Aquatic Bodywork

What is Aquatic Bodywork?

In the last 3 decades 3 directions of bodywork in 35 degrees Celsius warm water have developed and established themselves worldwide. These take place as individual treatment. The water therapist trained by teachers from the German-speaking IAKA (Institute for Aquatic Bodywork) and the worldwide WABA (Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association) is called a’practitioner’. In its original form, a treatment in water is called a ‘WATSU session’ and usually lasts one hour. 

WATSU – WaterShiatsu

“WATSU” is the abbreviation for “Water Shiatsu” and was developed in 1980 by Harold Dull in California. It is a body therapeutic application in the chest deep 35 degrees Celsius warm water for health promotion in the individual treatment. Healthy and sick people find in a session of Aquatic Bodywork for one hour the possibility to enter a deep relaxation. Therapists’ massage offers relax tissues and muscles while the water supports the joints and carries the weight of the body. The own flow of movement is stimulated and a shared rhythmic dance is created in the weightlessness of the water. The nourishing space in the treatment unfolds its effect in the flow of movements. In the interplay between movement and silence, the client’s mind finds peace and emotions can be felt.

WATA – WaterDance

“WATA” is the name for “WasserTanzen” and was developed at the same time as WATSU by Arjana Brunschwiler and Aman Schröter in Europe. This water dance combines dynamic movements on and below the water surface. The new underwater experience space ties in with our own history. The primordial trust finds its way back into our consciousness as a felt experience and body remembrance. In the dives the successful communication in the breathing accompaniment is a prerequisite for a trustful cooperation in the flow of the emerging WaterDance. Your own breath deepens during the treatment, the natural diving reflex is activated, a free space of amazing possibilities opens up. The ‘Absolute Space’ in the weightlessness of water provides a space for movement that invites in all directions. Without the felt contact to the ground or to the air, the sense of space and time dissolve for a moment.

Healing Dance

“Healing Dance” is the third form of Aquatic Bodywork. It was developed by a dancer and body therapist named Alexander George on the basis of WATSU and WATA. The range of movements is geared to the anatomical conditions of the clients in connection with an aesthetic feeling for dance movements. In Healing Dance, in addition to the calming, quiet moments, there are very expansive dance sequences above and below the surface. The pool becomes a dance room, the water becomes a screen, the client becomes a dancer who is danced and dances herself. The aesthetics of rhythmic movements in waves, spirals and eights in the flow of water make Healing Dance an art form that stimulates freedom and discovery, as well as play and experimentation.

For whom is Aquatic Bodywork

For all people of all ages and sexes

  • who want to release muscular tension and experience deep relaxation
  • who long for lightness- and weightlessness
  • who would like to let themselves fall and entrust themselves again
  • who want to live their life in a more oriented, clearer and more relaxed way

In which environment is Aquatic Bodywork used today?

  • as a relaxation and wellness offer in public thermal baths, hotels and seminar houses with health-promoting offers
  • in the care and support of expectant mothers and fathers by midwives and in their support
  • in pain treatment and rehabilitation by and in cooperation with trained doctors. 
  • as supportive body-therapy in psychotherapeutic processes by trained psychotherapists and in cooperation with them