If you had a professional massage recently, you likely experienced the feeling of warm packs being placed on your sore muscles during the treatment. This always feels great and can aid in the benefits of your session, but maybe you haven’t had a massage incorporating hydrocollator packs. This method is a far superior way to loosen tight muscles and soothe aches and pains and has been a trusted method of physical therapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors and more.


Hydrocollators are stainless steel water baths that heat to 160 degrees, developed in 1947 in the United States. Different sized packs tightly filled with bentonite clay are submerged and heated through in the hot water. Bentonite clay is known for its thermal properties and has even been researched as a possible aid in thermal dynamics at nuclear energy sites. Recent studies show that heat penetrates muscles more rapidly and deeply through a water energy transfer as opposed to air. This all helps explains why the use of hydrocollators is so much more beneficial in massage therapy than a simple hot packed stuffed with rice or herbs or some other material and placed in a dry warming cabinet.

HALINA Standards

During your massage therapy treatment, your Licensed Massage Therapist will remove wet packs from the hydrocollator and place them in key areas based on your needs. They will be wrapped in a towel of just the right thickness and texture to allow deep heat penetration but allow you to remain comfortable. If you never experienced the heat and weight of a large set of packs laid out over your back, it is a feeling of relaxation like no other! But these packs are doing double duty; they are soothing you and also working to release tension in your muscles, allowing your Licensed Massage Therapist to give you the best massage of your life!

Hot stones and warm, wet towels feel great. Dry hot packs can help soothe you. But a properly placed hydrocollator pack can make a true difference in your massage therapy experience. Many spas think using hydrocollators is old school. The equipment requires more maintenance than the alternatives and it costs more to buy and use, but in the case of hydrocollators, its worth it! So if you are trying to spot a better massage, call and ask if they use hydrocollators. Or look for one in your Licensed Massage Therapist’s treatment room today.

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