What is a Hydromassage?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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Hydromassage is a type of “hands off” massage therapy that offers people a massage by exposing them, in a bath, or small pool, to jets of very hot water to massage the body. This type of treatment is typically offered in spas, and some of the larger spas may have several pools that have jets aligned to massage several different parts of the body with warm water and pressure. You may use several different pools during hydromassage, or may use just one where the jets can be adjusted to spray the areas of your body that would be most benefited.

Hydromassage is definitely not the same as using a Jacuzzi with water jets, or even bathtubs that boast massage features. In the first place, the water used, and the water you are immersed in is usually much warmer than Jacuzzi or bathtub temperatures. It is advisable to decide, based on the water temperature whether hydromassage is for you.

Pregnant women should definitely not experience this type of massage, and people with high blood pressure, or who are prone to fainting or dizziness are not good candidates for the treatment. The elderly may have skin reactions to the pressure exerted on the body from water jets. People with certain skin conditions like rosacea may find their conditions worsen slightly after exposure to high temperature water and hydromassage in general.


The principle behind hydromassage is that the pressure exerted by the water jets helps loosen tight muscles and promote an overall feeling of relaxation. Sometimes, since the pores are opened during exposure to hot water, hydromassage is combined with other therapies afterwards, like mineral rubs, or facials. Hydromassage may be combined with aromatherapy, mineral soaks, or both during the massaging process.

You should ask a few questions before undergoing hydromassage. For instance, you may find yourself in a pool or a room with other people of both genders, so asking whether you need a swimsuit is important. The answer to this question will vary. Sometimes hydromassage is swimsuit optional, and at other times, the spa may request that you definitely wear a swimsuit. Additionally, when using any spa, you should ask whether hydromassage is available. It may be freely available for people receiving other treatments at a spa, or may be available for a relatively minimal fee without other treatments.

Pressure exerted on the muscles can definitely loosen tense muscles, but this loosening may be only transient. Some people are huge fans of hydromassage and others find themselves nonplussed by the experience, preferring a hands on massage instead. Most people find they are thirsty after the experience, not surprising given the exposure to hot water. If a spa doesn’t provide water, be sure to bring your own and drink plenty both before and after hydromassage treatments.


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