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Rebound Therapy

What is Rebound Therapy?
 
Rebound Therapy is used to facilitate movement, promote balance, promote an increase or decrease in muscle tone, promote relaxation, promote sensory integration, improve fitness and exercise tolerance, and to improve communication skills.
 
Physiological effects
 
1) Cardio-respiratory 
There is a high demand on muscles to deal with the increased gravity produced on deceleration and in the control of movement required when gravity is in effect reduced, as in acceleration, causing an increase in the respiratory rate and subsequently the heart rate. As a direct consequence there is an upturn in venous and lymphatic drainage. The constant muscle work required to maintain position and balance increases the demand for oxygen.   
2) Muscle Tone 
In simplistic terms, trampolining generally causes an increase in postural muscle tone, simply to prevent falling over. In Rebound Therapy, the effect on muscle tone hypertonia or hypotonia is variable. Low amplitive bouncing in general causes a reducing effect on hypertonia by bombarding the muscle spindle in much the same way as shaking causes a decrease in muscle tone. High amplitude bouncing can cause an increase in tone by stimulating the stretch receptors. The two properties can be used therefore to increase or decrease tone where required. 
3) Postural mechanism 
Stimulating by bombarding the sensory systems through joints, muscle and skin can improve the output to the important postural muscles.  
4) Balance Mechanism 
In creating a dynamic movement situation, so challenging balance mechanisms, observable improvement can be achieved. 
5) Kinaesthetic awareness 
By the multiple stimulation of joints, pressure stretch receptors, skin, muscles etc., kinaesthetic awareness is improved, leading to improved body image and spatial awareness. 
 
Therapeutic effects 
 
On movement:  Movement can be facilitated at different stages of the bounce. The most active movement takes place at the top of the bounce where acceleration of the body equals the downthrust of gravity to allow a momentary "gravity-free" zone. A tiny body movement can produce a large effect with correctly applied bounce. Momentum and rhythm can be added to movement to help teach new movement skills and energise movement. Balance and equilibrium reactions can be achieved through stimulation of postural mechanisms; by creating a dynamic movement situation, protective and saving reactions can be developed. The anticipation of movement occurs because of the effects of timing, rhythm and momentum. An inhibiting or stimulating effect on muscle tone enables active movement to take place. By using good positioning and low amplitude bouncing, good relaxation is easily obtained.   
 
On perception:  Body image, body part awareness and positional sense are enhanced through tactile and joint sensation. Increased perception of body image, spatial awareness combined with rhythm, and movement itself, greatly develop co-ordination. The experience of movement into space with the return to stability, while remaining in control, provides an enriched learning experience, for the motor-impaired person. 
  
Communication:  Due to cardio-respiratory effects, vocalisation is increased - with exclamations and gasps. Eye contact and concentration are enhanced by the "focus effect". 
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