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Aquatic Bodywork

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  • Aquatic Bodywork

    I am sitting in an internet cafe since I haven't had power at my house for 24 hours. I feel appreciation for electricity and also the lack of it having had a quiet and peaceful candle-lit time.

    Grace has asked me to post this information about Aquatic Bodywork for your general knowledge. I have been doing Aquatic Bodywork for 12 years and teaching it for 7 and still unable to quite define it. Here is my most recent attempt:

    Imagine floating in warm water in safe and nurturing arms, being moved, stretched, rocked, massaged or danced by the therapist. Is this bodywork or heaven? Some of both, I would say. We bring to it what needs healing or just what can be more relaxed. Being in water and being held are two obvious differences between land and aquatic bodywork. Water is dreamtime, where emotions can surface and be swept away in the current. Water becomes the vessel, the container for anything that arises between therapist and client. Imagine all you hear is your breath, feeling the sensation of the water on your skin, gently carressing you. You feel releaved of your body to fly with spirit or maybe you just feel more relaxed than you ever have in your life. Maybe you have never been held like this since you were a baby or your mother was never this nurturing. We all bring our stories to the session to be healed. Even, sometimes unbeknownst to us, our body brings it's own stories to the place of 3 dimensional unwinding, letting go of trapped energy and finding the body mudra that will allow release and renewal. One session never looks like another.

    You may have heard it called Watsu, WaterDance, Jahara or Healing Dance. Watsu is "water shiatsu" coming from a still base, sinking into the breath. WaterDance brings the client under the water for the length of a breath using nose clips. This modality has it's roots in tantra and akido. Jahara is used mainly for physical rehabilitation using noodles under the legs. Healing Dance is both above and below the surface of the water utilizing rhythms to create spatial mandalas such as waves and spirals and 8's to release trapped energy. Healing Dancers are the Water Shaman's channeling animals and shapes.

    Most of us who work in the field bring our own background into the session like cranial sacral therapy, trager or massage. I mainly teach and practice Healing Dance, but I use energy work, cranial and whatever reveals itself during the session. The most common comment after a session is "Wow!". Most anything can surface during a session and is welcome. Often when I am giving a session I wonder why can't ecstasy be a vehicle for enlightenment and transformation? I think it can!

    I travel worldwide so check out the web site: for more photos and my schedule. Feb I will be in Australia, August in Switzerland and often in Florida. Usually you can find me in northern CA about 2 1/2 hours north of San Francisco at Harbin Hot Springs. You can find a list of practitioners worldwide at

    Cheers for the new year!
    Attached Files
    for gratitude, Inika

  • #2
    Is any of this possible with a ordinary hot tub?
    "But ye shall receive power..."
    Acts 1:8


    • #3
      It can be done in a hot tub if it is skin temperature: about 95F. You would need some adaptation for holding the head. The session would of course be different but you could still get some good stretches and body work.
      for gratitude, Inika


      • #4
        For Inika!

        Yay! You are going to be in Florida again! Thankyou for telling me on Facebook! I wanted to mention it here again, that Inika's Auatic Bodywork, is amazing and everytime I am in the water/ocean, I think of that time! Please look her up, and find out if she is going to be in your area. It is an experience that is amazing and indescribable! Thank you again Inika!
        For a private session with me go to:



        • #5
          Hi Inika:

          I recently hooked up with a LMP that practices watsu, Lomi-Lomi massage and cranial sacral therapy. I have only seen him three times, and havent yet tried the Watsu, but he is encouraging me to do so. I am really glad you wrote about it.

          I really love this form of massage (Lomi Lomi). It is very different from your traditional massage. He was concentrating on my lower back (kidneys, adrenals) and it felt like my organs were being massaged. It seemed to open up some energy pathways.

          What is really cool is that it is covered by my insurance.


          • #6
            Hi Maggie

            Yes Lomi lomi is wonderful work based on the Hawaiian traditions. I think it is the closest land-based work to Aquatic bodywork. Definitely you should try Watsu. It is such deep nurturing work! Of course each practitioner has their own flavor of the work. I am sure you will love it.
            for gratitude, Inika