Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Find Peace, Tranquility and Muscle Relaxation in One-Hour or Less

{photo via Emily Estes}

Okay, I got you, didn't I? Who doesn't want peace, tranquility and muscle relaxation? And, in an hour? Is that really possible?

I didn't think so.

But, then I discovered Watsu. Yea, you read that right. Watsu. Have you heard of it? It is Shiatsu massage practiced in a heated therapy pool. In one word? Delightful. Your body floating in perfectly heated water while stretching and massage eases away tension.

I'll be honest, for the first ten minutes I was not convinced. I felt hesitant. Could I really let go enough -- let someone else be responsible for keeping me afloat (and I realize that a therapist could have a field day reading into this statement!)?

But, I was in the hands of physical therapist and Watsu practitioner Emily Estes - and, well, she has some magic ability to put even the most tense at ease. Not long after I thought it impossible to relax, I entered another zone. I floated effortlessly in the water gazing out the windows that surrounded me (it was a particularly wonderful day as the snow was falling and it made me feel like I was swimming in a snow globe). Trees and sky surrounded me. Warm water enveloped me. Bliss. One hour later I exited the pool the most relaxed I'd been in, well, I can't even recall.

Emily, a long-time practitioner at a local physical therapy center, recently opened her own wellness center in Dresden, Maine. It's a bit off the beaten track - and, honestly, it is that very fact that adds to its wonderfulness. The Wild Grace Wellness Center is a bit of heaven tucked in the woods. The building boasts some of the most soothing colors and decor to be found. When you enter the door, you enter another world. A world of calmness, of healing, of bliss. And, the building is built with the environment in mind, which, in my book, makes it even more perfect.

For those of you who might be undergoing physical therapy -- if aquatic therapy is prescribed, Watsu may be covered. For those of you who lack insurance reimbursement, the full hour of Watsu is $90.

In addition to Watsu, the wellness center offers massage and yoga -- and, more wonderfulness is in the works!

What are you waiting for? Book a Watsu appointment today - and tell Emily you read about it on Maine-lyHome.


  1. I have done watsu, and it was blissful. By the end I was convinced that my practitioner was either part dolphin or a mermaid.