The phrase ‘rebound therapy’, when applied correctly, describes a specific methodology, assessment as well as programme of using trampolines in order to provide opportunities for enhanced movement patterns, therapeutic positioning, exercise as well as recreation for a wide range of users with additional needs.
This therapy is utilised in order to enhance movement patterns; develop and promote motor skills, body awareness, balance, coordination as well as communication. It is an extremely enjoyable physical activity and is utilised to great effect as a cross-curricular teaching tool.
Where Did It Start?
Although the idea of using trampolines in special education has been in existence existed since the 1950s, it was not up until the 1970s that the idea of Rebound Therapy was established by the physiotherapist, remedial gymnast as well as head teacher Eddy Anderson. He worked with children with both physical and learning disabilities.
In 1992, after the interest from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy as well as the British Trampoline Federation, Anderson offered training courses to both organisations in the use and application of Rebound Therapy after many years of working in education and delivering Rebound Therapy on staff development courses. From 2011, Rebound Therapy has been introduced into countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Canada, and the USA.
Who is Rebound Therapy For?
Rebound therapy is for almost anyone! This type of therapy may be used in order to facilitate movement, promote balance, affect muscle tone, clear secretions, promote sensory integration, improve fitness and exercise tolerance, promote relaxation, and improve communication skills. Rebound therapy is individualised and can be adapted for use in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, trampolining/gymnastics, recreational activity… the list goes on.
What Are The Benefits Of Rebound Therapy?
The benefits of rebound therapy may include the following:
- Improved exercise tolerance, stamina and balance,
- Improved muscle tone and coordination,
- Relaxation, and
During rebound therapy, stretching, walking, bouncing and other exercises may be done using gym balls, hoops and other pieces of equipment while on the trampoline.
Other benefits of rebound therapy include:
- Strength of limbs
- Muscle tone
- Reaction speed
- Eye contact
- Freedom of movement
- Sense of achievement
- Spatial awareness
- Body awareness
- Social awareness
- Consideration of others
- Trust and confidence in coach/assistant
- Colour recognition
- Height and depth perception
- Fun and enjoyment
- Stimulation of the digestive system
- Improved bowel function
- Internal organ massage
- Clearing of toxins from the body
- Respiratory benefits
In order to gain definitive benefit – as well as a carry-over from a rebound therapy session – it is very important that it is done alongside physiotherapy sessions. Your physiotherapist will teach you how to warm-up and cool-down prior to, and after, a rebound therapy session as well as how to stretch and strengthen in order to gain maximum benefit from the gravity-free situation on the trampoline.
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