not appropriate for aquatic therapy

  • Fever over 100 degrees
  • Uncontrolled epilepsy
  • Cardiac failure
  • Significant open wounds
  • Respiratory disease of vital capacity less than 1500cm2
  • Severe urinary tract infection
  • Blood infection
  • Tracheostomy
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Menstruation without internal protection
  • Infectious disease

may not be appropriate/necessary precaution may need to be taken


  • Skin infections with drainage
  • Small open wounds (can be covered with tegrederm)
  • Uncontrolled blood pressure (moderate high BP ok, but maybe not v. low BP. Ask doctor)
  • Unstable angina, cardiac arrythmias or additional cardiac considerations (ask doctor if appropriate to go in warm water)
  • Intravenous lines, heplocks, hichman line, external collection devices (ask doctor)
  • Cerebral hemorrhage (should wait at least 3 weeks after bleeding has ceased. Ask doctor)
  • Multiple sclerosis – may not tolerate warm water well (depends on client)
  • Chlorine sensitivity
  • Absence of cough reflex (would need to be monitored closely)
  • Dizziness, vertigo (may need to keep eyes open or client gives feedback)
  • Behaviour problems – inappropriate physical, verbal or sexual behaviour

(ask doctor if Watsu appropriate for client)

  • Recent total hip replacement
  • Recent spinal surgery
  • Acute ligamentous instability
  • Recent bone fracture
  • Arthritic cervical spine (care with neck position required, especially hyperextension)
  • Pain with spinal or peripheral range of motion – many can be treated with modifications to Watsu technique. Client should give feedback during the Watsu if a particular movement is aggravating their symptoms
  • Back/neck pain – bulged/herniated disc, facet irritation, spondylolethesis, arthritis (avoid extreme positions of spine)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frequent ear infections – may be appropriate to use ear plugs or medication

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