Using an Endless Pool for Physical Therapy after having Bypass Surgery
In several ways, Grant Dixon's use of his Endless Pool, installed last spring, epitomizes its advantages over conventional standing pools and non-aquatic forms of physical therapy.
Grant, 83, uses the pool to lower and control blood glucose levels as part of his treatment for diabetes. His exercise regimen, which consists primarily of walking against the current, also enhances circulation and boosts stamina as part of Grant's recovery from bypass surgery.
Of course, the benefits of exercise in promoting cardiopulmonary health have been widely accepted for decades; but the effectiveness of exercise in preventing and managing diabetes is the subject of a much more recent wave of research. And the Endless Pool is ideal for implementing such an exercise program. For one thing, because users can easily vary both the time of their workout and the strength of the resistance from the Endless Pool propulsion system, it is relatively easy to overcome one of the obstacles –getting started– commonly cited by physical therapists as especially prevalent in exercise neophytes. For another, the buoyancy of the water provides a natural solution to any problems in gait and balance that might exist on land; and the absence of injuries caused by impact with rigid surfaces encourages ongoing adherence to the program.
Then, too, Grant's workouts, which last from 20 to 45 minutes in water maintained at 80 to 84 degrees, need never be postponed because of inclement weather or other factors beyond his control. That's important because he and his wife, who also swims regularly in the pool, live in Eastern Oregon – beautiful country, but not known for its preponderance of gymnasiums or swimming pools.
The Dixons converted a portion of an existing solarium to house their Endless Pool and, like many owners in temperate climates, they find that the winter is among their favorite seasons for using it.
"When there's snow on the ground," confirms Grant, "it's especially pleasurable to use. In fact, I look forward to using it more."