What the heck is a Watsu?


What the heck is a Watsu?    I had never heard of it before either but once I did I had to experience it!

The Golden Door Spa- Naples, Florida

The Golden Door Spa- Naples, Florida

I love massage services.   I never experienced a massage until my early thirties when a good friend of mine insisted I try it out. She had been seeing a great massage therapist for ten years and sent me to her. That first massage was pretty uncomfortable because I wasn’t used to lying naked on a table (even with a blanket over me).  I ended up keeping my bra and underwear on!

I was grateful for a great first experience and ended up seeing that therapist for the next 10 years and miss her greatly now that she is retired.

Over the years I learned how important massage is for your health.  It has healed many sports injuries, helped with headaches, TMJ, stress, depression, and other medical ailments.

Today I always turn to massage for healing first before I even consider heading to the doctor.  (But avoid getting a massage if you have a cold or the flu. Massage can exacerbate your symptoms and you don’t want your massage therapist to get sick!)

There are all kinds of massage modalities that are great for different things.  Medical massage, sports massage, relaxation massage, reflexology massage, body talk (really interesting!), neuromuscular, myofascial release, and the list goes on and on.

Meanwhile, over the past year I have seen a couple of my Women On Fire friends post about a massage called Watsu.   They are absolutely glowing afterward.

With all the types of massage I have experienced, I had never even heard of Watsu!  I was intrigued to say the least and wanted to experience it.

Last month I planned a day off for me.  I really needed the down time by myself to relax. I didn’t go far from home.  Just a short 2 hour drive down to Naples, FL.   Just far enough to leave my worries behind.

I planned ahead and signed up for a Watsu massage at the Golden Door Spa at Waldorf Astoria.   I really had no clue what to expect other than it involved water.

Just bring your smile, they have everything else!

Just bring your smile, they have everything else!

I checked in at the spa and felt immediately at peace.  They supply everything you need for the day.  A robe, spa slippers, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, hair spray, gel, body wash, shaving cream, disposable razors, private lockers, private showers, fruit, tea, water, granola, and more!  Plus I had a pass to hang out all day long and just do nothing!



So I got into my bathing suit, wrapped my cozy robe around me, slid into my slippers and walked out into the waiting area.  I grabbed a cup of water and kicked my feet up.  I read a magazine with relaxing music playing in the background until someone came and got me.

Mom's Time Out

Mom’s Time Out

My Watsu massage therapist was Tamara.  She escorted me to a private pool area, surrounded by green plants and bamboo and soothing music wafting out of nowhere.   As I descended into the pool I was pleased to feel warm water engulf me.   Tamara had me sit on the side as she explained what was going to happen next.

She enfolded my shins in blue wraps and then gently took me in her arms and began pulling me around in the water.  Sometimes she swayed me back and forth and sometimes spun gently.

At first I did not feel comfortable.   I am not a water person and I also tend to get motion sickness.  I was feeling a bit queasy, but made the conscious decision to relax and enjoy this as much as I possibly could.  With Tamara’s prompting I began focusing more on my breathing and releasing thoughts as they came in to my head.  There were a lot of thoughts!

As the time went by I began to really pay attention to how the water felt on my skin and the sun shining down on my face.  When my ears were under the water it was like I had left the world behind, all sound was closed off.  Swaying and swirling, Tamara pulled gently on my arms and legs, adjusting them into certain positions. All of it began to feel kind of familiar.

Golden Door Spa private Watsu pool.

Golden Door Spa private Watsu pool.

Then bam!  I got it!  I was in the womb! I can’t imagine anything that could better simulate that swaying, engulfed, watery, warm environment!    I immediately connected to my kids and thought about how it felt for them to be in my belly and me moving them around.  I rocked back and forth, gently moved my arms and legs in the water, and felt sunlight warmly shining through to my belly.  Oh, the warmth of the sun felt so good, like pure energy flowing through me.   Once I connected with those feelings, I was locked into the experience until it was over.

Ask for Tamaria at Golden Door Spa, Tell her I sent you!

Ask for Tamaria at Golden Door Spa, Tell her I sent you!

Eventually, Tamara gently guided me to the edge of the pool and propped me up.  I just wanted to sit there and do nothing, but it was time to go.

What a wonderful experience it was!!  I was so relaxed and the great news was that I didn’t have to leave!  I could enjoy the entire spa area and hotel for the rest of the day.


I spent the rest of the day holding on to the feelings I connected with during my Watsu experience. I let myself lie by the pool, something I have not done in a decade. I interspersed sun worship with swimming and sauna. It was sweet. No kids to keep an eye on – only me. I indulged myself, doing what I wanted, and when.

That one day off, with the Watsu massage as its highlight, was exactly what I needed.  I went home refreshed and ready to conquer the world called motherhood.

This brings me to one of the reasons why I am sharing this with you.  I want to encourage you to take a day off for yourself.  Just you!  Nobody else.  It can feel uncomfortable and even lonely.  We are so used to being surrounded by people who need us all the time.   That time alone does so many things for you and it’s going to be different for everyone.

Your time for you does not have to be extravagant!  You don’t even have to spend the night away from home.  You do not have to go to a spa or get a massage (though I recommend it if you can afford it!) Just block your calendar off so that nothing is scheduled.  Lie around and do nothing, go for a hike in the woods, walk down the beach, stroll through the country side, ride a bike, read a book by a pool, go visit a museum you’ve wanted to see,  go to a restaurant you’ve wanted to try.  You may not be able to afford for the entire family to go somewhere but if you can afford to go by yourself…do it!  If you have some funds available to you, get a pedicure, manicure, or a massage.  Whatever works for you.

(Hint: There are ways to feel pampered without spending a fortune. For example, I could not afford nor did I want to pay $400+ a night to stay at the Waldorf Astoria.  However, by purchasing one service at their spa I had full access to all of their facilities.  Their two pools, gym, sauna, steam room, relaxation room, etc.  I spent the entire day there with high quality service, felt pampered and I only invested in one service. Call around your area to see if you can find something like that.)

Are you inspired to take some time for your self?  Share in the comments what have you always wanted to do but haven’t stopped to take the time to do?









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