WATSU® is the abbreviation for “Water Shiatsu”. It is a deep relaxation technique based on zen shiatsu and developed since the 1980s. Very efficient and polyvalent, the method makes good use of the healing and beneficial properties of warm water (35°C).
WATSU® is a holistic body therapy, whose results are noticeable on the physical and mental levels. With precise stretching and twists, pressures on meridian points, and mobilisations of all joints, one achieves muscle relaxation and organ strengthening based on the principles of reflexology. The action range is increased and the overall body mobility is improved.
Breathing rhythm is reactivated. A sense of wellbeing and better body awareness naturally appear. In water, the spine is ideally discharged of body weight and can be mobilised in a way that is virtually impossible to reach on land. Rhythmic, harmonious and fluid sequences provide new impetus to body awareness and encourage letting go of old patterns.
The history of WATSU® began in 1980 at Harbin Hot Springs, California, where Harold Dull, the initiator of the method, lives and teaches. He developed an artistic combination of Zen Shiatsu with movements in warm water. Harold Dull uses the words “harmony of the heart” to describe the feeling that comes from breathing in unison with the person treated during a WATSU® session. American scientists are currently investigating why so many people around the world are touched by WATSU®. In 1992, Arjana C. Brunschwiler imported WATSU® in Switzerland, and in Belgium in 1996.
A relaxation technique
The practitioner’s movements are similar to those of Tai Chi. They are soft and form spirals, arcs, as well as pendular, circular and wave-like movements. In this softness, WATSU® also harmonises the flow of vital energy. It is suitable for everyone: young and old people, disabled people, pregnant women, people suffering from depression or in emotional distress. What every person gets from WATSU® is different because everyone is different. WATSU® helps to overcome the fear of water too, regardless of its origin.