Spire Hartswood Hospital has it's own hydrotherapy pool and is the only place in Essex to offer Watsu treatment – a form of aquatic relaxation.

What is Watsu?

Watsu was developed in the USA in the early 80s and focuses on stretching and strengthening muscles, increasing flexibility and range of motion, and deep relaxation.

Like hydrotherapy, it can be used to manage long-term pain for conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. However, it is also very popular as a form of deep relaxation for those with stress or anxiety or who simply enjoy relaxation therapies.

Watsu is performed in a warm water pool but patients don’t need to be able to swim. During a session, their body is fully supported by the therapist at all times and their head cradled above water level whilst the body is gently manipulated and stretched. Watsu is performed in time with the breath and consists of calm, rhythmic movements, which not only affect superficial and deep fasciae, inner ear and neurological systems but will also gently energise and refresh the person, inspiring the natural regeneration of mind, body and spirit.

Being underwater, the physiotherapist is able to free spinal vertebrae, rotate joint articulations and elongate muscles in ways that are often not possible in a land-based physiotherapy session. Treatment does involve close contact with the physiotherapist though floats can be used to reduce the level of intimacy where preferred.

Sessions last 20 minutes though previous patients have commented that it feels much longer due to the deep level of relaxation achieved. 

What is Watsu used to treat?

Physiotherapists and massage therapists worldwide use Watsu to:

  • reduce stress and anxiety
  • improve breathing and sleep patterns
  • release toxins
  • increase energy
  • release emotional stress
  • improve circulation
  • decrease pain and fatigue
  • increase range of motion
  • improve body awareness
  • normalise muscle tone
  • decrease muscle guarding and tension
  • increase lymphatic circulation

It can be especially helpful when managing:

  • arthritis
  • rheumatism
  • fibromyalgia
  • anxiety

Image courtesy of Hilary Austin www.aquatictherapy.co.uk

What to bring

All you need to bring is your own swimming costume/trunks, though we recommend you bring some waterproof ear plugs too.

We provide towels and any equipment needed including floats to keep your legs buoyant. Long hair needs to be tied back and any items of jewellery/watches should be taken off.

For more information or to book an appointment.

Call 01277 266 780.

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