If essential oils and salt lamps no longer soothe your stress, or you just need a quick break, you can try hydromassage at the Douglas Dayton YMCA and George Wellbeing Center at Gaviidae Common in downtown Minneapolis. The Y has two hydromassage chairs near the cardio equipment, and the center has a hydromassage chair and bed near the entry.
What is it? Think of this as a massage chair with an upgrade. Hydromassage uses pressurized water, like Jacuzzi jets, to give you a full-body massage — without the massage therapist. “Massage, in general, has so many benefits, and it can be experienced in the chair. It’s less invasive,” said Jennifer Menk, senior director of health and well-being at the downtown Y.
The benefits: You can use it after a workout or as active recovery. Sally St. John, director of the George Wellbeing Center, said hydromassage is part of the center’s focus on Eastern healing practice. “In shamanism, traditional practice utilizes water to clean the negative spirit energy you may be experiencing,” she said. “This cleanse will help transition out of a negative pattern.”
Trial run: It’s as easy as lying down, with all your clothes on. I lay down on the hydromassage bed, then adjusted the pressure, speed and location of the jets. Because my shoulders were tight from sitting at a desk all day, I decided to direct the jets on my shoulders. The jets were a bit loud, so I used the headphones and chose to listen to acoustic guitar, which allowed me to relax. When I finished, I felt less tension in my shoulders. It was a great way to start a workday. I’d be interested in trying it again, especially after a hard workout.
Who it’s for: Anyone who wants a quick massage (the recommendation for hydromassage is a maximum of 10 minutes a day). It’s also great for people who don’t like being touched. Y members can use hydromassage at both locations. Nonmembers are welcome to use hydromassage at the Wellbeing Center.
Who it’s not for: While pregnant women may use the hydromassage chair, it’s not recommended in the later stages of pregnancy.
Cost: For first-time users, you try the chair for $10 for 10 minutes. For a monthly fee of $15 for members or $20 for nonmembers, you can use the hydromassage for 10 minutes once a day.