To all the women out there currently looking for new ways to practice constructive self-care, may I recommend the Korean Spa experience? I just went to one for the first time ever today and I am SOLD. I’d heard about Korean spas, but was always intimidated by the notion of going into a place that involved nudity (yes, it involves nudity in the non-coed areas) but my friend Power Move mentioned that she was going and invited me to go along, so I seized the opportunity to become initiated into this strange new world with an experienced guide to show me the way.

Unlike my traditional idea of the spa experience: one that involves a lot of fluffy bathrobes and cucumber slices over ones eyes, the Korean spa experience is centered around hot tubs and saunas. The hot tubs are in the areas divided along gender lines (I don’t know the policy for trans individuals) and these areas are nude. So talk about taking the plunge. There were three tubs- one hot, one medium, and one cold (for plunging after being in the hot areas- not the most fun thing to do, but SO worth it.) There was a steam room that smelled of tea and a sauna that smelled of nothing in particular, and all around the room were showers for rinsing or washing- either standing up or sitting down, out in the open.

For the coed areas, the spa provided a set of clothes- a tshirt and a pair of shorts that looked like a high school gym uniform. These areas were mainly made up of saunas of various sorts. We went into a circular room made of pink salt for a leisurely doze, followed by a cooling off in the ice room (which was much less intense than the cold plunging pool) followed by time laying in a room filled with clay beads and several other saunas of various temperatures. I sweated prodigiously and became supremely relaxed.

We celebrated afterwards with ice cream.

So life is sometimes frustrating and hard, but sometimes too, it can be full of lovely days of soaking in a tub and lying in a warm room full of salt and soft light. And I think it’s ok to enjoy these creature comforts as a way of occasionally being present in one’s own body. So I highly recommend it.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 6, 2018.

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