Swimming, Watsu, Healing Dance and Cerebral Palsy
I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know the most extraordinary girl. Her name is Coco. Coco was 9-years old when we first met, she's determined and full of life. Coco was born with left-side hemiplegia, a type of cerebral palsy. The video above is of Coco receiving Watsu and Healing Dance.
I was fortunate at the time to be working in a beautiful, therapy pool in Milton Keynes. The warm water helped Coco to relax her tense muscles and unwind from her school day. The sessions started with 5-minutes of Watsu followed by swimming lessons. It wasn't long before I started to become aware that Watsu, Healing Dance and my specialised swimming technique (The Mind/Body Awareness Programme) were beginning to entwine.
It didn't take Coco long to connect to the rhythm of her breathing pattern, which had an impact on her mentally and physically. She became more mindful and calmer. She was discovering that she was able to stretch out her left arm by practicing doggy paddle and breast-stroke arm movements. See below video.
This was the first time in Coco's life that she was able to move her left arm independently while swimming. Coco said "it feels weird, but I like it." Mum and grandma with tears in their eyes, witnessed something very special. As we all did that day!
As the weeks and months passed, Coco became more confident, stronger and less tired. I worked with Coco for near 12-months. Sadly I lost access to the warm pool, and relocated my swimming practice near 30-miles away, which was just too far for Coco to visit after her school-day.
I will never forget the experience I shared with Coco, I learned as much from her, as she did from me.