People have recognized the healing and restorative benefits of water for ages. Cold water is invigorating because it induces the blood vessels closest to your skin to constrict, increasing blood flow to your internal organs. Hot water helps you relax and dilates the blood vessels near your skin’s surface; In addition, the perspiration that hot water encourages may help remove toxins from your body. And the massaging effect of moving water can stimulate circulation. Today spas are harnessing water’s power with a range of treatments. Here are a few of the options you might consider:
Vichy shower: In this treatment, you lie on a table and water rains down on you from jets above. Your technician can change the temperature and pressure of the jets depending on the treatment you’ve selected and the benefits you hope to gain from it. You might choose a Vichy shower only, or the shower might follow another spa treatment, such as a body scrub or wrap, when treatment materials need to be rinsed off your skin. A Vichy shower might also come before a body massage.
Scotch hose: Your technician uses this to spray hot and cold water at specific parts of your body that you want treated. The pressure of the hose gives the water a massage-like feel. You stand up for this treatment, while the technician sprays the water on your body. The hose is designed to switch quickly between hot and cold water so you can get the benefits of both temperatures, and spas may offer regular water or seawater sprays.
Swiss shower: In this treatment, you stand in a shower stall that has multiple jets on each wall. The jets massage you with sprays of hot or cold water. You might also have a hand-held shower jet that you can use to direct the flow of water to trouble spots. This treatment may be offered alone or as a prelude or follow-up to other treatments, such as a massage, a body scrub, or a body wrap.
Infusion tub therapy: You soak in a bath to which seaweed, herbs, salts, mud, or oils have been added. Some tub treatments pair a scalp massage with the soak.
Whirlpool therapy: You lie in a tub filled with jets that pulse water at your skin. This treatment can help you relax before you move on to other spa treatments.
Steam therapy: This treatment uses water in its gaseous rather than liquid state. The hot steam encourages perspiration and opens up the pores of your skin. Spas may offer steam therapy in specially designed rooms, or in tents that cocoon the body, leaving the head exposed and cool. Saunas can create the same effect, and some body wraps use sheets or towels soaked in warm water to produce similar benefits. You can lose a lot of body water quickly with these treatments, so they generally don’t last longer than 15 or 20 minutes.
Most water treatments run from 20 minutes to one hour. They can be beneficial for most people but are not recommended for pregnant women or people with severe osteoporosis, diabetes, or low blood pressure.
Why not give the restorative power of water a try and include hydrotherapy in your next spa session?