The treatment says Donate your body to me
Float away Dream Set yourself free
Float Swirl Twist & Turn each movement
Helps your body to heal and learn
Think relaxed thoughts - Not about me
But know I'm around But not to see
It's like a warm Gentle Dance
Somewhat like an induced trance
A Dance of caring a Dance of love
Guided and Protected from up above
You are told on the form it may
Be stimulating But please no lust that would
Spoil it and make it unjust
Enjoy the contact Enjoy it all
Float all your troubles away and remember
How you were taught to play
Laura Elliot, heart patient
It’s so difficult to describe the feeling of an underwater session. The silence for me was the most beautiful part. My head was so quiet, so light, so free; I just knew I was safe and happy and I didn’t want to come up. I didn’t need air. I just forgot about breathing. When the skin of my face felt air on it, breathing just happened instinctively. I wasn’t even aware of it. Colours and memories came and went, I danced and played, and the stuff that surfaced, both good and bad, was all manageable.
Richard Anderson, 63 years, suffered from paralysis after a stroke
On 21/10/2005 I had a severe stroke which paralized me on my right hand side and left arm. I spent a week at the Union Hospital, then transferred to Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital for about a month and two weeks, where I had therapy to help me walk. In the middle of December 2005 I left in a wheelchair. My doctor said that I would probably never drive or work again.
Then I heard about the heated aquatic bodywork in water.
When she started water therapy with me I found it most helpful. She exercised my main nerves and entire body and I could walk and run in the water. The first time I went to her I was in a wheelchair, after a few sessions I no longer used the wheelchair. I started to gain my balance and now I can walk without any support and drive. I am going back to work on 13/03/06. I think this is a miracle and give her many thanks.
Addict, 26 years
I’ve been using drugs, alcohol, sex, food and self-mutilation for nearly a decade of my life; using them to cope, to live and to destroy myself. I‘ve been sober before. I’ve had numerous attempts at putting my life back together. When I cleaned up this time, I was a horrendous wreck. I had nothing and no self-respect.
Being given the opportunity to receive treatment (aquatic bodywork) was an absolute miracle. Addiction is a great amplifier of trust issues, fear of intimacy, fears of being nurtured and receiving love. At the beginning of my sessions, I was terrified. I found it difficult to trust the therapist at all. I had spent years not trusting anyone and running on survival mode.
Because of sex addiction, I’ve always viewed my body as something dirty and disgusting. My issues around food, weight and body image have compounded my view that I am physically repulsive. Having the therapist that close to my body was, in many ways, humiliating and embarrassing. I struggled with the necessary intimacy that takes place during aquatic bodywork. There were many times that I just wanted to run away from the swimming pool.
But after each session, I felt good; better. Slowly as we progressed, I learned to trust the process. I found that I could allow myself to let go. I, who had tried so desperately to control everything in my life, was learning to let go. I found that I didn’t feel disgusting every time I was being held. There were even moments that I felt completely deserving of the love and healing one received in Aquatic Bodywork.
I feel more connected to myself than I ever have.
Make no mistake, I have miles to go before I ever feel completely well. But these sessions have really helped. The therapist was a master and a magician. Her healing has touched and affected me on a level far more profound that you could ever imagine. The core issues she raised within me and her patience with me were incredible. She was wise and professional in her practice and her “pool-side” manner is exceptional.
I thank her deeply for contributing, in a very real way, to me saving my own life!
Samantha Cox, 28 years, suffers from Frederick's Ataxia (rare nerve condition) and scoleosis
Since I moved up from Cape Town, I have had so many treatments/ therapies (physio, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, new antidepressants, as well as the aquatic bodywork). The stretching, especially of the back, was extremely beneficial to me (with the Harrington rods I obviously don't get to mobilize my spine). I felt very sleepy after every session; never got the chance to go home and climb into bed, though! All very relaxing, and I am convinced that it had something to do with my improved psychological state – much calmer and not so highly strung. The fact that I couldn't go underwater was disappointing for me, but no real surprise - I have always had bad sinuses, either post-nasal drip or "exploding" facial pain.
Addict, 57 years
I would say the initial benefit was the complete relaxation which was greater than any massage or aroma therapy I have had. An enormous factor in this therapy is the abandonment of inhibition over physical self awareness - getting over the feeling of exposure, accepting the body in a costume - moving on from there.
It gave a sense of nurturance, deep healing - I lacked touch and nurturance as a child.
It gave me a sense of well being and a sense of physical and psychological re-awakening.
Beverly Shapland, 40 years, suffers from vertebral disc degeneration and chronic pain
The whole idea of treatments in water was new to me, and I found it to be totally relaxing and therapeutic.
My lower back is of constant annoyance to me, and the treatment offered relief and mobility for a good 24 hours after.
I have had a definite improvement in my neck and shoulder area. The stiffness and pain resulting in headaches are as a result of my lower back (over compensating), and the therapist has definitely managed to control the build-up of tension in this area, thereby alleviating ongoing pain and headaches.
I have truly enjoyed the opportunity afforded to me in participating in this case study, and although the disc degeneration in L4 & L5 needs to be medically attended to, my overall well-being and mobility has improved. I looked forward to the “timeout” and stress-free sessions, whereby my body is mobilized without the resistance of land and the interference of the outside world.
I would strongly recommend this kind of treatment to people who are looking for an alternative and relaxing form of treatment.