Watsu Massage Therapy
Among the most misunderstood conditions by most people is that of massage therapy. It is a shame really because it would seem that a simple technique like the massage provided by a masseuse would be very easy to learn. People assume then that anyone should be able to learn how to give a good massage to another human being. However, learning to give or receive a massage isn't too simple and there are numerous skills required to be prosperous in this area.
Watsu is probably the first non-traditional water bodywork style in the western world. It is used now by practitioners of chiropractic and other forms of Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a way of treatment for muscle and nervous system disorders, stress and injury. It can also be used by friends and family just like massage with warm water and total unconditional love and support of the patient.
Like most things, watsu will only work if it is received regularly. There's a good deal of difference between regular massage therapy and getting a traditional Japanese aqua bodywork. There are three major elements involved in getting a massage treatment: the massage itself, the air and the receiver. If any one of those elements is missing, then the result will be very poor.
Watsu can only work on the tissues and muscles that are being worked on. Consequently, if the entire body isn't being treated, then it is ineffective. While I give a massage to clients, I make sure I start with the significant part of the body - the back and neck. I then proceed to work my way into the toes and then the lower limbs and then towards the upper body. I then repeat the procedure with the warm water flowing gently in my hands as I massage every area of the client's body one at a time.
The reason I emphasize the entire body is as there are differences between traditional Japanese massage and water. Watsu is much more concerned with stimulating the superficial muscles and soft tissues of the back and neck area while traditional Japanese treatments work deeply into the muscle layers to treat the condition of a patient's body. This is the reason you can hardly find a therapist practicing this form of therapy in the West today.
Another large click here difference between watsu and aqua therapy is that water uses both physical and psychological methods. Aquatic bodywork on the other hand uses warm water massage combined with friction and stretching massage. Although there is often some amount of hand pressure in a water therapy session, it's typically applied with the use of both hands and the fingers only. With aqua therapy, on the other hand, the therapist just applies physical pressure through the use of their hands.
Besides using various hand pressure methods, aquatic bodywork often incorporates the use of various massage strokes and techniques. These include: Shiatsu (a finger-pressure type therapy), Usui (an open palm stroke), Hanga (a palm to palm stroke), Hapy (a slow and circular motion ), and Paneer (a thrusting motion). It is typical for therapists to combine these techniques with other kinds of treatment like touch and foam massage, Swedish massage or other types of deep tissue massage.
Although I think water is far superior to regular massage when it comes to providing therapeutic benefits to a patient, many individuals do not like the concept of having to'bear' the pain. To this day, I have yet to meet a regular massage client who loves having to endure a rigorous session of shiatsu. In addition to the fact that most individuals are not comfortable with the idea of having their entire body massaged while they are seated, I also think that most people would prefer the solitude of receiving a normal massage rather than have their entire bodywork, especially if the massage session takes longer than expected. For this reason, most cats therapists will advise their patients to find a massage therapist who is prepared to offer a warm compress to employ during a therapy session. My experience with watsu over the past several years has been that warm compresses give the most relief and recovery to my clients.