Watsu began (1980) when Harold Dull began floating people in the warm pool at Harbin Hot Springs while applying the stretches and principles of the Zen Shiatsu he had studied in Japan with Shizuto Masunaga. The support of warm water (96 degrees), an ideal medium for relaxation, takes weight off the vertebrae and allows the spine to be moved in ways that are impossible on land.
The Watsu receiver experiences a greater flexibility and freedom which may evoke a wide range of emotions that can be released into the process of continuous flow. In Watsu the combination of the warm water, the silence beneath the water, the physical intimacy and the support of being held and cradled are very powerful. Deep levels of relaxation, well-being, memories of childhood, and trance states are commonly experienced. Watsu is an art that differs significantly from normal therapeutic table massage.
Watsu is a form of warm water bodywork which combines elements of massage, shiatsu, and movement therapy in body temperature water.
The body is floated, stretched, and massaged. The mind calms and the muscles relax and release. Stress and tension wash away and pain is relieved. The body’s natural flexibility is renewed.
Cultivating body, mind and spirit
The therapeutic benefits of warm water, combined with elements from such disciplines as Zen Shiatsu, yoga, dance and meditation, make Watsu effective in treating a wide variety of conditions.
Watsu for pain relief and enhanced mobility
With the body supported in warm water, Watsu allows for the gentle mobilization of joints and soft tissues that is difficult to achieve on land. This makes Watsu highly effective in treating arthritis, back injury, and chronic pain.
Watsu for relaxation and serenity
Feed from the pull of gravity and supported in warm water, the body is able to deeply relax. And when the body relaxes, the mind becomes quiet, allowing the Watsu receiver to experience the stillness of just being.
Watsu for pregnancy
There is something about Watsu that mimics the experience of the prenatal. Thus, you can share an intimate experience with your developing child. The warm water can provide a soothing, calming, and nurturing experience. Your back will feel less pain and supported so the extra pressure can be relieved. A delightful experience not to be missed.
Life in the womb is our most formative time. The prenate experiences what you experience. Watsu will give you a deep sense of connection with your baby and your baby with you. Watsu will give you a chance to relax deeply and feel a sense of emotional and physical renewal. The massage is adapted for your specific needs and wishes during this important time of your life. The warm water allows your muscles to relax and the tension and pressure normally felt during pregnancy is eased.
Health & welleness
People with pain will often avoid physical activity to prevent increasing their pain. Immobility leads to limited range of motion, muscle tightness, weakness and emotional stress. As time goes on, muscle spasms and muscle guarding is experienced. This involves stored biochemicals that result in more pain and areas of inactivity. The cycle goes on and on.
Watsu provides a way to interrupt this pain cycle.
During a Watsu session, the warmth of the water combined with the nurturing provided by the practitioner promotes relaxation, body awareness, and the release of muscle tension. The gentle stretching coupled with pressure point massage increases range of motion and blood circulation, which helps decrease muscle spasm and improves metabolism in the painful area. Releasing the pain can improve a person’s emotional state and physical well-being.
Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation
The body’s natural response to injury is to tighten affected muscles and joints in an effort to guard the area from further damage. After the acute phase of injury is passed, these muscular holding patterns can become habitual and limit the return of flexibility and more normal range of motion. In Watsu, the warm temperature and the gravity-free, gentle nature of the movements allows the body to gradually the possibility of more normal patterns of movement. Every person carries their own particular set of circumstances, whether this be physical injury, joys or sorrow and our ability to just “be” with someone is as important as any of the doing. In fact it is the artful blending “being” and “doing” that will allow each Watsu session to flow in it’s own unique way, while maintaining an awareness of every client’s special needs.
Watsu can help in your rehabilitation from injury in these ways:
- Heat reduces the viscosity of muscles and increases circulation.
- Buoyancy causes joint decompression and unloads the resistance to stretching.
- Hydrostatic pressure increases lymphatic and venous return, helping to clear waste products.
- Sensory input (warmth, turbulence, vestibular stimulation) can help to inhibit or mask sensations of pain that restrict movement.
- Movements that increase range of joint motion help to distribute synovial fluid evenly over joints so that they are more responsive to stretching.
- Gentle massage can help to restructure shortened fasciae tissue, release contractions, and remove metabolites.
You are invited to journey beyond the fixed, two-dimensional paradigm of standard table massage… to immerse yourself into a quiet world of healing and transformation that leaves