The First Pool Session
Even if you think you know which exercises will probably feel good to your client or patient, you might be surprised, so start each exercise slowly. You might be able to do exercises you wouldn’t have thought possible and the easiest exercise you were sure would be good may prove to be painful.
Many people will want to overdo their exercises in the first pool visit because of their sudden ability for greater movement and decreased pain in water. They haven’t been able to run, walk, or bend in the way they can in the pool, and therefore they want to make up for lost time. Your job is to rein in the over-eager ones at the same time that you motivate those who are afraid to move. Keep everyone at a low to moderate level on the first visit. Negotiate: tell them that when you see them on the second visit, if they are feeling good, you’ll increase the program. I always tease them and say, “this is the honeymoon period. Wait until I really start working you hard and you don’t like me anymore.”
You don’t want someone to have increased discomfort or pain. Get them to join you in thinking to the future, and as they see improvements at virtually every visit, they’ll learn to trust your guidance.