Watsu and acute mental health

The Acute Therapy team in Wakefield is part of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The team provide an integrated therapy service to three adult in-patient wards.

In 2015 the team commenced training in Watsu therapy. Watsu is Shiatsu in water.

The service user is immersed in warm water and whilst being held and supported by the therapist is gently moved, stretched and massaged.

This therapy is relatively new to the UK and as far as we can establish we are the first team to be offering it in an in-patient mental health setting. There is a growing evidence base of its efficacy across a wide range of physical health conditions, however it is the benefits to mental health and wellbeing that became the focus of our interest. The evidence suggests that Watsu increases mobility and flexibility throughout the body, promotes relaxation, decreases stress, reduces pain and promotes better sleep, therefore providing an integrated mental and physical, mind, body, spirit approach to patient care.

One of the service users who has experienced this therapy said – 'Watsu gives you time to reflect and helps you see things in a different light. It reaches to touch your emotions and guides you towards what is good in your life. Everyone’s lives are so rushed – but with Watsu you are given the time to go slowly and think about your recovery'.

For more information please contact Helen Anderson, Specialist Physiotherapist, [email protected], or Paula Rylatt, Innovation Development Manager, [email protected] / @rylatt_paula. Both @allofusinmind
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