Korean Spa Culture
Here at Qi Alchemy, we are inspired by alternative and natural takes on beauty and wellness. The creation of our herbal pearls are inspired by ancient Korean practices.
Korean Spa Culture
In Korea, many natural remedies are respected and common knowledge. From materials to practices, Koreans implement natural methods of well-being into everyday life. One prevalent wellness practice in Korea is centered around spa culture.
Korean spas or "jimjilbang" are like Western spas, but on steroids. The origins of these spas are said to have come from natural hot springs in the country and their historical use for wellness. Today, very modern spa houses are a key part of daily well being in Korea, and they are a unique experience.
Each spa house is split up into sections by sex. Men and women have separate spas in which they are nude. There is also a co-mingling section that males and females can both be in if they are wearing clothing. Hot tubs, relaxing pools, showers, traditional Korean saunas, and massage tables are all incorporated in the spas. There are also snack bars, heated floors for lounging or sleeping, TV’s, exercise rooms, and specialty rooms.
Specialty sauna rooms are themed with natural materials that hold special properties. Common materials in these special rooms are mugwort, red clay, salt, and healing crystals. Mugwort rooms are supposed to help ease anxiety. Red clay rooms allow an individual to sit in red clay that helps deeply massage skin. Salt rooms are very hot and are used to purify the skin. Perhaps the most beautiful room is the one filled with special crystals all over the wall; they are supposed to bring healing properties to the body. The use of these materials have been inspired by traditional Korean medicinal knowledge.
Most jjimjilbangs are open twenty-four hours and are a popular attraction for most citizens in Korea. The spas are like a mini vacation from the world. Some people spend nights and whole weekends at them. They are able to sleep on heated floors using comfortable mats and pillows. When they wake up there is access to massages, food, warmth, and community, all for much less than a price at a hotel. Some people attend jjimjilbangs weekly, biweekly, or monthly. They are a great place to socialize and hang out with friends to de-stress together.
Life in South Korea can be very rigorous; Koreans work long and hard hours. It makes sense why the calming jjimjilbangs are such a popular part of the culture. Perhaps more wellness practices will be implemented into the Korean culture as well as Western cultures in the future.
There seems to be a growing consciousness especially in America on mental health. Hopefully all cultures can learn from each other's positive practices and incorporate wellness more into everyday life going forward.
Bring a bit of spa culture into your home with our Qi Alchemy herbal pearls. They can be put into hot bath water to help create a mini aromatic spa room of your own.
Written by Isabella Cammarata