It’s been raining cats and dogs in Mumbai since the past few days and the motivation to indulge in a sweaty workout has never been lesser. There’s a nagging pain in my left knee since over a month and I’ve been postponing exercising, while a part of me is consoling me that the knee needs rest, not a workout.
But if there’s one thing living in Mumbai teaches you, it’s perseverance and the will to find ways even where you think none exist. Just at the point I’m willing to come to terms with my monsoon body sans exercise, and a nagging knee pain that no amount of stretching has helped with, a friend mentions this new aqua workout centre that has opened up in Andheri West. I checked out AquaCentric and came back rejuvenated and surprisingly pain-free in just one session.
An Introduction To The Place
AquaCentric Therapy is a state-of-the-art physiotherapy centre with a multi-disciplinary team of experts rendering services in four different verticals. Orthopaedic for spine care, pre and post-operative rehabilitation, fractures, arthritis, spondylosis, muscle and ligament injuries; Neurology for problems related to stroke management, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic and non-traumatic brain/spinal cord injuries, movement disorders, neuromuscular diseases, multiple sclerosis and motor neuron diseases; Women’s Health Care for pre and post natal care, bladder and bowel incontinence, hormonal imbalance like PCOS, pre and post-menopausal issues, osteoporosis related care, metabolic disorders, gynaecological pre and post surgery Rehabilitation; and lastly, Paediatric for kids with Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Coordination disorders, autism-related disorders, genetic disorders, developmental delay and child obesity.
This one-stop-shop caters to the holistic overall rehabilitation by way of therapy on land (a Medical Gymnasium that is equipped with scientifically designed equipment to cater to people of all sizes and ailments or disabilities), water (equipped with two therapeutic indoor pools) and by way of one’s own senses (the outdoor sensory pathway that helps build body balance and muscle strength).
I have been at the mercy of my bad knee for a while now and that’s the information I shared with the therapist assigned to me. Now though his expertise is in the field of Neurosciences, I wasn’t a bit hesitant in addressing my knee issue with him. Since all doctors on board are equally certified in Aquatic Therapy (from Valens, Switzerland) and Advanced Aquatic Rehabilitation (South Africa), I was definitely in safe hands.
During my session that lasted about 40 minutes, we did a routine in neck-deep warm water, focussing not only on my bad knee, but full body workout – right from warm-up to lower body, progressing to upper body and then 10-minutes of heavenly relaxation. These 40 minutes made me miss my recently-broken smartwatch. My activity tracker would have been proud in this very moment.
Heading into the next pool, I spent a few brief minutes doing some more stretching for my knee, which was feeling better already. We wrapped up the session with ten minutes of running on the underwater treadmill.
Once inside, though blue is the most dominant colour at the facility, I was far removed from feeling the blues. By now I was back on my feet, with an added bounce, if I must add. But that’s perhaps for the lack of a major injury. Those who seek the therapy as a way of rehabilitation are likely to benefit more with proper consultation and regular sessions.
What Is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic Therapy uses various properties of water like buoyancy, which helps decrease pressure on joints, water temperature, which helps in relaxation and pain reduction, turbulence, which helps improve body balance and core stability, viscosity, which helps with progressive resistance to aquatic exercises and hydrostatic pressure, which improves cardiovascular endurance.
Therapeutic properties of water combined with skill and specialised training helps one improve their mobility and function. The therapeutic indoor pools at AquaCentric are equipped with underwater treadmills, pool bike and resistance jets, where they use two ancient Japanese therapies to help with muscle relaxation, stress relief and circulation. WATSU (Water Shiatsu) – a passive relaxation therapy and Ai-Chi – an active relaxation therapy that is practiced on everyone including infants, adults, senior citizens and the differently abled.
First of its kind in Mumbai, the pools at AquaCentric maintain a warm temperature (the therapy is more effective in warm water) and are armed with Glass Bead, Ozone and UV Rays Filters that help maintain hygiene and sanitation.
Why Aqua Therapy?
Dr. Amit Kohli, the Co-founder and Chief Physiotherapist at AquaCentric is also physiotherapist to some of the biggest names in Bollywood. He gave us these wonderful insights on why one should consider Aqua Therapy as a way of recover and rehabilitation:-
The buoyancy of water helps in reducing the effects of gravity, allowing increase in joint range of motion. Warm water helps relax muscle soreness and increases joint flexibility, particularly helpful in a lot of orthopedic ailments, even for those recovering from paralysis.
Water is 600-700 times more resistive than air aiding in strengthening of weakened muscles. Any workout under water aids faster recovery from injury, is far more effective yet, at the same time, far less strenuous.
Warm water increases blood supply to sore muscles, which in turn relaxes and relieves pain. The weightlessness one feels underwater provides relief to weakened structure and muscles, creating additional comfort.
Helps in reducing muscle tone, spasticity and rigidity in those with neurological injuries.
The uniform pressure of water and its buoyancy provides support to the body, which increases reaction time, improves balance by working on one’s core muscles.
Things To Keep In Mind
Those diagnosed with vertigo or who have had a recent episode of epilepsy should be mindful before plunging in the pool. For others, a mandatory consultation session with the doctors is a must to record credentials like oxygen saturation, blood pressure and other medical history in detail.
Like any water activity, one tends to get dehydrated post pool time as well. Drinking adequate water post exercise and moisturising your skin are key, as long periods in warm water tend to cause dehydration and loss of skin moisture.
While a one-off session like mine would normally cost you ₹4000 (₹1500 for one-time consultation and ₹2500 for the session), it’s best to consult the docs on the panel and opt for the available packages, which will be recommended as per individual requirement.