What Is Watsu Massage?

Watsu Massage is a water-based massage therapy that was developed in California in the early 1980's. It is based on Shiatsu massage and adapts these techniques for use in warm water.

Watsu massage helps to cure many ailments and promotes healing by using massage, joint mobilization, gentle stretching and dance techniques.

How Does Watsu Massage Work?


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How Does Watsu Massage Work?

Watsu massage combines the therapeutic properties of Shiatsu with the healing benefits of aquatic therapy. It is a gentle massage therapy that takes advantage of the body's weightlessness in water. Watsu therapists are able to manipulate the patient's body in order to ease any blockages in the joints or soft tissue.

A typical session of Watsu massage lasts for about an hour. The massage therapy is performed in a pool filled with warm water. The heat of the water eases the stiffness in the muscles and the joints and the weightlessness caused due to the water allows for a deep stretching massage therapy.

The patient is provided with floatation devices to keep him or her afloat. The therapist supports the head and back and then massages the body using a series of flowing manipulations with gentle stretching. The soothing effects of the warm water ensure that the patient does not even realize that they he or she is being massaged. Watsu massage also promotes stretching of the muscles and relaxes the body and mind.

Watsu Massage Benefits

Watsu water massage can be used to treat many different conditions such as brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and ankylosing spondylitis. It is also used to treat chronic pain and in post-surgical or post-trauma recoveries.

Some of the short term benefits of Watsu massage include fuller breathing, increased flexibility, a reduction in anxiety and stress levels, muscle relaxation, improved digestion and sleep. Long term benefits include a lower rate of respiration, a lower heart rate, increased peripheral vasodilatation, an enhanced immune system response and reduction in spasticity.

Watsu massage also induces a state of deep relaxation to the body and the mind. It is also an excellent stress buster. The gentle nature of this massage therapy also ensures that it can be used on children, pregnant women and the elderly.

How Can I Prepare For A session of Watsu Massage?

It is a good idea not to eat a heavy meal a couple of hours before the massage session. Since Watsu massage is aquatic in nature, you will need to bring a swimming costume and a towel. Do contact your massage therapist for further instructions.

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