If you have been following my blog, you will know that I’ve tried several wellness therapies before. From TCM to Ayurvedic healing, I’ve done it all. These therapies are often natural and have no side effects on the body, but there can be some level of discomfort during the process. They are often very costly as well, and not everyone can afford it. I was actually searching for a more sustainable and affordable alternative out in the market. In this post, I am excited to share that I’ve finally found a more sustainable natural therapy which is more affordable and more importantly, effective. It’s none other than Ganbanyoku (岩盤浴), a form of hot stone therapy, which involves to lying on a hot stone bed. This form of treatment originates from Japan and I wasn’t really sure about its potential benefits until I tried the therapy myself at Ganbanyoku Singapore. Initially, I assumed it was a form of the spa which is similar to a sauna and onsen, but it’s a different thing altogether.
Over at Ganbanyoku Singapore, they use volcanic ores derived from the volcanic lava found in Japan. When these rock ores are heated, the stones emit negative ions and Far-infrared rays (FIR) which are able to penetrate up to 1.5 inches deep into your body; providing the natural healing needed to your joints and muscles. Unlike onsen or sauna, your skin is in contact with the hot stones.
Benefits of Hot Stone Therapy:
– Ease joint pain
– Increase metabolism
– Weight loss
Ganbanyoku therapy is suitable for all ages – from children as young as 12 years old to Senior Citizens.
After discovering the benefits of laying on a hot stone bed, I couldn’t wait to begin my hot stone therapy session at Ganbanyoku Singapore. It is currently located at level 2 of Far East Plaza which is about a 5-minute walk from Orchard MRT.
Upon reaching, we were given a set of yukata, bath towel, face towel and a sheet mask. We were also asked to take off our shoes and store them in the white cabinets. They also provide lockers in the changing room, so that you can keep your belongings safely. Additionally, there are showers and basic bath amenities. They even provide makeup remover, cotton wool and body splash as well.
Since almost everything else is provided, you don’t really have to bring anything extra along with you for a hot stone therapy session at Ganbanyoku Singapore. You can bring a change of clothes but they actually advise customers to shower before the hot stone therapy session. They don’t encourage customers to shower right after the session in order to experience the full therapeutic effects, which last for hours after the session. Don’t worry about getting all sticky because the sweat produced doesn’t leave your skin feeling that way.
Female Changing Room
There are no toilets though. You would have to visit the public toilet within Far East Plaza itself. You could shower and change into your Yukata before heading over to the treatment room!
How to ‘Ganbanyoku’ effectively?
1) Drink lots of water before the session. Bring a cup of water along with you to the treatment room.
2) I suggest bringing along the towel provided. The temperature of the hot stone bed is maintained at 45 degrees Celsius. For most first-timers like myself, it can get too hot to handle, so lying on your towel will help alleviate some of the heat. For the subsequent sessions, my body got used to it and I didn’t need the towel. It really depends on the individual.
3) Lie flat on your stomach for about 10 minutes to warm up the body. This part felt so good!
4) After ten minutes, turn over and lie flat on your back. At this point, you will start to sweat! My boyfriend was already sweating buckets by then.
5) After about an hour, you will start to acclimatize to the heat, which makes it produce less sweat. It is best to get off the hot stone at this time and take a breather. You will be drenched in sweat that it is actually clean and odourless, almost as if you’ve taken a bath! At this time, you can choose to dry yourself with a towel or let the droplets evaporate over time.
There are 4 treatment rooms.
Each treatment room has about 3 to 6 hot stone beds. A bamboo pillow will be provided for you to rest your head comfortably on.
After the treatment, do replenish your body with more fluids. There’s a small resting room where you can sit down and rest for a while before heading to the changing room.
It felt like you’ve just gone for an hour long of massage. It’s equally relaxing.
Verdict: I really enjoyed the after-effects of the treatment. Not only were my aching muscles gone, but I also slept much better after every session. My skin felt silky smooth. I also felt that my body was less bloated, probably from sweating out all the fluids trapped in my body! I might actually attend more sessions to treat my water retention problems. Who knows? Hopefully, I can shed some kilos along the way as well.
14 Scotts Road
Far East Plaza
Tel: 6208 9357