Whidbey General Hospital

Aquatic Therapy Supports Healing

After more than two decades, Whidbey General’s aquatic therapy program continues to feature the only hospital-based warm water therapy pool north of Seattle and south of Bellingham.

More than 20 years ago, physical therapist Steve Harada, then manager of Rehabilitation Services, promoted the development of an aquatic therapy program at Whidbey General.

With the closest therapy pool being located in Seattle, and given the well-documented benefits of aquatic therapy, administration and the hospital board of commissioners agreed to build a new, in-ground therapy pool. The Whidbey General Hospital Foundation funded construction and the pool began operation in 1992.

Aquatic therapy is physical therapy that is performed in a pool. It aids recovery from illnesses such as arthritis and from injuries such as joint sprains or fractured bones. Water buoyancy supports the patient’s weight and decreases stress on the joints. Muscles are strengthened without using weights. The warm water (92 to 94 degrees) creates a relaxing, healing environment for exercises. Hydrostatic pressure, which is pressure exerted by water due to the force of gravity, can decrease soft tissue and joint swelling. The pressure may also help improve a patient’s awareness of the position of their joints, which is important when recovering from sprains.

In the last 20 years, thousands of Whidbey General patients have benefited from aquatic therapy without needing to leave the island. A recent renovation included more open space and a new floor, tile and paint, resulting in a bright, updated area where Rehabilitation Services will provide the health giving benefits of aquatic therapy for many years to come.

Read a more extensive article on aquatic therapy in the fall 2012 Pulse magazine.

There’s no need to go off island for high quality rehabilitation services. Whidbey General offers:

    • Acupuncture
    • Aquatic Therapy Program
    • Back Rehabilitation and Education
    • Fall Prevention
    • Independent Exercise Program
    • Neurological Rehabilitation
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Orthopedic Rehabilitation
    • Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Program
    • Speech-Language Pathology
    • Sports Therapy
    • Vestibular Rehabilitation

For more information on Rehabilitation Services, please call the hospital at 360-678-7619, ext. 2250, or 360-321-7656, ext. 2250. Or call Whidbey General North at 360-679-1415.


I was made comfortable by all staff.
They were attentive, cheerful and efficient.

Everyone at Whidbey General focuses on achieving the best possible patient outcomes. Read comments from our patients about the care they received. Want to share your own testimonial? Email myhospital@whidbeygen.org.



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