Aquatic Physiotherapy Group




Gillian Adams  

Secretary Taryn Sterling

Vice-chair / Treasurer Shirley Eberlein

Education Development

Western Cape Rep(Membership and Education Portfolio) Mandy Wilkinson-Thompson


Eastern Cape Rep Maria De Greef

KZN Rep Diana March
Free State Rep Maryna Wessels

Limpopo Rep Mieke Pistorius

Mpumalanga Rep Wilma Erasmus

N / Gauteng Rep Shirley Eberlein
S / Gauteng Taryn Spark
North West Jurgen Voges

Not all provincial representative portfolios are not filled at this stage


Aquatic Physiotherapy is a form of physiotherapy conducted in a heated pool, where the properties and benefits of water are utilized with the knowledge and skill of the physiotherapist to improve the outcome of the rehabilitation process. An ability to swim is not necessary. Historically people have always enjoyed and derived benefit from immersing in warm water. After the world wars, the potential for using water for rehabilitation was recognised and developed. The term ‘hydrotherapy’ was replaced with the above by international agreement at the World Congress of Physiotherapy in 2007 to denote the specific skills of physiotherapists. 

Some of the evidence-based therapeutic properties of exercising in warm water are:

A decrease in pain 

Improved range of motion.

A decrease in muscle spasm, relaxation of muscles and increased flexibility.

An increase in muscle strength and endurance.

An improvement in circulation and reduction in swelling.

Improved stability, balance and co-ordination

Improvement in general fitness

A general feeling of well being 

Patient populations who can benefit from AQUATIC PHYSIOTHERAPYinclude: 

Acute and chronic spinal conditions

Post orthopaedic surgery i.e. knee, hip, shoulder and spinal.

Any condition requiring decreased weight bearing and gait rehabilitation.

Sports injuries

Various types of arthritis including O.A, R.A, and A.S

Post surgery e.g. post Mastectomy

Neurological conditions

Post traumatic stress disorder


Patients with chronic pain 

Ante and Post Natal

The treatment of overweight and obese individuals who find it difficult to do land based exercises.



Your heart rate is lower when exercising in water than on land

That you are only approx 30% of your weight at chest depth

Your spine stretches at least 2.5cm when you exercise in water 

Watch this space for more interesting  aquatic facts


Why join the AQPG? 

The AQPG commenced activity in 2009 and is affiliated to aquatic organisations in Australia, the UK, the Netherlands and is in regular contact with the WCPT. 



To establish and develop a high standard of Aquatic Physiotherapy in South Africa, while raising the profile of Aquatic Physiotherapy rehabilitation within the physiotherapy, medical and allied health professions, extending to the general public 

To improve inclusion and accessibility  to pool facilities for physically challenged persons throughout the country


Member benefits: 

Three monthly newsletters with up to date information from international and local sources

Reduced fees at CPD accredited courses locally and internationally. AQPG hopes to extend this to aquatic journals.

The opportunity to become more specialised as AQPG is at present planning an 80 hour APDL Level II course

An opportunity to interact with other SIGs, for mutual benefit

Mentoring  from experienced aquatic physiotherapists


Contact the AQPG secretary: see National Committee details

Tips for the public: Click here

Aquatic Practice Guidelines for Physiotherapists 2012: Click here

Provincial Branches

Gauteng Limpopo Mpumalanga Kwazulu Natal Free State Western Cape Eastern Cape Northern Cape North West