Arthritis Foundation Certifies MVAC Instructors

Mission Valley Aquatic Center water aerobics and aqua therapy instructors Sharon Murphy, Lorie Allred and Janet Caselli hosted the Montana chapter of the Arthritis Foundation for an aquatics certification training on Friday, April 25.

Below is an article from the Valley Journal that talks about the training and the benefits of water therapy for people with arthritis. Thanks, Berl, for stopping by to report on this great day!

Arthritis Foundation recertifies instructors

arthritis-demo2btBy Berl Tiskus, Valley Journal

POLSON — “Movement is the best medicine,” Katie Levine said.

Levine is the programs coordinator for the Arthritis Foundation, based out of the Missoula office.

Diagnosed with arthritis herself, Levine and Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program Trainer Gina VanVoorhies were at the Mission Valley Aquatics Center on April 25 to certify instructors, including MVAC teachers Sharon Murphy and Lorie Allred.

The 17 instructors from all over Montana teach aquatic classes geared for people with arthritis and different ability levels, and they need to update their certification every two years.

The class spent most of the day in the classroom learning how to put together an hour-long class, Levine said. Then they changed into swimsuits and slipped into the pool to practice what they’d learned, guided and tested by VanVoorhies.

One test was being able to swim for 25 yards.

VanVoorhies also had the women buckle on a flotation belt, which many of their students wear in class. They practiced supine and forward positions as students do, just so they knew how the belts affected a person’s balance.

Comments from the instructors being recertified were that the class was informative, well done and students were moving a lot.

About one in five people in the United States have arthritis, with approximately 204,000 Montanans diagnosed with the disease, Levine said

Levine said part of her job is to make the workshops available, support instructors and educate people about pain management. Levine emphasized that through movement and pain management, arthritis isn’t allowed to take over a person’s life.

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Mission Valley Aquatic Center
P.O. Box 774
Polson, Montana 59860

(406) 883-4567


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