What to expect: Watsu is performed in one-on-one pool sessions in waist-deep warm water. During a session, a provider (practitioner or therapist) gently cradles, moves, stretches, and massages a receiver (client or patient). A typical session consists of a progression of breath coordination, movement patterns in different positions, and massage. Movement patterns include gentle cradling and rocking, more dynamic stretching and mobilization, stillness, and specific mobilization techniques focused on the needs or condition of the receiver. During a session, the provider continually monitors the state of the receiver, mindful of subtle changes in muscle tension and respiration, and is responsive to adapt the treatment accordingly.
Sue practices WATSU at Sunwater Spa in Manitou Springs on Sunday mornings from 9 am – 12:30 pm — Schedule your 1/2 hr or 1 hr session with the button below.
Where Did Watsu Come From?
Watsu’s name comes from a combination of “water” and “shiatsu.” It was developed and trademarked by Harold Dull back in 1980, when he started giving Shiatsu stretches to students floating in the warm water of Harbin Hot Springs in California. In its early years, Watsu was more about stretching, but as therapists and recipients noticed the profound emotional effect it had on people, the emphasis changed from merely physical to emotional and energetic.
What Can Watsu Heal?
Watsu is a nurturing form of bodywork that takes place in warm, waist-deep water, with the therapist cradling the person who is receiving. Watsu can be a profound treatment that works on both body and mind. In fact, it is believed to help heal “wounds of separation” and renew in us our sense of connection and oneness with others.
What Happens During a Watsu Treatment?
You and the massage therapist both wear bathing suits. The therapist gets in the water first. Then you enter the water and the therapist puts floats on your lower thighs. You then put one arm around the therapist’s back while she cradles you, takes all your weight, and introduces you to the water. The therapist then twirls you through in the water, first one way then another, taking your body through a series of passive stretches and twists. Being held in the warm water is deeply relaxing.