From the Practitioner's Point of View

Watsu's Origins


From The Receiver's Point of View

For someone receiving a WatsuŽ, a session can seem deceptively simple. You put on a bathing suit and get into the warm water; you receive a few instructions from your therapist, and are gently lifted off your feet and supported floating on your back. You don’t see anything but the interplay of light and shadow, because your eyes are closed. You don’t hear anything but the water, because your ears are submerged. And what you feel is the water’s warmth, and the weightless movements of your body as it gently waves and sways through the currents. Occasionally you might be aware of some deep massage in a tight muscle or a big stretch. But very quickly all the touch and movements blend together into one harmonious, timeless, flowing dance. And what you notice is not the work being done on your body, but the results of it: a profound physical release, letting to, and relief from tensions and pain.

At the same time as your body is letting to, so too is your mind. There is a theory among bodywork researchers that every physical pain carries with it an analogous mental thought pattern if you are holding onto soreness in your toe, for example, you are also holding onto the emotional story about the circumstances surrounding the injury or accident. In WatsuŽ, as your body thoroughly lets go of its physical discomforts, the corresponding mental stories are released as well. Not that you will necessarily notice your mind letting go; in fact, it is more like the absence of noticing. You might not have any thoughts – just a mental quiet and peace that accompanies the physical freedom of your body.

And once your body is free and your mind is at peace, there is nothing left to keep your spirit from shining through.

What exactly do we mean here by “spirit”? For many people, it is a sense of seeing themselves with a new, clearer perspective. It is as if they forget about the daily stuff, that they deal with – duties, obligations, busywork – instead are freed to focus on who they are inside, and what they truly want. WatsuŽ receivers feel comfortable and safe and protected. They feel understood and appreciated, beautiful and strong. They feel forgiveness, compassion and love for themselves and others. And many feel connected to a higher purpose in their lives. Maybe that purpose has just occurred to them consciously for the first time during their WatsuŽ sessions; maybe it is something that they have always known. But somehow, the WatsuŽ experience brings many people’s awareness back to that central knowing. It brings them back to themselves. It brings them back to spirit.

Let yourself be floated in someone’s arms in water that gently lifts you each time you breathe in, its warmth penetrating, melting the tension in your body. Drift into deeper and deeper levels of relaxation as your body is stretched freer and freer. Flow into states of consciousness to which stored tension or trauma otherwise deny access. Flow onto a level of being where there is such joy and peace and wholeness, the causes of that tension or trauma can no longer overwhelm you.

Virtually everyone who receives a WatsuŽ opens their eyes at the end of a session and describes it as “the most relaxing experience of my life.” Most are moved by the remarkable depth of the work. And many, many people report “a profound feeling of oneness – with myself, the practitioner, the water, the universe … everything!” It is extraordinary – and something you have to experience personally to truly appreciate: Therapeutic bodywork and spiritual opening, all in one extremely pleasurable hour.