Have you tried Ganbanyoku Hot Stone Therapy, i.e. 'rock bathing' before?
I have actually experienced it twice at a wellness centre along Thomson Road few months back and I really enjoyed it. Thus, when I had the opportunity to experience GANBANYOKU Hot Stone Therapy at Far East Plaza with YX, I knew that it would be a resounding 'YES'.
The practice of Ganbanyoku started in Japan, specifically at the Tamagawa natural hot springs in the Akita Prefecture of Japan. At that time, it was believed that the locals with injuries and illnesses would self-heal just by lying on the rocks that were naturally heated by the hot springs.
In a country devoid of hot springs, Ganbanyoku takes the form of lying on stone beds which are heated to more than 40 degree Celsius. And that's really all you do - you simply lie on the bed for 60 minutes, rest your mind, sleep if you want to and let the heat from the magma stones penetrate through your body. In the process, Far Infrared Rays (FIR) and negative ions are released to facilitate detoxification through perspiration. Your body's acupressure points are also stimulated, thereby relieving muscular and nerve pain.
Ganbanyoku is suitable for anyone above 12 years old, except for pregnant ladies. It is also beneficial for people who are not able to exercise due to physical limitation and senior citizens. In fact, when I was at the wellness centre along Thomson Road, I noticed that the therapy was exceptionally popular among the elderly. Nonetheless, this does not mean that Ganbanyoku is a therapy meant for senior citizens. Apparently, working adults love them too!
Before we commenced our 60-minute session, we were each given a yukata to change into; a body towel; a face towel and keys to our locker. The body towel was not only for wiping water or sweat from the body, but to also insulate heat from the body if the bed was too hot.
We were asked to give our body a rinse before changing into our yukata so we headed for the Men's Room and the Ladies' Room respectively.
Here's a peek of the Men's Room, which was small but adequate. They even provide grooming essentials for the guys such as facial cleanser and hair wax.
So glad they asked us to shower first because both of us were already sweating like mad dogs from cycling the entire morning.
Their shower comes with shampoo and shower gel so you need not bring your own!
The Ladies' Room was a lot more spacious and came with a dressing table for you to apply your makeup or blow-dry your hair.
They also provide makeup remover and cotton wipes, which was just nice for me because I needed to remove my makeup.
Tossed my belongings into their assigned locker.
Be sure to bring the key along with you to the therapy room - there's a reason why they attached a band to it.
I felt so clean and refreshed in my yukata. This is a really easy yukata to wear, by the way. It's like wearing pajamas. No ribbons to tie and no buttons to fiddle with. Awesome!
For ladies, you can remove your bra if you want to but if you feel uncomfortable, you can wear a sports bra instead. Do note that you will be sweating a lot in the 60-minute session, so your yukata will be wet. As such, you need not wear your underwear but if you choose to, just bring along a spare.
Hydration is key so drink up your water or green tea prior to your session.
You can also bring your cup into the therapy room so that you can continue to hydrate yourself throughout the session.
Here's how the stone bed looks like.
With the help of a Ganbanyoku specialist, founder Greta Ng used Tensho Seki stones found only in Kyushu to create these slab beds. The stones are heated continuously for 24 hours and emits one of the highest Far Infrared Rays. There are 12 beds altogether, which also means that the centre can accommodate up to 12 patrons at a time.
Besides detoxification, the benefits of Ganbanyoku are extensive and include:
- Improving blood circulation
- Treating sinusitis
- Boosting of immune system
- Relieving stress and fatigue
- Relieving pain
- Increasing metabolic rate
- Easing constipation
- Aiding digestion
- Weight loss
This is how we Ganbanyoku.
To start off, you can lie on your back (like YX) or on your abdomen (like me). For the ladies, lying on your abdomen helps to warm your stomach and ease menstrual cramps. Every 15 minutes, I will switch positions, moving from lying on my abdomen, to lying on my back and lying on my sides. For maximum effect, you can also warm your palms and feet by placing them directly on the hot beds.
If you just want to use the 60 minute session to sleep in 'corpse pose', by all means. While you're at that, we recommend you to lie on your body towel at the initial stage just in case you have low heat tolerance. Once your body gets used to the heat, you can remove the body towel.
Among the extensive list of benefits, the most obvious post-session effect for me was sweating a hell lot and flushing out lots of toxins from my skin.
The sweat that I experienced was odourless and non-sticky, which served as a natural lubricant for my skin. That is why we were encouraged not to shower immediately and to simply pat our skin dry with the body towel.
My body was also comfortably warm and it seemed like there was good blood circulation around my face. My cheeks were a tad red, but radiant and glowing. The session was definitely a stress reliever for both of us because we slept very well that night. In fact, YX was sound asleep by 9pm while I enjoyed a deep, uninterrupted sleep all the way till the next morning. I guessed insomniacs can give this session a try!
Here's a picture with founder Ms Greta Ng, who was so kind to host us for our session. She even stayed behind to share her story of how she discovered the benefits of Ganbayoku Hot Stone Therapy while she was in Fukuoka, Japan.
Thank you for your wonderful hospitality and for bringing this service to Singapore! I am looking forward to my next session!
Interested to try Ganbanyoku Hot Stone Therapy? Check out the pricing guide in the picture above.
A 60 minute session like the one I have experienced will cost you $32 per pax. Their packages have no expiry dates.
The centre's opening hours are 10am to 8.30pm daily (with last session at 7pm). For bookings, you can call 6208 9357, whatsapp 8787 5089 or email: email@example.com
For more details, check out their Official Website, Facebook and Instagram.
GANBANYOKU Hot Stone Therapy
14 Scotts Road, Far East Plaza
#02-29, Singapore 228213
Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with GANBANYOKU Hot Stone Therapy and Relish PR. Reviews are based on personal experiences.