TreatNOW introduces WATSU: The Massage You Never Knew You Needed

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There are many weird and wonderful health and beauty treatments out there. Here on the TreatNOW blog we’ve already covered some of the strange procedures out there so today let’s take a look at a helpful therapy. Massage is one of those therapies that can be used both to treat physical ailments and to relieve stress. One rare technique, Watsu, combines massage with water therapy to create a treatment that can aid both those with physical and psychological ailments as well as those in search of relaxation.

Credit: emmalemma Free 2013

What Is It?

Watsu is a mixture of water therapy and traditional Shiatsu massage (WATer and Shiatsu). The massage is performed by trained massage therapists the treatment involves the practitioner supporting and manoeuvring the client through a variety of different positions whilst partially submerged in a pool of water. Floats are placed around the client to prevent them from sinking and the therapist cradles them whilst moving them through the water.  The manoeuvres the practitioner takes the client through include gentle rocking, limb stretches and body rotations and various other oscillating movements. Each movement is repeated on both sides for balance. The soothing manoeuvres are also coordinated with the client’s breathing making for an experience that is relaxing both physically and emotionally.

What Are The Benefits?

Credit: thiquinho Free 2008

Watsu can be utilized as a treatment for a variety of different ailments; it can beused, for example, as rehabilitation for those with orthopaedic and neurologic issues. It is believed submersion in water allows the spine to be moved and manipulated in ways that it cannot be on dry land which could have therapeutic effects. Yet Watsu can also have benefits for those with psychological or emotional problems or even just those looking to relieve stress. The supportive contact between practitioner and client during the treatment is said to decrease anxiety and induce a state of relaxation.

Where can I get it?

Watsu can only be carried out in a special water therapy pool that is heated to 35C and is about chest deep; it must also be large enough to accommodate one or more session at a time. In addition you also need a masseuse that is trained in this specialist therapy. As a result Watsu is not as common as many massages. It is mostly available at specialist water therapy clinics but can also be found at the odd spa. The treatment isn’t really that well known in the UK but there are a handful of trained practitioners; in Brighton Watsu Aqua Therapy provide sessions and Hydro-Health, an aquatic bodywork clinic in Staffordshire, also offer the therapy in their own private pool.

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TreatNOW is a new way to find and book really good last minute health, hair and beauty appointments - launching in London Spring 2015
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