Zen, Sweat and Healing… Up Close and Personal

On day 29 I put away my cell phone, put on a cotton pink “uniform” and spent 9 hours sweating, relaxing and channeling serenity at the Korean Spa.

A friend invited me along under the pretense that it would be “amazing” and that this special spa had become one of her favorite pastimes.  I had no idea what I was in for…

I also had no idea I could exist in the New York area without my cell phone(s) and doing virtually nothing but relaxing for 9 hours.

I’m happy to report that we went into the spa at around 4pm and did not emerge (skin soft and body and soul rejuvenated) until 1:00am.

Let me share the important highlights:

  • This is no ordinary spa.  It’s culturally a traditional Korean experience.  You pay admission up front.  You put on a large over-sized comfy uniform. You put away your stuff.  You enter 40,000 square feet of lounge areas, food areas, saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzies, showers and scrubbing areas (more on this later)
  • Each Sauna (shaped like a Smurf’s dream house) has different beneficial holistic properties.  Basically you sweat your buns off while revitalizing “Inner energy” and cleansing the skin
  • This facility boasts a “BULHANJEUNGOAK” sauna: dome shaped smurf house of doom used in Korean culture for 500 years to heal different illnesses where the floor is made of yellow soil and the temperature is 200 Celsius.  You read that right.  They bake eggs in there (and sell them).  Consider it the Olympics of sauna-ing.  5 minutes in that hut and you’ll take care of detoxification for the next year
  • You’ve never been washed or massaged until you’ve had the scrub/massage experience at a Korean spa.  Let me break this down succinctly: modesty is not an option; you may lose 2-3 layers of skin; showering may not be required for a couple days after (you’re THAT clean!!!)

We chatted about nothing important for 7 hours (2 of them involved skin removal in the buff), we ate yummy food, we drank fresh made juice, we laid on huge beds and watched Olympic coverage, we took naps in infrared rooms, we jaccuzied and cooled off in a cold pool.  Putting away worries, stresses and text messaging responsibilities for the equivalent of a work day was brilliant.  and glorious.  and… AWESOME.

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