Also known as Water Healing, Watsu can be a highly transformational treatment, allowing people to surrender and overcome their fears
Watsu has quickly become one of my favourite go-to treatments over the years whenever I seem to face blockages or when I find myself at a crossroad in my life.
Having deep-seated trust issues and being a bit of a control freak, it tends to be very challenging for me to surrender to people and the universe at large. But in your fear lies your biggest lesson as well as your biggest reward. If you can overcome your fear, a whole new world opens up to you, and that’s exactly what happens to me again during my session with Watsu Master Isabella Matrundola at Fivelements Bali.
Watsu (which comes from “water” and “shiatsu”) is a nurturing form of bodywork, performed in a warm (often round) pool with waist-deep water. And even though I’ve received Watsu from Isabella before, she gently talks me through the entire procedure again and makes me feel completely at ease. She also gives me a clip to tighten around my nose and wraps small floats around my legs and then starts to cradle me, taking all my weight and allowing me to simply relax into her arms. I feel safe, nurtured, vulnerable yet comfortable all at once. It’s a strange feeling, but so natural, inviting, soothing and liberating that you have no other choice but to succumb to it.
Isa then starts to guide me through the water, tuning into my body and “listening” how my body wants to move, where it wants to go and helping me to facilitate that. Almost like a dance, we glide through the pool together and my body curls, twists and stretches as she continues to pull me perhaps like a rag doll.
However, my favorite part is the underwater work, where my whole body is submerged. Given the fact that I’ve had a diving accident more than 15 years ago, this is also the part that holds the biggest charge for me. But with every time that my head goes under and I hold my breath, I feel like I’m breaking through this invisible barrier a little bit more each time, feeling entirely at ease with someone else guiding me. I give up control and completely trust. It feels like floating through outer space, and I notice my worries and responsibilities slowly drifting away. Even the concept of time seems to dissipate and a new sense of being emerges, simply allowing me to be whatever, whoever I am in that particular moment. My body as well as my mind are completely relaxed, giving in and surrendering to everything that is.
Watsu can be a highly transformational treatment that works on both body and mind. It’s like meditation. Its gentle stretches have a therapeutic effect on the body. The support of the water allows the spine to be moved in certain ways that aren’t possible on land. And on an emotional level, it helps heal wounds of separation, renewing in us our deep sense of connection and oneness with others.