Warm Water Therapy Provides Healing for Stroke Patient
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel to one’s brain is blocked or broken, thus damaging brain cells. With the loss of these brain cells, a person also loses skills controlled by that portion of the brain. Exactly what skills or how many a patient may lose depends on the severity of the brain damage as well as the portion of the brain that suffers the damage.
Possible skill loss may include speech, vision, movement (in some cases near total paralysis), and memory. After a stroke, the functions lost must be completely relearned, including re-developing muscle memory, strengthening muscles, relearning speech patterns and developing new memories.
In recovering from loss of movement due to strokes, aquatic therapy is a great medium to learn these valuable life skills. It’s goal is to help re-teach functions affected by the stroke, while strengthening and building off of the skills and functions that still remain.
About a year ago, Lois Jordan suffered a stroke that left her almost completely paralyzed. Before she started aquatic therapy, she was told she would never walk again and her hopes of improving her mobility were all but dashed. Today, after only 5 months of aquatic therapy with Barb Cacia, Wellness Director at Pieters Family Life Center, in their HydroWorx pool, Lois has made vast improvements. She can now walk on her own in the water and has advanced to the point of being able to use a walker when on land. She is able to get herself out of bed in the morning and transition from sitting to standing and walking with little to no help.
Although recovering from a stroke is a lifelong process, aquatic therapy has helped restore not only Lois’s mobility and growing independence, but her hope and confidence in a future yet to come.
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Watch as Lois shares her story, and Barb walks through her pool exercises.