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 30 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 20 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. Alison attended the 12-day Modular Aquatic Therapy Course in Valens, Switzerland, and is certified in Bad Ragaz Ring Method and Halliwick Water Specific Therapy. She is certified with 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 various newsletters 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 and the Physiotherapy Canada journal.


In addition to her work with CARI, Alison is  the Academic Program Coordinator for the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging Program at the University of Toronto, a lecturer at the University of Toronto, and guest lecturer at McMaster University. Alison is a long-standing member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and is presently on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association.  She has presented her thesis work 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