Discover the physical and mental benefits of watsu

For SHA Wellness Clinic
Sunday August 15th, 2021
This relaxing therapy combines the therapeutic properties of water with shiatsu massage.


Celebrated on 15 August, World Relaxation Day is a day to raise awareness of how important stress relief is for our physical, mental and emotional health. And managing stress while dealing with the hustle and bustle of the daily grind and the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic make it hard to kick back and unwind.


To get some headspace, block out the noise and restore balance to your body and mind, there’s nothing better than a watsu session which, in the words of Fernando Gallego, Wellness Supervisor and watsu specialist at SHA, “provides extreme relaxation. The term comes from the words water and shiatsu, a Japanese massage that has been practised for millennia. It was created in the early 1980s by Harold Dull who, after learning the secrets and techniques of shiatsu in Japan, adapted it for use in water at Harbin Hot Springs (California), using natural hot springs, adding the therapeutic effects of water to the benefits of shiatsu”.

The combination of muscle and joint stretching, gentle movements, and acupressure with the weightless sensation of floating in water delivers a host of physical and mental benefits. As Fernando says, “Watsu relieves muscle tension and general pain, decompresses the spine, reduces anxiety, helps manage stress, improves sleep quality and aids digestion. But perhaps most important is the level of intense relaxation that is achieved, allowing guests to disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with their inner self. In fact, being rocked in warm water, feeling pampered and safe and in the hands of the therapist, means that guests can focus really deeply on their emotions; the experience is even reminiscent of being in their mother’s womb. And the sessions are so personalised and intuitive that no two are alike”.

Another advantage of watsu is that it’s suitable for practically everyone, except those with ear issues, open wounds or those suffering from low blood pressure.

SHAstyle watsu

Normally, watsu is performed in a pool, but at SHA we take the concept of exclusivity one step further to offer our guests a completely unique experience. Which is why, as Fernando says, “we have one of the best individual cabins in the world for the sessions. It’s an enclosed, completely private pool where everything is specifically designed for watsu, from the lighting control to the treatment and the temperature of the water, which is always perfect”.



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