Relax in the water with watsu and sensory isolation

Relax in the water with watsu and sensory isolation

In a context where there are many reasons to be overwhelmed by stress, immersion in two aquatic relaxation techniques that untie the body and fluidify the mind.

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Born in California in the 80s, watsu is the contraction of “water” and “shiatsu”, a massage technique originating in Japan based on acupressure, ie pressure on certain points of the meridians. Initially, a practitioner had the idea of ​​placing a massage table in thermal water, then quickly realized that he could remove the table and support the massaged person himself. The method has further evolved over time to result in an aquatic treatment with powerful relaxing potential, which has been spreading in Belgium for several years.

Architect and town planner, Dominique Dosogne was interested in and trained in parallel with different types of massage (Californian, Thai, Ayurvedic) before having a revelation when he discovered watsu. In 2018, she opened the “Au bord de l’eau” center in Uccle, which she designed with a pool bathed in light and heated to 34°, a temperature close to that of the body. No tension when you enter, the heat diffuses and begins to relax the muscles like the joints. After a few deep breaths, there is no longer any question of acting, just of letting yourself be carried by the water, in the comfort of weightlessness, and supported by the delicate gestures of the practitioner who moves the body of the person receiving the treatment. in the basin, allowing the water to massage the skin in superficial strokes.

Movable massage

To facilitate this “mobile massage”, floats are rolled up at the level of the legs. Alternate stretching – mainly at the level of the spine, where most of the tensions and compressions take place –, rotations, flexions of the joints, in a sensation of rocking not so far from the intrauterine period. “I use the fluidity of the water passing over the body and its resistance which allows it to be carriedexplains Dominique Dosogne. If I feel a tension, I can put pressure on a muscle to release it. The person must dare to let go, relax in the water and have confidence in the fact that I am supporting them, so that the postures can be linked together in a flexible way in a kind of dance. A letting go that allows you to release physical and mental tensions, with a different perception of events on arrival.”

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Dominique welcomes people suffering from chronic pain, going through difficult periods of life or fearing water, as well as people looking for relaxation, well-being, a moment to themselves. “Many have become aware of the need to take care of them for a few years, especially people over 60 years of age. Since we work in the water, there is no pressure, it’s softer, so it suits them too.”

Sensory Isolation Cocoon

In our society of hyper-communication, our brain is most of the time saturated with visual and sound solicitations, information and thoughts to be processed, prioritized… Four years ago, a center exclusively specialized in isolation opened in Brussels. sensory, “Bubbles to float”. The technique was already present in some wellness areas. It involves lying down for an hour in a – large – box with a lid filled with water at body temperature and saturated with magnesium salt, which allows the body to float effortlessly. “The advantage of this magnesium salt is that there is no contraindication, explains Geoffroy, at the helm of the Brussels Floating Bubbles. We can come every day if we want because we don’t overdose on magnesium. Whereas it is more complicated with sodium. It is advisable to swim for only 20 minutes maximum in the Dead Sea, for example, because this risks increasing blood pressure. Here, on the contrary, we can obtain a drop in tension during the session, thanks to relaxation. And then, as we are essentially made of water, by osmotic effect, magnesium enters the body. Excellent for memory and the nervous system, it also softens the skin.

Sensory isolation according to “Bubbles to float”.

Sensory isolation according to “Bubbles to float”.

A session takes place solo and requires a whole protocol (taking a shower before and after, wearing earplugs, etc.). It’s up to everyone to close the lid of the “bubble” and turn off the light. From this moment, we lose all our reference points of time and space, we no longer solicit any sense, not even that of balance, we no longer have the feeling of being in water but on a soft thickness. and comfortable. All that remains is to concentrate on your breathing to eventually calm your mind and doze off or let your imagination wander in silence. A one-of-a-kind experience. Sensory isolation would generate theta brain waves that are normally observable just before falling asleep or just after waking up, and which are also characteristic of states of hypnosis or meditation.

During this period when the breathing and the heart calm down, when the muscles and the articulations escape the terrestrial attraction and relax, the relaxation is total. After the session, we can land gently in a living room, with tea. For many, sensory isolation helps to clarify thoughts, or at least gain perspective, or even stimulate creativity. Appearing today as an “antidote” to our overstimulation, the technique was born in the 1950s in the USA, within the framework of research on the brain and consciousness.

For further

Watsu – €85 per session (1 hour massage – allow 1 hour 15 minutes).

Sensory isolation – Discovery price: 65 € per session (1 hour of floating but count 2 hours in all).

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