AquaStretch Or Aqua Ouch? More Pool Adventures
AquaStretch is a pool therapy and is a bit of a misnomer. There’s less stretching than there is squeezing. rotating, gripping. shredding, shaving, grilling, and pulling. Okay, there’s no shredding, shaving, or grilling, and pulling is part of stretching, but still. That stuff hurts.
I’ve had so many different kinds of treatments for chronic pain and the growing inability to walk on my own, I should write a book about them all. If I could remember them all. They included Thai massage, spinal decompression, sports massage, trigger points, myofascial release, acupuncture (which says it all right in the name- Ack! You puncture!), and a few with names that escape me.
I’m quite willing to try anything that helps with pain. At least I used to be. I soon came to the conclusion that all this stuff feels great for a short time afterward (all except physical therapy, which is the stupidest therapy since sacrificial rites held at the full moon and it hurts before, during, and after), but the relief doesn’t last long, all of it is expensive, and none of it is covered by insurance. Except of course, physical therapy. Natch.
So, with very bad grace, I agreed to go try out this AquaStretch therapy that the MOTH had heard about from a customer. A man had come into the shop and raved about it, so right away, I gotta go try it, according to the Powers That Be A Pain in My Neck. It’s all on the down low, though. I had to call the doctor directly, in the evening, at his house.
The therapy takes place in the baby pool at a big aquatic center. I hate that baby pool. It’s three feet deep and I’m fifty feet tall, so wading through it is like trying to walk around your downtown area after a flood. Only there are small children playing around your feet. They should put play fire hydrants in there so I really would feel like the streets are flooded and kids are floating by.
Anyhoo, this young woman introduced herself and told me to float while relaxing and holding onto the railing in the pool. After telling me to say, “That hurts,” if it hurt, she grabbed my big toe, and I said, “That hurts.”
It did, too. But she continued to grasp it and began to ask me a few standard questions while she rotated my hips and yanked my leg around. She pulled it awhile and told me to rotate it. After a bit, the doc took over. The doc is the man who developed this technique. He studied this therapy for six months under the Marquis de Sade’s tutelage.
He’s actually a retired osteopath, I think, and taught at UNLV. He’s an older man, about 70, which feels weird to say, because I’m an ‘older woman’ now, but my brain hasn’t caught up to that fact, no matter how much my body throws at it. Since I still work out in the pool to rock and roll, and feel 20 while I’m doing it, my brain is holding onto this illusion by its finger tips. I like that about my brain.
The doc has a bark that ticked me off, and I almost decided not to go back. Kept barking orders at me like it was basic training and I should know what he was doing, dammit. He asked me where I felt pain or restriction, and then he pushed his thumb (I think, I hope it was his thumb), into various parts of my upper leg and up into my suit, into my bottom. It got a little racy in there.
He pressed really hard and then would say, “There, I felt it release.” Then I’d have to rotate my leg and hips, and keep telling them where it felt tight. I would start to tell him, and he’d bark at me, “Don’t say! Point.” So, I’d point. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds, because much of the time, my legs feel painful and tight all over.
At one point, he had my leg and was talking to his assistant. He said, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and IN MY HEARING, “We have to teach these people how to take care of themselves.”
That, that right there, was the main reason I may never have gone back. These people?? How to take care of themselves? ? What? Was I an immigrant at the turn of the century who doesn’t speak English, and was half dead from not washing my hands and clothes, or something? He’s lucky he survived my aqua therapy for rude men. I can outlast a lot of men in their twenties with my pool work out. Bring it, buster.
(Yeah, yeah. I know. He’s used to barking out orders and being a professional.)
After going through this torture for awhile, he told me to walk up the ramp and see how I felt. My legs felt like Jello. But I had to admit, there wasn’t any pain. As I came back down the ramp- I could have scuttled to the safety of the locker room, I realize that now- he asked where else I had pain or tightness. I said the top of my leg and he barked, “Don’t say! Point!”
So I pointed to the top of my thigh, and he said, “The top of your leg is here!” pointing to my kneecap. Okay, even if I stood on my head, that wouldn’t be the top of my leg. It would still be the middle of my leg. I decided he’d inhaled too much chlorine at this point.
The upshot is, I noticed a lessening in pain and tightness, even though two days later I got trigger points. And the effect seemed to last for several days. I don’t know if this therapy is offered in other places- I believe it is- but it’s worth a try for pain relief in the back, legs, and shoulders, too, I imagine.
If you like pain to get rid of pain, give it a try. I’m going back next week.
Update: I went back and a young man did my therapy. He has some hands. I almost fell asleep in the water and drowned. I decided to forego the trigger points to see if the therapy outdid the shots. So far, so good. I move better and have less pain. I want that young guy again.
He’s from Israel and his voice and hands are so gentle and nice, but still effective. I’ve been going every week for a month now, and have gone without the trigger points for two months. I like this therapy.
14 thoughts on “AquaStretch Or Aqua Ouch? More Pool Adventures”
Sounds like what I told my physical therapist, her job was to gain my confidence and then abuse it. Which she did.
Might be worthwhile for you to go back and see if the results last longer this time. Maybe they’re cumulative? We hope.
But I hate it when “health care professionals “ talk like you’re two. I’m an old broad and you better respect that, or I’ll find a cane to smack you with.
Right? I’m glad you understand, because I was so ticked, I couldn’t see straight. I will go back. I’m curious, and it’s only $25 a session. Not bad. Physical therapy is the worst. It was like going to the gym, but cost much more. Tch.
And at least at the gym you can have a bit of a choice about the fun you’ll have. The therapist just decided we’re going to “work on range of motion “ today, and by golly that’s what you do.
Not that it didn’t help my hand a lot, but the process! Fun was not had by all.
Oy. They had me riding a stationary bike! I have a stationary bike at home. I had better results from myofascial therapy (expensive) and thai massage. Love thai massage. Your hand injury is different. I can’t even imagine what they’re doing for that. All I can think of is squeezing a ball.
I added the link to the post. Forgot to do that before.
Hand therapy is interesting. The ball is the least of it. We got your funny looking clothes pins. To pinch. And a machine with all kinds of grips that you turn and pinch and squeeze. Such fun. And the therapist who takes your poor innocent hand and gets it to move in weird ways.
There are also really nice paraffin dips and hot packs. That feels great.
But in the long run it is good for you. Sigh.
So a few more sessions are likely a good idea for you.
Now if after a few sessions you don’t feel better or feel worse, then stop.
But grit your teeth, gently, and deal with the idiot for a little bit. Long term goals, keep the eye on long term goals.
And feel free to bitch at us, that’s why we’re here! Love ya!
Yes! People in the ether to bitch at. Perfect.
The hand therapy sounds much better than what I went through. I limped out once, and the guy at the desk asked me to leave by the back door. I was bad for business. Haha!
THANX for the review on aqua therapy….have several past clients with severe pain, and our Doctors in California have been taking away pain meds. Most people are willing to try anything for the chronic pain.
Cath! So happy to hear from you! Yes, it seems helpful, and it’s worth a try. Everyone is different, but this therapy is fairly simple, doesn’t require a big outlay of cash (at least not here), and I really felt jelly legged after. It can’t hurt- or rather it can, a bit- but the water is buoyant.
I Love how you can put a comic spin on anything even your own Pain, which I see every day.
I give you a standing ovation of my heart for all that you endure and still are able to smile and joke. One of the many, many things that I admire and Love you for.
I have to agree with your good friend Mary, if it does any good at all see it through and tolerate the wienie if he won’t understand how hard you work to deal with your problems, well then it’s his loss for not seeing what a wonderful person you are.
I’m sure that having good friends like Mary make your struggle all the more bearable.
All my Love , your Donnie
Thank you, honey! You’re my most faithful and encouraging supporter. Pain makes us cranky, but we cripple along anyway. I love you!
You do pretty well my sweet. I wonder how I would be with the levels of pain and stiffness you endure on a daily basis. I’m not sure that I could be as cheery as you are my Love :>}
Never mind me! I was just relating all the help you’ve gotten from the Rainbow and the allergy shots to a friend on Q. How you have to sleep sitting up, etc. You’re much more cheerful than I could be on no sleep. Man. Love you, honey. And you got my response!
Reminded me of the ballet classes I took long ago. The teacher was exactly like this.
I hate teachers like that. Maybe they’re better for some people, but not for me. I get turned off and I tune out. Glad to see you here, young lady!