Road to Wellness

In the early 1980s Harold Dull began to take the stretches of Zen shiatsu into the warm water of the pools at Harbin Hot Springs in northern California. First called Bodywork Tantra, it came to be called "watsu" (short for "water shiatsu"). Watsu is a floating massage performed in water that is 95 degrees. The practitioner holds and massages the client gently, supporting and moving him or her through the water in a nurturing way.

Clients become very relaxed and able to let go without the constraints of gravity holding them to a table or surface. The muscles and joints are stretched and massaged gently with the weightlessness and warmth of the water assisting in maximizing the experience. This in turn creates movement and balance in the path and flow of the body's energy. Flow, or the combining of movement and stillness, is very important in watsu; when the session is over, the client can carry this feeling and ability to "go with the flow" into daily activities.

The gentle rocking movements, stretches and nurturing support in the arms of the practitioner convey to the receiver the peace and simplicity of the earliest childhood and womb states, allowing physical and emotional blockages to be released. Above all, watsu is deeply relaxing, guided by a philosophy of gentleness, complete acceptance and unconditional love.

Here are experiences from the receiver's point of view: "That was the most blissful experience I've ever had. It was the most safe I've felt in my life." "I never want to walk again. I just want to float in the pool. It's ecstasy, going home, feeling connected."

Watsu can benefit everyone: the very young, adolescents, the elderly, pregnant, athletes and those suffering from simple stress. It is effective in a wide variety of neurologic and orthopedic problems, arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression and so on.

In Cincinnati, Cynthia Amrita Rothchild is a watsu practitioner offering private and couples intimacy sessions in the water including AquaTantra, Water Dance, Re-Birthing the Self in Water and Deep Emotional Release Bodywork. For more info about aquatic bodywork contact Waves of Bliss Aquatic Bodywork and Tantra. You can reach Cynthia Rothchild at 513-225-5546, [email protected] or www.wholebodywork.com.

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