One day while sitting around talking to some friends they started talking about this Korean Spa in Atlanta and what a wonderful and strange experience it was. They said I definitely HAD to go and I would enjoy it.
Always looking for new experiences that may be able to help my clients, I made a mental note to visit that place the next time I was in the area.
Soon after, I had continuing education classes in Atlanta and I made a point to leave extra early so I could fit my spa experience into my schedule.
I arrived fairly early…a little after 9 AM. I Walked in, the friendly front desk attendant gave me a locker key, and a little outfit of terrycloth shorts and a T-shirt that could have been mistaken for some sort of a prison uniform.
I was surprised because there were some people sleeping on the floor! Apparently, people come in at all times (open 24-7) and then they can sleep on the heated tile floor.
I walked in got into the outfit and went into the co-ed section: A large open area with several little tile huts…these are the different saunas. Each one has different minerals embedded into the walls, giving them different properties.
I went into one of the saunas and it wasn’t really all that hot-but I laid down on one of the mats. All of a sudden, I got really sleepy and probably would have dozed off if it wasn’t for some people coming inside the sauna.
I left that sauna and tried some of the other ones. Milled around the co-ed areas for a while and then I decided I wanted to go into the “wet” areas where they have the hot tubs, and steam saunas.
Now, the spa makes a big deal about how you have to be nude to enter the wet area. The only towel you can take in is one the size of a washcloth…and that’s not going to cover much.
Now, I’ve been in many locker rooms in my life-I don’t think I have a problem with nudity other than the occasional old man that decides to start a conversation in his birthday suit. I suppose the older you are the less you care about modesty. However, it’s hard to carry on a conversation when an old dude’s privates are losing the battle against gravity in your direct field of vision.
Here in the spa you had to be naked! Everyone was naked!
It’s tough to walk around like you don’t mind being naked like that. Trying to look past people…( no eye contact, guys!) After a while the awkwardness seemed to diminish a bit…and I could try to do the different pools of warm, hot and cold.
There were a few Korean guys that were very serious about the different pools. They were very intense, I had no desire to go into the ice cold pool, so I just relaxed in the hot pool while i observed these rituals.
The wet areas
There was a far-infrared area that I wanted to try out, but there were just too many people and after noticing that everyone was sitting on the bare surfaces with their bare surfaces, I decided not to try.
My friends had recommended that I get a massage and a detox scrub, because after doing the numbers, it was the “best deal!” That’s what I told the attendant I wanted. He gave me a blank stare and since I don’t speak Korean, I had to point to a menu of services to order my detox scrub package.
I don’t know why I expected to be taken to a private room, but he motioned for me to lay on a vinyl table behind a small divider. Here I was naked, face down and exposed to virtually everyone.
I don’t know if it was the awkwardness of the situation, but I didn’t enjoy the massage…I was hoping it would end quickly. There was nothing relaxing or therapeutic to it. Fluorescent lights, no music, just the sounds of conversations echoing on tile floor and my skin sticking and unsticking to the vinyl table.
Now it was time for my scrub! This is what I had been looking forward to for a while! He started scrubbing my skin…I couldn’t believe how rough he was doing it, It was….painful. Very painful. So painful that I didn’t have time to feel weird about me lying naked there. I wasn’t sure what he was using but I’m pretty sure it was a Brillo pad.
So this guy is going to town on my skin like he is cleaning a dirty wok. Surely he will be more delicate when he gets to the “sensitive” areas (underarms, inside of thighs) Nope. Not at all. He stops periodically to wash the dead skin off of me- it feels chunky. And he has worked the outer layer down to where plain water stings. A bit too much, I would say.
After he was done, I was dazed and I couldn’t believe what had happened. My skin was still sensitive to a shower I took before getting dressed. I was a little dazed but I had to make myself move because it was getting dangerously close to class time.
I expected to not feel good after all of this-but the truth is, I felt very energized and after a while my mind felt razor-sharp. I touched my skin and it was super soft. My elbows, which are normally smooth as alligator hide felt soft.
I may do the body scrub again, at least it won’t catch me off guard now. Overall, the Spa was a good experience.
Dan=0 Korean Spa=1