Watsu® In New Zealand


The Aquatic Bodywork Association of New Zealand Inc. is a non-profit organization, established (in 2001) to support the growth and development of Aquatic Bodywork in New Zealand. ABANZ is affiliated with both The Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association (WABA), and the NZ Charter of Health Practitioners. ABANZ also maintains a NZ registry of practitioners and students.

  • Practitioners

ABANZ Registered practitioners have completed a recognized training and maintain ongoing education requirements.

  • Training

The New Zealand Practitioner Path is a comprehensive training, recognized by both WABA and the Natural Health Practitioners NZ. People come to trainings for various reasons;

  • they may simply wish to give Watsu to family and friends, or
  • to qualify as practitioners, offering Watsu as a standalone therapy or incorporating it into an existing bodywork practice.


  • Research In New Zealand

A small research study funded by and carried out at QE Health (formerly Queen Elizabeth Hospital) in Rotorua (2002) suggested strong therapeutic effects for a group of women with the chronic pain syndrome fibromyalgia. QE Health is now incorporating Watsu into their Spa services (open to the public, by appointment, seven days a week) as well as exploring the possibility of including it in some of their more regular three-week in-house programs.

  • Sessions

To receive a Watsu, you may contact a registered practitioner directly or be referred by a physiotherapist, G.P., or specialist. Some may receive a Watsu voucher as a gift from friends or family. The experience ranges from general ‘time out’, enjoyment, stress management to addressing specific therapeutic needs.

  • Gatherings

These are informal get togethers primarily for anyone who has undertaken any Watsu training, from a 2 day basics to the full practitioner training. All are welcome. Providing an opportunity to give and receive with other Watsu students and practitioners, they are a great way to get to know others from within the NZ Watsu family. Participants swap sessions, ideas, questions and understandings and a huge amount of informal, low cost learning takes place. (Costs= accommodation and pool entry.) They are also lots of fun. They are held several times per year at a central location, usually Taupo. See events page for dates and contact people.