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Aqua Therapy SD.170

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My name is Amanda Gail Smart.   I am a 38 year old individual who sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury in an automobile accident when I was 17.   I had just started my Senior Year of high school, and had begun driving a few months earlier.   This particular day, a friend and I were driving home from soccer practice, and we were eating.   I ran a stop sign and my car was hit by a MAC truck.   I went through rehabilitation at Braintree Rehab with an amazing Neurologist, Dr. Douglas Katz.   It was Doctor Katz who prescribed me aqua therapy.   When I went home rehabilitation continued, but it consisted of Doctor’s appointments, Physical, Occupational, Speech therapy.   My father had to put me I worked hard to get me into a special private residential Brain Injury School in Brookline Massachusetts called the Ivy Street School.   This school helped me relearn so, so many things!

When I was at Ivy Street, I would volunteer in a Senator Tolman’s office.  He is now the President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.   He was the Senator of the area that I lived in, and he has two children who got a mysterious virus that adversely affected their motor skills.   The Senator and I wrote two bills.   Both of them having to do with Health Insurances covering aqua therapy. 

 Aqua Therapy is so important because it helps you to maintain stability, and since the water pushes you from all sides it assists with balance.   You can actually hold yourself up and walk in the water, when you are unable to on the ground.

 A little over 20 years later, I know work part time for Mass Association for the Blind.   I am starting my last year of Graduate School in the fall at UMass Boston.   I am getting my Master’s in Human Services, so I can help individuals like I have been helped.  

Aqua Therapy can be used to help treat a number of differing illnesses.   Some examples are brain injuries, cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, back injuries, joint injuries, positive effects for older adults and the list goes on and on.

This year the bill is being sponsored by Senator Sal Di Domenico.   We will be bringing it to the floor this spring, but I am talking about it now so people know about it, and will hopefully join me to support it.

According to about aqua therapy.pdf:

Medicare paid out almost 50 million dollars towards aquatic therapy services in 2005.Aquatic exercise has become popular enough to warrant its own category in surveys done by marketing groups such as American Sports Data. Another sign that aquatic therapy is here to stay? There are over 14,000 individuals, facilities and organizations listed in the Aquatic Resources Network database (many listed on Each individual listing has some strong tie to the aquatic therapy industry.

 The benefits of aqua therapy are:

1.      Helps your joints to be more flexible.   You are able to move around better by taking the effects of gravity away allowing for increased range of motion.

2.      An increase of muscle strength.   Water is 600-700 times more resistant than air, which allows for strengthening weakened muscles.

3.      Being in warm water increases the blood flow.

4.      Being in water aids with balance and mobility.   The water pressure from all around allows you increased time to react, without being scared that you might fall.

I have included websites from NIH, talking about how aqua therapy helps Parkinson’s patients, and Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body



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