Hydrotherm is a massage system which places warm water-filled pads on top of a regular therapy couch. Your entire massage is carried out while you are face-up, on your back. Your therapist will slide their hands between you and the pads to give you your massage.
The hydrotherm system was originally designed to benefit therapists. Massage usually creates downwards pressure for a therapist and can cause stress on wrists. Using the hydrotherm system allows the therapist to "pull" rather than "push", so the massage is less tiring. Happily, the hydrotherm system is also great for spa-goers, too.
What is hydrotherm massage good for?
Hydrotherm massage helps to:
relieve stress on joints and muscles
encourage swift recovery from muscle and joint pain or strain
improve your sleep
As with any massage, you should always tell your therapist in advance if you are, or think you might be, pregnant, or have any medical conditions or are receiving any treatment or medication.
What to expect from a hydrotherm massage:
A hydrotherm massage makes a good choice for anyone who can't lie on their front, perhaps because of mobility problems or disabilities, or because of pregnancy. Indeed, hydrotherm massage is good for anyone who doesn't feel comfortable lying face-down on a massage couch.
Hydrotherm massage could also be an option for those who feel self-conscious turning over on a therapy couch mid-treatment.
The placement of the warm-water pads is designed to give your back perfect spinal alignment; your knees are slightly raised and your hands rest below the pads to encourage your body to relax.
Thanks to the heat from the pads (30-40 degrees), a hydrotherm massage can be beneficial if you suffer from neck pain, lower-back aches or stiff muscles. The heat helps warm your muscles up, which makes the therapist's movements more effective.
Oh, and don't worry - you won't get wet; the water in the pads is thoroughly sealed in.
At the end of the treatment, your therapist will help you into a seated position so that you can swing your legs off the couch and get your feet onto the floor.
Hydrotherm can be a very soothing and deeply therapeutic form of massage. If you let yourself relax into the experience, you may find that you initially feel as though you are lying on the water, but end up feeling as though you have been lying in the water.
Hydrotherm massage is very different to the usual kind of massage that you experience on a couch - so expect the unexpected. The massage can feel a little disconcerting as the water in the pads makes sloshing sounds, and your body shifts as your therapist moves your body against the pads. If you've ever sat on a water bed, the hydrotherm pads feel a little like that -- just relax and try not to fight the sensation.
Your body is directly against the plastic pads, so there's also an initial odd feeling when you realise that you're not lying on towels or a sheet. However, as soon as your therapist begins your treatment, they will apply oil to your body, so very soon, you'll move smoothly against the plastic.