Aquapressure: The future of washroom rejuvenation
With smart technology manufacturers are turning ordinary bathroom into a high-end spa. Washrooms and Beyond finds out how manufacturers of bath products are enhancing the shower experience and promoting health consciousness by including various message techniques in the form of aqua pressure, writes Remona Divekar
The concept of aqua pressure epitomises the holistic approach to washroom planning and furnishing in the sense of a healthy and illness-preventive lifestyle – as much in the private bathroom or home spa as in an exclusive hotel and wellness environment. The focus is on integrating health-enhancing water applications in the bathroom that has the flexibility to adapt to individual needs. The health megatrend is one of the most formative developments of recent times and will become even more relevant in the future. The general pursuit of health increasingly transformed into an extensive search for strength and energy – a search that permeates all areas of life, and has long since gone beyond the concepts of a healthy diet and exercise, as demonstrated by the increasing demand for self-optimisation apps and accessories.
Experienced TCM therapist and head of the renowned Shen Men Institute
“Through Aqua pressure, the flow of blood through the muscles intensifies, stimulating the flow of energy and aiding mobility. Tension and stress melt away and the body’s natural defences are activated.”
What really is aqua pressure?
Aqua pressure technically is explained as a form of touch therapy that utilises the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In acupressure, the same points on the body are used in acupuncture but are stimulated with finger pressure instead of the insertion of needles. Acupressure in washrooms is inspired by the tried and tested method of acupressure in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) specifically for easing blockages and imbalance.
However, there are some who put it as Aquapressure systems are based on the change of intensity of the water jets systems to provide an intermittent water flow with different spouts and water pressure, working simultaneously or alternatively. However, the range of hydrotherapy is much more versatile than it could be thought of as it provides many opportunities to boost health in the bathroom both proactively and preventively.
How does it work?
The new massage jets can be used to stimulate specific pressure points and meridians. “Aqua pressure harmonises muscle tone and has a positive effect on the perception of pain,” explains Christoph Stumpe, experienced TCM therapist and head of the renowned Shen Men Institute, who has worked closely together with Dornbracht to develop the new massage jets. “Through Aqua pressure, the flow of blood through the muscles intensifies, stimulating the flow of energy and aiding mobility. Tension and stress melt away and the body’s natural defences are activated.”
Aqua pressure systems reflect a completely different idea of the bathrooms or washroom space: The space traditionally dedicated to personal hygiene becomes a room for relaxation, grooming, and general wellness. “In the future, much preventive health care will take place in the home,” says Andreas Dornbracht, Managing Director of Dornbracht. “Water applications enhance health-conscious lifestyle in a variety of ways – not just with regards to physical fitness but also as far as mental performance and life energy are concerned.”
Head of Marketing & Communications, Jaquar Group
“The bathroom also has an important role to play in the aqua pressure concept and is increasingly becoming a private spa and a room for health. Every individual is trying hard to inculcate this concept in their washrooms.”
He further adds that with LifeSpa, there are a variety of ways to integrate health-enhancing water applications into the bathroom or spa. Treatments such as effusions, contrast showers, relaxing baths or water massages augment the user’s personal health strategy and in the long term, make a relevant contribution to improving well-being and boosting energy. “The water effect is based firstly on the body’s reaction at different levels to changing temperature stimuli (hot/cold). The water does not just act locally; it can also affect internal organs or other parts of the body that are not being directly treated.”
“Well-directed water applications help the body’s natural immune defences over the long term, improve the cardiovascular system and mobility, and have a positive effect on the metabolism. It brings balance to the psyche and creates life energy. The bathroom also has an important role to play in the aqua pressure concept and is increasingly becoming a private spa and a room for health. Every individual is trying hard to inculcate this concept in their washrooms,” explains Sandeep Shukla, Head of Marketing & Communications, Jaquar Group
Exemplifying product functionality
Another system is called as Aquapressure: Vertical Shower ATT with Water Curve and Water Fan where vertical shower combines special outlet points with different flow modes, sometimes gently surrounding the body in heavy water drops, sometimes massaging it with powerful streams. The different forms of presentation and pre-programmed signature treatments of Vertical Shower make it ideal for many health-enhancing and preventive applications – from an invigorating contrast shower to a relaxing water massage.
The WaterFan and WaterCurve massage jets are a new addition and extend the range of health-enhancing applications in the bathroom. They have a new, fan-like flow mode which provides a targeted massage in the neck area (WaterCurve), thoracic vertebrae (vertical WaterFan) or lumbar vertebrae (horizontal WaterFan) area, and helps to alleviate and prevent tension. The height of the massage jets can be adjusted, giving them the flexibility to adapt to any user’s height.
Director of Sales Europe, Graff
“Water can be efficiently integrated into health-enhancing water applications in the washrooms as it has always been recognised as an ideal environment for the body relaxation and wellbeing.”
The intensity of the stimulus is crucial to achieving the required reaction says Emanuela Tavolini, Director of Sales Europe, GRAFF. “Water can be efficiently integrated into health-enhancing water applications in the washrooms as it has always been recognised as an ideal environment for the body relaxation and wellbeing. Much more delicate and uniform than a manual massage, the aqua pressure systems offer massage function that is beneficial to the whole blood circulatory system, as well as the muscles and skin tone.”
Depending on the intensity of the pressure exerted, this has a calming effect (firm pressure), an activating effect (lower pressure), or a balancing effect (alternating pressure). Along with the intensity of the pressure, there are other aspects that are important for the effectiveness of aqua pressure, such as the duration and location of the stimulation (e.g. neck or spine) and the temperature of the water, which are coordinated to each intended purpose.
Role of education and technology
Technology in the brands for aqua pressure concept ensures that the temperature of exposed parts of the shower valve or hand shower never exceeds to that of the mixed water making them safe to touch at all times. Best practice suggests regular thermal disinfection to guard against the risk of bacteria building up in the water supply.
Innovative, technologically advanced product mechanism has the ability to turn the shower into a water wonderland. Shukla from Jaquar opines, “There is a growing need the education in the market as I very well agree that there is a perception that the product is only for the luxury and HNI individuals but the fact of the matter is the common person who wants to buy, a lot of technology is added at a very nominal price. Therefore, for a common middle-income group it is not a remote concept that is costing around 80-90k. That is not too costly.”
He further adds that the technologies used by most of the modern manufacturers are commonly used to create that health exposure benefits. “Although they have been promoting those but how it is successful is again a question to be raised here on three important subjects that is features, advantages and benefits. Affordability is no more a concern but it is just about awareness, education of this particular technology and how it has to adapt in one’s washroom. The successful design and installation lies in knowing exactly where customisation, adjustments and amendments can be made.”
Unlike the bathtub, typically used for only the occasional soak, the shower gets a workout every day where both designers and consumers look to intensify the daily shower experience with innovations like steam showers, chromo therapy and multiple showerheads that can massage like a soft summer rain or a Swedish masseuse on steroids. A frameless glass door is one new option, where the glass seems to float without support. Tempered safety glass in either 3/8- or 1/2-inch thickness gives an airy, open feeling to the space — great for a small shower.
Beyond lighting effects
The luxury of a massaging spa bath has never been more inviting with the latest spa baths, complete with relaxing lighting options that help to set the mood. Incorporating lighting and spa facilities into the bath means one can enjoy the gentle rejuvenating effects of water jet massage as well as control the lighting of the bathroom without having to leave the water. Jet baths, spa baths, and whirlpool baths form the centrepiece of the bathroom design, transforming any bathroom, or wet room into the perfect retreat of the home spa.
There are plenty of options, products, and designs to choose from when looking for spa baths and bathroom lighting, with something to suit every requirement, no matter the size of your room. For developers, adding a spa bathroom into a new building or refurbishment adds significant value to a property, an element of exclusivity and luxury to the development. Shower lights provide a strong down lighting component (much like task lighting in the kitchen), while hidden LED strips are used to provide a soft indirect floating effect. Dimmable lighting adds to the spa feel of the washroom also chromotherapy in mood-enhancing lighting.
The ’80s were spent soaking in the mammoth Jacuzzi tubs, but over time’s concept of bathtubs changed. Designers see a strong trend toward a new version of the bathtubs replacing them with stand-alone soaking styles equipped with an air bath, the modern take on massaging jets where air channels deliver a steady stream of warm massaging bubbles like hot springs, different tub materials with different shapes and materials.
Aqua pressure systems are ideal for everyday use because they offer the opportunity to enjoy a moment of relaxation while accomplishing the daily washing operations. In a world where saving time has become the major preoccupation for people of every age, having the possibility of treating oneself to a short daily spa experience can be considered a real luxury!