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  • New clinical trial of benefits of immersion therapy

    Author: Rahima Saikal

A two-year randomised clinical trial of the benefits of immersion therapy for patients with brain and spinal injuries has started at the University of South Australia.

Immersion therapy, which allows patients to experience freedom of movement in a weightless underwater environment, was found to be beneficial during two other previous studies that were done, but the findings relied on anecdotal data.

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Lead researcher, Kade Davison, is keen to find out whether the trial will show conclusive evidence about immersion therapy, but he believes it will.

“Being right down under the water means people can move as though they were moving in space outside of the water unobstructed, but completely with the effects of the buoyancy and all the other sensations and opportunities and challenges that the water provides” he told the ABC.

Adelaide man, Damian Jamieson has tried many therapies to help the back pain he deals with from an old back injury he sustained at work 14 years ago and has found that immersion therapy has been the only one that has helped.

“I’ve had five surgeries on the back, multiple surgeries on the body, probably 40 in total… I’ve done hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, chiro, acupuncture… nothing’s really worked” he said.

Mr Jamieson started immersion therapy last year at an Adelaide pool twice a week. Since the sessions, he has noticed a huge decrease in his pain levels. He also noticed that he had a lot less fear in the water, a factor that usually accompanies a serious injury.

“If I fall over in the water, I’m not going to fall flat on my face, I’m not going to reaggravate an injury, so that mental fear factor is immediately removed”.

“Today I’m a lot more motivated, a lot more energy, more confident,” he said.


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Rahima Saikal

Rahima Saikal is a freelance journalist and content creator and has been working in the media industry for 10+ years all around the world.

Rahima enjoys writing about healthcare, wellness, travel and social change movements, particularly animal rights.

Having written numerous articles for both print and online publications, Rahima is well versed in what makes a good story.

Rahima lives between Bali and Australia with her family and 3 Bali dogs.