This should be the normal call all year round, not just in warm weather. Since time immemorial, or almost, water has been the preferred balm for hygiene, good health and respite from stress. Perhaps our fascination and love of water is because we ALL spent nine months in a tiny warm womb sea.
The Greeks and Romans were the first to erect elaborate bathhouses where as many as 6,000 bathers met to socialize, eat, drink and conduct business. Popular also were the healers who took their clients into the bath.
Turks were known for their very hot baths, the Japanese for their obsession with cleanliness.
The most famous baths are probably in the City of Bath in the UK. First built at least 8,000 years B.C., people came from all over the world to seek a cure for infirmities such as leprosy, gout, dropsy and to wash away their various infirmities in the healing waters. Thousands of wounded soldiers were rehabilitated after the First World War in spa towns such as Bath and to this day visitors to and residents of Bath bathe in Britain’s original thermal Spa.
In an article entitled “Water Bridges the Fitness Gap,” for Aquatics International (January / February 1992), Bonnie noted, “We have four groups of people who should be tended to immediately: babies, toddlers to age three, the ‘walking wounded’ who were injured in inappropriate fitness endeavors, and the over-50 crowd.”
Babies who have just emerged from the watery womb have three reflexes going for them when it comes to “taking the waters.” Like baby seals, they have a diving reflex, and when placed face down in warm water, they will hold their breath and make swimming movements with their arms and legs. They also have a grip reflex, as those who have placed a little finger in a baby’s hand know well. These reflexes begin to wane at four months so best to use them when they are in full force.
Toddlers are at the greatest risk for drowning. And they do so in silence. One cannot take a breath and yell at the same time. Gates, covers, latches, doors, and walls do not make the pool, tub, pail or puddle toddler proof. Classes that make your baby and toddler water-wise do.
For the walking wounded, those who know they should exercise but have relied on inadequately educated trainers, attempted to get in shape over a weekend or were never in shape to begin with, would do well to use the water to begin their way back in a safe and common sense way.
For those over fifty who may have balance problems as well as aches and pains attributed to “life,” joint replacements and the like, water offers a safe environment and the resistance of the water increases strength and range of movement gently and without fear of falling. Done with others in a class, it provides social nutrition.
Water is a smooth and safe transition back to fitness.
Click here to read my April 2015 blog, Water-Wise-Water-Babies.
For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help.
Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®