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Watsu is a gentle body massage performed in special heated pools of water.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: August 9, 2016

An aquatic body massage, Watsu is performed while floating in a pool of water heated to 94 to 97 degrees.

Based on the notion that the body has a greater range of motion when in water,Watsu is intended to provide a deeper and more intense stretch. This allows the masseuse to treat parts of the body that may be difficult to access when lying on a massage table.

The origins of Watsu: Watsu was developed in 1980 by former poet Harold Dull, who decided to combine water and shiatsu.

Benefits Of Watsu

Watsu is gentle and rehabilitative, making it a good treatment for chronic pain and muscle spasms. Benefits of Watsu sessions are increased range of motion and muscle relaxation, as well as a decrease in muscle spasms and pain.

What To Expect

During a Watsu session, you will be floating in the arms of your Watsu therapist, who will gently stretch your limbs without the pressure of gravity. The sense of being held and accompanied is important to the experience of Watsu. Watsu has been compared to a dream state or a water ballet.

Specialized equipment: Watsu requires a special pool heated to about 95 degrees, give or take a few, as well as a trained Watsu therapist. A list of approved Watsu pools is available on If a Watsu pool is not available, Watsu techniques can be used on dry land in a variant called Tantsu.

Preparation: Wear a bathing suit to Watsu and bring earplugs. Avoid eating for two hours prior to Watsu sessions.


Watsu sessions are gentle and suitable for almost anyone, including the elderly and handicapped. People with severe water phobia may not enjoy Watsu.

Who wouldn't benefit: Watsu is a gentle massage technique not suitable for those desiring deep tissue or ligament manipulation.

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