North Star Aquatic Therapy

Quench your Thirst for Aquatic Therapy Knowledge

Evidenced-Based Aquatic Therapy

for the Musculoskeletal Client

Location: Rochester, MN (Located approximately 90 minutes from MSP airport)

Dates: May 14-15, 2016

Hours: 16 hours

Credits through FSBPT: 16 CCUs

Instructor: Kim Gordon, MPT, PAqI

ATU Course #: MS801

Cost: $595

16 hr. training module packed into 2 days. Includes over 12 hours of pool time.

Stop extolling the virtues of aquatic therapy for the adult musculoskeletal client… without providing tangible evidence-based support. Leave this dynamic course understanding how, when, where and under what circumstances to provide aquatic therapy… and how to justify that choice to the world. Don’t just understand the science; be able to perform the EBAT treatments on Monday morning. Course includes information on integrating aquatic therapy into many post-surgical protocols (rotator cuff tear; ACL tear, total hip and knee replacement). Includes “turn key” inservice and marketing materials to help expand your caseload.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

1. List the indications and precautions in the use of Bad Ragaz, Watsu, Ai Chi, aquatic manual therapy, trunk stabilization, Salzman’s Aquatic Blanket Drills (ABDs), aquatic adaptations of the Berg and functional skills training for the musculoskeletal patient populations. Demonstrate an understanding of the underlying principles behind each aquatic therapy treatment approach (lecture, lab)

2. Understand the unique benefits of the aquatic environment, and use aquatic therapy techniques to increase strength and ROM, decrease pain, improve trunk stability, decrease hypertonicity, improve balance and proprioception, and improve functional skills (lecture, lab)

3. Create a cohesive evidence-based argument supporting the use of aquatic therapy for the musculoskeletal patient. Make appropriate aquatic therapy treatment choices (using the APTA’s Guide to Physical Therapy Practice as a springboard) (lecture, lab)

4. Be able to locate and summarize evidence-based research to further address why aquatic therapy could be appropriate. Create supportive bibliographies using the Aquatic Health Research Database of over 8,000 articles related to aquatic therapy (lecture)

5. Understand what insurance companies, Medicare, and the American Medical Association have to say about aquatic therapy. Craft an appeal letter which supports the use of aquatic therapy (lecture)

6. Understand in what situations group therapy is appropriate. Understand supervision requirements for aquatic therapy. Understand the need to transition aquatic therapy to land based therapy (lecture)

7. Perform a musculoskeletal inservice for rehab staff or referring physicianusing “turn key” aquatic inservice modules provided in class (land lab)

8. Populate websites, brochures and onsite bulletin boards using “turn key” aquatic evidence-based marketing modules provided in class (land lab)

9. Discuss the differing needs of interested parties: physicians, payers and patients. Use documentation to justify providing intervention in an aquatic environment. (land lab)

10. Demonstrate the skill set necessary to incorporate aquatic intervention into many post-operative protocol safely, following restrictions appropriately (lecture)

11. Working with a partner, design and implement an evidence-based aquatic progression for 1-2 of the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Back dysfunction
  • Total hip or knee replacement
  • Shoulder dysfunction (lab)

Target Audience

PT's, PTA's, OT's, COTA's, SLP's, and other aquatic professionals.


Day 1

8:00-8:30 Registration

8:30-12:00 Lecture

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-3:45 Pool lab

3:45-4:00 Energy break

4:00-5:30 Pool lab

5:30-5:45 Wrap-Up and Questions

Day 2

8:00-12:00 Lecture

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-3:30 Pool lab

3:30-3:45 Energy break

3:45-5:15 Pool lab

5:15-5:30 Wrap-up and questions

Lecture Location:

Shorewood Senoir Campus

2115 2nd Street SW

Rochester, MN 55902

Come and see this brand new facility! Just opened on November 25th! Lecture will take place in their conference room and the lab will take place in their brand new pool. The pool space includes a large warm water therapy pool that has a ramp, stairs, and graduated depths. It also includes a Hydroworx treadmill that we will spend some time using as well!


If you are flying into the Minneapolis airport, there is a shuttle service to Rochester. Please visit to schedule a ride.

If you are flying into the Rochester airport, most hotels provide shuttle service to/from the Rochester airport.


There are several hotels near Shorewood that will provide shuttle service to/from the course location. They include:

Holiday Inn Express on 2nd Street

Courtyard by Marriott on 2nd Street

SpringHill Suites on 2nd Street

Meet your Instructor:

Kimberly Gordon, MPT, MAqI, GAqI

Tracks: Musculo, Geriatric, Sports

Kimberly Gordon, MPT graduated from Mayo Clinic's School of Health Related Sciences with her Master's degree in Physical Therapy. She began practicing in an outpatient sports medicine clinic in Sarasota, FL where her case-load included orthopedic and post-surgical clients, including older adults with torn knee and ankle ligaments, total joint replacements, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and gait dysfunction. She went on to manage a branch for that company in Bradenton, FL. Upon moving back to Rochester, MN, she spent time working in a local nursing home, helping to develop their short term rehab program to increase the number of joint replacement patients in the facility and to better manage these patients as a team in the nursing home. She then moved into a home health physical therapy position, bringing innovative ideas to the patient returning from a hospital or nursing home stay after surgery or trauma, including many with new joint replacement patients.

She currently works at both the Rochester Active PT office and the Plainview ActivePT office (managing the Plainview office) where she specializes in treating orthopedic patients both in and out of the therapy pool. Her specialty is treating pelvic, hip and knee patients and the majority of her patients come with women's health, orthopedic and sports medicine complaints.

Kim has over 11 years of treating primarily orthopedic patients with 7 of those years specializing in sports medicine. Kim also has over 200 hours of continuing education including SI joint dysfunction, Shoulder rehabilitation presented by Kevin Wilk, pelvic floor training through the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Institute, a certification course in Pilates training and specializes in Pilates. She also teaches a Pilates class at the Rochester Athletic Club and has devoloped specialized classes for the athletic club including Back School, return to Pilates after rehabilitiation, and prenatal Pilates.

Kim's area of specialty is the hip and pelvis. This includes pelvic floor dysfunction, low back and hip pain, total joint replacements, and SI dysfunction. She has trained for 3 years with Aquatic Therapy University, achieving lead instructor status under their extensive instructor's curriculum. Kim offers specialty training in the following through her affiliation with ActivePT.

  • Pilates
  • Back School
  • Osteoporosis

Kim lives in Rochester with her husband and two children. She enjoys playing soccer, biking, and running, has completed her first duathalon, and continues to compete in annual half marathons throughout the midwest.

Cancellation Policy


Programming Changes: Due to unforeseen circumstances, ATU schedules, instructors and/or meals may need to be changed without notice.

Cancellation of Class By ATU: ATU classes may be cancelled for low registration up to 30 days prior to the class. In this event, a full refund of class tuition or a voucher to another class will be issued to students. ATU does not reimburse change fees, airline tickets or any other travel related expenses, so please do not make plans until you receive the 30-day confirmation prior to the conference.

Cancellation of Class by Student: A refund, minus a $175 reseating fee, will be given for student cancellations made prior to 30 days before the conference. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after 30 day deadline. In the event of a student cancellation after the deadline, enrollment fees may be transferred to other ATU courses within 12 months at no charge.

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