New aqua massage table 'washes away' tension

  • Published
  • By Kara Ramos
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
When I heard the Health and Wellness Center was offering free massages with its new AquaMassage Profiler, I eagerly jumped at the opportunity to try out the "mystery" machine. Being no stranger to professional massages, I was reluctant as to whether a machine could achieve the same degree of intensity and tranquility offered through a masseuse.

In the AquaMassage's defense, it is designed to provide a hydrotherapy massage operated by 36 computer-controlled water jets. This allows the machine to offer a stimulating massage through adjustable water pressure, temperature and pulsating frequency.

When I entered the Health and Wellness Center, I was greeted by Tech. Sgt. Chelsea Montgomery, 23rd Aerospace-Dental Squadron. Having attended a vigorous aerobics class the previous morning, I was in quite a bit of pain. So, I chose to have the machine operate at a medium level in hopes it could relieve my aching muscles.

When receiving a massage from a masseuse, you must remove your clothing and wrap a short, white towel around you. Considering you may be meeting your masseuse for the first time, this "semi-nakedness" can be somewhat embarrassing or uncomfortable to the average person. With the AquaMassage, not having to remove any clothing removed this fear and I quickly laid face down on the cushioned bedding. However, it was still hard to believe that a machine could ever compare to the trained hands of a professional.

But once I lied down in the machine and the top slowly closed on top of me, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of a lifetime.

I quickly felt the pressure of the numerous water jets moving from the tips of my toes up to the top of my neck and curving around the sides of my body. After just 10 minutes of these gentle movements, I fell into a tranquil state of mind. I was able to relieve my built-up tension from maintaining a busy school, work and family life. As the massage ended, I felt rejuvenated and ready to begin a brand new day.

As the spouse of an Airman, I can relate to the stress a partner can feel after coming home from a tiresome shift. Adding the pressures of caring for children, working full-time to support families, attending college or keeping a household in order-all can cause extreme stress and require personal down-time.

"The machine can relieve stress by helping to renew a person's spirits," Sergeant Montgomery said. "Just knowing they have an upcoming appointment will most likely give people something to look forward to and take their mind off the daily grind."

The machine can also help relieve the stress Airmen feel after a long deployment, she said.

"The AquaMassage can help returning deployed people relax and reduce stress," Sergeant Montgomery said. "It will help them feel whole again and good about being back on American soil."

While off-base providers charge approximately $20 for 15-minute sessions in the AquaMassage, the HAWC offers this service free of charge. Instead of paying the costs of a masseuse, people now have the option of receiving a free massage at any time, depending on availability. And take my word for it, you will feel more relaxed and rejuvenated after receiving your AquaMassage.

The HAWC schedules the 10-minute messages on a first-come, first-serve basis. All military identification card holders can schedule an appointment to use the machine. The machine operates from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, call Sergeant Montgomery at 257-4292.