Aquatic Therapy – Applications in Pain and Psychiatric Rehabilitation
by Bruce E. Becker, MD, MS
Many effects have been observed anecdotally throughout centuries of aquatic environment use for health maintenance and restoration but they are difficult to study. Predominant among these are the relaxation effect of water immersion and the effect that water immersion has on pain perception.
Skin sensory nerve endings are stimulated. Both animal and human studies suggest that sensory overflow may be the mechanism by which pain is less well perceived when the affected body part is immersed in water