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Ai Chi is a total body relaxation and strengthening progression used for Aquatic Therapy and exercise which promote relaxation and strengthening of the whole body.

Created in 1990 by Jun Konno, one of Japan’s foremost swimming and fitness consultants and the President of Aqua Dynamics Institute (Japanese chapter of AEA), Ai-Chi combines Tai-Chi and Qi Gong concepts with Watsu techniques.

Ai-Chi involved resistance training and a series of broad movements of the arms, legs, and torso performed in a slow and focused manner, and coordinated with deep breathing techniques.


Typically, Ai Chi is practiced standing in shoulder-depth water in group classes, one-on-one therapy sessions, or individually.

It requires no equipment, and allows the hair and face to stay dry, which can be very helpful for non-swimmers who would benefit from exercise in the water.

The Ai Chi progression moves gradually (kata) from simple breathing, to the incorporation of upper-extremity, trunk, lower-extremity, and finally full torso involvement.


Movement is slow and continuous, with attention to body alignment, and accompanied with deep diaphragmatic breathing and a calm meditative state of mind.


Mental focus is on flowing movement, proper body alignment, and coordinated breathing, and can also involve attention to philosophical or aesthetic concepts.

Ai-Chi underwater image.jpg


Ai Chi takes advantage of the waters properties, fostering range of motion while challenging balance (safely) and facilitating core strength and stability. The series of movements is simple, but effective and becomes meditative when performed repeatedly and coordinated with the breath.  

  • Promotes flexibility and body strength

  • Promotes relaxation and reduction in stress

  • Improves general wellbeing

  • Improves mental health

  • Improves energy levels and reduced fatigue

  • Reduced anxiety and depression

  • Increases oxygen and caloric consumption through correct form and positioning in the water.

  • Improved range of motion and mobility.

  • Development of core control and alignment

  • Minimize the monosynaptic spinal reflex

  • Reduce muscle weakness

  • Reduce joint stiffness

  • Increased blood flow to joints, tendons, muscles and ligaments.


Ai Chi has been shown to be beneficial to those suffering from:

  • Chronic Pain

  • Stress

  • Anxiety and Depression

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  • Diabetes

  • Balance Impairments

  • Chronic Disorders and other issues that require Pain Management

  • Respiratory Disorders

  • Cardiovascular Problems

  • Circulatory Disorders

  • Metabolic Disorders

  • Psychological Problems

  • Musculoskeletal or Orthopaedic Disturbances

  • Neurological Disturbances

  • Endocrinological Disorders

Ai-Chi above water class.jpg
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