Earlier this year Wave Academy launched our trial adjunct program, Vet-to-Vet Floats
. Once a month veterans and their caregivers meet at one of our Southern California pools where, with the help of our volunteers and one of our instructors, they learn how to support and float each other.
The goal of the program is threefold: it gives veterans, both those who have experienced Aquatic Bodywork Therapy (ABT) and those who have not, the opportunity to connect in a shared healing experience; it offers veterans the opportunity to be in a larger, informal social setting with their veteran brothers and sisters; and it opens the door to any veteran or caregiver who is curious about pursuing ABT as a career.
In late 2014 Wave Academy practitioner, Spike Bywater, and practitioner trainer and lead instructor trainer for the Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association, Theri Thomas, proposed the Vet-to-Vet Floats
program. They wanted to develop a way for our clients to continue benefiting from ABT following their initial eight-weeks of sessions.
As we at the Wave Academy expand our services and programs, your support is more important than ever. Each time a new veteran comes to us we want to provide them with the most comprehensive services possible at no cost to them.
Thomas explains, “I have discovered straight across the board over the last 20 years that a veteran’s condition improves more with both professional sessions and with body awareness exercises that include learning how to give the work.
“Two people cannot live and be carried through one person’s balance and nervous system. The support person is under tremendous stress and can be affected as well. So, it is also important to float the caregivers and for the caregivers and family to come together to float each other.”
Bywater, who served six years as a Detainee Ops during the Afghanistan War with the U.S. Navy, has been an ABT practitioner with Wave Academy for the past year
“I had an ABT experience with another veteran, and it felt like he totally had my back, that I was ‘off duty’ for the first time,” shared Bywater. “It’s such a wonderful gift to provide for someone, holding the space for them to heal in safe, open, non-judgmental arms. This work feels like a new beginning.”
Wave Academy’s executive director, Dave Towe, explains, “Since we started the Vet-to-Vet Floats
program the response has been overwhelmingly positive. As an organization, our priority is to ensure our veterans and their caregivers are being taken care of and are progressing through their daily lives.
“Ultimately, as part of the bigger picture, we would like to have more veterans trained as Wave Academy practitioners and working with each other over the long run. We believe this is most ideal in the healing process.”
are held one Saturday a month, at no-cost, and take place at one of our Southern California pools. Our Wave Academy practitioners and volunteers participate throughout the day, and veterans and their caregivers are welcome to bring their fellow veteran friends and their caregivers. It is not necessary to have previous ABT experience; in fact, this is an excellent opportunity to introduce those without experience to the work.
With your generosity you can help us provide more Vet-to-Vet Floats at no cost to the participants. Click here to make a donation today!
This month’s Vet-to-Vet Float
will be held on Saturday, July 25 at our Mission Hills pool in San Diego from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
To reserve a space or for more information, please contact Spike Bywater at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (619) 719 -1844.
For more information about Wave Academy, visit www.WaveAcademy.org.