David Erlich, director of spa operations at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
& Spa, in Sonoma, CA, counts Watsu among his favorite treatments. "Once
you are in the water, it is about relinquishing control," Erlich says.
"If you can let go and allow the Watsu therapist to freely move you through
the water, it's more likely you will be able to completely relax." The
Sonoma Mission Inn Spa has two Watsu pools, both of which are filled with
mineral water piped directly from nearby hot springs. To increase the benefits
of a Watsu massage, Erlich encourages his Watsu therapists to take at least 10
minutes to get to know their clients before beginning the treatment. "For
some people, floating in the water makes them a bit insecure, and for others it
reminds them of being in the womb," he says. "I think it is a good idea
for anyone experiencing Watsu to talk to the therapist about their fears and
expectations beforehand." Dull agrees. "For some people, being in the
water is imbued with quite a bit of meaning," he says. "It moves them
through emotional memories — tears may come, as may a smile."
In her book Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and
Environmental Toxins, Ingerman recommends that you take a moment to relax
and contemplate water. Find a quiet space inside your home or outside in
nature. Start by breathing deeply to calm the "chatter" in your mind.
When relaxed, picture yourself as water. This could be a drop of rain, an
ocean, a river, a creek, a waterfall, even a teardrop. Imagine yourself merging
with the water, then let it guide you. Reflect on this image of water until you
feel relaxed and at peace. When finished, begin to gently move your hands and
feet and slowly open your eyes.
Related content on countryliving.com