So, what did happen to the Diver’s Den? It’s been transformed into the unique healing, relaxation and exercise waters of the Muller Aquatic Center where aquatic certified, licensed therapists perform “miracles,” according to patients now functioning at a level they never thought possible.
“This magical pool and its highly trained therapists helped me put my hip, my legs, my self, my life back on track,” said Hillary Hauser, executive director of Heal the Ocean, who tried traditional land therapy prior to utilizing the aquatic approach that ultimately rehabilitated her from a hip replacement.
“I’ve been playing golf ever since,” Hauser said, “and I’m walking around like nothing ever happened.”
At the Muller Center, the aquatic certified, licensed therapists use advanced techniques to work individually with patients, aged 5 to 105, and treat them for their specific diagnosis, ranging from carpal tunnel, sports injuries and cardiac conditions to herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, arthritis and fibromyalgia, hip, knee and shoulder surgeries, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, joint replacements and weight issues, just to name a few.
“Our goal is to give yourself back to you,” said Vince Newman, P.T., ATRIC, the Center’s widely renown certified aquatic physical therapist whose dedicated more than 30 years to healing people and propelling the profession into the national spotlight.
“People are more engaged in aquatic therapy because they feel less pain, more movement, more control of their body and more hope,” Newman said. “Once you feel less pain, you can start functioning again. Life, living and healing all come down to one word — and that’s movement.”
The Muller Aquatic Center, now in its third year, also recently began offering water aerobics, arthritis/fibromyalgia fitness classes and open-swim times on a walk-in basis for only $10 per session or $100 per month, including use of equipment, such as weights, flotation devices and resistive equipment.
The Center’s 2014 Spring Special — which runs from now through May — offers one week of free classes, open to all skill and fitness levels.
The small-group exercise classes and individualized therapy sessions are held in the warmth of a 90-degree heated indoor pool where participants enjoy getting fit and recovering from their injuries or conditions while listening to music and working with specialized and caring staff in a friendly, relaxed and safe environment.
“I have a fractured back and when I get in the 90-degree water, I get relief from my back ache,” said 102-year-old Clarence Agress. “Also, the general exercise is very good for me because it helps my arthritis.”
Aquatic physical therapy differs from traditional land therapy in that buoyancy allows for early weight bearing, reduced joint compression and pain-free mobility. Frequently, patients who feel stagnated and frustrated on land, enjoy greater ease and range of motion in the water. Aquatic therapy not only facilitates a quicker recovery, but also provides participants with a boost in morale because they see more immediate progress.
Water therapy also helps many participants avoid surgery. For instance, when doctors told Tina Brown she needed surgery on her left knee, she tried aquatic therapy instead and it worked. Then, she was diagnosed with stage four arthritis in her right knee and couldn’t walk. Doctors told her she’d need surgery or would have to use a walker the rest of her life.
“So I started coming here again,” Brown said. “The goal was to lose weight and get fit so I could do the surgery. Now, my goal is to go snorkeling in the Cayman Islands. Once again, I avoided surgery due to the pool therapists here. Vince (Newman) is truly gifted with healing hands. He can touch you in ways that really promote healing.
“Both times, it’s been a miracle for me,” she said. “I’m walking again and I have my life back. People really need to know how many have been helped here.”
Aquatic Center owner John Muller, of Muller and Weber Physical Therapy in Santa Barbara, wants the community to know what a valuable resource the pool can be for everyone.
“Our aquatic certified, licensed therapists use specialized exercise protocols developed to treat many conditions, injuries and pre- and post-op surgeries to increase strength, stability and tissue healing, while decreasing pain,” Muller said. “The fitness classes work wonders as well. And no swimming skills are required. Feel free to stop by and check us out!”
To arrange interviews with therapists and participants and take footage/photos at the pool on Friday, April 11, call Dawn Hobbs at 805-284-5351. Therapy sessions will be held from 10 a.m. til 1 p.m. Therapists and participants will be available in between sessions. Vince Newman will also be available after 1 p.m. Water aerobics starts at 1:30 p.m.
The Muller Aquatic Center is located at 22 Anacapa Street at the old Diver’s Den, a half-block from the ocean, across from Skater’s Point and behind the Fish House.
Please call or email me to confirm attendance. See you soon! Dawn