Geoff Potter

Take a dip to soothe aches and pains

IT CAN increase circulation, speed up your metabolism, soothe aches and pains, and aid recovery from injuries.

But it is not some new wonder drug or miracle potion.

The "amazing cure" is water.

Hydrotherapy has been around for centuries and before it had a fancy name, it was simply the act of bathing or performing exercises in warm water to maintain or restore health.

Hydrotherapy pools are now being used across the world to help streams of people become healthier.

University of the Sunshine Coast science, heath and education acting dean Brendan Burkett said hydrotherapy pools had a number of benefits and were excellent when used in for recovery programs.

"Hydrotherapy pools are great for people with stiff or weak joints, particularly in the knees, ankles and hips," he said. "They enable people to repair and recover much quicker than normal.

"They're great for people with disabilities and pregnant women, as there is less pressure when moving."

He said such pools reduced impact and strain on joints, and helped increase blood circulation.

Prof Burkett, who is part of the university's aquatic research team and a gold medal-winning paralympian, said hydrotherapy was not just for people with health issues but could be used as part of an exercise routine, as it helped increase resistance and strengthening.

"It's naturally cooler exercising in water," he said.

"The pools help with joint flexibility and allow more movement. It (hydrotherapy) can help recovery after a long walk or other exercise."

There are hydrotherapy pools across the Coast, which already help with a host of health issues as well as provide pampering benefits and recreation.

Noosa Springs Spa, for example, has added high-powered jets to create the hydromassage pool.

Spa manager Julie Narouz said the pool was purpose-built to offer true water-based therapy and combined the benefits of hydrotherapy pools and massages.

Ms Narouz said the hydromassage was an underwater massage with magnificent health benefits.

"It detoxifies the body by removing impurities," she said.

"It's excellent for strengthening the immune system and can get rid of aches and pains."

Ms Narouz said the spa offered use of the pool in conjunction with other treatments and facilities to allow clients to receive maximum benefits.

The hydromassage pool has high-power jets at a series of stations each to work individual areas including specialised areas for the head and neck, lower back and tummy, each of the leg muscles and a reflexology zone.

"There is also a station where the whole body can be worked," Ms Narouz said.

"The jets help with relaxation, remove deposits and waste, also increase circulation."

Ms Narouz said the pool was used by everyone from grandparents to athletes, including boxers and footballers.

Most of the major pools on the Sunshine Coast offer hydrotherapy for health, rehabilitation and recreation.

Caloundra Aquatic Centre manager Vicki Wallace said the centre's 17m indoor pool, heated to 33 degrees, was great for exercise and rehabilitation.

"We have people from all walks of life using the pool," she said.

"We have several physios, who bring patients in to use it.

"The general public use it for exercise and it's used for the learn to swim classes.

"It's a multi-purpose pool that's great for all weather," Ms Wallace said.

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