Watsu is a massage form which is totally different other kinds of massage in the sense that it is performed in waist deep, warm water. Watsu harnesses the therapeutic benefits of warm water and is ideal for performing different kinds of passive stretching movements.
The water keeps the body buoyant and hence the pressure is taken off the spine, in this unique massage therapy system. Watsu, a unique and soothing bodywork performed in warm, waist deep water was developed by Harold Dull, in the 1980’s.
The word Watsu came into being from a combination of two words, water in which this massage was performed and Shiatsu a distinctive finger massage therapy.
This special type of aquatic bodywork is performed in warm waters of about thirty five degree Celsius. The healing properties of warm water are well known and have been harnessed since ancient times. Watsu basically merges different elements of massage with shiatsu, yoga, meditation and dance.
A certified watsu therapist constantly cradles the individual receiving the massage in a pool of warm water. Here the individual undergoing this unique massage form is in turn cradled, rocked, stretched and floated.
A sense of complete relaxation descends on the person on whom the massage is being done. Watsu combines the healing properties of warm water with simple massage techniques to ensure healing of the body on many levels.
A person who has undergone a watsu massage experiences greater muscle relaxation, increased mobility and flexibility, a reduction in stress and anxiety, decreased levels of pain, ability to breathe deeply, improved digestion, better sleep and a general sense of overall well being.
Watsu massages are normally done in spas which have the facilities for a special watsu heated pool. The temperature of this pool must be the exact same temperature as that of the human body, in order to obtain the maximum benefits. Both the patient and the therapist change into bathing suits before entering the warm water.
The therapist cradles the patient’s body with his hands while the patient wraps one of his hands around the therapists back. Next the therapist leads the individual through a series of passive stretching movements.
A watsu massage can make a person feel totally relaxed, and is excellent for individuals suffering from fibromylagia and soft tissue injury.