Spinal Cord Injuries

Sea of Calm

Watsu Water Therapy Touches Young Spirits

Cradled in his arms, children who rarely find a moment’s peace find a sea of calm, Jeff Bisdee has offered the aquatic body therapy known as Watsu at The Children’s Institute in Pittsburgh since 1997. As the manager of recreational therapy there for the past 17 years, Bisdee was impressed the first time he saw Watsu. “It was an epiphany,” said Bisdee. “I was always interested in doing aquatic therapy with patients and when I saw this being done, I knew right then and there it was something I should be doing.”

Try a Little Tenderness

Spinal Cord Injuries and Soft Tissue Rehabilitation

Walking up to this unfamiliar door, Joanie Heart was uncertain her abilities as a massage therapist would make a difference. For one of the only times in her career, intimidation was looming. It was 1997 and behind the door was a 25-year-old man, not so much unlike other massage clients she’d seen in her 14 years of practice, except for one thing — he was a paraplegic.

“I was afraid I couldn’t help him,” said Heart. “I’ve always been very confident in my work, but for a few moments I was uncertain. I was standing in the wilderness with no map of where to go.”