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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What is Watsu?

Written by Tena Moore

You may have heard of shiatsu, but have you heard of watsu? Watsu was created in 1980 by Harold Dull while he was practicing Zen Shiatsu. Harold found that combining shiatsu (Japanese bodywork involving pressure point massage), water, deep breathing and stretching offered a unique healing combination. Some call it ‘water breath dance’. Watsu means ‘water’ and ‘shiatsu’.

Watsu is taught by trained instructors and is thought to be helpful for ailments such as pain, sleeplessness, stiffness, poor circulation, muscle spasms and a lowered immune system. If you are thinking about trying watsu, here is what you should expect:

1) One on one training. This is bodywork, so you can expect a session to be one-on-one, just as if you were getting a massage or Reiki.

2) Water. The water will only be waist deep and it will be a very comfortable 98.6 F – just like your body.

3) Deep Breathing. Breathing exercises are an integral part of watsu. Expect to focus on deep breathing and body awareness.

4) Stretching. The teacher will guide you through a sequence of gentle stretches, poses and movements.

5) Pressure on Your Meridians. There are pressure points located along your body. These are the same points that are stimulated by thin needles in acupuncture, but with watsu the points will be stimulated with pressure from the teachers hands. This helps remove blocked energy and assists the energy flowing through your body.

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