The American Parkinson Disease Association (2001) Aquatic exercises for Parkinson’s disease

Water therapy is an ancient and time honored form of healing. The Greek, Roman, and Persian healers of the Middle Ages, as well as our native Americans, all benefited from the healing properties of water in the form of medical treatment. Traditionally, warm springs and mineral waters have been considered by humankind as special neutral areas, even in times of war and strife. The spiritual benefits of water include the sounds of laughter, the sensations of relaxation, and the prevailing attitudes of playfulness. The scientific benefits of water are many but include most noticeably; buoyancy, resistance, hydrostatic pressure, flow motion, and thermal energy transfer. A large body of research is available from NASA on the effects of total body immersion. Most of the early space research into the effects of weightlessness on humans was carried on under water. The reader is referred to the reference list for further information on aquatic research and the bio physiological aspects of water. Water is an excellent exercise medium for anyone with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The buoyancy effect of water on the human body creates a feeling of easy movements and freedom. Water helps “To ease the burden” of moving and is a joy to patients and a continuing source of great satisfaction for all therapists.

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