How Water Therapy Can Help You Heal
Sensory immersion artist Jobi Manson leads bespoke water healing experiences that encourage meditators to embrace the nature within.
As the founder of Sefari and one of the Masters in Residence at select Auberge properties, Jobi Manson is passionate about creating unique, water-based healing experiences both in the sea and in hot springs, helping her clients emerge anew.
Tell us a little about hydrotherapy. What does that mean exactly?
Forms of hydrotherapy have been around for thousands of years. Using water as a healing space is one of the oldest ways that cultures have ritualized the experience of connection and purification. My work is dedicated to exploring the experience of healing and regeneration by placing the body into the flowing moving cycle of change that exists in water, and helping someone be with that change.
The easiest way to explain it is that it’s a form of elemental meditation—the practice of cultivating intentional connection with the natural world. I am fascinated by the way that humans can hold knowledge in the form of memory. These journeys open up the space for memories, where we hold our lived experience. It’s how our body holds one’s record of life.
Why were you drawn to doing your work in nature, in the ocean or hot springs, instead of in a pool? Surely there have to be plenty of those in SoCal where you work.
I feel that it’s really hard to relate to what we don’t feel; nature helps open the body in mysterious and powerful ways, and when we are open and connected, we are experiencing what it feels like to be alive.
Water is a very special and particular environment to work in. Without getting into the very complex physics and science, water is alive, and it’s alive because it’s an elemental force. The structure and integrity of water—and working in natural water sources that are uncompromised by human impact—is really important. The conditions of relaxation and ease of immersing in a body of water relaxes our muscles and shifts our circulation.
There’s been a lot said about the Blue Mind, and how being around water is incredibly therapeutic for the mind. Is that something you see in your work?
Absolutely, that’s a huge part of my work. When I work with someone, I look to create a deep experience of relaxation so they can have the clear space of presence to think, to feel, to be. And there’s something very unique that happens to the body when it’s in a body of water.
The changes that our body experiences on the physiological level when we immerse ourselves are immense. It shifts the state of the mind, and in that shifting, in that delta, new thoughts, new connections, new ideas come, and creativity emerges.
Walk us through what hydrotherapy will look like with you?
The kind of Sefari that happens in the ocean starts at sunrise because when we attune to the light cycles of nature, meaning we rise with the light, we tune into a biorhythm and attune our natural clocks. We meet on the beach, and spent a little time surveying the inner and outer landscape. There’s conversation and dialogue around where someone is presently, and where they’re seeking to go.
And then we go out together into the unknown space of the sea and we spend time there. And we spend time journeying in a guided meditation and visualization and in that time the unknown around you and within you presents itself. We discover and become more aware of what’s happening around us and within us.
Once that’s complete, we come in and essentially reflect on what emerged. A lot of times people find me in a state of transition and are seeking greater clarity in an area of their life—whether that be a relationship or work or with a family situation or with finances. Ultimately, it allows for clarity by creating a new space to see clearly, and being still enough for the dust to settle.
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