“The Swimming Pool Helping Israel’s Disability Community Learn to Walk”

“The Swimming Pool Helping Israel’s Disability Community Learn to Walk”

In early July, an article highlighting the incredible successes made in a short amount of time at ALEH’s hydrotherapy center in Jerusalem. The article was featured in Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), the 5 Towns Jewish Times, The Algemeiner, and others. As detailed in the article, hydrotherapy is an extremely effective therapeutic tool that has helped ALEH’s residents develop and grow well beyond their initial prognoses.

Under the supervision of a trained and certified professional therapist, hydrotherapy provides deep, intense exercise within a soothing and comforting environment. This form of therapy promotes physical functioning with the aid of water’s restorative and detoxifying properties. Water buoyancy makes aerobic and anaerobic exercises safe and effective by allowing an individual to ambulate freely.
Hydrotherapy can:
• Increase core strength
• Improve muscle tone
• Improve flexibility
• Increase endurance
• Increase stability

Beyond the physical benefits involved, hydrotherapy has mental and social benefits as well. Research has shown that hydrotherapy plays a big role in facilitating social inclusion and can increase independence and overall self-confidence in one’s physical abilities. Swimming in a pool also help ALEH’s children feel like they are like other children, who can play in a pool all summer long.

Hydrotherapy has done wonders for many of ALEH’s children. As written in the article, “In some cases, children who were never expected to walk are able to take their first steps following extensive hydrotherapy.”

“The parents send us videos of their children walking around the house,” said Timna Vaknin, a special-education teacher at ALEH, Israel’s network of care for children with severe complex disabilities. “It’s incredible to hear them crying with joy as they count every step. They just can’t believe that their child is able to walk.”

Indeed, ALEH’s state-of-the-art hydrotherapy center, inaugurated last spring at the residential and rehabilitative facility in Jerusalem, is doing wonders for the ALEH residents and special education students, providing them with easy access to the water-based therapies that allow them to build muscle mass, improve mobility and move freely and without pain.

To read more about the incredible advances ALEH’s children were able to make with the help of hydrotherapy, please click here.