During Underwater Massage, it can sometimes feel like you are floating on a cloud. But imagine the sensation of having a massage in water. The weightlessness that the buoyancy of the water gives you can be accompanied by a trained practitioner who guides you into deep stretches in a shallow pool of warm water. It sounds nice, doesn't it? It's called Watsu massage therapy, a type of underwater massage that lets you dive right in.
Watsu (short for water shiatsu) is a form of spa massage performed in a shallow pool as the client floats in soothingly warm water. The therapist provides support so that the client can fully relax and massages away tension.
Acupressure and directed range-of-motion exercises are often incorporated to address specific issues. Often described as a "back-to-the-womb" experience, watsu encourages the release of tension, boosts energy and removes blockages from the body's energy channels to encourage healing.
Some practitioners describe the goal of watsu as "heart coherence," bringing the giver and practitioner into harmony to create a sense of oneness with the world. The technique is particularly beneficial to clients with chronic pain or arthritis because the buoyancy of the water makes it easier for them to move without discomfort.
One of the primary reasons watsu has taken off recently is its effectiveness in alleviating pain from diseases and injuries in ways not achievable in normal therapy. Although sports massage and therapeutic massage are effective for many, the buoyancy of the warm water allows more effective manipulation of the spine, joints and large muscle groups. Those with arthritis and other joint issues especially benefit from watsu, as the shiatsu methods of acupressure and opening healing pathways are conducted in a virtually weightless environment, reducing stress on joints, bones, and muscles.