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Alison Bonnyman, IATF cert, MScRS, BScPT

Founder CARI 

Teaching Team Member - CARI


Alison Bonnyman is the founder and lead instructor for the Canadian Aquatic Rehabilitation Instructors. Alison has over 35 years of clinical experience, working as a physical therapist in hospitals and private clinics in Canada. Her clinical work and expertise has focused on orthopaedics, long term care, and chronic neurological conditions.   


For the last 25 years Alison has developed a growing private aquatic therapy practice providing individual treatment and assessment, group treatment programs, as well as acting as a community aquatic exercise consultant. She has developed condition specific aquatic programs for individuals and other treatment providers, as well as developed specialized group aquatic programs for municipalities. In 2012, Alison attended the 12-day Modular Aquatic Therapy Course in Valens, Switzerland, and is certified in Bad Ragaz Ring Method, Halliwick Water Specific Therapy and Ai Chi. She is an associate member of the International Aquatic Therapy Faculty, IATF. She has attended International Congress of Evidence-Based Aquatic Therapy (ICEBAT), Aquatic Therapy Rehab Institute (ATRI) and Aquatic Therapy University (ATU) conferences and courses.


Alison has a Bachelor of Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Rehabilitation Science from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Alison has also completed numerous post graduate courses including advanced education in orthopaedics, spinal care and aquatic therapy. Alison’s Masters thesis assessed the impact of aquatic therapy on the bone geometry of women with osteoporosis. A link to the thesis can be found under the publications tab.


Alison has written for numerous publications such as the Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute (APTEI), the Oncology Division and the Senior’s Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), Osteo-Circuit Newsletter, Arthritis Society, Osteoporosis Canada, Costco Magazine and the Physiotherapy Canada journal. She recently provided clinical instruction for the Australian Physiotherapy Association Level 3 Aquatic Therapy Course. 


Alison is the Canadian Physiotherapy Association representative in the International Organization of Aquatic Physical Therapists. She has actively volunteered for the Ontario Physiotherapy Association and was 4 years on the OPA Board of Directors.  She has presented on various topics, primarily Aquatic Therapy, at the annual CPA and OPA Conferences across Canada. She is a member-in-good-standing with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.


If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. 

Loran Eisely, The Immense Journey, 1957


Nature tops the list of potent tranquilizers and stress reducers. The mere sound of moving water has been shown to lower blood pressure. 

Patch Adams, 1988


Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.

Lao Tzu, Taoist Philosopher, 600 BC

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