“At the beginning of a session I stand at the pool. I invite the seen and unseen to come into the experience. I let go of my ego and an amazing Alchemy occurs. The person in my arms goes on a journey. I follow that journey. I track that journey as it unfolds. It’s not my journey, it’s theirs. It’s the alchemy brought into the session, guided by intuitive inspiration, guided by following the movement of the participant that renders the expansion.”
– Dave Towe
Since he was a young child, Dave Towe has felt most at home and connected to nature in bodies of water. It’s no surprise that today he spends most of his time utilizing the healing power of water to guide people toward their whole selves. Trained in WATSU® by its founder, Howard Dull, and many of the best instructors in the Aquatic Bodywork field, Dave has continued his path that started early on to be a channel for others as they seek meaning, understanding, awareness, healing and higher consciousness.
Since his twenties he’s embraced opportunities to push past boundaries, overcome fears, challenge uncertainty and connect with the elements. Throughout his adult life, Dave’s journey has taken him around the world where he’s pursued High Altitude Alpine Climbing; met tribal leaders and medicine men in Asia; been inspired by Buddhist masters on the Tibetan Plateau; playfully interacted with rare mountain gorillas in the African Congo; and floated on the Dead Sea.
In 1988 he began a successful 14 year career with Recreational Equipment, Incorporated (REI) where he worked his way up the corporate ladder to become the youngest vice president in the company’s then history. He coached over 200 future leaders, including “youth at risk” whom he guided on 28-day mountaineering trips through the Pacific Crest Outward Bound School.
But by 2002, he began wanting more from his daily routine; to explore something different that utilized his passion for people and interest in the world beyond what is seen. Intuitively he knew it was time to close that chapter, and begin a new journey.
Shortly thereafter, Dave left REI and during a two year sabbatical began seeking enlightenment and clarity. During this period, Dave worked with a life coach who guided him through a process of inquiry. During the process, he awakened a deep spirituality that inspired him to pursue work that touched people’s lives at a higher level.
Dave took this knowledge and went on to train with Coach for Life, San Diego, and pursued a life coaching career. For several years, he led executives and mid managers toward defining their core values. Dave strongly believes knowing your core values puts you on a path of purpose, and without them, one day leads to the next as you wander through life hit or miss, going down the wrong trail. When you identify your core values, you discover yourself, learn to trust your instincts and lead a life driven by intention that is guided by your passion.
In that same spirit, Dave realized his passion reached beyond a life-coaching career. He longed for a more hands-on, interactive experience with his clients; an experience that breaks past the interpersonal barriers we encounter throughout our days and welcomes the openness that the human touch allows.
Through his coaching work he learned how to generate powerful intentions, how to language intentions, and that when you intentionally release them to the Universe, they work. When he intentionally sought a deeper understanding of where to go next, he was guided to the Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona – a retreat center that offers multiple touch modalities, including Aquatic Bodywork Therapy.
On a warm, clear Arizona night during his very first Aquatic Bodywork session with a trained practitioner, he had a significant epiphany. It was an extraordinary moment of clarity that struck as intensely as a lightening bolt. The hair on his arms stood on end when he suddenly, fully understood his purpose – to pursue Aquatic Bodywork Therapy. He was to combine his love for water, personal experiences and interactions, with his love for helping others as they pursue their divine selves.
Over a two-year period, Dave studied with the Aquatic Bodywork’s “A List,” including Harold Dull, the creator of Water Shiatsu. In San Diego, he became nationally certified by the Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association.
Dave spent the next seven years practicing Aquatic Bodywork Therapy at high-end retreat centers and spas, including The Golden Door Spa and Rancho La Puerta. He treated some of the world’s most influential people; from successful business men and women and the Hollywood elite to politicians and change makers. Knowing with one decision, people at this level have the ability to impact millions of lives, Dave focused his intention on sharing the therapy with them as they sought answers, purpose and clarity.
By 2010, Dave launched Wave Academy, a San Diego based organization that today focuses primarily on treating Post Traumatic Stress diagnosed Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, their families and caregivers. In the four years since it began, the organization has provided hundreds of therapeutic sessions, now contracts over 14 practitioners who are trained in Aquatic Bodywork Therapy, and has partnered with some of San Diego’s largest veterans organizations as they work to bring help to our service members. Wave Academy also treats civilians who are struggling with certain physical and mental ailments, including end-of-life issues.
By 2013 the organization had grown, allowing Dave to commit all of his time to its mission, and in February of 2013, he transitioned to full-time executive director. Today, Dave focuses on introducing Aquatic Bodywork Therapy to veterans, expanding its techniques, training practitioners and forging relationships with like-minded organizational leaders.
More than anything, Dave loves the time he spends guiding people to their alchemy in the water. With each journey brings new experiences. Each individual has a different need, a different history, a different passion, and each experience is unique to them. Some feel instant freedom, others let go little-by-little and in time they break through their barriers to a new entry point that lets the struggles of the past live in the past to reveal a new, healthier present. Most of all, Dave desires to bring the healing power of Aquatic Bodywork Therapy to those seeking change within.
As a student, practitioner, leader and coach Dave creates space for alchemy to guide his work, relationships and experiences. He spends his free time in larger bodies of water where the life under the sea, the wind and water currents, salt air, quiet and energy all flow uninterrupted, freely and intentionally. The grandeur of the sea is one of his greatest teachers.
WATSU® is a registered trademark of Harold Dull.
Photo by Elizabeth Opalenik | Model Margot Hodenfield