Under pressure - in a good way. No prizes for guessing what this treatment involves - yes, this is a massage that’s administered under water. But before your mind conjures up images of a slippery fumble between client and masseuse in an over-sized bat, fret not. In an underwater massage you are required to relax in a large tub of warm water, whilst a stream of pressurised water is applied manually by the therapist via a hose that has interchangeable nozzles to adjust pressure - so there's no need to hold your breath.
This treatment uses the relaxing effect of warm water to ease away all those aches and pains. By applying it to various muscles, (particularly those deep-lying muscle layers, subcutaneous tissues, and abdominal organs) the tension is loosened and you'll start to feel your stress floating away.
There is an intricate system connecting the jets to the tub, which pumps the water through the hose and back into the bath. The pressure is controlled by a manometer, and is adjusted to suit your comfort and requirements. The water stream is applied on the body manually by a physiotherapist, from the distance of 10 - 15 cm and under the angle 30° - 60°. By varying the distance and the application angle it is possible to change the intensity of massage.
The treatment normally lasts 20 to 30 minutes, but a few extra minutes are required for the patient to get used to the water. After the massage, you are given the option of a cold affusion to stimulate circulation and wake you up a bit. You should then rest for about 30 minutes, giving your muscles a chance to normalise before you go running that marathon.
The underwater massage works on a plethora of complaints you've probably never heard of, the most common being:
You shouldn’t consider having an underwater massage if you have had any recent athletic injuries; open wounds; hematomas in an acute state; effusions in the knee joints; acute muscle, ligament and tendon pulls; and recent fractures.
If your skin is overly sensitive you may find the procedure a little uncomfortable – it’s a bit like turning the shower on full whack. This being said, if you let your therapist know they will be able to adapt the pressure to suit your needs, and they usually avoid sensitive body areas.