Watsu technique was first spoken about in 1980's when it was introduced by Harold Dull, who was at the time a practicing therapist and eventually became the director of the School of Massage and Shiatsu in California. Gradually his technique acquired the characteristics that it possesses now. Harold Dull purposefully incorporated into the Watsu technique, created by him, a few elements of the ancient Tibetan practice of Zen Siatsu.
Harold Dull has registered Watsyu as his personal trademark and has contributed greatly to it s development and evolution. It is true that at first the Watsu method gave rise to certain doubt, but now its effectiveness is no longer questioned. Watsu practice is now widely known and appreciated due to the ability to produce immediate and long lasting effect. Besides, it is rather appealing to people due to its simplicity and availability. Watsu method is in fact a combination of the Shuiatsu practice ad regular massage, but what makes is special is the fact that it is performed in water.
This is where the name of the Watsu technique comes from - it is a combination of words "water" and "shiatsu ". The basis of Watsu method is the ability of the therapist to manipulate the body of the person who is being massaged in a wide variety of ways, due to the fact that the body is placed in water. As the client finds himself in warm water of a very comfortable temperature (about 35 degrees), his body is being gently rocked by the massage therapist. During the process of Watsu massage the receiver needs to be constantly supported, which is the responsibility of the therapist.
Due to the fact that Watsu method requires the body of Watsu therapy receiver to be placed in water, various kinds of manipulations are possible. The therapist is free to stretch the body in the ways that are impossible during ordinary massage on land. There are several forms and varieties of Watsu. To name a few, they would be "Waterdance" (also referred to as Wasser Tansen), which requires the receiver to be submerged under the water surface; the Healing Dance (introduced by A. Georgelacopoulus) and Jahara technique, which is considered to be the most gentle of all three as it involves continuous support.
The therapies mentioned above all incorporate the principles of Shiatsu that were first brought under the spotlight of attention by Harold Dull.
The effects that can be reached as a result of Watsu method implementation are various. It is known to produce the following beneficial health effects: the relief of mental and emotional stress, the healing process acceleration. Another pronounced effect instantly brought about by Watsu method is the general relaxation and the calming effect that soothes the muscle tension and invigorates all of the body systems and organs by nourishing the energy flow.
Watsu method has become quite popular in the recent years and due to the fact that it enjoys such wide popularity, the service of performing Watsu massage is available in quite a lot of spas around the world.