What is Watsu®?

Watsu® is a form of body work, or water massage done in a warm shallow pool.  If you love water, especially warm water (body temperature) body work, and energy work this is for you.

Watsu® or water shiatsu uses the principles of Zen Shiatsu, which strengthens muscles and increases flexibility.  Watsu® has been described as “the most relaxing kind of body work in the world”.

As a receiver, you are floated, gently rocked, expanded, cradled, twisted, swirled, folded, and stretched.  Add to this the heart breath connection, watsu’s flow, interweaving dynamic movement and suspension.  Supported in warmth and safety; the muscles and fascia are free to give up their long held patterns of holding, tension, and pain. The mind is now free to quiet itself and receive.  Watsu’s physical and stress-reducing effects are deep, long lasting, and profound.

Watsu® is used around the world by professional bodyworkers, physical therapists, and psychologists as well as the general public.

Please note that WATSU® is a federally registered service mark used to describe the method of water shiatsu developed by Harold Dull.

Client  Populations Who Benefit from Watsu®

Watsu® will benefit nearly every client, however, Watsu® may be most valuable for those clients who are having difficulty working on functional activities secondary to pain, muscle spasm, or spasticity.

The following are some of the client populations which may benefit from Watsu® as part of their treatment program:

Most orthopedic impairments including:
  • Post back surgery (laminectomy, etc.)
  • back pain
  • Multiple injuries following trauma
  • Any impairment with muscle spasm ,muscle guarding, decreased Range of Motion, or pain
Most neurological impairments including:
  • Stroke
  • Brain  injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
Many types of arthritis including:
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
Clients with the following conditions:
  • Clients with lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Post-surgical clients (especially major surgery such as open heart surgery)
  • Post mastectomy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
  • Chronic pain clients (may also need psychological support)
  • Victims of abuse (may also need psychological support)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (may also need psychological support)
Following is a list of known things Watsu® can benefit including:
  • Support with fear, sadness, grief
  • Recovery from Addictions
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Joint Pain
  • Lymphatic dysfunction
  • Athletes improving strength, flexibility, tone, and balance.

Each client’s experience with a treatment or session of Watsu® is different and unique.  Some will come for the physical effects of freeing the body in water. Others might experience emotional release, or gain deep insights, or reach deeply spiritual or transcendental levels.