Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Watsu - aquatic bodywork movement therapy
Watsu is derived from the words WATer and ShiatSU.
Developed as the first form of aquatic bodywork by Harold Dull in 1980, Watsu offers gentle stretching and massaging while floating in warm water.
A profoundly moving and relaxing form of passive aquatic therapy, Watsu combines the therapeutic benefits of warm water with elements from such disciplines as Zen Shiatsu, Yoga, Alexander Technique, and Meditation.
Dull explains, "Watsu has evolved into what many consider the most profound development in bodywork in our time. While other modalities are based on touch alone, the combination of touch, stretching and buoyancy in water brings the receiver to a new level of connection and trust. This, combined with the therapeutic benefits of warm water and the greater freedom of movement, creates a healing practice that can affect every level of our being."
What is Watsu?
Watsu is a profoundly relaxing aquatic movement therapy. It combines the therapies of gentle stretching, acupressure, and Shiatsu massage while being floated in warm water.
Watsu uses the lightness of the body in water to free the spinal vertebrae, rotate joint articulations and elongate muscles. These rhythmic, "dance-like" movements are performed in harmony with breathing patterns to inspire the natural regeneration of the body and mind.
Some clinically proven benefits of Watsu include:
* Release of muscle tension.
* Effectively treat stress-related disorders, and everyday ailments.
* Deep and often profound relaxation.
* Reduced pain, stress, and fatigue.
* Increased energy.
* Increased range of motion.
* Improved body awareness, posture, breathing, and circulation.
* The recovery and release of emotional issues and deep-seated trauma.
The Joy of Watsu
A Watsu session is a slice of time when one can experience a unique disconnection with the outside world. It is a period when time has no relevance, and the focus becomes inward as external stimuli are removed.
Watsu is beneficial for all ages, for the young and the not-so-young, and for those of all physical abilities. The profound Watsu experience is like no other.
More Energy and Less Stress
During Watsu therapy, you are completely supported by the warm water and the practitioner during a half to one hour session.
A sequence of standardised movements in combination with deep tissue work, assisted stretching, and momentary periods of stillness, comprise the individualised Watsu session.
Learning to slow down
Relaxation is a skill, and like any other, it has to be learned and experienced. It takes time to learn and accumulate the necessary tools and understanding to relax.
For many suffering with chronic pain, or stress disorders, learning to relax can be a more elusive goal than you might think. Watsu can give these individuals not only a level of relief, but it can also provide them with a basis point of what a relaxed state feels like.
"It is important for many to learn that relaxation is not simply just the opposite of being active; it involves the ability to release held muscle tension and stress. Watsu can help you to experience what it feels like to be relaxed, and how to release stress and muscle tension. With a new understanding of what it feels like to be relaxed, you can work towards controlling your stress level, and its causes, and regain that feeling of relaxation that you experienced during Watsu." (Stephanie Dutton)
My friend Jill Smith is a Watsu therapist; please feel welcome to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.