RET Physical Therapy has provided a successful aquatic physical therapy and rehabilitation program at the Aquatic Therapy Center at Mercer Island since 1987. Our experienced therapists have developed specialized and individualized programs that take advantage of the many benefits of warm water therapy.
Aquatic Physical Therapy allows people of all ages and levels of function to reach their goals, and return to what they love to do. For those with difficulty moving, water offers gentleness that provides reduced stress on joints and muscles; great for post-operative joint replacements.
For strengthening and balance, water’s resistance can develop the conditioning necessary to return a seasoned athlete back to their sport. It also gives confidence back to those who want to return to a more active lifestyle.
Unique to the Seattle/Eastside region, our aquatic physical therapy pool offers a combination of a warm water environment, as well as both shallow and deep ends. Shallow water allows successful treatment, even for those that are not comfortable with swimming. If using the deep water is possible, this environment can reduce compression on joints and assist greater muscle relaxation.
To schedule an appointment or for questions, call 206-230-9613.
– Frequently Asked Questions –
Do I need to know how to swim? No swimming skills are necessary to receive aquatic therapy. Please let us know before your appointment, and our therapist will be able to orient you to the pool and exercises
Does my insurance cover aquatic therapy? Most insurances cover aquatic therapy. We can help with the process, but you will receive the most accurate information by contacting your insurance company directly.
What is the temperature of the pool? Is it chlorinated? Our pool is heated to 90 degrees and has virtually no chlorine due to our ozinator sanitation system. We maintain the pool at lppm (parts per million)
Do I need to get my head (ears, eyes, nose, hair) wet? The aquatic therapy pool has both deep and shallow ends. Typically there is no need to submerge or get your head wet.
Is there a lift? We do not have a lift. There are 4 steps to enter/exit the pool. A handrail is on the left when entering and right when exiting.
Is there a shower? Yes, we have showers and changing areas available. Please bring your own soap/shampoo, if desired
How long is an aquatic therapy appointment? Appointments are normally scheduled for one hour. Please arrive early to allow time for changing, entering/exiting the water.
What to bring to my first appointment? Bring a towel and your swim suit. Aqua shoes/socks are recommended but not necessary.
- Staff -
Julie Parnell, PT
Physical Therapist Julie has been a physical therapist for 30 + years. She has worked in a variety of settings including acute hospital, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient orthopedic clinics, pain management, and industrial work programs. She is also a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist. She is passionate about patient centered care and focuses on providing individualized treatment to each of her patients. She enjoys working as a part of a rehabilitation team to help return patients to their full potential, including work, home, and leisure activities. She enjoys walking, bike riding, snow skiing, golf and spending time with her family.
Debbie Huisingh-Doyle, PTA
Physical Therapist Assistant Debbie is a Seattle native, working in the physical therapy field since 1987. She has worked with orthopedic and sport rehabilitation until the last decade, when she began specializing in aquatic therapy. She has several aquatic specialty certificates and loves the way she can help her patients use our warm water facility to regain their functional goals. When not helping patients, she might be found hiking on one of our local trails or sailing in the San Juan Islands.
Physical Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science from Green River Community College
ATRI Certification for Aquatic Therapy from Aquatic Therapy Rehab Institute