Peninsula Leisure Centre is now hosting biweekly scuba therapy lessons for people with disabilities in a bid to transform rehabilitation and therapy practices.
With workouts tailored to a client’s specific diagnosis, scuba therapy is an inclusive, NDIS-recognised therapy to help people with special needs or a disability achieve health goals in a weightless environment.
Goals can include movement to reduce pain or to help strengthen muscles that are not used daily due to restrictions of physical abilities.
Founder of Scuba Gym Australia, Lyndi Leggett, said the process of helping someone ease their pain whilst underwater was so rewarding.
“We’re using scuba gear to allow clients to be underwater, upright out of their wheelchairs, and then we help them exercise,” Leggett said.
“The result is nothing short of magical – no one really knows how the nervous system works entirely.
“People with mental disorders like autism have an absolute ball underwater because the noise goes away and then we can have them doing more cognitive stuff like games and noughts and crosses under the water.
“But the physical stuff is what is making a lot of changes for our clients – each of them are getting little gains every week.”
The scuba therapy is also said to help veterans, people with post-traumatic stress disorder, and amputees, with improvements to muscle movement and sensitivity cited.
Leggett said a business case had been put together for the State Government to help push for a new space to build a deeper pool on the Coast.
“Water pressure helps keep the clients upright, and with a three-to-four metre pool, it will be much easier for us to keep them steady,” Leggett said.
The plans also references a heated pool as some clients cannot regulate their own temperature, with other facilities also to be open to the wider community.
Leggett said in the meantime the organisation is looking at becoming a not-for-profit so they can achieve easier access to grants.