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Watsu professional training

Do you love water and want to learn to work in it, with it?
Do you want to learn a massage technique that is based in zero gravity, permitting tridimensional movements that would otherwise not be possible to complete, liberating the body and the mind?
Discover Watsu!

Training with the International School of Watsu gives you the tools and qualifications to do just that.

Watsu is the Aquatic Therapy that allows the body to move in 3 dimensions in the absence of gravity and in absolute thermal comfort (water is heated to 34 degrees).

Whether you are a fish in the water, or if you do not know how to swim; whether you are an expert body worker / therapist or if you have never dared to give a massage, Watsu will surprise you and get you hooked!

 

The ISWatsu Training Program

The Professional Watsu qualification facilitated by the International School of Watsu is a non-regulated program. The team of the International School of Watsu has been providing Watsu training for amateurs and for professionals since 2003 guaranteeing unbeatable experience in this field.

The Professional Watsu Course is split into three levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Each level comprises several modules (hands-on, practical training in pool, theory courses, individual and group assessments, practice session in the pool and professional sessions to receive).

To attend a Beginners Course, there are no prerequisites, as professional training in Watsu is complete in itself. All the necessary training skills, to become a Professional Watsu Therapist, are integral to the course.

Some professionals like Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Shiatsu professionals and other manual therapists may be able to credit some modules of their prior training towards their Professional Watsu qualification allowing them to complete the Professional Watsu Curriculum in a shorter time frame than people who have no prior therapy experience. The specific situation of each applicant will be assessed on a case by case basis.

 

Who is it for?

Watsu training is intended for all people wanting to explore the aquatic environment from a new perspective and learn about the therapeutic advantages it offers.

A professional training in Watsu is the natural step for all health professionals (for example physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, psychomotricists and special education teachers) who want to acquire skills in aquatic therapy, opening the doors to facilitating the benefits of rehabilitation in water to their patients.

Many wellness - and complementary therapy professionals, such as Shiatsu practitioners, Thai massage therapist and therapists of the spa business - find in Watsu a way to deepen and broaden their understanding of the aquatic world, enriching the palette of healing techniques that can be offered.

Personal and professional coaches, working with high performance athletes, trust in Watsu to reduce the physical recovery time following competitions and between training sessions. Watsu is also recognized and used for increasing concentration levels and maintain an optimal balance between the mind and the physical, cultivating a positive and optimistic attitude. Watsu is part of the training program of some Olympic teams from Eastern Europe.

The Professional Watsu Course is also intended for all aid - relationship professionals, such as psychologists, psychotherapists, Gestalt therapists, perinatal therapists, family therapists, etc. Buoyancy provided by the water element, such as the gentle embrace of the therapist, a Watsu signature, makes this therapy a powerful tool, facilitating healing of a wide range of pathologies (see studies on the use of Watsu with orphan children, war veterans with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and victims of violence and/or abuse).

Midwives, doulas and all practitioners in the maternity field: water is the ideal environment to work with pregnant women and Watsu provides the tools to do it effectively and effortlessly. Buoyancy in warm water and the resulting sensation of weightlessness can be very energy-restoring and alleviate pains as the spine and joints are discharged from the body weight. Equally, on an emotional level, the link to the unborn child becomes more vivid through the aquatic environment. Our embryonic experiences are “stored” on a cellular level. The experience of holding and being held in water activates this cellular memory and with it, our ability to make the unconscious conscious.

 

Training - Where do I start?

I AM A BEGINNER

I have no previous experience of body work

Full training duration = 300 hours of practical, pool-based training + 200 hours classroom training.

Two qualifications are offered:

WATSU PROFESSIONAL: (+info)

intermediate Watsu qualification comprising 300 training hours of which 200 are practical, pool-based classes and 100 hours are classroom training in anatomy and Shiatsu. It is achieved after successfully completing the Demonstration of Proficiency exam. This Certificate authorizes to offer professional Watsu services for a 3-year period. Continuing Professional Education is required to maintain the validity of the title. The average time to get this certification is 2 years.

It is possible to transfer credits from other body work qualifications to fulfil the requirements of anatomy and Shiatsu. Each application to transfer credits is assessed on a case by case basis.

After developing experience as a Watsu Professional it is possible to get accredited with the Watsu Advanced Professional Certificate: continuing professional development education will provide the basis and module requirements to bridge the gap from the Watsu Professional Certificate.

WATSU ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL: (+info)

The Advanced Level Watsu Qualification (500 hours of which 300 hours are practical water based training and 200 are classroom education comprising anatomy and Shiatsu) is awarded after successfully completing the Final Exam. This certificate certifies full training and authorizes the practice as a Watsu Advanced Professional. Student's average time to achieve this qualification varies between 3 to 4 years.

It is possible to transfer credits from other body work qualifications to fulfil the requirements of anatomy and Shiatsu and those of elective water courses. Each application to transfer credits is assessed on a case by case basis.

After developing experience as a Watsu Advanced Professional and being able to demonstrate a successful professional practice in the field, it is possible to commence the Watsu Instructor training path.

 

step1Watsu 1 (50h) : W-Basic (16h) + W-Transition Flow (34h)

In the first stage of Watsu 1, you learn Watsu's Tai Chi-like basic moves and positions and how, staying grounded and connected with the breath, you can let the water do the work and reduce your effort. Continuously returning to the Water Breath Dance, you will find the stillness that is the ground of presence.
In the second section (the Transition Flow) you learn to connect these basic moves and positions with long gracefully flowing transitions. You learn to adapt this flow to people of all sizes, shapes and dispositions. You learn about your own body mechanics - how to support and move each person as effortlessly as possible in the water. On land you will explore what being held means to you and others.

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step1Minimum 10 free practice sessions (10h)

Minimum 10 session to give to any receiver.

The purpose of the free practice sessions is to fully integrate the course taught material and to develop the required motor skills to ensure a fluid Watsu experience.

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step15 Sessions to receive from Watsu Advanced Professionals

Minimum 5 sessions to receive from a qualified Professional (*).

Each student must log all professional sessions to receive. The purpose is to have a personal experience of receiving Watsu in order to be able to distil from it an important personal life learning that can be transferred in his/her future professional practice. (How could anybody give something that they have never deeply experience themselves in the first place?)

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step1Watsu Clinic Masterclass 1 (34h)

The objective of this course is to increase and hone your technical skills to the maximum, as well as improve your ability to stay present during the entire session.

The first part is focused on review and perfect the head support technique with the objective of dramatically improving your ability to provide a smooth, soft and silky support, which at the same time is safe, provides ideal alignment and facilitates freedom of the receiver while remaining unperceived as a giver.

A review of the anatomy and physiology of the breath will expand your awareness of the importance of being able to follow our receiver’s breath along the whole session.

Learning to apply new subtle, technical nuances you will improve your ability to perceive, connect and follow -or whenever needed, drive- the breath of any receiver, from the very first moment of their floatation, till the end of the session, thus creating a more solid basis for your “Presence” as a Watsu Practitioner.

The second part of the course is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of your Watsu sessions. We will analyse the objective of the fundamental moves of Watsu 1, observing how the effect on the receiver’s body changes as the movement is done in different ways. We will discuss their pro- and contras- depending on the specific physical condition of the receiver, thus increasing your awareness and ability to adapt your style to the true needs of the client.

We will care to have you integrate the most effective body mechanics. This will guarantee that you will keep your own body safe so that you will be able to share your Watsu for many, many years.

You will have several opportunities to work one-on-one with the instructors, receiving from them and giving them sessions, subsequently receiving their valuable feedback! These didactics allows to further deepen the knowledge and to discover the finest details and tricks to offer a 5-stars Watsu 1 session.

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step1Optional: Mastering Professional Skills Module A (30 h)

The MPS workshop programme allows you to transform hours of supervised practices into credits transferable as aquatic courses. The MPS comprise a certain number of session to give (to any receiver), a number of sessions to receive from fellow students of the same- or higher- level, plus two “review sessions” given to a superintendent of the school. Once all sessions are logged, the MPS hours are transferred in the student's curriculum as elective training hours.

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step1Optional: Supervision of W-1 and/or W-Clinic-1

Supervisions are one-on-one private classes with an Instructor or an Assistant Instructor. During an individual supervision you will benefit from your instructor's undivided attention and will work on reviewing those areas you need to hone in order to better progress to the next level of your training. It also possible to attend a group supervision with a reduced number of fellow students.

During supervision you can work both on technical aspects of your Watsu, as well as on your skills in creating an effective professional relation with your clients.

Two hours of Group Supervision equals to one hour of Individual Supervision, due to the variance in attention.

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step1Zen Shiatsu and Meridian Stretching 1 (50h)

*Note: this course is not required for students who have already a Certification as Shiatsu practitioners. All other body work Professionals will require basic training in Shiatsu.

The course and its content have been organized to meet the requirements of the training program for Watsu Professionals, providing the tools for understanding the basic concepts and techniques of Shiatsu that, once transposed in water, gave birth to Watsu.

The course is aimed at anyone wanting to learn the basics of Zen Shiatsu and Meridian Stretching such as the fundamentals of Chinese Medical Philosophy.

This beginner level course explores the concepts of Centering and Grounding (make use of Hara), Presence and Quality of pressure; fundamentals for an effective practice on land and in the water. With individual or couple based exercises, the basic Zen Stretches sequence (aka “diagnostic sequence”) is learned, as well as a full Shiatsu kata in prone, complemented by some dynamic variations taken from advanced level katas.

The beginner level also incorporates a rich introduction to the fundamentals of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), where the concepts of Qi (vital energy), Yin and Yang, the five elements, the sequence of creation, distribution and use of Qi in the human body, as well as the Ke and Sheng cycles (generation and control) are presented. Part of the program is also a familiarization of the function and location of the 12 meridians.

At the end of the course, attendees will be able to give a simple, but complete Shiatsu treatment in the prone position (approximately 45-60 minutes) that is designed to be shared and enjoyed with family and friends.

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step1Anatomy, Physiology and Biomechanics 1 (50h)

Bases and fundamentals of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics for aquatic bodywork professionals.

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step1Watsu 2 (50h)

Watsu 2 builds on the "Transitional Flow" concept introduced in Watsu 1. New movements and specific body work techniques are taught in a variety of ways, such that these can be incorporated as needed. The concept of Shiatsu points and meridians are presented, and how these are applied in Watsu paying attention to ensure that the moves accompany the natural motion of each body. The experience acquired in the use of shiatsu points, elevations, thrusts and stretches in this section help to increase the ability to perform an effective energy work. Prior to continuing with your Watsu training, it is important to become at ease with all the material learned to date and understanding how intuitively use the material in its entirety to deliver a fluid and effective Watsu session.

Read more ...Open the Calendar

step1Minimum 10 free practice sessions (10h)

Minimum 10 session to give to any receiver.

The purpose of the free practice sessions is to fully integrate the course taught material and to develop the required motor skills to ensure a fluid Watsu experience.

Read more ...Open the Calendar

step15 Sessions to receive from Watsu Advanced Professionals

Minimum 5 sessions to receive from a qualified Professional (*).

Each student must log all professional sessions to receive. The purpose is to have a personal experience of receiving Watsu in order to be able to distil from it an important personal life learning that can be transferred in his/her future professional practice. (How could anybody give something that they have never deeply experience themselves in the first place?)

Read more ...Open the Calendar

step1Watsu Clinic Masterclass 2 (16h)

The objective of this improver's course , designed as a Continuing Education for Professionals or those who have had at least one W-2 is to extend and refine technical proficiency and to significantly increase skill and efficiency levels when using the “sitting” positions (Saddles and Figure 4).

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step1Optional: Mastering Professional Skills Module B (20 h)

The MPS workshop programme allows you to transform hours of supervised practices into credits transferable as aquatic courses. The MPS comprise a certain number of session to give (to any receiver), a number of sessions to receive from fellow students of the same- or higher- level, plus two “review sessions” given to a superintendent of the school. Once all sessions are logged, the MPS hours are transferred in the student's curriculum as elective training hours.

Read more ...Open the Calendar

step1Zen Shiatsu and Meridian Stretching 2 (50h)

In the second level of the Meridian Stretching training the dynamic stretches are presented. These advanced “unlocking forms”, used to unleash the energy in the network of meridians, build on the material mastered in the beginner level course. A supine Shiatsu sequence is incorporated at this level. This course is designed to delve deeper into body and energetic awareness.

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step1Anatomy, Physiology and Biomechanics 2 (50h)

Basics and fundamentals of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics to for aquatic body work professionals is presented.

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step1Supervision of W-2 and W-Clinic-2

Supervisions are one-on-one private classes with an Instructor or an Assistant Instructor. During an individual supervision you will benefit from your instructor's undivided attention and will work on reviewing those areas you need to hone in order to better progress to the next level of your training. It also possible to attend a group supervision with a reduced number of fellow students.

During supervision you can work both on technical aspects of your Watsu, as well as on your skills in creating an effective professional relation with your clients.

Two hours of Group Supervision equals to one hour of Individual Supervision, due to the variance in attention.

Read more ...Open the Calendar

step1DEMONSTRATION OF PROFICIENCY

The student must demonstrate, during a fully critiqued session, competency of all material presented up to Watsu Clinic Masterclass 2.

This exam is conducted in two phases, with two different instructors. The first phase is a preparatory assessment that can be done with an Instructor of any level, or with a W-2 certified Assistant Instructor. Only by achieving a positive evaluation in this first stage it is possible to access the following, to be done with a senior Instructor certified to teach level 2 - or higher courses.

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step1Watsu 3 (50h)

Watsu 3 is intended for people who have given enough Watsu sessions as to develop an intuitive understanding of how to be with another person in the water, and that are ready to explore the spontaneity of "Free Flow".

Watsu 3 comprises various movements that allow for seamlessly switching client side, and how to add dynamic to the session. Advanced stretching techniques are also added, these take the stretches to a deeper and stronger level. Through exercises and thematic games you learn to create a flow that leads to positions, movements and states of consciousness that may have not been experienced before. Other advanced techniques include work at the wall or on the steps of the pool. When the facility allows it, with the help of a camcorder recording, the class focuses on the areas that each student needs to develop to fully master and develop their Watsu skill base.

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step1Elective courses (50h)

Elective aquatic courses to choose freely among those offered each year by the school.

Other courses will be considered on case by case basis, and evaluated based on their synergy with Watsu.

ELECTIVE COURSES

 Intro to Watsu (8hrs)

 

Introduction to WaterDance-1 (16hrs)

WaterDance-1 (50hrs)

WaterDance-2 (50hrs)

WaterDance-3 (50hrs)

 

Presence of Being (50hrs)

 

Introduction to Healing Dance (16hrs)

Healing Dance -1 (50hrs)

Healing Dance -2 (50hrs)

Healing Dance Above and Below (50hrs)

Healing Dance Shape and Space (50hrs)

Healing Dance 100 (100hrs)

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step1FINAL EXAM

The student must demonstrate having achieved a professional competency in all parts of the material facilitated in the Watsu training. The final assessment also focuses on the ability of the applicant to adapt a session, improvising, to follow the flow as per the clients needs; delivering a Watsu session in its entirety, meeting the standards of excellence that the school offers.

This assessment is conducted in two parts with two different instructors. The first is a preparatory assessment that can be done with an Instructor of any level, or with a W-3 certified Assistant Instructor. Only by achieving a positive evaluation in this first stage it is possible to access the following, to be done with a senior Instructor certified to teach Watsu 3.

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Teaching Watsu

After developing experience as a Watsu Advanced Professional and being able to demonstrate a successful professional practice in the field, it is possible to commence the Watsu Instructor training path.

ASSISTANT INSTRUCTOR: (+info)

This represents the first step in a Watsu teaching career.

The Assistant Instructor helps the Instructor during the classes. Is trained and qualified to provide individual supervision.

After demonstrating a successful private practice and a proving strong commitment to the development of Watsu in his/her area, has attended the Assistant Training Course. The ATC increases competence in the technical aspects of Watsu, and provides knowledge of elements of pedagogy useful to learn how to accompany groups during a training.

After developing experience as Watsu Assistant and proving commitment to accompanying groups and individuals during their training, it is possible to commence the access the Watsu Instructor Course.

INSTRUCTOR: (+info)

Is the person who teaches Watsu leading both pool classes and classroom training.

Has broad and extensive experience in private practice and has completed extensive training to qualify as an Instructor. Has proven the skill level required to teach each course levels he/she is authorised to offer.

This training not only incorporates advanced theoretical and practical Watsu knowledge, but also furthered studies in pedagogy, with psychology modules and group behaviour and leadership training. Instructors are expected to develop all the skills required to lead others in their learning process, being aware of the profound impact that Watsu has on all levels of life of each student.

An instructor is also the mentor guiding the professional development of Assistant Instructors, working as a team with him / her.

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