For the first time, on the north shore of Kauai, Aquatic Bodywork sessions are offered by my friend, Kalaya Delmars, an Aquatic Specialist certified in four water therapies (Watsu, Jaraha, Water Dance, Healing Dance). This exclusive kind of therapy is offered at only the very elite hotel spas in the world. Imagine floating in a warm water pool while being massaged and stretched by an expert!
For over 29 years Kalaya has worked with clients who want relief from: chronic pain, stress & tension, acute injury and inflammation, arthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal cord injury, MS, Parkinson’s, lymphatic congestion and joint immobility or replacement. She specializes in Aquatic Bodywork, Kinesiology, Massage & Energy Healing. Recently a friend of hers built an Aquatic Bodywork pool and now Kalaya has access to the therapy environment she enjoys the most. The temperature of the water is close to body temperature. Aquatic Bodywork promotes neuromuscular re-education, using gentle mobilization of joint and soft tissue.
From Kalaya’s website, Bridges to Well Being: “For seven years as owner/therapist of Manawai Watsu Kauai, Kalaya received worldwide acclaim in nine publications, including Travel & Leisure and Luxury Spa Finder for her expertise as an Aquatic Bodywork Specialist. She is a Jahara Clinical and Watsu Adaptive Specialist, Healing Dance and Water Dance Therapist, with 1250 hours of aquatic training. While capable of offering sessions of any one of these modalities, she skillfully creates a blending that is unique to each individual’s need in the moment.”
Kalaya has an impressive resume which can also be found on her website.
I have never personally experienced Kalaya’s Aquatic Bodywork but I watched as she worked with a friend of mine from the Mainland who had been in a biking accident. I have hired Kalaya for her heavenly, therapeutic massages over the years. She lives in our guest house.
From Yelp.com: “Was in town for my high school reunion and feeling some serious pain and swelling in my second trimester. I am so lucky I found Kalaya! After my treatment I went standup paddling then went bowling and felt great! I was even able to shake my booty at my reunion and not feel like I was doing major damage! Three days later and I still feel great even though I’m away from my bed at home and been in super tourist mode! I highly highly recommend her! Only wish I could take her home with me!” Kyra P.
If you have reason to want to try Aquatic Bodywork or have specific questions her website doesn’t answer, give Kalaya a call. Appointments should be made prior to arrival. Her number is (808) 634-8858
Four Modalities of Aquatic Bodywork
“To know what Watsu is, it must be experienced. Watsu interweaves movement and stillness. It has a beginning and an end, and it is endless.”
from Watsu: Freeing the Body in Water,
2nd ed., by Harold Dull, 1997
Watsu, (Water Shiatsu), the world’s first aquatic bodywork, was developed in the early 1980’s by Harold Dull, an instructor of Shiatsu who studied in Japan. Floating a person in body temperature water and applying stretches and acupressure points as used in Zen Shiatsu opens and frees all energy meridians; the channels through which our “chi” or life force, flows.
It is a complementary technique to Watsu and Waterdance. Powerful in its own right, combining the freedom, 3-dimensionality of Waterdance with the closeness and nurturing of Watsu. This form follows the natural tendencies of the body moving in water with waves and spirals and emphasizes the sensation of water flowing past. Some moves combine the contrast of closeness into total release while others offer dynamic and creative stretches.
Healing Dance was developed by Alexander Georgeokopoulos- a former ballet dancer and choreographer who began studying Watsu in 1990.
This technique uses a flexible floatation device or “third arm” under one or both client’s legs, giving precise support while allowing for spacious freedom of movement. Gentle, constant traction of the spine results in overall expansion of the body. Continuous-flow movement; weaves a web of infinite space, which elicits a deep, profound relaxation of mind and body, creating a sense of “well-being”.
Mario Jahara Pinto is the originator of the Jahara Technique, which he started to teach in 1996. A Zen Shiatsu master, Watsu instructor and author of two well-known books on bodywork; he has been an internationally successful teacher for over twenty years. Mario understands bodywork as a way of self-expression and encourages students to develop their own style, combining freedom and creativity with a solid understanding of the body structure. He integrates technique and heart, and his approach is what he calls “the power of gentleness”.
The body is gently and gradually moved underwater providing an environment free of gravity where there are limitless ways to be moved and stretched. Using elements of massage, Aikido, rolls, inversions, dance, snake and dolphin-like movements, induces a deep state of relaxation and meditation.
Waterdance (Wassertanzen in the original German), developed by Arjana Brunschwiler and Aman Schroter in 1987, facilitates reaching deep within the self, resulting in profound healing.
What you need to know for your appointment:
Showering to remove makeup, lotions, hair products and bacteria is essential just prior to the session to maintain pool integrity. A full bath is available for your use, before and after. Wear a bathing suit and bring a towel.
A consult, acknowledging and addressing any health concerns, takes place prior to entering the pool.
A credit card is needed to reserve pool time. It is forfeited if an Aquatic Bodywork session is canceled with less than 24-hour notice.
If you do decide to experience this unusual therapy, please let me know what you think. For more of my blogs, or to subscribe, go to the right-hand side of this page. Mahalo.