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From Wheelchair to Jumping Jacks: The Magic of Aquatic Therapy

Chad in pool

Imagine seeing someone go immediately from wheelchair to jumping jacks in a matter of moments.

Chad Boprie doesn’t have to imagine it at all. He sees it on a regular basis.

Magic? No. Just a little thing called water.

For over a decade Chad, a certified therapeutic recreation and aquatic specialist, has been helping people with brain injury and spinal cord injury to experience abilities they otherwise thought were lost through Hope Network’s Aquatic Therapy Program.

“I’ve seen people perform movements in the water that would be impossible for them to do on land,” says Chad. “I love it when a person tells me they can’t do something, because I almost always prove them wrong.”

Aquatic therapy is the use of water and its properties to benefit patients with physical, cognitive, and psychological concerns. Chad uses a specialized counter-current pool at Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation designed to provide patients optimal therapeutic conditions for buoyancy, resistance, hydrostatic pressure, and their overall comfort.

“I’ve witnessed patients come to the pool with significant pain, but then leave pain-free,” says Chad. “I love seeing people make progress while doing something they enjoy.”

Chad is certified through the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute and is also a Certified Pool Operator. Currently, he oversees the entire therapeutic recreation team while continuing to work directly with patients. He also shares his expertise with therapeutic recreation students at Grand Valley State University where he is an adjunct professor offering a course on “Aquatic Therapy: Intervention Intensive.”

“People typically define who they are through their jobs or leisure pursuits. It’s important to identify what this is when someone begins rehabilitation,” says Chad. “Their engagement in activities they enjoy is a vital element in their recovery. It’s the simple things that keep all of us grounded and focused.”

“I see patients do things they never thought possible. I see them begin to live their lives again.”

Maybe the pool is magic after all.

For more information about aquatic therapy at Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation, call us at 855.407.7575.