There is no doubt that physical exercise is important for all of us. Increasingly, people with disabilities are embracing sports and activities because of the signiﬁcant beneﬁts they bring to their health and general wellbeing.
Care provider, Surrey Choices, offer a range of activities for the people it supports but it cites rebound therapy as one of its most popular activities. It introduced the therapy sessions in September 2015 and they’ve proved to be extremely beneﬁcial. The exercise helps to promote balance, facilitate movement, increase or decrease muscle tone and aids relaxation and sensory integration.
The term ‘Rebound Therapy’ was coined in 1969 by its founder, Eddy Anderson and describes the use of a trampoline to provide therapeutic exercise and recreation for people with a wide range of additional needs. It’s not trampolining in the traditional gymnastic sense but it does improve ﬁtness and can also really help to improve communication skills.
Activity facilitator, Paul Dawson, from Surrey Choices, says rebound therapy is an “immensely popular” activity enjoyed by many of the people he supports. He currently works with people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, people with complex needs and people with autistic spectrum conditions.
“It is basically using trampolines as an exercise therapy,” says Paul. “The different beneﬁ ts it can offer are quite incredible, including communication, muscle tone and co-ordination. Most importantly of all it is fun and enjoyable for people of all abilities. Everyone taking part enjoys the happy and positive atmosphere that comes with rebound. We see it having a positive impact on so many lives.
Sometimes we have customers come along to Rebound who don’t use verbal communication but due to the cardiorespiratory effects of the activity, vocalisation is often increased with exclamations and gasps. Eye contact is also enhanced and it can be especially lovely for parents and carers to see these positive effects.”
Rachel Risbridger, whose son attends three rebound therapy sessions a week, said her son absolutely loves attending the sessions and she conﬁrms that it helps his physical, mental and social skills.
“The exercise is really good for him, and it’s helped him to improve in following instructions, as well as becoming more interactive, and he will now have short conversations with Paul when he uses the trampoline,” she said.
Paul Dawson and his colleagues at Surrey Choices are delighted that rebound therapy is having such a positive impact on so many lives. Later this year those attending the sessions will be invited to a presentation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.