Posted on April 05, 2017

The Department of Physiotherapy at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently concluded a Water Specific Therapy Workshop offering hands-on hydrotherapy skills to its clinical physiotherapists.

Hydrotherapy (also known as aquatic therapy) is the use of exercises in a pool as part of treatment for various diseases or medical conditions. The pool is used to rehabilitate patients in an aquatic environment, usually those who are unable to exercise on dry land for various reasons. Hydrotherapy has many advantages in that it lessens the load on joints and can be used to improve joint range of movement, joint stability, and muscle strength. It can also be effective in improving general mobility, balance, and core stability.

“The objective of the week-long workshop was to upgrade the skills of our physiotherapists and enhance our physiotherapy practice at HMC by incorporating aquatic therapy protocols and evidence-based therapeutic interventions,” said Dr. Noora Al Mudahka, Chief of Physiotherapy at HMC. The workshop, led by a veteran aquatic therapy expert, Mr. Johan Lambeck, was held at Qatar Rehabilitation Institute’s modernized high-tech therapeutic pool and focused on evidence-based patient treatment through clinical reasoning, hands-on teaching, and teaching-by-reasoning-and-doing.

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Mr. Lambeck explained that there is a lot of research which supports the use of hydrotherapy in treating health problems related to gravity and pain. “With many obese and unhealthy people in the population of most countries nowadays, there is an increased risk of developing hypertension, diabetes and heart problems which consequently lead to other degenerative diseases that could cause many to have problems with gravity. Water therapy hugely benefits such patients as it improves their cardiac function, helps them build a healthy body and maintain an ideal weight. This claim has been proven to be correct by research conducted across the world,” said Mr. Lambeck.

He also pointed out that patients at risk of falls, such as those who have suffered a stroke or who have Parkinson’s disease, can develop their postural skills safely in a pool. He mentioned that hydrotherapy is also highly recommended as an effective rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy, autism, and mental disabilities. “Children with severe cerebral palsy, who are unable to move easily on land will do really well in water because apart from enjoying the splashes they will also benefit from the therapy by gaining control of their difficult immobility,” he added.

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Mr. Lambeck owns an aquatic therapy consultancy in the Netherlands and is the co-founder of the International Halliwick Association and the Association International Aquatic Therapy Faculty. He has taught over 900 seminars in 50 countries on almost all aquatic therapy topics. “We are so glad to have acquired new skills from an expert of international repute such as Mr. Johan Lambeck, whose consultancy and teaching institute has clients in over 45 countries worldwide. As a knowledge broker, he tries to implement existing evidence into the daily practice of aquatic therapy. We have truly benefited from his wealth of experience,” Dr. Al Mudahka added.

Workshop participants received an international certification in aquatic therapy.