The word “Watsu” comes from the words Water and Shiatsu.
While most forms of bodywork use either a table or floor to provide support, Watsu® is unique in that it uses warm water and your own natural buoyancy for support.
Watsu or water shiatsu massage was the brainchild of Harold Dull. Dull's techniques were inspired from study of Zen Shiatsu. In an interview for Massage and Bodywork magazine in 1995, Dull explains how his work in developing this new technique evolved. After studying in Japan in the late 1970’s, Dull began utilizing the techniques of Shiatsu massage on his clients while floating in the Harbin Hot Springs of California. The philosophy behind Watsu is that the movements and bodywork move and redistribute the Chi, or life force energy in the body.
Jim Rogers' theory is that the body's weightlessness in warm water allows greater freedom of movement. Combining Watsu, compression massage, soothing music and spinal traction gives the body a chance to reset and start to heal, due in part to the increased blood flow and lymph drainage. Increased sleep quality also helps in the body repair process.