Halliwick is an approach to teaching all people, in particular those with physical and/or learning difficulties, to participate in water activities, to move independently in water, and to swim.
It is based on a belief in the benefits that can be derived from activities in water, and sets out the fundamentals necessary for their learning. These benefits include physical, personal, recreational, social and therapeutic aspects. The Concept has influenced hydrotherapy techniques and has been developed into specific therapeutic exercises.
Halliwick, since its inception in 1949, has always emphasised the fun of being in water and how enjoyment enhances learning. It has consistently maintained a philosophy of equality of opportunities.
According to the Halliwick Concept, physical properties of water form the basis for therapeutic intervention as activities in water have a great physical, personal, recreational and social benefits.
The Halliwick Concept focuses on bio-physical principles of motor control in water, in particular by developing a sense of balance and core stability together with the consideration of humans’ emotional needs for mental adjustment and a sense of independence.
This method promotes independence and is usually performed in groups. The instructor leads the group of carers with their clients towards swimming independently. This method is especially beneficial for people who require enhancement of their sense of security.
Halliwick practitioners take into consideration different ways to help people maximise learning. This applies in teaching ‘swimmers’ with disabilities and also when teaching new instructors on courses.