Hydromassage, or water massage, is a type of therapy in which a person uses water pressure to massage the skin. It is one of the techniques involved in hydrotherapy, which is popular at spas.
Unlike a jacuzzi or whirlpool baths, which people tend to use for relaxation and pleasure, the purpose of hydromassage is therapeutic. During a session, jets apply water of varying temperatures and pressures to target different areas.
Benefits of hydromassage
There is very little research on the benefits of hydromassage. However, it may be similar to other forms of massage. Potential benefits may include:
- Relaxation: Massage can be relaxing, so people may find hydromassage helpful for reducing stress.
- Aches and pains: Massage can helpTrusted Source reduce muscle tension, which can cause aches and pains. People may find hydromassage does the same thing. A 2019 reviewTrusted Source noted there is evidence that spa therapy — which includes massage — may help with lower back pain.
- Post-workout recovery: Some people use massage after a workout to reduce the amount of lactic acid in muscles to ease post-workout aches.
- Immune health: A nonrandomized, controlled clinical studyTrusted Source on children aged 3–6 years found reductions in the number of kindergarten absence days due to lower respiratory tract infections following a cold-water therapy intervention. It is possible that cold hydromassage may provide a similar benefit, although there are no studies that specifically prove this.
- No contact: Some people may want a massage but feel uncomfortable about another person touching them. Hydromassage may be a good alternative, as it only involves pressure from water jets. Dry hydromassage also does not require a person to get changed, which may be preferable for some people.
Hydromassage device manufacturers, spas, and gyms may make other claims about the health benefits of this therapy. However, not all of these are evidence-based.
Side effects and risks of hydromassage
Similar to other types of massage, hydromassage is probably safeTrusted Source for most people. However, the charity Versus Arthritis encourages notifying the aquatic therapy practitioner if a person has any of the following:
- a wound or skin infection
- a viral illness or upset stomach
- raised temperature
- breathing difficulties, angina, or heart issues
- a kidney condition requiring dialysis
- chlorine allergy
- a chronic condition that is not well-controlled, such as diabetes or asthma
People should always speak with a doctor before trying an alternative therapy, particularly if they are pregnant or are using the treatment to manage a health issue that doctors have yet to diagnose.