1200 - Intro to Aquatic Therapy and Rehab

Beginner / Pool Workshop


2009 National Aquatic Healthcare Conference (NAHC) Dates

Monday, February 16 Washington, DC – Ruth Sova, MS, ATRIC

Thursday, May 28 Chicago, IL – Ruth Sova, MS, ATRIC

Monday, July 6 Fort Myers, FL ~ (Lunch included) – Ruth Sova, MS, ATRIC

Thursday, September 17 – Las Vegas, NV – Terri Mitchell, PTA

Thursday, October 8 – Houston, TX – Ruth Sova, MS, ATRIC

Thursday, November 19 – Chicago, IL – Terri Mitchell, PTA


All NAHC sites follow this schedule:

7:30 am-4:30 pm / 8 credit hours equal to 8 CECs/.8 CEUs

Classroom: 7:30-9:30 am

Pool: 9:30 am-12:30 pm

Lunch on own (all sites except Fort Myers): 12:30-1:30 pm

Classroom: 1:30-4:30 pm


Faculty: Ruth Sova, MS, ATRIC, and Terri Mitchell, PTA (see above for sites)



“Intro” is an entertaining and informative workshop for those health professionals who would like to expand their skills into aquatic therapy and rehab. Aquatic therapy and rehabilitation is a growing market and provides an excellent service to clients. As a health professional, here’s the opportunity to enhance your career with the most current essential information you need to get started. Feel confidence in the concepts, compare the efficacy and outcomes to land-based therapy, try several popular aquatic therapy protocols during the in-pool lab, and access to resources for more in-depth knowledge. The seminar will include basic aquatic principles including buoyancy, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure, and how those principles change the biomechanics of movement patterns.


A review of outcomes (who aquatic rehab works for, indications and contraindications, what diagnoses it helps, why it’s helpful, and when to use it) and the concepts of aquatic therapy protocols are discussed. We will determine the concepts and methodology of popular aquatic therapy and rehabilitation techniques, patient populations that these modalities can work for, and discuss competency and where to learn more about each.


Participants will determine which techniques are safe and appropriate for which specialized clientele. Specific aquatic therapeutic interventions for older adults, the obese, children, people with arthritis, Fibromyalgia, back pain, knee pain, diabetes, CAD, asthma and COPD, cerebral palsy, hearing and vision impairments, CVA, hip replacements, DD, GI track problems, Parkinson’s, MS, osteoporosis, shoulder problems, prenatal women, and athletes are discussed.


Finally, this presentation will allow participants to experiment with the basic concepts of Ai Chi, Ai Chi Ne, Bad Ragaz, Aqua Pilates, PNF, Halliwick, Massage, Energy Work, UCT, the Burdenko Method, BackHab, and Watsu® in the pool.



  1. Participants will be introduced to basic hydrodynamic principles and their beneficial effects on clients.
  2. Participants will experience several major aquatic protocols.
  3. Participants will compare very different aquatic protocol concepts.
  4. Participants will match their client situations with one or two aquatic protocols.
  5. Participants will analyze modifications and precautions, indications and contraindications of each aquatic protocol with each client need.
  6. Participants will access aquatic therapy and rehabilitation resources.


FACULTY: Ruth Sova, MS, ATRIC, founder/president of ATRI, is an internationally known speaker, author and consultant. She is the founder of six different businesses including the Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute, the Aquatic Exercise Association, Living Right Magazine, America’s Certification Trainers, Armchair Aerobics Inc., and the Fitness Firm. A leader in the health and wellness industry, she also draws on her vast experience as an entrepreneur to teach others what it takes to assume the risk of business and enterprise. Ruth is the author of numerous articles and 15 books on her specialties of wellness and business. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Sevier-McCahill Disability International Foundation Award; and the John Williams, Jr. International Swimming Hall of Fame Adapted Aquatics Award. Known for her high energy and practical teaching approaches, Ruth has brought thousands of people over the years to understand the benefits of water exercise.


FACULTY:  Terri Mitchell, BA, PTA, ATRIC, has been involved with aquatic fitness since 1982. She is a Training Specialist with the Aquatic Exercise Association, a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) specializing in aquatic therapy, and instructor of a variety of aquatic fitness classes to persons of all ages and abilities. Terri is on staff at the University of Texas at Austin and enjoys working with young adults in the water. She holds certifications from AEA, ATRI, and IAR. Terri is a Certified Personal Trainer for both land and water. She is co-author of “Applications of PNF Techniques in the Aquatic Setting” manual and co-producer of “PNF in the Pool” video. She is the 2001 recipient of ATRI’s “Dolphin Award”.