Fitness at 40+
I Had a Watsu Treatment, Went Back to the Womb and Emerged Limber!
Our spa consultant shares what it’s like to float to Nirvana
In May of this year, I had the distinct privilege of attending the Green Spa Network buyers’ conference at Civana (my fourth visit to the gorgeous Arizona spa!) as a volunteer. At the conference, GSN Planet asked that the spa industry join in planting 1 Million trees, so if you want to add to the earth’s oxygen, check it out!
Helping 150 people navigate a resort is hard work. As such, I decided to treat myself to a Watsu treatment in the Spa’s private pool sanctuary. The last and first time I had Watsu was also in Arizona, at Miraval, back when it was first a trend in the antique ages. Speaking of that, “spa” is short for sanitas per aquum, according to some definitions, so getting wet or taking the waters has been around since the Romans, or the real Ancient times.
I eagerly await my therapist in my bathing suit – yes, you must wear one! She comes and escorts me past the lap pool and through a gate to an inner sanctuary. I immerse myself in warm water and am handed ear plugs and a candy to suck on. I dutifully follow instructions and the therapist attaches floaties to my legs while gently holding onto me. She’s wearing sunglasses, which is somewhat disconcerting, but we are outdoors after all. She explains to let all inhibitions go in order to fully experience all the freeing sensations. Weirdly enough, even though you are wearing ear plugs, you can still hear the music in the underwater speakers, thereby elevating the experience to a multi-sensorial one.
Then the aquatic ballet starts. Gently being rocked back and forth in fluid motions while submerged (the head is never under, but rather resting on the therapist’s shoulder), I float to Nirvana — or pretty damn close to it. She uses her fingers and thumbs to target areas of stress, and I can literally feel them wash away, while also stretching and manipulating my arms and legs in this aquatic dance. My mind wanders and I think to myself, this is the most intimate moment I have experienced with a total stranger and could veer into the erotic zone if I were so inclined. I focus on my breathing to bring me back to the moment, similar to yoga breath, and allow myself to simply melt and turn from uncooked spaghetti to al dente to finally pliable and soft. Now I am hungry, but I still have the candy stuck to my palate (I guess taste was also part of the experience!)
Being in water gives the body much more flexibility and ease of movement, and allows the therapist to gently release tension and toxins. It is transformative and truly transcendent! That’s spa-speak for you.