A neuromuscular therapist is organizing a silent art auction on March 8 at the Carrollton Center for the Arts to raise money to build a chemically inert therapy pool.

Neuromuscular therapy is a specific type of massage therapy designed to help nerves, muscles and the brain communicating. A therapy pool, Janine Willey said, would be beneficial in the treatment patients receive.

According to the website post-polio.org, warm water therapy pools helps people who may have joint issues, post-polio syndrome and even persons with lower extremity paralysis.

“My goal for every session is to teach each client how to help their body heal itself and what to do when we push the edge and are less than kind to our bodies,” Willey said. “I spent eight years as a medical illustrator and 16 years as a corporate illustrator-web designer. I left my Douglasville location at Massage Solutions after seven very successful years to pursue a specialized therapy called Watsu. I’d like to introduce Watsu and raise awareness about this amazing aquatic therapy to West Georgia.”

Willey said she has the skills and desire to make this happen but can’t do it alone. She said she needs a pool, and not just any pool, but a private, warm water, chemically inert therapy pool.

“To do this, I need money,” she said. “So, I’m having a fundraiser on March 8 at the Center for the Arts in Carrollton. I’ve invited some amazingly talented local artist to join me and we are going to create an auction of original art created in real-time before our guests’ very eyes.”

Watsu is a gentle form of body therapy performed in warm water. Watsu combines elements of massage, joint mobilization, stretching, and shiatsu. Willey said that Shiatsu is a form of Japanese therapy based on the same principles as acupuncture, in which pressure is applied to certain points on the body using the hand and finger pressure.

“With Watsu, the receiver is continuously supported while being floated, cradled, rocked and stretched,” she said. “The deeply relaxing effects of warm water and nurturing support, combine with Watsu’s movements, stretches, and point work, to create a range of therapeutic benefits and potential healing on many levels.”

Willey said that the warm water relaxes the muscles and supports the spine — with this support and without the weight of the body, the spine, joints and muscles can be manipulated and freed in a way unique to water work.

“The benefits include a very gentle yet comprehensive stretching and release of muscular and joint restrictions, along with a state of deep relaxation,” she said. “This unique combination encourages the release of stress and tension.”

Willey said that this sensory deprivation allows “the world to disappear,” leaving just yourself and your experience of body and being in the water, “nothing to do, nowhere to go, just receiving and letting go, into the graceful movement, rocking, cradling and gentle rhythm.”

“The most common reaction is a state of bliss and levels of relaxation never before imagined,” she said. “It sounds wonderful and I want to share this with my community, my family, my friends. I feel compelled to bring this life-changing work to Carrollton. Borrowing my favorite quote, I want to be the change.”


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