Water Specific Therapy Halliwick (WSTH): Interest of water therapy for cerebral palsy children

The Halliwick method, created in England in 1949 by J. McMillan, engineer, who offered his services at the Halliwick swimming school for young girls cp, is based on the physical properties of water and consists of a program in ten points (TPP) for swimming initiation; WSTH is a learning engine in water which facilitates the management of the movements and activities of daily life on earth. It’s in agreement with the normal motor development of the child, the levels of motor evolution (NEM), International Classification of Functioning, disability and health (ICF) proposed by the WHO in 2001 as well as with Huber’s positive health (2011). Several scientific studies attest to the efficientncy of the Halliwick method and of the WSTH on motor skills. Four field studies, published, compared WSTH to conventional aquatic therapy (CAT), randomized, in children with cp: (1) on spasticity (elbow/wrist/knee/ankle measurement), WSTH shows a decrease HS specifically on the wrist and ankle after WSTH; S results for CAT; (2) on the range of motion, the measurements show a S increase proximally, especially on the UE after WSTH; (3) on the active trunk recovery, the WSTH shows an action THS in th12, S in th8 and c7; NS in CAT; (4) on the head control, the results are, after WSTH, HS in flexion/extension/inclinations and S in rotations; they are NS for CAT.

Conclusion. – The Halliwick method and the WSTH have been proven to be efficient on motor skills; our 4 field studies show significantly better effects with WSTH – probably thanks to ‘‘its rotation points’’ – than with CAT.

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