Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 24 Challenge: Another bizarre beauty treatment

Near our house, I often pass by this shop with a peculiar looking sign of a woman wrapped up in a large marshmallow pink trash bag. Many times I have wondered what kind of unusual Japanese beauty enhancement this could be. 

Since I'm trying out new challenges, this one was perfect. I had been curious about it for a while, and I had no idea what I was walking into. Why do I get such a thrill out of that? Can anyone else relate?  

Anyway, after some hand gestures and broken Japanese, I learned that the chairs are individual "saunas". Let me explain... 

First, you remove your clothes and don the funky pink robe with one teeny tiny opening for an arm. You're definitely confined inside that thing. Then you sit on a stool on top of a wooden chair with a gap in the middle. 

Underneath the chair, they put a steaming pot of herbs including chamomile, lavender, rose hips, and mint. Once you get over feeling like you will be tonight's soup for dinner, the herbal smell is lovely.

Next, they turn up the pot full blast and you sit there and cook for about 45 minutes. They give you a pitcher of water and some salt to suck on in case you start feeling a little faint from dehydration, and a little emergency bell.  (yes, I called them three times, but not because I was dizzy. I just needed more water... and then a fan... and then for them to turn it down) 

When it was all said and done and my beet red face returned to a normal color and I could walk without my knees buckling, I saw how genius these chairs are. You get all the benefits of sitting in a sauna, but it's individual. You can customize the temperature to your own liking rather than being in the same stuffy germ and bacteria-laden room as everyone else. In addition, your head is outside the sauna bag, so you can withstand the steam for longer.  You can also read a magazine and watch TV while doing it. Just remember that you have to eat a bag of chips first!

So, what beauty treatments have you come across in different countries?

1 comment:

Josh said...

Wow, I've never quite enjoy the whole "get naked and wear this paper thin sheet" style of therapy. Still, that is a very interesting and unique type of sauna you have there and much better than getting in a room with a whole bunch of completely naked people :)

Here in China they have another type of therapy which I tried last year. Really crazy stuff, but at least you don't have to wear your birthday suit!

Chinese Massage Therapy: "Fire Cups"


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