Relaxation and massage techniques in the water: Watsu and Aguahara
Watsu is a relaxation and massage technique in water that could be useful for everyone for total relaxation and to release tension. It is an amazing chance to take a rest and go into deep relaxation while being held by water and the therapist.
For those who have irrational fears and hydrophobia, it is a chance to connect with water in a new gentle way, it helps to release your fears and your negative experience.
This technique is very useful for divers to extend their relaxation limits and improve the quality of relaxation. Watsu helps develop a very important skill for freedivers — to relax muscles that are not active at the moment.
What does the session look like?
The usual session lasts for 45-60 minutes. First of all, the participant will answer the therapist’s questions to deeply understand their physical and emotional conditions. The session starts after this. Before that, a few more instructions will be given. And then the main part starts where the participant will be encouraged to avoid reacting to any kind of water condition or any action given by the therapist, to be just an observer.
While being supported by the therapist’s hands you will lay down on the surface, your eyes closed, face upfront, and your body will be underwater while not having tension in it. Different movements with changing intensity and amplitude follow after.
It could be gentle waves or simply swings in the water, going through the body. Also detailed short movements or big amplitude sweeping movements. At some moment therapists can start to work with energy flow points in your body. There is some stretching in this session but there is no force used, everything is done gently and slowly. This is an extension of the movement’s limits by releasing stiffness and blocks. Here we use the qualities of the water — gentleness, and fluidity. As much as you can afford it.
It could happen that what you experience on a physical level could slide into your emotional world. Water is our natural habitat (the first several months of our lives were spent in the water and 80% of our bodies consist of water). You don’t need to control and support your body while being in such a calm environment. Some memories from the prenatal period of life or childhood could rise up in your mind. It could be a very deep journey. Could be also very joyful, and bright with various pictures, images, flights, and dancing movements… People turn to find different images to describe this feeling usually connected with floating, soaring, freedom, feeling of lightness, childhood, and parental care.
When the session ends you will have time to go back to reality. The best you can do after the session is to avoid rushing anywhere and take time for rest. If you need it, you should go on relaxing and comprehend your experience.
During this session, some elements of the Aguahara technique can be used. It is also a technique of relaxation but differs from Watsu, because some movements are done while being under the water, with complete immersion. If you have ever practiced Watsu or just feel as good and comfortable in the water as a fish, it could be a wonderful immersion. It is impossible to describe the feeling of circling in 3 dimensions, swimming as a mermaid, going deep as a submarine, or feeling like an embryo in a mom’s womb. The therapist will make sure to guide you carefully and it can only succeed when it happens safely and naturally for you. Your safety is the number one priority while practicing these techniques.
Watsu and Aguahara sessions could be held:
- As a one-time relaxation procedure
- Each 1-2 days during 10 days as a therapy