The name Watsu is derived from “WATer shiatSU”.
Watsu is, basically, Shiatsu in water, a floating massage. With the therapist assisting your buoyancy, you float comfortably in a large pool of warm water while your muscles are massaged, your joints rotated & mobilized, meridians (energy pathways) stimulated. This combined stimulation and weightlessness produces and incredibly relaxing experience that many describe as being spiritual in nature. This therapy can be used for treating stress, chronic back pain, orthopaedic problems, arthritis, sleep disorders, anxiety, and many other conditions.
What makes Watsu unique is its ability to take the receiver beyond physical relaxation. It produces such deep relaxation that the mind appears to shut down – leaving silence where there is normally continuous activity and noise. It is only when the body and mind are quiet that you can experience the spirit – the real you.
During a Watsu therapy session, the receiver is initially given some simple instructions as to what to expect before being lifted and supported, lying on their back. Visual stimulus is all but removed because the eyes are shut, the only sound being that carried through the water as the ears are kept submerged. This combined with the warmth of the water and the weightlessness produces a sense of oneness and security – sometimes described as “like a baby in the womb”. This, very passive state, is occasionally broken as the awareness is drawn to some deep massage in a tight muscle, or the stretching of a limb. However, these all begin to blend into one continuous flowing movement – ebbing and flowing, soothing and releasing tension and pain.