I tried Watsu, the world’s first aquatic massage that is said to have countless health and wellness benefits. Here’s what happened.
Watsu is a water massage that claims to decrease muscle tension, pain and stress. It is also said to improve mobility, flexibility and quality of sleep. Plus, Watsu advocates say the therapy is beneficial for health problems including arthritis, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease.
Massages are relaxing, but one conducted in water? As a diver, I’m not afraid, but floating on water and having the risk of water getting into my nose and mouth is slightly off putting. As I am young, soft, and flexible from my daily yoga practice, I was curious if a place called “Inspire Mum & Baby” could do anything for me.
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The word Watsu is derived from water and Shiatsu (a form of Japanese bodywork). This passive one-to-one process involves the therapist cradling, moving, and stretching the customer for deep relaxation. The therapy also incorporates Shiatsu, a type of massage done with pressure applied with the thumbs, hands, elbows, knees, and feet to the body’s pressure points. This form of massage reduces the risk of injury as it is non-invasive, but it still increases blood flow and circulation.
While Watsu is great for mummies-to-be who need gentle solutions for relaxation and pain management, non-pregnant women can also benefit from the treatment.
(Also read: Tuina Massage: Are You Suitable For It?)
My Watsu experience
Stepping into the warm salt-chlorine water, I was immediately at ease, bouncing and floating around the pool. My therapist, Linda Tan is the first person to introduce Watsu to Singapore and is duly certified so I was in good hands.
When it was time to begin, Linda told me that we would start and end in a seated position. During the hour-long treatment, I was to let go of my thoughts and control, and allow her to do her magic.
She then secured two floats around my knees to help with buoyancy and stability – this means non-swimmers can also enjoy the treatment. Linda placed one arm behind my neck and the other on my back, and positioned me horizontally.
I’m an easy sleeper and a water lover, so once the water covered my ears, I started dozing off. As I eased into the massage, my body felt heavier.
Watsu is nothing like a typical massage. Instead of applying localised pressure, Linda helped me float, sway, twist (lightly) and move side to side. I enjoyed hanging like a rag doll; you can never experience such a release on land. My muscles gradually relaxed while Linda manoeuvred my body skilfully.
The sound of water created by my body when I breached the surface was calming and therapeutic. Some customers have cried after Watsu, Linda shared, due to the emotional release.
When the session ended, I took a while to tear myself out of my sleepy state. We smiled at each other and stayed there for a moment, appreciating the calmness in quiet.
(Also read: Accupoint Massages to Ease Menstrual Pain)
For those with a busy mind, tense muscles, insomnia or even a case of the blues, Watsu can go a long way towards relaxing your mind and body. I felt energised and refreshed after my session (in the morning). My mind was clear and I could focus better for the rest of the day – it was a great and calming way to start my Friday and kick off the weekend.
Price: $150 for a single session; $1,200 for a package of 10 sessions
Location: 188-2 Tanjong Katong Rd
More information: www.inspiremumbaby.com.