Judith's Aquatic Rx for her Diabetes
Judith has a trenchant way of describing her decision to purchase an Endless Pool, which she has been using in her Arkansas home for more than a year.
"It was a prescription," she says, noting that her physician had suggested looking into aquatic therapy as a means of treating Judith's diabetes. The disease's harmful effects had included the degenerative restricted use of her limbs, so much so that she had feared confinement to a wheel-chair. Now age 60, though, Judith's Endless Pool workouts have produced "immense benefits in terms of building up arm and leg strength."
That workout – which Judith plans to increase incrementally in duration – consists of 30 minutes, three to four times per week, divided into roughly equal segments devoted to water aerobics and walking or swimming against gentle current. Target temperature is 84 degrees; and like many Endless Pool devotees, she has been pleasantly surprised by the unanticipated advantages of the warm water treatment. She cites, for example, pain relief for a hand injury, achieved simply by "massaging" the sprained area with the flow of water from one of her pool's propulsion jets.
The subject of the effects of exercise on preventing and controlling the effects of diabetes has generated a spate of recent clinical research, and Judith's observations are both anecdotal and empirical.
Not only is she able to achieve motion that would be impossible out-of-water, she knows that a session in her Endless Pool will lower her blood glucose level some 100 to 150 points, back to normal.
"Applying water to virtually any injury seems to be therapeutic," Judith observes. "Tangible benefits aside, though, it's a wonderful feeling when you're in the pool," who counts control of water temperature and purity, as well as privacy, as the chief advantages of the Endless Pool over other, public hydrotherapy facilities. "In fact, the toughest part of using the pool is getting out," she says, noting that an adjacent soft-heat sauna eases the transition.
Also like other Endless Pool owners, Judith finds it amusing how quickly the unit, located next to the basement den, has become a standard fixture of the house. Ironically, her family's original plans called for a different type of poolroom – one devoted to billiards rather than aquatic exercise.