Weise isn't the only one feeling the thrill. David and Lee Cote, who launched Aquamassage in 1990, are delighted that it has caught on. This year, they estimate, the $30,000 machines will earn their company more than $8 million. "It's quick, it's effective," says David, 58. "I've never met anyone who tried this and didn't rave about it."
In 1989 the Cotes, who live in Groton, Conn, (he was an engineer, she a teacher), bought the company that had a patent on a prototype of Aquamassage. They refined the design, but for four years they struggled, even using David's retirement funds to keep the company afloat. Selling to Asia proved the turning point. "They got it," David says. So, eventually, did American spas and chiropractors, and once David targeted weary mall wanderers as well, there was no stopping Aquamassage. Some 500 machines can now be found in malls nationwide; next year they'll start appearing in airports. "After sitting in a plane, you need to get your circulation going," says Lee, 58. So what if you feel like you're in a car wash? "Your car," says David, "never had it this good."