Hydromassage Research Project
The healing effects of water as Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM) has been recorded since Ancient Greece to help soothe the mind and body and may influence an individual to navigate stressful environments today. This study introduces hydromassage as a potential buffer to urban stress, or, external factors that aggravate physical, mental, and environmental conditions brought forth by city living. Pilot programs in partnership with 2 community centers in South Los Angeles, an urban area synonymous with poor quality of life, analyzed the potential of hydromassage to mitigate urban stress. For 9 weeks during Phase I and 3 weeks during Phase II, participants who live and/or work in South L.A. received free hydromassages after completing the Connor-Davidson Self-Perceived Resilience Scale (RISC), Cohen Perceived Stress Scale (CPSS) and an intake form measuring lifestyle and economic factors. Surveys were administered before each hydromassage, encouraging participants to use an anonymous nickname to track fluctuations during each visit.
54 individuals participated and 83 hydromassages were recorded. With various biopsychosocial factors reported, the majority of the participants displayed high resilience levels while stress levels remained moderate to high. 91% of the participants observed experienced daily stress. 22% of participants tracked had a significant drop in resilience levels on their second visit. Tracked participants who experienced elevated and unchanging stress levels increased their weekly hydromassage visits more than any other group. Due to the limitations of this intervention, more research is encouraged to explore relationships between stress, resilience, and CAM therapy in urban communities.