Halliwick Courses
Johan Lambeck was educated by McMillan and started as a certified senior lecturer in the therapeutic "Rhine-System"of the International Halliwick Association. This system has been developed into the present International Halliwick Therapy Network and is focused on the application of Halliwick as a (physio)therapeutic concept.

Halliwick is an aquatic motor relearning programme. Therefore it is founded on principles of motor learning (like the dynamic systems model) and has two parts: the Ten-Point-Programme and Water Specific Therapy. This second part is especially suitable to stabilize the trunk and has resemblances with e.g. Pilates. In water, the trunk must be used in the “game of balancing”. That’s why Halliwick also is a (minimized) Constraint Induced Movement Therapy. Increased trunk stability can be used in exercises for falls prevention like an obstacle course or Clinical Ai Chi.
The balance strategies are addressed in Halliwick through intentional movement behaviour, but also when facilitation reactive movements. Halliwick is a concept in which clients are asked constantly to solve their balance problems in trial and error situations.
Halliwick has gained a recognized position in neurology and pediatrics. Also in rheumatology and orthopedics  Halliwick is vastly applicable.

In the past, Halliwick was taught in various modules emphasising different aspects of Halliwick. This has been changed gradually when in 2002 Halliwick started to be related to the ICF: International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. At present (2011), mostly integrated courses are taught, covering 50 to 60 hours.
Halliwick is regarded as the implementation of an evidence based clinical decision making process. External evidence (like randomized clinical trials in aquatic therapy), guidelines, expert opinion and patient values are combined in the goals to be reached. SMART goal setting is done by using  the Rehabiliation Problem Solving (RPS) and Patient-Specific Functional Outcome systems, goals are assessed by water specific tests and regular "dry" tests or questionnaires, using hypothesis-oriented algorithm for clinicians (HOAC-2). 

Contents of these courses are:

theoretical frameworks

  • ICF
  • Evidence Based Clinical Practice
  • Dynamic Systems Mode / Neural Group Selection Theory
  • Fluidmechanics
  • Physiology and exercise physiology of immersion
  • Relation with concepts like neurorehabilitation, Bobath/NDT, MRP, PNF, Pilates, CIMT

Clinical reasoning

  • Decision making according to HOAC-2, based on (Halliwick) research
  • Aquatic assessment (Halliwick-ICF, WOTA and other performance tests) 
  • Goal setting
  • Problem solving

Practical applications / methodology:

  • the Ten-Point-Programme
  • Water Specific Therapy
  • Applications in various impairments
  • Applications in e.g. fall prevention, core stabilization, sensory modulation, pain behavior modification

didactics in Halliwick

  • Behavioral interventions  (e,g, teaching through games) and coaching
  • Group exercise interventions  o programming for progress (the Rehab cycle)

Systematic desensitization as a mental adjustment model

The course uses various teaching techniques like distant learning as preparation, self-tuition, peer-correction, video-analyses with checklists and ends with an examination. The examination in many cases is also recognized by (local) educational authorities.

Other options

  • customized courses for institutes like e.g. neurological rehabilitation centres, special schools, institutes for clients with multiple disabilities.
  • A module in which topics for non-therapists are addressed like e.g. game development, swimming techniques and applications in competition.

Customized Training
In order to set your aquatic therapy / hydrotherapy product to the standards of modern health care, specifically designed workshops can be offered. The length of a workshop can be matched to your specific situation.
Demonstrations of patients and hands-on experience of participants are integral parts of each workshop.


  • The Halliwick Concept: certification courses
  • Bad Ragaz Ring Method®, see also www.badragazringmethod.org
  • Clinical Ai Chi®
  • Aqua-T-Relax and Aqua-Zen
  • Conventional aquatic therapy
  • Passive joint mobilisation and stretching
  • Medical fitness techniques
  • Recreational group activities for therapy
  • Swimming for the Disabled

Applications in:

  • Neurology
  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatrics
  • (Psycho)geriatrics
  • Sportsmedicine
  • Cardiac and pulmonary rehab
  • Balneology / Spa Health Care/ Medical Hydrology / Thalassotherapy
  • Mental health care

This section is aimed at providing information about written content. I have tried to be a comprehensive as possible and list or link to Halliwick articles, Halliwick chapters in books and books themselves. I focused mainly on the use of Halliwick as therapy. In this context I also included links to sites at which more information about aquatic therapy (written materials) can be found.

Contributions are welcomed! 

This section contains clips of a video that was made for the Nijmegen international Halliwick conference in 1986. The scientific committee asked "Mac" to show his ideas and statements about the importance of handling to elicit therapeutic responses. An able-bodied model, a patient with a partial thoracic spinal cord injury and a patient with a hemiplegia (CP) participated.

The second series of clips are more recent and show treatment possibilities, including reactive and continuous movements, working with counter forces, the obstacle course and more. These clips were made in the Rehabilitation Clinics Valens in Switzerland 

Literature introduction

You will be directed to:

1. The EWAC library in which we collect PP presentations, theses and articles that are freely available.

2. The website of Aquatic Physical Therapy International, a WCPT network (www.wcpt.org/apti ). This website also contains a list of recent books on aquatic therapy.

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