Water Healing at Fivelements By Michael Hallock

“Imagine the struggle with life slipping away, replaced with the caress of warm waves, soothing silence, hypnotic breath, dance-like movement and… deep gratitude. This is water healing.”

Imagine. Imagine floating effortlessly on your back in calm warm water. You are open to the heav-ens and the infinite sky. With your ears just below the surface, the outside world is silenced. With your eyes closed, you see only shades of colours, the shimmer of light reflected from the pool. Each time you breathe, your lungs fill and your body rises slightly in the water. On exhalation, your body dips, and then rises again with the breath. The rhythm of movement and breath is hypnotic.

Imagine. Subtle waves caress the length of your body. Your trunk and limbs begin to sway natural-ly. The spine snakes slowly. The legs follow. Your body flows into an easy dance. You are com-pletely self-aware yet oblivious to the world. Time has disappeared.

Every lap of water across the skin is a delight and every turn of the body a new discovery. Images and thoughts flicker… and then are forgotten, replaced by the your breath, the touch of the water, spaciousness.

You feel the presence of someone with you, guiding your body through the water. It is a presence more human than woman or man, more universal than personal. There is safety, care, acceptance. You can let go.

The constant struggle with life is also slipping away, opening into a newfound acceptance of life, of yourself. Emotions surface, are felt and freed. A deep gratitude arises. Even tears may mingle with the water. You feel a deep connection to this life.

Origins & Evolution

Aquatic bodywork was developed in the 1980’s in the warm pools of Harbin Hotsprings in northern California. When American poet and Zen Shiatsu master Harold Dull began experimenting with Shiatsu in the pool, a new therapy was born. Combining movement, stretch and massage in the warm water, he called the new therapy Water-Shiatsu, or “Watsu”.

With origins in Watsu, aquatic bodywork has since evolved into many forms. While Watsu empha-sises acupressure and nurturing holds, other forms such as Healing Dance Aquatic Bodywork em-phasises exhilarating intuitive movement through the water, while Waterdance brings receivers underneath the surface for a completely submerged experience.


More than massage, aquatic bodywork clears the mind, profoundly relaxes the body, soothes the heart and connects us to our essence. It is the most nurturing of all bodywork.

Experiences are as unique as the individuals who receive sessions. No two sessions are the same. Some receivers will enjoy the almost chiropractic adjustments to the spine and the new-found ease in their body. Others will delight in the gracefulness and freedom of dancing through space. Some recall the safety and peace of the womb. The safety of being held will sometimes recall our earliest experiences of being accepted and loved unconditionally.

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