This article is based on a telephone interview with Jane Foster of Colors Magazine on 11 January, 1999. This is an Italian Magazine where Jane was based in Bosnia. The article was never published as soon after this interview the Bosnian War broke out. I tried to contact Jane thereafter but was not able to do so.
The main question she asked was: Why do we go on holiday to water?
Water reminds us of our first home in our mother’s womb where we live in water from conception to birth. It is where we experience a sense of calm and safety.
Also, most of our body is made up of water.
Water too forms most of the earth; be it sea, rivers or lakes.
We relax with water as it stimulates our senses of
Sight – seeing waves lapping on the shore or crashing on rocks. Looking at the beautiful colours of water; like the torquoise colours of the Commores, Mauritius or in Paradise Beach in Langebaan; in the picture above.
Sounds – hearing the sounds of waves or the gentle ripple of rivers or of water falling over waterfalls. We also sometimes have water features in our gardens, pools or homes that look and sound peaceful. Some people prefer the silence of still water in pools, lakes and rivers to calm their souls. Others feel invigorated and refreshed by the sounds of rushing water or loud crashing waves or the gentleness of lapping water. These preferences could depend on how we feel on a particular day or at a particular time in our lives or we as people may have a general preference for still or loud water sounds for relaxation.
Touch – Sometimes water is icy cold as in some oceans, rivers, lakes and pools which feels refreshing, invigorating, cleansing and thus relaxing. We might choose to emerge ourselves in icy cold water and then lie in the warm or hot sun. Here we would feel the contrast between the cold water and the warm sun. Alternatively we might choose waters in oceans, pools, rivers and lakes that are nearly as warm as our body temperature. Here the warmth of these waters serve to relax us. Also the speed of the water touching our skin can also soothe and relax us; as when we body or kite surf, water ski or simply float gently on a lilo in smooth waters. Or we may have a warm bath to soothe and relax us; this before the drought and severe water restrictions. Currently, a warm shower for less than a minute should suffice to relax us.
Smell – This is the most primitive of our senses. We can feel soothed by the smell of different waters, by sea weed and fish in and around the sea and water plants in water.
Taste – We can feel relaxed by the salty water of the sea or the clear sweet water of mountain streams.
Again, with the severe drought that we have been experiencing in the Western Cape and in other areas of Southern Africa, there is a noticeable and loud expression of joy and release of tension when we have rain.
One of the ways that I work with clients is through Deep Muscle Relaxation with Creative Visualisation and Music. One of the tools here is to visualise a liquid that is a colour and temperature that is soothing for the person. It is to see the liquid moving from the head through the body massaging, healing and soothing the muscles and then flowing out through imaginary holes at the bottom of the feet.