Hi-End Therapy Massage Spas

Hi-End Therapy Massage Spas
6.9 Total Score

Therapy Massage Spas

Shopping for a therapy massage spa is a tough thing, the truth is 90% of the spas out there are very similar when it comes to massage value, and the word “therapy massage” is bantered around freely and means nothing. To really get a top end therapy massage spa is rare and expect to pay a hefty price tag for it.



The Feel Versus The Result

  How a spa feels when you are in it is not relevant to how good the massage value is!
The little bullet jets which are inexpensive and put out a low volume of water under high pressure “feel” like they are doing a lot because they really assault the dermal layer where all our nerve endings are. Because of this the perception is they are giving a good massage but the reality is they are not putting out enough water to penetrate into the muscle tissue, it’s an illusion… although you feel during the massage that you are really getting good deep muscle massage it does little to actually loosen up the muscles and you don’t really notice much long-term relief in terms of muscle stiffness and mobility.
Conversely,  I have had a number of customers who have moved from a low or mid-end massage spa into a real hi-end therapy spa using a huge amount of the Hi-flow low-pressure massage jets and their initial reaction is that the jets don’t “Hit ” as hard and they don’t feel like they are getting much massage benefit. But with regular use they feel much better with increased mobility and less muscle tension.
The reason is this; The Big Hi-Flow jets flow a massive amount of water but at a lower pressure so it moves the whole muscle instead of just affecting the dermal layer. The result is while they do not feel like they are doing as much work they are actually doing much more for the deep muscle. Regular use of a good therapy spa will make massive long-term difference to how you feel, your mobility levels and your muscle tension.

So how do you know a spa is really going to perform good therapy quality massage?photo-mp_legend_series-features-webrgb-181402260251

You can easily determine how a seat is going to perform without the dreaded wet test.
Wet testing a hot tub is rarely done for a number of reasons ranging from embarrassment to time constraints and the truth is salespeople push them more for the psychological effect on the buyer than any real desire to have you try the spa. By wet testing you form a bond with the hot tub, you are in it, it feels good and there is an ownership bond that happens, plus you feel more obliged to the salesperson for taking their time and intruding into their spa.
The reality is salespeople are taught to push wet tests more as a closing tool than any other reason. Plus as we said earlier, the cheap harsh jetting “feels” like it is better massage than the expensive high flow jetting and unless you can try the spa for a week and see the long-term effects on your body the reality is you are likely to buy the one that “feels” the best for the little time you are exposed to it rather than the one that really does the job and makes a difference to your mobility and well-being.

How can you tell a really good therapy massage spa from the rest?

Easy… look at the jets and the available power to the main therapy seat.
It’s really as easy as this.
  • The little jets are worth $10 and flow small amounts of water at high pressure and feel like they are doing a lot.
  • The 3″ mid flow jets are worth about $25 and are getting into the therapy massage volumes of water.
  • The big 5″ jets can be as much as $45 and are capable of flowing huge amounts of water and giving real deep tissue massage if, and only if, there is a big pump supplying a ton of water to them.
  • And those massive 10″ 14 nozzle monster jets in the floor? If they have a diverter so you can really put the water to them you can pay $300-$500 just for this feature.
So if we look at most hot tubs main therapy seats we have 2 or 3 big jets 2 or 3 of the mid-sized jets and a pile of the little jets. The chair shares a pump with 2 or 3 other seats and the performance is mid grade.
If we look at a really top end therapy massage chair there will be 4 or 5 of the big therapy jets and 5 or 6 of the mid flow jets and it will have the ability to put a 5 Hp or even a 6 Hp pump dedicated just to that one seat, usually through a diverter valve that lets the user control the flow to the seat.
The reality is you need a combination of both a lot of the high-end large jets and the ability to flow at least an entire 5hp pump to the main seat! Having a pile of good jets without the pump power or having the pump power without a bunch of the high-end jets is useless.

photo-mp_legend_series-lifestyle_features-webrgb-131608150317What about Hips, Legs, and Feet?

The biggest problem with Hips legs and feet is that even the big 5″ Hi flow therapy jets do not flow enough water to get into a really big joint like your Hip or knee or dig into a big muscle like your thigh Glute, or erector. The standard jet just does not cut it for these tough parts nor does it supply the kind of heavy lifting that your feet need, similarly, really big muscles like glutes and thigh muscles really need a pounding to loosen them up.
While many salespeople will try and sell a lounge seat with leg and foot jets as a solution for leg and foot massage the reality is they will never be able to offer serious therapy for these big tough bits.
For a person like me with a real lower back issue, and multiple orthopedic bust-ups the best thing I have found to really give me good deep tissue massage is the massive 12″ foot jets and only if you can divert a whole pump to them.
The only thing that will really get results is one or two of the massive 12″ 14 nozzle monster jets in the foot area that you can put an entire 6 hp pump to the monster jet. For hip, glutes, and erectors it rocks! If it has a good open seating area you can sit right down in the floor and get your lower back, hips and all the really tough bits onto that monster jet for some serious massage therapy.
6.9 Total Score

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Just watched the video on the Twilight. We are in line to get one from our local dealer.
We will be installing it pretty close to the house and will not be able to access that panel/side. Which side of the tub is best to do this with?

Thanks for the help

Hi Peter
As long as you can get to the panel access point, that is below the user control panel, you should be fine.

Hi I live in midland,TX. I am also curious what hot tub is the absolute best for hydrotherapy and massage on the market? Regardless of cost. Any help would be amazing! Thank you!

Hi Shantel
The best on the market for hydrotherapy is going to be the Twilight Series by Master Spa, and I’d say the TS 7.2 in particular. We have access to the absolute best prices in your area via our Private Buyer Service.
Sign up and let us get you the best price, with the shortest waiting times for delivery, we are placing a couple of hundred clients a year through the contact we have in your area, so we can to an extent queue jump the waiting list too…

What’s a good ventilation fan for hot tub installation in a garage

If money wasn’t an object and chronic pain was the reason to have the hot tub, as I have really bad daily musculoskeletal pain, what would be the top tub money could buy?? Thanks for all the information! I had a top tier hotsprings for five years and we are going to sell it with the house it’s at as we are just not that impressed with it.. unfortunately as your site mentioned there’s so much bs out there it’s so difficult to find out who’s the best for what and who will last! I’m in Orlando, Florida so I… Read more »

what do you know about hot tubs made by spamate.com?

i found a used one on craigslist but the owner tells me that spamate.com
is out of business

how can i re-order parts? etc


Thanks for your honesty and information. It all has been very insightful.

hi Chris ….thanks so much for sharing your insight and knowledge. I am in Delaware and am considering a Maxx R70 but after reading some comments I am a bit apprehensive ..from what i see the Balboa controls are very good but the insulation not so much. the cost is in my price range but i just saw there is a Marquis dealership in my area as well. Also there is a Saratoga and Adirondack dealership but i don’t see much info or mention on your blog on either of those manufactures.

Our 2003 Sundance Palermo has finally bit the dust. We are looking at a 2015 Artesian Grand Bahama floor model. It’s offered by a dealer that has been in business for 30+ years. Can you provide your opinion on Artestian in general and anything specific to the model we are considering?

Hi I am looking at purchasing a spa for therapeutic needs and water quality is important as I have recently had issues with skin rash. Based on reading many of your comments I am looking at the following spas. Marquis the wish; Master spas twilight series 7.2 and Artesian Antigua. I am thinking the Twilight or Artesian, however the Artesian is priced at $4000 more. I was planning to do a water test but I just read one of your blogs which suggest that really isn’t worthwhile. What do you think is my best bet. Thanks for all your help.… Read more »

Great! Thanks so much! After watching that video you wonder why anyone would buy anything else. The Twilight 7.2 tub is being offered to me at $12000 Canadian before sales tax, with the current exchange rate that would be about $9000 USD. Is that good price for this tub?
Thanks Again

We are considering purchasing a 2017 Four Winds – Maui II hot tub from the Typhoon series and we would like your thoughts.

Thank you for providing such an informative site. we had an Artisian Spa Dove Canyon that we loved years ago. We currently are looking for a smaller hot tub that will be used for therapy and relaxation. Looking at the different options we found a dealer who seems very knowledgable being in the industry for over 30 years, so we feel we are are the right tract. Our hot tub will be going on a concrete slab in NC.

Can you share any insight you may have on Dimension One Spas & the Aurora model. Thank you so much

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