You may be forgiven for thinking you have entered a spa. A welcome drink, quiet consultation into your daily habits and the soothing blues of the water. But this is where the real work is done. AquaCentric Therapy is a unique initiative by Marico’s Harsh Mariwala and Chief Physiotherapist Dr. Amit Kohli, that uses the healing properties of water to restore and rebalance the body. The warm indoor pool is maintained at a comforting 33 degrees and is equipped with an underwater treadmill, stationary cycle and an elliptical machine, not to mention the various foam weights, bands and other no-name contraptions all aimed at restoring the body to its optimum health. The therapy centre is also equipped with land-based strength training equipment and an outdoor ability garden with sensory walking paths.
The healing property of water
The science behind it rests on the property of water that makes one weigh approximately 1/10 of that on land, making it easier to exercise and recover faster. Led by Orthopedic and Manual Therapy Specialist Dr Amit Kohli, the all-female team of physiotherapists guide you through a 45-minute aqua routine that involves some of the machines, fins, weights and absolutely no chance of you getting your hair wet with the maximum pool depth being four feet. Interestingly the hydrostatic pressure exerted on the body when it is submerged in the pool improves cardiovascular endurance. To maintain hygiene levels, the warm therapeutic pools are equipped with Glass Beads, Ozone and UV Ray Filters that maintain the chemistry of the water at optimum levels.
How Aqua Therapy helps women
Women’s healthcare physiotherapy is a branch of physiotherapy that deals with rehabilitation of the conditions affecting women’s health, physical and emotional wellbeing. Aqua therapy has proven to help to manage symptoms during pregnancy, maintain fitness levels and help in labour preparations. It is also a useful tool for postnatal recovery with fitness. Research has also shown a vast improvement in hormonal conditions like PCOS, Hypothyroid, Hyperthyroid, Dysmenorrhea, Cyclic Mastalgia and post menopause rehabilitation. AquaCentric also specializes in Orthopedic rehabilitation and injury management, neurological conditions (stroke recovery, movement disorders, brain injuries etc.) as well as pediatric complaints like cerebral palsy, development delays, genetic disorders and neuromuscular conditions etc.
We put the routine to test with an experiential session of 25 minutes, and let’s just say that in water, even a simple walk on the treadmill is no laughing matter. Come dressed in swimsuit or dry-fit clothes that you are comfortable in, was the only brief given. Done with the consultation and tour of the outstanding facilities, I was led to the pool zone. After a quick shower, I was asked to step into the pool. Seven steps, my assigned therapist calls out. Using the side rails, I quickly make my way into the water. For those who are not physically able to walk into the pool, there is a hydraulic lift chair to gently lower them into the water. We start with the basics, a slow jog around the pool, lunges, side lunges, etc. building up the intensity by adding weights as the session progresses with my therapist constantly correcting my form and reminding me to tuck my core in. I’m handed a pair of fins next and walking becomes more difficult, as I’m guided through leg lifts and kicks. Slightly winded but still eager to try the machines I’m led to the stationary cycle. The elliptical follows next and then the treadmill, which turns out to be an experience in itself. Thanks to cameras placed in the water, you can monitor the strides taken on the treadmill on the mounted television and the resistance of the water is increased via a machine that literally pushes you back as you struggle to stay on the treadmill. I have to confess, for someone who works out daily, I was holding onto the guardrails when the water resistance was upped to level four, fighting to stay on the treadmill. The cooldown, always the best part of any workout, involves a deep tissue massage with a special water hose inside the pool.
After effects: There was no soreness despite an intensive workout and I was happy to note that I’d lost that water retention puffiness on my fingers and feet.
She has been on the management team of Vinati Organics Limited since 2006 and balances the technical/manufacturing execution with her marketing abilities combined with new age aggression.