WATSU® is the principal form of Aquatic Therapy for rehabilitation. It promotes deep relaxation, quieting the sympathetic and enhancing the parasympathetic nervous systems. It has profound beneficial effects for physical and psycho-emotional trauma, with the therapeutic application for neuromuscular injuries, stress, chronic pain, discomfort during pregnancy, and special needs.

Watsu is a passive form of aquatic bodywork/therapy that supports and gently moves a person through warm water in graceful, fluid movements. WATSU® promotes a deep state of relaxation with dramatic changes in the autonomic nervous system. Through quieting the sympathetic and enhancing the parasympathetic nervous systems, WATSU® has profound effects on the neuromuscular system. These changes benefit clients with a wide variety of special needs.

The sympatholytic effects of WATSU® lead to enhancement of the parasympathetic nervous system. Physiological changes then occur throughout the body. These changes may include:

  1. Decreased heart rate
  2. Decreased rate of respiration
  3. Increased depth of respiration
  4. Increased peripheral vasodilatation
  5. Increased smooth muscle activity (digestion)
  6. Decreased activation of striated muscles (skeletal)
  7. Decreased spasticity
  8. Decreased muscle spasm
  9. Decreased Reticular Activating System activity
  10. Enhanced immune system response

Orthopedic and Rheumatologic Special Needs:

Watsu helps decrease muscle tension and increase range of motion. The support of the water provides relief from compression forces in the joints. The movements through the water provide gentle stretching into all ranges for the spine and extremities while these joints are unloaded. Soft tissue and joint mobilization techniques may also be incorporated into a WATSU® session.

Clients report decreased pain as WATSU® decreases their muscle spasm and muscle guarding, increase their range of motion, and promotes profound relaxation. Many clients also report a decrease in their emotional pain.

Neurologic Special Needs:

Watsu helps decrease hypertonicity, including spasticity and rigidity. The rhythmical, gentle rocking motions in warm water coupled with the repeated trunk rotation and trunk elongation are helpful in decreasing abnormal muscle tone.

Benefits of Watsu:

Therapists utilizing WATSU® as part of their aquatic therapy treatment programs report the following improvements in their clients:

  1. Immediate Benefits With First Session
    • increased range of motion
    • increased muscle relaxation
    • decreased muscle spasm
    • decreased spasticity
    • decreased pain
  2. Long-term Benefits After Multiple Sessions
    • improved sleep patterns
    • improved digestion
    • improved healing and immune system response
    • greater decreases in pain
    • decreased anxiety
    • many clients report a decrease in their emotional pain

This therapy is only applied onsite at your location. Please speak to a therapist to arrange a complimentary consultation and scheduling.