For Physicians

Massage Therapy Benefits

The Greek physician, Hippocrates (460 to 377 B.C.) known as the father of modern medicine brought about a historical change in the field of massage. In ancient Greece & Rome it was actually the physician who utilized massage as one way to treat pain. Hippocrates stressed that massage be directed toward the center of the body or toward the heart, a technique which changed the way massage has been practiced for centuries.

However, despite the breadth of scientific research supporting massage, many medical professionals may not recommend massage to their patients. That evidently is all changing according to the latest survey from the American Hospital Association which reveals that the number of hospitals which now offer massage increased by more than 30% from 2004 to 2006. At the moment it is also rare to find a conventional medical school that does not offer courses in complementary, alternative or integrative medicine.

In many auto and work-place injuries, medical massage can be effectively used to treat soft tissue injuries such as sprains/strains, muscle spasm, swelling, tissue scarring, and all other muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries. Without massage therapy, injured tissue may develop scar tissue which can eventually limit range of motion. Massage therapy also enhances blood flow which expedites the healing process by bringing nutrient rich blood to damaged tissue.

To find out more about MassageCare™@ PT Hawaii click here

Massage enters the mainstream as evidence-based treatment

Massage is no longer just for pleasure. Research now shows conclusively that massage therapy coupled with physical therapy and appropriate exercise can effectively alleviate or reduce neck and back pain, improve function, and decrease anxiety. As well, it is increasingly being prescribed for patients with other types of pain and injury.

PT Hawaii has five licensed, experienced massage therapists who are skilled at treating a wide range of injuries. When prescribed by a physician, massage therapy is covered by worker’s compensation and no-fault insurance plans.

Medical massage can be helpful in treating the following conditions: cervical strain/sprain, thoracic outlet syndrome, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff injuries, lumbosacral strain/sprain, muscle spasms, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis, muscle spasm headaches and myofascial pain/trigger point release.

Furlan, A.D., L. Brosseau, M. Imamura, E. Irvin. 2002. Massage for low back pain. The Cochran Database of Systematic Reviews. Issue 2.

2 Preyde, Michele. 2000. Effectiveness of massage therapy for subacute low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 162: 1,815-1,820


As we begin the New Year we would like to thank all of you for your continued support of PT Hawaii. Since PT Hawaii-Waipahu, Home of the AquaCare Center opened its door on August 9, 2003 with its innovative solar heated pool program; we have cared for over 720 injured patients!

The power of aquatic rehabilitation has once again been confirmed in the literature with a study by Joel M. Stager, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology at the University of Indiana and editor of The Journal of Swimming. Dr. Stager has studied the therapeutic effects of water for 30 years and suggests that regular swimming can slow aging as much as 20 percent by maintaining respiration, muscle mass and cardiovascular function.

Equally as important as studies in the literature are personal clinical experiences and here is what some of our patients are saying about the AquaCare Program:

“Your staff and therapists have been for the last 3 months, ‘the best’! It was great to come to my appointment. They all give a new meaning to service with a smile.”

“My back pain has been improved due to the pool program. I am very impressed by the therapists’ efforts to improve my pain. Thank you so much to all the staff.”


Now that spring has sprung it is a good time to consider Aquatic therapy or rehabilitation that is performed in water is ideal for patients that have difficulty exercising on the ground due to recent surgery, illness or injury. It is especially useful if your patients are experiencing pain, weakness, muscle spasms, limited range of motion, decreased strength and limited weight bearing.

Aquatic therapy benefits your patients by lowering the stress on joints & muscles, improving circulation, decreasing pain, encouraging relaxation, decreasing fear of movement and improving their ability to exercise independently.
Need additional information? Please call 680-9123 or visit our website ""

Frequently Asked Questions about Aquatic Physical Therapy

What is “aquatic physical therapy”?

Aquatic Physical Therapy or “AquaCare” is the evidence-based and skilled practice of physical therapy in an aquatic environment by a physical therapist. It includes but is not limited to treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, health, wellness and fitness of patient populations.

The buoyancy, support, accommodating resistance and other unique properties of water enhance interventions for patients with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and integumentary disease, disorders or conditions.

What is the AquaCare Program designed to improve or maintain?

  • Function
  • Aerobic capacity/endurance conditioning
  • Balance, coordination and agility
  • Flexibility
  • Relaxation
  • Muscle strength, power and endurance
  • Postural stabilization
  • Body mechanics
  • Gait & locomotion

How does “aquatic physical therapy” and “aquatic exercise” differ?

The difference is that aquatic physical therapy requires the “skilled service” of a physical therapist.

The clinical reasoning & decision making skills of a PT

The patient has impairments which can be minimized or eliminated with aquatic physical therapy

The patient has potential for reaching new functional goals/outcomes to improve quality of life and back-to-work

For questions on how to refer a patient to PT Hawaii’s AQUACARE program please call 680-9123 or visit our website @

Gets an Upgrade…………

Recently refurbished and converted to salt water, the AquaCare™ pool at PT Hawaii-Waipahu can expand the depth and scope of a clinician’s treatment options. Since the goals for aquatic therapy are similar to land-based therapy, the program is designed to improve the recovery outcomes for those with complicated injuries received as a result of work, automobile or sports related accidents.

Our new salt water solar heated pool offers health benefits superior to chlorine and can increase patient compliance & outcomes for the following reasons:

  • Salt is softer on skin, hair and eyes than chlorine
  • No red irritated eyes
  • No itchy, irritated skin or dermatitides
  • More suitable for asthma and allergy sufferers.

AquaCare™ combines the best of three key rehabilitation parameters-stretching, strengthening and conditioning-all in a warm environment where your patients can Get Wet! Get Well!