We offer a comprehensive approach to physical therapy that focuses on developing a rehabilitation program to meet each client’s needs. We use a combination of traditional therapy techniques, water therapy, manual therapy and other modalities, to effectively promote recovery from injury, overuse, and surgery. Additionally, we work with other practitioners in the area who provide complementary therapies.”

~ Laura Diamond and Megan Gray Cohen


Diamond Physical Therapy Offers Pediatric Aquatic Physical Therapy and Adapted Swimming Instruction for Children Who Have Special Needs

Laura Diamond and Megan Gray Cohen have been working with children in the water a combined total of over 65 years. As a water safety instructor and a physical therapist, they are able to integrate therapeutic techniques, water safety and adapted swimming instruction.

Water can be used both recreationally and therapeutically with amazing results! It is a magical place for the children. Often children with special needs are limited on land. In the water they are freer to stand, walk and swim. In time, they are even sometimes able to out-perform or equal their peers and siblings in the water.

Laura and Megan evaluate kids on land first, in a private setting. They meet with parents and children, obtain a medical history, performs a physical exam, and begin to build a relationship with the children. Previous exposure to water and skill level in the water are discussed. Additional sessions and evaluations take place in the water.

The environment is important for recovery and learning. Laura and Megan use a 90-degree therapeutic pool and a children’s play pool at the Beede Center in Concord. Important as that is, they always recommends that children continue to receive land-based services to practice movements that they are developing in the water.

Problems that can be helped by water therapy are hypotonia (low tone), hypertonia (stiffness), weakness, range of motion limitations, respiratory problems, sensory-perceptual difficulties and balance problems. Laura and Megan have worked with children who have spina bifida, cerebral palsy, severe mental retardation, autism, spinal muscular atrophy, muscular dystrophy, postoperative issues, head injuries, deafness, blindness, prematurity, and severe disabilities.

Safety is also critical to success. Laura and Megan incorporate seven essential safety skills that include rhythmic breathing, supine float, supine recovery, prone float, prone recovery, rolling, and changing directions. Teaching these safety skills also allows Laura and Megan to work on therapeutic goals and address the problems mentioned above.

Laura says “It has been incredibly rewarding to work with children with severe disabilities over the years who have become safe and proficient swimmers and are now able to use the water as a form of lifelong exercise and recreation. Kids get out of their wheelchairs and do things that they never dreamed were possible. Their lives are transformed!”

As the parent of a child with SMA, I have become so accustomed to doctors, clinicians and educators talking to me about limitations. Our experiences with Laura have been the polar opposite. While making every effort to understand our son and his medical needs fully, she focuses on all the things he can do and where we can push past his current limitations. Working with Laura always makes him feel strong, confident and happy. To see the look on his face when he gets to really move on his own – his whole body rolling and dancing in the water, is pure joy. We have found Laura’s knowledge, skill and dedication to be both unique and downright magical.

~ Kate, Mother, Natick, MA


Progressive exercises in shallow and deep water are performed at varying levels of intensity and duration using specialized equipment. Treatment programs may integrate water and land therapeutic exercises to help achieve land-based rehabilitation goals.

The properties of the water including neutral warmth, buoyancy, reduction of gravity, hydrostatic pressure, viscosity and resistance provide the following benefits:

  • Accelerated recovery
  • Early weight bearing progression
  • Less pressure on joints
  • Maintenance of fitness
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness and endurance
  • Increased strength
  • Postural stabilization
  • Increased range of motion and flexibility
  • Decreased pain, swelling, and muscle spasm
  • Increased circulation
  • Safe place to train balance, coordination, and agility
  • Increased proprioceptive and kinesthetic input
  • Improved body awareness and body mechanics
  • Increased relaxation, positive self image, and positive attitude

Water therapy can be used to treat problems associated with:

  • Poliomyelitis
  • Hemiplegia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cerebellar Ataxia
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Developmental Delay
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Muscle Atrophy
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Amputations
  • Visual/Auditory Impairment
  • Mental Illness
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Traumatic Head Injury
  • Chronic Pain Disorders
  • Myelopathies
  • Cancer
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Pre and Post Natal
  • Muscle Strains
  • Joint Replacements
  • Low Back Pain
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • COPD
  • Injuries
  • Post Surgery
  • CVA (stroke)
  • Fractures
  • Asthma
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Autism
Manual Therapy

Advanced manual therapy techniques are hands-on skills and techniques used to address problems associated with soft tissue and musculoskeletal dysfunction. Laura and Megan have advanced training in the following techniques:

  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Friction Massage
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Joint and Spinal Mobilization
  • Craniosacral Therapy
  • Myofascial Release
  • Strain/Counterstrain
  • Muscle Energy Techniques


Modalities are used to help relax tissue, improve circulation, decrease pain and swelling. They are often used in conjunction with manual therapy techniques. Laura and Megan have the following modalities available:

  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Ultrasound
  • Heat
  • Ice
  • Whirlpool

Manual therapy can be used to treat problems associated with:

  • Arthritis
  • Calcium Deposits
  • Headaches
  • Bursitis & Tendonitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders
  • Levator Syndrome
  • Coccydinea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Sudecks Atrophy
  • Dupuytren Contracture
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Plantar Fascitis
  • Chrondromalacia Patella
  • Fractures
  • Epicondylitis
  • Peripheral Joint Pain
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Whiplash
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Muscle Sprains
  • Postural & Mobility Problems
  • Respiratory Diaphragm Dysfunction
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction