From The Practitioner's Point of View
The premise of learning Watsu, like that of so many other therapeutic forms, is that practitioners can only give to the extent of their own personal development. The WatsuŽ training program, therefore, is intensive. Students spend hundreds of hours learning and practicing the various hands-on techniques and approaches. Beginning level WatsuŽ classes teach practioners a strict sequence of moves and positions to follow with each client; as with Tai chi and other fixed forms, the WatsuŽ sequence allows practitioners to free their minds from the distractions of having to think about “what should I do next?” The more advanced WatsuŽ classes abandon sequence entirely for the limitless possibilities of “free flow”, which begins with the client’s breath, and grows new in each moment from a place of deep energetic connection and opening.
Either way – sequenced or free flowing – every touch, move, and aspect of the WatsuŽ experience has a very different and important effect on the receiver. Being in warm water softens the tissues and soothes the mind. Floating creates a sense of lightness, and an altered perception of gravity and time. Following the rhythm and movements of the breath creates a sense of ease, and of being felt and understood. Massage soothes sore muscles. Stretching opens the tissues. Shiatsu opens the flow o energy throughout the body. Chakra work opens the body’s energy system to that of the universe. Flowing movements give a feeling of freedom, sleekness, and beauty. Being loved unconditionally creates a sense of acceptance. Being held closely and non-sexually creates a deep felling of nurturance and safety.