Body Sense

WINTER | 2018

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10 Body Sense • Tomasz Zagorski, a sports therapist and Watsu instructor who has successfully brought aquatic bodywork into the programs of sports teams and Olympic medal winners, says Watsu for athletes has become a new field of application. Watsu's ability to accelerate the body's regeneration process makes it a valuable tool in the athlete's recovery after intense competition and training sessions. Besides increasing joints' range of motion, Watsu provides an opportunity to stretch muscles in combinations of directions and planes unworkable on land. • Additional studies include Watsu's benefits for fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, and trauma, as well as helping veterans with PTSD. 1 THE FUTURE The beauty of Watsu is that it continues to evolve. From water to land, from couples to communities, Watsu adapts and grows in its ability to connect. The boundlessness felt in warm water is the sheath of prana, the warmth within, becoming one with the warmth of the water. During Watsu, when our minds' chatter becomes most stilled, the more spontaneous and intuitive our moves become, the more they are coming out of our bodies' innate wisdom, and the deeper we move into rapture. It is said that once an opening is made to the rapture, once we know how to access it, we will be able to see it underlying even the greatest of our sorrows. I can imagine no better goal for Watsu than to help people realize a level of consciousness from which they can face anything—a level as boundless as water. Note 1. K. Faull, "A Pilot Study of the Comparative Effectiveness of Two Water-Based Treatments for Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Watsu and Aix Massage," Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 9, no. 3 (2005): 202–210. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2004.12.001; S. J. Smeeding et al., "Outcome Evaluation of the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Integrative Health Clinic for Chronic Pain and Stress-Related Depression, Anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder," Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 16, no. 8 (2010): 823–835. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0510. In 1980, Harold Dull started creating and teaching Watsu in the warm pool at Harbin Hot Springs. Today, there are Watsu instructors around the world teaching the work that he and the water community developed. For more information, or to find a Watsu practitioner near you, visit aquatic bodywork where practitioners float clients at a distance. Being held accesses an innate level of healing. When infants fall, a mother's response is to pick them up and hold them. Containment creates safety. It allows us to go deeper within and access every level of our being. It is a cornerstone of Watsu. THE OUTCOME Ultimately, Watsu is about adaptation. Sharing Watsu with someone means respecting their limits and adapting to whatever is called for. Watsu allows for the form to evolve and adapt each session, as creativity and authentic movement come into play. Watsu's unique power to reduce stress has made it a treatment of choice in spas around the world. Many come out of a session saying it is the most relaxed they have ever been in their lives. Watsu can provide relief from almost any condition related to stress— physical or mental. And the anecdotal and research-based evidence surrounding the efficacy of Watsu continues to grow. • Kathy Bateman, who managed the pool at the Children's Hospital in Seattle, says she has seen Watsu benefit children who are paralyzed, stroke patients, those with cerebral palsy, and terminally ill patients. • Practitioners around the world find that Watsu benefits pregnant women. Throughout the pregnancy, Watsu can help bond mother and child even before the birth, as the water creates a shared energy. From a physiological perspective, Watsu soothes muscles that are challenged with pregnancy's rapid weight gain. Some practitioners claim that their clients' babies turned out of breech position in the nights and days following Watsu. Watsu can provide relief from almost any condition related to stress—physical or mental.

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