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Aquatherapy

Aquatic Exercises ®
Watsu
Information Kit

No. 70 20th Avenue, Project 4, Quezon City, Philippines


Telephone #: (+632) 4916287, (+632) 9127433
Fax #: (+632) 9130105
Mobile: (+63922)-859-6221
E-mail: info@qualitylifediscoveries.com
Website: www.qualitylifediscoveries.com
Aquatherapy
Health and fitness
Water provides the ideal environment to develop and maintain functional health. The natural buoyancy of water reduces
weight-bearing stress, allowing greater ease of movement with less impact on joints and muscles. The increased density of
water creates even and fluid resistance, toning and strengthening muscles with greater balance and efficiency. Whatever your
current level of physical activity, water exercise is an excellent way to improve fitness, maintain health and restore vitality.

Training and conditioning


As individuals, the unique physical properties of water provide support, resistance and assistance to help you achieve your
training and conditioning goals. Running in deep water reduces weight bearing stress by 90% and equals land running in its
effect upon maintaining VO2 max when training intensities and frequencies are matched. The positive effects of water training
go beyond joint off-loading and cardiovascular fitness. By harnessing the increased resistance of water, runners and athletes
can maximize their sport-specific strength gains required for competition.
Therapy and rehabilitation
Doctors, patients and therapists recognize that aquatic therapy is an important component of any effective physical
therapy program. Early intervention is the key. The body must move to maintain function and promote healing. Water's
unique combination of buoyancy and resistance cushions and supports movement allowing exercise to be self paced while
providing a soothing distraction from pain and stress. If you suffer from arthritis, the hydrostatic pressure of water helps
stimulate circulation and reduce inflammation, relieving joint pain and discomfort.

Group Exercises (Aqua Aerobics, Aqua Balance, Aqua Toning, etc.) Regulated Pool Recreation

Aquatherapy is a special branch of physical therapy that utilizes water (aquatics) as a medium where individuals
can perform physical exercises that can restore bodily functions and promote overall well-being.

For centuries, several properties of water (chemical, thermal and mechanical) have been used therapeutically.
But it was not until the 20th century when it was realized that other physical properties of water can improve
circulation, muscle tone, physical strength and endurance, range of motion, and balance and coordination. To a
large extent, the effectiveness of aquatics or pool therapy depends on the skills of the therapist working with the
patient and his understanding of the physical forces which operate in water. We have highly trained professionals
who can facilitate aquatic exercises in an effective and safe manner.

Therapeutic Effects Indications


Individualized Programs catering
- Sedative effects because of the - Sensory Disorders - Motor Learning to various age groups.
warmth of the water - Limited Range of Motion - Orthopedic Injuries / Trauma
- Provides easy mobilization of - Weakness - Obesity
affected and unaffected parts - Poor Motor Coordination - Prenatal
- Relieves cerebral congestion - Pain - Neurological (MS)
because of the dilation of the - Spasticity - Osteoporosis
peripheral blood vessels - Perceptual/Spatial Problems - Rheumatology (Arthritis/Fibromyalgia)
- Provides an avenue where - Balance Deficits
patients can be treated safely to - Respiratory Problems
meet the exercise requirements at - Circulatory Problems
an earlier date than would - Depression/Poor Self-Esteem
otherwise be possible - Cardiac Diseases Available for enrollment at
- Joint Replacement QUALITY LIFE DISCOVERIES
®
Watsu
What is WATSU®?
Watsu is a gentle form of body therapy performed
in warm water, (around 35oC.) It combines
elements of massage, joint mobilisation, shiatsu,
muscle stretching and dance. The receiver is
continuously supported while being floated,
cradled, rocked and stretched. The deeply relaxing
effects of warm water and nurturing support,
combine with Watsu's movements, stretches,
massage and point work, to create a bodywork
with a range of therapeutic benefits and potential
healing on many levels.

Moments of stillness alternate with rhythmical


flowing movements, which free the body in ways
impossible on land. The warm water relaxes the
muscles and supports the spine. With this support
and without the weight of the body, the spine,
joints and muscles can be manipulated and freed
in a way unique to water work. The effects include
a very gentle, yet deep stretching and a release of
muscular and joint restrictions, along with a state
of deep relaxation, which encourages the release
of stress and tensions. What does WATSU® do? What are the benefits?
Worldwide Watsu is currently provided in many Many clients will come with a specific focus (e.g. Immediate benefits from the first session:
international health and wellness spas as well as in pain syndromes, post injury or post surgery, ? increased range of motion
aquatic physiotherapy programmes. It is finding specific movement restrictions)...while others ? increased muscle relaxation
countless applications in therapy, aiding recovery seek Watsu for the experience of relaxation, ? decreased muscle spasm
from injury, relieving muscular and joint pain and blissful letting go, time-out, and quiet meditative ? decreased spasticity
encouraging movement and flexibility. In addition stillness it can induce. ? decreased pain
many are enjoying sharing Watsu's simpler moves Long-term benefits after multiple sessions:
with family and friends. At practitioner level it can Specific therapeutic effects noted by receivers, ? improved sleep patterns
stand alone as a therapy or be used as a wonderful include increased mobility and flexibility, muscle ? improved digestion
complement to therapeutic work on land. Watsu is relaxation, fuller deeper breathing, reduction in ? improved healing and immune system
now available in Manila through Quality Life anxiety and stress levels, decreased pain, response
Discoveries. improved sleep and digestion and a general sense ? greater decreases in pain
of wellbeing. ? decreased anxiety
? many clients report a decrease in their
Each person's experience is unique and varied, for emotional pain
many the focus will be on the physical effects of
letting go, relaxing, the gentle full body stretches, Many clients come with a specific focus
freeing the spine and joints. Others might (orthopedic, neurologic and behavioral
experience emotions, new personal insights conditions)... while others seek Watsu just for the
and/or resurfacing of old memories. Many experience of relaxation, blissful letting go, time-
receivers will remark on the deep sense of beauty, out, and quiet meditative stillness it can induce.
or lightness, ease and grace experienced during
their Watsu; or a sense of nurturing, safety,
relaxation, maybe at a level never felt before or
remembered from 'long ago'. The way Watsu is
experienced is as varied as individuals themselves
and so there is no right or wrong way to receive,
practitioners do not 'push' any particular aspect,
but simply listen and allow and support whatever
the receivers experience is in any particular Available for enrollment at
session.
QUALITY LIFE DISCOVERIES
At the Heart of Watsu
By Harold Dull

I continue to be in awe of the connection we feel when we co-ordinate stay longer in their coherence in and out of the water. For some the way
our breathing and float someone level with our heart center. Research at on land may be recalling being watsued, letting everything go into that
the Institute of HeartMath sheds light on what I’ve called a ‘heart wrap’ flow. Those who experienced giving Watsu may return to that state by
ever since I began developing Watsu twenty years ago. watsuing others in their heart-mind. The author, Alma Flor, once told us
how she ‘watsued’ her academic colleagues as they argued around a
Listening in on the heart, and tracking its effects, researchers confirm table ... and whole audiences as she lectured to them. If, as they say at
what traditional cultures take for granted. The heart has a mind. Its forty HeartMath, not being able to forgive someone can keep us from
thousand neurons store information and make decisions. Through nerves, coherence, what better partners could we have in our arms than those
pulse, hormones and an electromagnetic field five thousand times we most need to forgive? Imagine a city in which everybody walks down
stronger, the heart communicates with the brain, and every part of the the street lovingly watsuing each other.
body.
The way I find to return to the coherence of Watsu on land is to sink into
When someone feels the kinds of feelings often felt during a Watsu- care the emptiness that we sink into at the bottom of the breath in the Water
… appreciation … love … the variability in the Heart’s rhythms show up as Breath Dance. In HeartMath I finally find an explanation for the wave that
regularly recurring waves. The heart is the body’s strongest oscillator. The vibrates my body when I sink deepest into that emptiness. It is the body’s
same waves show up in the brain, respiration, and other systems. This entrainment to the heart’s coherent rhythm. Because I often feel it
coherence allows the heart to fulfill its role as the manager of our initiated at the level of the heart when I embrace a friend and ‘listen’ to
emotions. Entrained to the heart, the brain can focus on areas where its his or her heart with my heart, I’ve been calling it a heart-bodywave. We
more analytical intelligence is needed. Our overall creativity is enhanced. occasionally see this wave in someone when, after strong stretches and
moves, we bring him or her home to the stillness of the Water Breath
Those at HeartMath also find that under stress these waves become Dance. It was my own experience of this the first time someone floated
chaotic and disconnected. When we experience (or recall) anger the me at Harbin Hot Springs, and wanting to share it with others, that
chaotic rhythms continue for many hours afterwards. In this chaotic state started me developing Watsu, incorporating the stretches and moves of
our immune system is weakened and our sympathetic, fight or flight, the Zen Shiatsu that I practiced and taught there.
nervous system over-activated. The perpetuation of this state, and the
increasing difficulty to return to coherence, underlies most of our modern Our waves resonate with those we float. At HeartMath they record the
illnesses. change of rhythms in people touching and find resonances that point to
some kind of shared coherence (a coherence I feel as rising to, resonating
The nurturing holding and gentle movement of Watsu can bring both with, everything).
giver and receiver into heart coherence. I have always felt that the
connection that comes with our ‘heart wrap’ is a connection to Their research makes it clearer what is at the heart of Watsu. My heart
everything, a oneness, a level of being from which we can look with mind feels understood. We can all have a little more clarity about the
equanimity on what would otherwise disturb us. I realize now that that is waves our love is making in the world.
heart coherence. If the person in our arms is in their own coherence, it
may be a unique opportunity for them to let whatever they have been
suppressing, or obsessing on, with the emotionally incompetent brain,
find a place in the heart’s understanding. In Watsu we call this ‘letting
things go into the flow’. We never interrupt a Watsu to ask what is wrong
when we see tears come to someone’s eyes. At the end of a session, we
never pry for details. Asking someone to recall events behind whatever
came up may throw them back into the chaotic state that Watsu has been
leading them away from, and undo Watsu’s most valuable gift. Watsu is at
the opposite pole from therapies that posit reliving past traumas or
catharsis as the way to release them, something that those at HeartMath Harold Dull, BA ,MA , is the president of the Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork
also find counterproductive. Association, and the creator of Watsu, Tantsu, Co - centering and Watsu CQ.
Harold has trained with the foremost Zen Shiatsu teacher in Japan, Shizuto
Masunaga (author of “Zen Shiatsu”), and the two foremost teachers in America,
Since both giving and receiving Watsu enhances one’s ability to move into Reuho Yamada and Wataru Ohashi. The profundity and effectiveness of the
coherence, the next step to further the healing received from Watsu is to bodywork forms he has created reflect his passionate practice and deep
understanding of energy and the body; the creativity of these forms reflects his
share it with others. I realize now that the ‘presence’ we look for in our background as a poet in the San Francisco Renaissance. His current book
Watsu students is heart coherence. Our earlier trainings burdened our “Watsu: Freeing the Body in Water” is an eloquent testament to the power of
students with too much material. The stress of learning so much kept both his writing and his bodywork. Harold speaks several languages, which
allows him to teach his work all over the world.
them in a chaotic state that made it difficult to develop presence. A few He has been honored with the International Aquatics Award from the United
years ago this changed when I introduced the Water Breath Dance. Its States Water Fitness Association; honored at the National Aquatic Exercise
breath connected heart wrap in which giver and receiver surrender Conference in Japan; and in 1998 received the Tsunami Spirit Award f rom the
Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute.
together to the water helps students develop presence from the
beginning. This move (or non-move), and the way we come ‘home’ to it
Watsu today is currently being used as a modality not only in various spa/healing
throughout a session, distinguishes Watsu from other forms of water
institutions but also in aquatic rehabilitation centers around the world because of
work. It brings into reach our goal of making the benefits of both giving its benefits not only for well clients but most importanty for the special needs
and receiving the simple forms of Watsu available to everybody. population. It is currently available in Manila through Quality Life Discoveries.

The HeartMath findings show us why we have taken the direction we


have and point to the work that lies ahead- helping people access and
Benefits of Watsu® For People With Orthopedic, Neurologic
And Rheumatologic Special Needs
By Peggy Schoedinger, PT

Watsu is a passive form of aquatic bodywork/therapy that supports Benefits of Watsu:


and gently moves a person through warm water in graceful, fluid
movements. Watsu promotes a deep state of relaxation with Therapists utilizing Watsu as part of their aquatic therapy treatment
dramatic changes in the autonomic nervous system. Through programs report the following improvements in their clients:
quieting the sympathetic and enhancing the parasympathetic
nervous systems, Watsu has profound effects on the neuromuscular 1. Immediate Benefits With First Session
system. These changes benefit clients with a wide variety of special a. increased range of motion
needs. b. increased muscle relaxation
c. decreased muscle spasm
The sympatholytic effects of Watsu lead to enhancement of the d. decreased spasticity
parasympathetic nervous system. Physiological changes then occur e. decreased pain
throughout the body. These changes may include: 2. Long-term Benefits After Multiple Sessions
1. Decreased heart rate a. improved sleep patterns
2. Decreased rate of respiration b. improved digestion
3. Increased depth of respiration c. improved healing and immune system response
4. Increased peripheral vasodilatation d. greater decreases in pain
5. Increased smooth muscle activity (digestion) e. decreased anxiety
6. Decreased activation of striated muscles (skeletal) f. many clients report a decrease in their emotional pain
7. Decreased spasticity
8. Decreased muscle spasm Any healthcare professional who utilizes bodywork as part of his/her
9. Decreased Reticular Activating System activity practice will benefit from learning Watsu. Some professionals will
10.Enhanced immune system response utilize Watsu as the primary intervention in their treatment
programs. Others will find their clients benefit the most when
Orthopedic and Rheumatologic Special Needs: Watsu is used as just a portion of the treatment program or as part of
each treatment session. Therapists find Watsu to be especially
Watsu helps decrease muscle tension and increase range of motion. beneficial for clients who are having difficulty with functional, daily
The support of the water provides relief from compression forces in life skills secondary to pain, stiffness, muscle spasm or spasticity.
the joints. The movements through the water provide gentle
stretching into all ranges for the spine and extremities while these Watsu is being incorporated into aquatic therapy treatment
joints are unloaded. Soft tissue and joint mobilization techniques programs in hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation centers around the
may also be incorporated into a Watsu session. world. Therapists are impressed by the benefits for so many of their
clients. Some of the many populations who have benefited include
Clients report decreased pain as Watsu decreases their muscle those with traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, strokes,
spasm and muscle guarding, increases their range of motion, and Parkinson’s Disease, arthritis, cerebral palsy, chronic pain,
promotes profound relaxation. Many clients also report a decrease fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis, post mastectomy, post thoracic
in their emotional pain. surgery, and post traumatic stress disorder.

Neurologic Special Needs: Many clients report that nothing else is as effective in decreasing
their pain and improving their ability to move.
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.

Internationally known speaker, Peggy Schoedinger, PT, is the owner of Aquatic Therapy Innovations, Inc. in Boulder, Colorado. Peggy has over 20
years of extensive experience developing comprehensive aquatic therapy programs for neurologic, orthopedic, sports medicine and pediatric
patient populations. Since 1990, Peggy has taught over 300 aquatic therapy seminars for therapists at facilities across North and South America,
Europe and Asia. Her seminars are tailored to the needs of each facility. She teaches a full range of over 30 topics and techniques including Bad
Ragaz, Halliwick, Watsu®, Jahara Technique, trunk stabilization, and aquatic manual therapy techniques for patients with neurologic and
orthopedic impairments.Peggy is a certified Watsu instructor for levels I, II and III. She specializes in teaching therapists and practitioners how to use
and adapt Watsu for clients with special needs. Peggy is an Advanced Jahara Technique Specialist, and is certified in Halliwick Levels I and II and
The Bad Ragaz Ring Method. In addition to her private practice and teaching, Peggy is an aquatic therapy consultant at multiple rehabilitation
centers, and a lecturer for university PT programs. Her frequent international trips allow her to stay abreast with the latest techniques and information
from around the globe.