QUOTES FROM NEWSPAPER & MAGAZINE FEATURES ON WATSU WITH HILARY AUSTIN
“TIME OUT” – London’s living guide
October 17-24 2001 No. 1626
Watsu is, at its simplest level, a floating massage. The name comes from WATer shiatSU: a therapist holds you comfortably while your joints are mobilized, energy pathways opened and your whole body swished and swayed gently through the warm water. It’s a blissfully relaxing therapy in it’s own right, but practitioner Hilary Austin also uses it for problems such as stress, back pain, sleep disorders and arthritis. Watsu was devised in America by Harold Dull, who wanted to combine the therapeutic benefits of shiatsu with the healing power of water. This takes the treatment beyond the merely physical: ” as the body relaxes, the mind can quieten into a feeling of unity, peace and lightness of spirit,” says Austin. My hour-long session at the plush Nirvana Spa near Wokingham was a delight: Austin uses her Alexander Technique training to encourage good body alignment, while some of the controlled stretches go far beyond what’s possible on land.
[Andrew Shields – Health & Sports Editor]
…walking through Bath I was aware of a broad smile on my face and an overwhelming desire to tell everyone I met that they simply had to try being a mermaid for an hour…TRUE BLISS INDEED.
July 2001 Issue 28
Have a go at Watsu
Hilary Austin is an aquatic specialist who believes water is the exercise and healing medium of the future. ” people are looking for a place of peace and total freedom and when you are in the water you have that experience,” says Hilary who recently conducted a session with Spice Girl Mel B and her boyfriend Max Beesley at The Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath.
Watsu is basically aquatic shiatsu, and the best part is that for one hour all you have to do is lie back and relax, as a practitioner stretches and aligns your tired stressed-out body. Working with the natural flow of the body in water, Watsu releases energy and emotional blockages and discourages our old potentially damaging on-land habits……
Hilary is currently developing her own form of Watsu that will embody ” the holistic fusion of Watsu, The Alexander Technique and meditation.” We can hardly wait.
Hilary Austin featured in THE EVENING STANDARD’S TOP 100 ALTERNATIVE THERAPISTS
MR. STRESS’S THE BEST OF THE BEST THERAPIES IN 2YEAR’S REPORTAGE.
WATSU…How I felt afterwards? Loose-limbed. Deeply peaceful. A limp noodle in the soup of life!
…Watsu is new, it’s big in America and it’s a whole lot more than just a relaxing shiatsu massage carried out somewhere wet…What I feel after the session is loose-limbed, deeply relaxed. The stretches are gentle but effective in a way that’s quite different from land-based techniques…All I can say is – Come on in! The Watsu’s lovely!
…Watsu is unlike any therapy you have tried before…Ten minutes into my session I began to understand why Watsu has gathered a loyal band of followers since it was introduced to the U.K a few years ago…my session left me feeling that my whole body had been “liberated”. The tension that normally accumulates in my shoulders had been lifted and my lower back felt more mobile than it had in ages.
…Research in America over the past fifteen years has shown a host of benefits…far greater freedom and movement in the body…fans claim it has remarkable regenerative qualities.
…Hilary held me lightly, sweeping me rhythmically through the water, stretching limbs, mobilizing back, neck, shoulders and hips…it felt very good.
…My Watsu session was one of the most relaxing experiences I have ever had…I would definitely recommend Watsu as a treat for anyone who likes water and needs to reduce stress…The more sessions you do, the deeper the experience.
…Watsu centres on “freeing up” the spine and my session started with a gentle rocking motion…my body certainly felt less rigid and tight after Hilary had gently manoeuvred my limbs through a series of moves with names such as “dolphin” or “cradle”…Personally I found it a great cure for the urban lifestyle.