Roots of Aquatic Bodywork

Today, millions of Americans are beginning to explore complementary alternative medicine (CAM) in the treatment of a wide range of physical and mental illnesses and injuries, including arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, brain and spinal cord trauma and strokes.

One such treatment is Aquatic Bodywork, which originated in 1980 when Harold Dull, a practitioner of Zen Shiatsu, began applying key elements of the craft in 96-degree water, which he termed WATSU®*. Since then, the practice has evolved into various expressions that have shown great promise in helping individuals deal with physical, mental and spiritual challenges of every shape and size.

Leading aquatic practitioner Dave Towe founded Wave Academy on the premise that warm water therapy has the power to heal and transform lives, and that as such, it must be better understood, more widely accepted and vastly more accessible and available to those who can benefit from treatment.

Today, Wave Academy has discovered that Aquatic Bodywork can have a particularly profound, positive impact on military personnel diagnosed with post-traumatic stress (PTS), as well as individuals dealing with end-of-life issues. We are also finding that such therapy benefits family members and others involved in their care. As a result, the Academy is currently focused on making Aquatic Bodywork more accessible to these populations, as well as documenting and sharing our program outcomes.

As the Wave Academy advances its mission, we wish to acknowledge leading pioneers in the field who have made today’s successes possible. Foremost among these are the legendary men and women who created the five different and distinct applications that are combined in the Academy’s own warm water regimen. They are Harold Dull, creator of WATSU®, Theri Thomas, Aquaternatives®, Peggy Schroeder P.T. the originator of Adaptive WATSU®, Alexander George, the creator of Healing Dance® and WaterDance, developed in 1987 in Switzerland by Arjana C. Brunschwiler (psychotherapist) and Peter Schröter (psychologist).