At Benchmark Physical Therapy and Wellness Center, we offer various types of therapeutic massage through our independent licensed massage therapist. In addition, we pioneered the use of a unique combination of massage therapy, stretching and aquatic (warm water) therapy known as Watsu.
The name Watsu originates from Harold Dull, who in the early 1980s developed the technique of floating clients in the warm spring waters of Hot Harbin Springs, California. Since 1980 when people were first floated and stretched in warm water, the number of Watsu practitioners and patients continues to grow.
In over 40 countries, Watsu is proving its effectiveness for treating chronic pain and a widening range of conditions. It has been welcomed as a primary rehab modality by aquatic therapists and is now taught in universities around the world. In addition to the physical benefits of warm water-based floating and stretching, Watsu's power to reduce stress has been implicated in its growing popularity among the general public. Many come out of a Watsu saying they were more relaxed than they have ever been. Some say it was one of the most powerful experiences of their lives. More and more are choosing Watsu at spas. Recently an Asian spa association voted Watsu the best of all treatments offered in Asian spas.
Watsu’s lasting benefits for special needs have been confirmed by many clinical studies.The greater sense of connection that most patients feel with Watsu results from the fact that you must be floated in someone's arms. Watsu therapists connect all the movements and stretches to the patient’s breathing.
Watsu massage emphasizes stretching and point work, which releases blockages along our meridians, the channels through which our “chi” or life force, flows. Patients are supported in a pool of warm water by a skilled therapist and the buoyancy of the water.
Flotation devices are available if needed. Typically limited by the gravity on land, this type of bodywork uses moments of stillness with stretching and movement to free the spine and body. With the whole body in fluid motion, new life is given to areas of restriction, thus increasing circulation, flexibility and overall body awareness.
Wassertanzen – (Waterbreath Dance)
In this variation on Watsu, a nose clip is placed on the patient, a signal is given and the patient is taken underwater as the flow of Watsu takes on a new realm. As the patient exhales, underwater movements begin. These movements incorporate elements of Aikido, a dolphin-like movement, rolls, inversions, massage and dance.
Patients experience the feeling of letting go in a new and exhilarating way while entering a deep sense of peace and tranquility. Healing is facilitated through water, movement and breathing.