Life Flows Differently in Water

Greetings from Cuautla, Morelos!

       Having just finished two-thirds of my Watsu training course, I thought it was a good time to send you all a little report of how everything´s going.

       After a sometime stressful first week due to technical difficulties (ie. Pool not heated to sufficient temperature, filter malfunction and a pump breaking), the Watsu gods finally granted us with the near perfect conditions to learn and experience this beautiful and unique aquatic therapy.

       In attendance are 18 students from all around Mexico, Columbia, Costa Rica and Spain and from diverse backgrounds such as Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, Psychology and the Spa Industry. Our principal instructor is the Watsu creator himself, Harold Dull from Harbin Hotsprings, California and his assistant instructors are Natalia Chaverri from Costa Rica and Simon Bolivar from Spain.

       As Watsu is a very  intuitive discipline, we spent a lot of time on land doing various various exercises learning how to connect to ones own breath and that of the receiver, improvised contact movement, gentle Shiatsu-style stretching and acupressure points. Then it was into the inviting 34º celsius waters of the pool!

       Working in pairs, trios and even large cirlces, we learned not only the basic moves that comprise levels 1 and 2, but more importantly the spirit and philosphy of Watsu. It´s very much like a meditation in that you must empty your mind of thoughts, connect with your inner self through presence and thus connect with the client. 

       In effect, what this creates is a very safe and sacrad space whereby the client can completely let go, relax and often times acheive a trance-like state.  And in near body temperature water, Watsu can really work its magic on a very deep level.

       From the perspective of an on-looker, a Watsu session looks very nurturing and¨touchy feely.¨ No doubt there is a lot of contact, however, from the experiencing perpective, it is felt as deeply therapeautic, empathetic and professional. The practitioner and client move as one with sinuous or wavelike motion. At other times it is more smooth rising-and-falling or side-to-side alternations.  Then there are still moments where the practitioner performs point work, Shiatsu stretches, massage or simple holding.

       Even the names of some of the moves illustrates beautifully what Watsu looks like.  Names like:  Seaweed, Dolphin Wave, Chest Opening, Figure Eights, Swing, Sweep Around, Diagonal Stretch, Neck Traction, Free-explore Movement, Waterbreath Dance.

       One thing remains very true after experiencing 2-weeks of intense learning: Watsu Therapy can bring about profound effects on a physical, mental, emotional and spirtual levels.  The body becomes more flexible, the mind becomes quiet, emotions are felt more easily, and one is able to connect with Spirit.  (See YouTube link below for example of Watsu)

Posted on April 24, 2014 .