How to design a spa-like hydrotherapy experience at home

Photo courtesy of Anna Dabrowska / The Licensing Project

How to design a spa-like hydrotherapy
Experience at home

Created with Kohler

Your eyes are closed and you are lying face down on a massage table. Six shower heads are hung above you from the ceiling, perfectly adjusted to target every inch of your body: Dense drops drum your legs and feet in a pulsating pattern, while a gentler mist meets your stomach, chest and arms. Red light permeates the room, thanks to a custom installation on the Vichy system above. A massage therapist moves around the table with ice balls of peppermint and works them into the tissue.

It’s all part of one of the next level hydrotherapy experiences at Kohler Waters Spa at Destination Kohler. “We massage the body front and back with these balls to challenge the tissue to vasoconstrict and contract and increase local circulation,” says esthetician Nikki Miller, director of Kohler Waters Spa and Kohler Kitchen and Bath’s engineering team. “But then you have this heat that immediately follows the Vichy shower – you constantly experience a contrast in your extremities. You tighten up, and you relax, and you tighten up, and you relax.”

Located on a beautiful property in Kohler, Wisconsin, the spa anchors the resort’s wellness programming, which includes guided hikes, private yoga nidra flows and more.

  1. Destination Kohler Wellness Immersion Weekend

    Destination Kohler

    Wellness Immersion weekend

The hydrotherapy treatments at Kohler Spa are not something you can recreate at home. But it inspired us to bring some of the elements into our shower routine.


Red light

The next best thing to having red light panels installed in your bathroom: a mat that combines red light – emits LEDs with 13 pounds of amethyst, tourmaline and jade gemstones. Before jumping in the shower, lie down on the hot stones to stimulate local circulation and ease muscle tension for relaxation and well-being.


    goop, $ 1,049




Kohler Spa treatments incorporate aromatherapy everywhere: lavender for calm, peppermint for more invigorating treatments. We keep a diffuser in the bathroom for the same purpose.

  1. Vitruvi stone spreader

    Stone spreader
    goop, $ 123


This package contains four exclusive blends from vitruvi: Try Boost in the morning for a citrus kick and Moonbeam in the evening for a sense of calm.

  1. Vitruvi The goop bundle

    Goop bundled
    goop, $ 110



The hot and cold treatment

If you’ve up for it, try the routine Gwyneth wrote about in one of the first goop newsletters: Draw a bath as hot as you can handle and mix in your favorite salts (we’re currently obsessed with “The Martini”, “Made with pink Himalayan salts). Soak for 20 minutes, then enter an ice-cold shower for 1 minute. Get back in the hot bath and stay until you are warmed up. Then get back in the shower for another minute.

  1. goop Wellness

    goop wellness
    “The Martini” Emotional Detox Bath Soak
    goop, $ 40


Kohler obviously has a more elegant design for this kind of experience: Anthem digital control is a digital thermostat valve system – the same technology installed for the Vichy shower in the spa. It allows you to try six built-in preconfigured hydrotherapies at the touch of a button.

  1. Kohler Anthem

    Kohler, $ 450



Sound bath

One of the spa’s hydrotherapy treatments incorporates the handmade tuning bowls, which are partially filled with water and put on the body for an extra feeling of vibration along with the sound.

Home Version: Connect a Bluetooth speaker to your bathroom and tap play on this 30-minute sound bath for relaxation and sleep from holistic healer Jasmine Harsono.


Exfoliation of the whole body

An integral part of any spa treatment and, famously, almost all of our beauty routines.

We created this salt scrub to smooth, exfoliate, soften and moisturize the skin with mineral-rich salts and ultra-moisturizing oils.

  1. goop Beauty G.Tox 5 Salt Detox Body Scrub

    goop beauty
    G.Tox 5 Salt Detox Body Scrub
    goop, $ 45 / $ 36 with subscription



Moisturizer from top to toe

The last step – and perhaps most crucial to feeling renewed – is to gossip yourself in a clean, luxurious body oil or butter.

The nourishing lotion from Augustinus Bader helps to tighten, rich and soothing to a healthy skin. It is made with TFC8 (the brand’s pioneering ingredient to moisturize and restore skin), along with a polysaccharide complex, vitamins B5 and E and aloe vera to help lock in moisture to soft, supple skin.

  1. Augustine Bader The Body Lotion

    Augustine Bader
    Body lotions
    goop, $ 100


Or, if you have the foresight to turn it on before taking a bath, try this hand-poured candle that acts as a body and massage oil. While the candle flickers, drip its nourishing blend of almond, baobab and jojoba oils over your (or someone else’s) skin and gently smooth it in – it’s pure magic.

  1. Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Intensive Skin Treatment Candle

    Neom Organics
    Perfect night-sleep-intensive skin treatment light
    goop, $ 46


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