Applications, indications, and effects of passive hydrotherapy WATSU (WaterShiatsu)-A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Schitter, Agnes M.; Fleckenstein, Johannes; Frei, Peter; Taeymans, Jan; Kurpiers, Nico; Radlinger, Lorenz (2020). Applications, indications, and effects of passive hydrotherapy WATSU (WaterShiatsu)-A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 15(3), e0229705. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0229705

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BACKGROUND

WATSU (portmanteau word: water and shiatsu) is a form of passive hydrotherapy in chest-deep thermoneutral water (35°C = 95°F = 308.15 K). It combines elements of myofascial stretching, joint mobilization, massage, and shiatsu and is reported to be used to address physical and mental issues. The objective of this systematic review (PROSPERO Registration No. CRD42016029347) and the meta-analyses was to assess the applications, indications, and the effects of WATSU to form a basis for further studies.

METHODS

A search for "WATSU OR watershiatsu OR (water AND shiatsu)" was conducted without any restrictions in 32 databases. Peer reviewed original articles addressing WATSU as a stand-alone hydrotherapy were assessed for risk of bias. Quantitative data of effects on pain, physical function, and mental issues were processed in random model meta-analyses with subgroup analyses by study design. Effect sizes were expressed as Hedges's g (± 95% confidence intervals).

RESULTS

Of 1,906 unique citations, 27 articles regardless of study design were assessed for risk of bias. WATSU has been applied to individuals of all ages. Indications covered acute (e.g. pregnancy related low back pain) and chronic conditions (e.g. cerebral palsy) with beneficial effects of WATSU regarding e.g. relaxation or sleep quality. Meta-analyses suggest beneficial effect sizes of WATSU on pain (overall Hedges's g = -0.71, 95% CI = -0.91 to -0.51), physical function (overall Hedges's g = -0.76, 95% CI = -1.08 to -0.44), and mental issues (overall Hedges's g = -0.68, 95% CI = -1.02 to -0.35).

CONCLUSION

Various applications, indications and beneficial effects of WATSU were identified. The grade of this evidence is estimated to be low to moderate at the best. To strengthen the findings of this study, high-quality RCTs are needed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of Complementary and Integrative Medicine (IKIM)

UniBE Contributor:

Schitter, Agnes Maria and Fleckenstein, Johannes

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Svenja Hänni

Date Deposited:

30 Apr 2021 14:07

Last Modified:

30 Apr 2021 14:15

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0229705

PubMed ID:

32168328

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/156050

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/156050

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