Healing Power of Water

Diving deeper into the healing power of water...

Watsu - Water Dance - Hydrotherapy... 

The Healing Power of Water – Aquatic Healing
Watsu or Water Dance

Watsu - WATer ShiatSU - is a gentle form of body therapy performed in warm water. It combines elements of massage, joint mobilization, shiatsu, muscle stretching and dance.

What is Watsu?


The deeply relaxing effects of warm water and nurturing support of the 'Watsu giver', combined with movements, stretches, massage and pressure point work, create a range of therapeutic benefits and potential healing on many levels for the 'Watsu receiver'.

Back into the womb... nothing to accomplish, just be. 


'Imagine, the warmth and sense of weightlessness induced by water...

your eyes closed, so there is just the play of light across your eyelids, your ears are under the water so the sound of the world is muffled.

The world starts to disappear, leaving just yourself and your experience of body and being in the water, nothing to do, nowhere to go, just receiving and letting go, into the graceful movement, rocking cradling and gentle rhythm.

It is no wonder people speak of states of bliss and levels of relaxation never before imagined.'


Watsu – in other words... Just let it happen... be a rag-doll... relax... it's wonderful! Moments of stillness alternate with rhythmical flowing movements in the water, almost weightless... no worries... just there...
a break from it all... total rest and relaxation.

It is one of the most amazing experiences...

Go with it... be nothing... and be all... but just let it happen!

The warm water relaxes the muscles and supports the spine. With this support and without the weight of the body, the spine, joints and muscles can be manipulated and freed in a way unique to water work.

The effects include a very gentle, yet deep stretching and a release of muscular and joint restrictions, along with a state of deep relaxation, which encourages the release of stress and tensions.

Each person's experience is unique and varied, for many the focus will be on the physical effects of letting go, relaxing, the gentle full body stretches, freeing the spine and joints. Others might experience emotions, new personal insights and/or resurfacing of old memories.

healing power of water

healing power of water

Many receivers will remark on the deep sense of beauty, or lightness, ease and grace experienced during their Watsu; or a sense of nurturing, safety, relaxation, maybe at a level never felt before or remembered from 'long ago'.

The way Watsu is experienced is as varied as individuals themselves and so there is no right or wrong way to receive, practitioners do not 'push' any particular aspect, but simply listen and allow and support whatever the receivers experience is in any particular session.

healing power of water

Watsu therapy is used for aiding recovery from injury, relieving muscular and joint pain and encouraging movement and flexibility, or for the experience of relaxation, blissful letting go, time-out, and quiet meditative stillness it can induce.

Specific therapeutic effects noted by receivers, include increased mobility and flexibility, muscle relaxation, fuller deeper breathing, reduction in anxiety and stress levels, decreased pain, improved sleep and digestion and a general sense of well being.

healing power of water

Watsu can induce a sense of timelessness and spaciousness as one enters profound Alpha states providing the body with the deep rest required for it to rejuvenate and heal itself.

Movement and stillness dance in harmony with the breath as the receiver is invited to completely let go.

Water Dance

First, the receiver is gently floated and moved through a series of stretches to warm up the body and reach full relaxation.

The Giver guides the Receiver into a state of deep relaxation as preparation to go under the water. 

A powerful aspect of Water Dance is the attention to the breath.

It becomes the giver's complete focus to tune in with the receiver, support and encourage the receiver to relax into a deeper awareness of their Being, Body and Breath.

A profound level of trust and surrender then becomes the key to safe passage through the doorway between the two worlds above and below the water's surface. 

When the Giver feels that the client is relaxed and ready, the underwater journey can begin.

healing power of water

After a full inhalation, the receiver's face is then slowly turned toward the surface of the water and gently allowed to submerge.

Gradually the giver can take the receiver for longer periods under water, moving them through a veritable dance of movements.

This sense of freedom is an ideal state to release any holding patterns, whether physical, mental or emotional and open to reconnecting with the joy of one's essential nature and what many describe as, "coming home".

A natural phenomenon known as the "diving reflex" begins to take effect as the water brushes across the receiver's face. This causes the heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism to slow down contributing to the ability to stay effortlessly under the water. When the receiver is ready to re-emerge, a natural "cue" is transmitted s/he is brought up to the surface. Inhalation is once again triggered with the feeling of air on the face... plenty of time is given between submerging and re-oxygenating breathing.


'For some, it's learning to let someone just hold and support you in a safe, non-threatening, and non-judgmental way,

knowing that God holds you the same way in the palm of his hand: in unconditional acceptance of where you are in that moment, knowing that wherever that is, it is right for you to be there and it's where you need to be.

It just is.'


Healing power of water

Recommended Reading:

~ Harold Dull

Watsu - With hundreds of illustrations this book holds its place as the textbook of Watsu, the first form of Aquatic Bodywork that the author started developing 30 years ago.

A chapter takes students through a complete Home Spa Watsu that can be done in a Jacuzzi. With contributions from instructors and other professionals it continues to be the primary sourcebook for Aquatic Bodyworkers.

It includes chapters on Watsu with Children, Adapting Watsu for People with Special Needs, Watsu Pool Design and Care, and Core Tantsu.

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The information on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition.