WATer-shiatSU is a form of aquatic bodywork in which the "provider" supports and gently moves the "receiver" through warm water in graceful, fluid movements combined with gentle stretches, massage and finger-tip pressure to points in the face, torso and back (shiatsu therapy). Watsu promotes a deep state of relaxation with dramatic changes in quieting the autonomic nervous system, resulting in a profound effect on the neuromuscular system.

Varying levels of relief from pain and stress may be realized following a Watsu session. Watsu is being incorporated into aquatic programs for clients with chronic pain, strokes, fibromyalgia, post-mastectomy, traumatic stress disorder and more in hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation centers from around the world. Therapists report the following benefits in their clients.

Immediate benefits reported after first session:

  • increased range of motion
  • increased muscle relaxation
  • decreased muscle spasm
  • decreased spasticity
  • decreased pain

Long-term benefits reported after multiple sessions:

  • improved sleep patterns
  • improved digestion
  • improved healing and immune system response
  • greater decreases in physical and emotional pain
  • decreased anxiety