand out. This helped us to concentrate on the content of lecture that copying or writing note during lectures.
  4. Evidence based lectures: All the lectures were evidence based with references of the content for each topic.
  5. Best practices: during lecture they have discusses all the current practices throughout the world and in the end instructor emphasized on what  best practices should be followed
  6. cropped-img_20160510_091023.jpg

 B. Practical training in water: Lab session


  1. Hand on practice on models: instructors has given detailed and simple explanation for each treatment techniques and given plenty of time to practice on each other. They have instructed us to change partners frequently to avoid adaptation.
  2. Individualized supervision and correction: we had 2-3 instructors in the group of 12-14 participants. During practice of techniques in water instructors used to come each participant and check our placement of hands, position and handling skills. They guided us all the correction whenever we were not doing appropriately. This individualized attention and correction helped to refine our handling skills.
  3. Clinic is located at very beautiful place. Clinic is situated in the high hills with mountains covered with snow can be seen from our classrooms.
  4. Simple and precise instructions of training.
  5. Problem solving & Hand on practice on models: we got patients for assessment, problem solving, planning of optimized treatment plan according to their impairment and needs. We tried to solve their problems with different aquatic therapy techniques taught to us. We have observed the benefits of aquatic therapy in the single session as well. That was very encouraging and surprising for us.
  6. Course schedule is hectic and lengthy but still inspiring: course is very hectic. It starts and 7.30 AM and will end by 6.00-6.30 PM, around 11 hours of training each day for 14 days. But it was well distributed in aquatic session and lecture session (1 aquatic and 1 land session in morning and 11 aquatic and 1 land session afternoon). Combination of aquatic and land training helped relaxation.
  7. Expert instructors: This whole course in package of different modules, for each modules and different session there was expert panel of instructors in the respective field. Each instructor was great and expert clinician in their respective field and he/she was teaching and sharing their experiences with us. Lecturers
    1. Johan Lambeck
      PT and Senior Lecturer IATF. He is director of Aquatic Rehab Consultants
      and is appointed as free research associate at Leuven University
      (Belgium), co-organizing the European Aquaoutcome/evidence Network
      (, He is author of various books, book chapters and
      articles on AT in (peer reviewed) journals. He is a Cochrane member and
      former primary contact person for the WCPT aquatic physical therapy
    2. Urs Gamper
      PT and Senior Lecturer IATF. Head of the Therapy Dept. at the
      internationally known Kliniken Valens, Switzerland. He has some 35 years
      of experience in Aquatic Therapy for adult patients with neurological,
      orthopaedic or rheumatologic diseases. He is an author of various books,
      book chapters and (peer reviewed) articles. Urs has a wide international
      teaching experience.
    3. Anne Bommer.
      Senior Lecturer IATF. She is certified Ai Chi Lecturer and practitioner of
      Watsu and WST. Anne is specialized in working with clients with severe
      physical and intellectual disabilities and works in the Fondation Clair Bois,
      Geneva (Switzerland)
    4. Bernd Anderseck
      PT, MSc in Neurorehabilitation, Kliniken Valens. Bernd is PNF Instructor
      IPNFA and lectures PNF over 15 years at a Swiss University of Applied
      Sciences. He has been faculty at various international conferences, e.g.
      about MS and gait rehabilitation
    5. Jens Bansi
      PhD in sport sciences. Sports therapist and scientist at the Kliniken Valens.
      His research mainly focuses the impacts of (aquatic) training on cardiorespiratory
      fitness and immune functions in persons with MS and has
      authored various peer reviewed articles on this topic.
      He has 10 years of therapeutic experience involving conditioning for adults
      with orthopedic, rheumatological or neurological diseases in aquatic
      Jens is member of RIMS and AQUA OUTCOME
    6. Matthias Brunner
      Master of Sports, Aquatic Fitness Professional and owner of the
      Aquademie für Wasserfitness, Berne (Switzerland). He is specialized in
      aquatic programmes for golden age people.
    7. Peter Oesch
      PhD, MSc in Health Ergonomics and PT. Head of the Research and the
      Ergonomics Department Kliniken Valens. Peter is author and co-author of
      peer reviewed articles and various books in Rheumatology and
      Assessments in Rehabilitation. He has 25 years teaching experience on
      graduate and postgraduate courses on national and international level.
  8. Competency evaluation: at end of each module we have to go under competency evaluation of our planning and handling skills
  9. Best infrastructure for aquatic therapy: I think it the best aquatic therapy infrastructure and facility in the whole world. This center is the role model for all others institutes. it has  heated aquatic therapy pool. There are two pools only dedicated for treatment of patients in rehabilitation.
  10. Experienced participant from different part of the world: There were highly experiences people were participant of course ranging from 5 -30 years of clinical and aquatic therapy experience. In spite of having such vast experience everyone was very cooperative and down to earth. I was surprised to see their zeal and hunger for knowledge at that age. It was commendable!


Participants of course.

There was participant from different countries. America 2, Holland 1, Spain 4, India 2, Philippines 2, Italy 1, England 1, Switzerland 2. We were frequently divided in group of 3-4 peoples fro group discussion for case based learning or problem based learning during didactic teaching and in aquatic session as well. Each time we kept in different groups.   It was great learning experience interacting with all during group discussion of case based learning or problem based learning during the course.

Aquatic Course 2016 Gajanan

I had good friendship with Emely & Alice from America, Nishita from India, Wendy from England and Claudate from Holland. At the end of every day we used sit together and discuss the daily teaching. it was Wendy’s idea to write down daily notes of techniques taught so that we will not forget it. We used discuss all the technique and I used to draw line diagrams of all the techniques taught.  Then we used to put this drawing photos on our what’s up group. This daily discussion helped in better understanding and remembering the techniques well.


Emily and Claudate used to go for hiking. so one days I also joined with them. Usually in never go for hiking or walking in daily life. But they inspired me to walk up hill.  We were walking in mountains trails from 7 -9 pm. In Switzerland day light is available till 9.30 pm. So it was quite bright till 9 pm. All the girls used to go for early morning walking /hiking or late evening walking.  They were highly conscious about their fitness and health. This commitment to fitness health inspired me a lot. Now I am also working on my fitness. After coming back home from Switzerland I had participated in 25 Km cycling event with my staff in my hospital.



How is the infrastructure?

Best infrastructure for aquatic therapy: I think it the best aquatic therapy infrastructure and facility in the whole world. This center is the role model for all others institutes.  It has heated aquatic therapy pool, they get the hot water directly from hot springs in the mountains. There are two pools only dedicated for treatment of patients in rehabilitation. it has very well planned and user friendly changing rooms. Pool is very clean. They don’t use chlorine to clean and maintain pH of water, so it skin friendly and does not cause itching, dryness or rashes (common complication of chlorinated water in swimming pool).

13179041_10153558264399109_6020658516759739640_n IMG_20160510_090939


Who can apply for this course?

  1. Qualified physiotherapist with few years of experience in neuro rehabilitation
  2. interested in practicing aquatic therapy
  3. has sound sufficient financial background support for course fees, accommodation, travel and food (food is very expensive in Switzerland)

How to take admission in this course?

This course packages happens once year in Kliniken valens Switzerland. You need mail to the study section .

Organization: Mrs. Gabriela Wyttenbach: with email id.

What is total expense to attend the course?

  • Course fees is 2400 CHF ( 2400x 70 (rate of INR to CHF) = INR 1,68,000)
  • Accommodation
    • Suit room (with kitchen and toilet attached room) 60 CHF/per day 60x15days =900CHF ( 900×70=63,000INR).
    • Staff room (with common kitchen and toilet outside room) 30 CHF/per day 30x15days =900CHF (450×70=31,500)
    • Madrus Gajanan , Accomodation

This was the view from my Room’s Balcony

IMG_20160502_103901 IMG_20160502_103647

Common Kitchen with lockers & Freeze for each room.

IMG_20160502_001749 IMG_20160502_001742

  • Internet /wifi  they provide wifi in clinic and accommodation area  at rate 30 CHF each for 14 days, total 30+30=60CHF. (4,200 INR)
  1. Food for each meal you will have to spend 25-40CHF (1750 -2800 INR). So you can carry your packed ready to use food with you for 15 days. We don’t get Indian food there and you may or may not like the local food, so it is better to carry your own food. I had my own food with me. on an average i had spent only 50 CHF (3500)on food and groceries.
  • Pune to Mumbai airport taxi and back 950 x 2= 1900 INR
  • Mumbai to Zurich and Zurich to Mumbai Swiss airways = 45000 INR

static_map (1)Mumbai to Zurich

static_mapZurich to Mumbai

  • Valens to Bad regaz by bus  5CHF. Bad regaz to Kliniken valens 10×2=20 CHF (1400INR)

13178046_10153558270184109_1554141785720578368_n   13227210_10153558282039109_8764785083508966918_n

  • Zurich Bad Ragaz to and fro by train 38 x 2= 76 CHF (5320 INR)

13179426_10153558280714109_7544894300737379653_n 13179268_10153558279749109_8733715830204185_n

  • Bad Ragaz Station

13221621_10153558281829109_5269751536684188071_n  13177962_10153558281404109_7255475833039690752_n

  • Swiss train. ticket checkers are always available in train. Don’t board without ticket in train.

13177232_10153558281049109_2003477485121147261_n   13230058_10153558278504109_1529761635044486581_n

  • Subway train from airport terminal A-B to C terminal


Zurich airport pass counter (all automatic)

Total expenditure = INR 2,55,500/- to 3,00,000/-

What is the entertainment source?

There is no TV in room. Only One TV is available in common hall, but it does not have any English/Hindi channels. Only source of entertainment is go for k=hiking and enjoy beauty of Switzerland or use WIFI/internet.

What is the arrangement of food?

Food for each meal you will have to spend 25-40 CHF (1750 -2800 INR). So you can carry your packed ready to use food with you for 15 days. I had carried readymade Daal, Pulav packets, Tea bag, tea powder, sugar, milk powder, chiwada, thephala, nuts and other small things. I had carried some utensils with me for cooking and eating.  You will also get some cooking utensils in common kitchen   or you can borrow from local staff living in staff rooms and using common kitchen. I used buy rice, eggs, bread, milk and sugar in their general store.  There is only one general store in that village which opens at 8 am and closed by 6 pm. so you need to plan your shopping in this period only.  it is closed on Sundays and Saturday it opens half day only.  There is one restaurant in clinic and one commercial restaurant in that village.


Kliniken Valens Physiotherapy Department 

Physiotherapy gymnasium

Advance Physiotherapy equipment

Robotic arm training

Leg Press

IMG_20160505_180830 IMG_20160505_180824

Locomat : Body wight supported treadmill training


Manipulation and therapy plinths


Rehab:  cloth washing  and drying training

IMG_20160505_181947 IMG_20160505_181943 IMG_20160505_181931

Rehab: Carpentry training -vocational rehab

Adjustable Kitchen-Cooking rehab



Occupational therapy

All Cupboard shows what is inside that cupboards.

Climbing wall


How is the culture and people of Switzerland?

I found people are very friendly and cooperative. Every passing by me used say hello and greet me in their language.  Valens is a small village, there very few people found on the roads while walking daily.

Trip to Heidi hotel

Trip to other country without Visa

My place of accomodation


Kliniken Valens, Switzerland is heaven of aquatic therapy, must visit place and learn from the best experts of the world in aquatic therapy!

Aquatic Gajanan

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,

6 thoughts on “My experience of 16th Post-Bachelor Aquatic Therapy Modular Course Package in Valens (Bad Ragaz), Switzerland

  1. Dear Gajanan,It is indeed a wonderful opportunity you got to undergo the Aquatic course exploring the beauty of Water which in Hindu Mythology has been referred to as JAL DEVATA and that when you worship her she is bound to take you in her soothing arms and protect you.You must pursue this further and write about the therapeutic effects of Water /Hydrotherapy and its scope for Neuro Rehab.All the BestVK


  2. Congratulations Gajanan…Not only do you have a quest for knowledge but you are equally motivated to share your experiences and encouraging others too… You have given a very comprehensive report of your training.. I am sure many will follow..All the best.. keep going..
    Mrs Vimal Telang.


  3. Congratulations Gajanan… Not only do you have a quest for acquiring new skills but you are also motivated to share your experiences… with your comprehensive report I am sure many will follow..All the best.. keep going..


  4. Congratulations from Spain. Thank you very much for sharing your experiencie, I´m sure your post will encourage others to attend the modular course, in fact I wish to do it it anytime myself. Please let me share it in my blog, check it if you want


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