-noun: Social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted.
That doesnʻt have to be interpreted as negative. The only peer pressure Iʻve ever experienced &/or succumbed to has been positive peer pressure.
[sidebar] If you only learn one thing about me, itʻs that Iʻm stubborn. When my mindʻs made up–my mind is made up! However; my sweet circle of friends have learned over almost a few decades now, when–and more importantly how to suggest I change my mind on things. Itʻs not always a success, but when it is? Fireworks!
In a previous blog post [Waikiki Weekend of Grindz] I brought up that I did in fact experience my frist Korean Massage on a spontaneous trip to Oʻahu in January… The girls had talked about their scheduled appointments just briefly when we flew in and I asked them about it, not knowing what the difference was from any other massage. And honestly? They lost me at “Special..”
The morning of their scheduled appointments we were in dire need of java and a light breakfast or snack to get the day started. As we got ready to leave.. thatʻs when they started to push their cause.. “Cʻmon sister, you HAVE to try the “Special”. Itʻs unbelievable, you will ab-so-luuutely LOVE it!” My modest self responded with, “Nahhhhh!! Iʻm good! I JUST had a coupleʻs massage, I really donʻt need another massage.” And quite frankly I was concerned with any treatment named the “Special.”
We walked to the coffee shop and they tried again; “Seriously Jenn, itʻs the best massage weʻve ever had. EVER. Every time weʻre on Oʻahu, we have to get these massages now.” I just kind of nodded, “Thatʻs Nice.” .. “Oh wow.. really?” Still vibing a “yeahʻNo!”
..We got to the coffee shop waited in a forever line, got our treats and decided to share a cab to this place since it was apparently close(er) to the mall. They were running a little late for their appointments and called to make sure all was well–and then I heard it… “Is there room for one more? There is!? Perfect…weʻll see you in five.”
The cab drops us off and I recognize the strip club on the corner.. Classy. I make a joke and they made me walk up with them to check in… luring me with the suggestions of just hanging out in the steam/sauna rooms or hot/cold jacuzziʻs..
So I walk up with them (passed the strip club!) and approach a stand alone building that has beads hanging from the door and an intercom on the side of the wall that reads “Press Bell” – No joke!
I was dying.. I was in hysterics because this was not a great start for my negotiating friends and I was confident Iʻd be shopping till I dropped in roughly T-minus 15 minutes. Standing here taking this picture of my friend, I was imagining weʻd have to walk up a dark stairwell with old worn-out and torn carpeted stairs to some sort of red-light “Special,” and was hesitant to even walk through the beads!
But there were no stairs–not even carpet for that matter–and I heard my friend shown above talking to people just a couple feet away, so I cautiously approached and walked through to what I found out was a very nice check in area/lobby.
The first thing I noticed was how clean it was, and it instantly had that spa feeling with soothing sounds. I used to work in a luxury spa, so I can be pretty critical. The friendly ladies in the front said that I was more than welcome to use the facilities while my friends received their treatments; but, there was an opening for me if I wanted to have the same treatment. Getting interested, I asked them EXACTLY what the “Special” entailed…
[sidebar] If you learn a second thing about me, itʻs that I require details. Particularly when Iʻm embarking something NEW. I prefer to know EVERYTHING I need to know prior to committing. If I donʻt? Thereʻs a greater chance I wonʻt participate… Iʻm all about due diligence, and not diving in unless I know how deep it is. Call me responsible!
I learn the “Special” includes a full body scrub, a facial, and an aroma oil full body massage. Treatment is 100 minutes, and the total cost of the treatment is $110 for kamaʻaina. Hmmm…
When the BF and I had our couples massage I decided my next massage would be a body scrub since I had never done it before.. So I asked if I could just do the body scrub, and of course I could, so off we went and my friends were stoked!
We got our locker keys, traded our shoes for slippers and headed for the back.. These pros were naked in seconds and put on fluffy robes while I was taking each piece of jewelry off one-by-one. Lord. What did I get myself into now?
Wearing my fluffy robe I met my friends in the steam/sauna/jacuzzi area. There were showers lined up on the walls, two giant pool-like jacuzzis, one hot, one cold, and three different saunaʻs lining a wall. On the left there were three (more private) showers, and in the back there were massage tables. This area was definitely water friendly, the Masseuses were in bikiniʻs and everyone else was naked.
The hot and cold tub jacuzziʻs make your skin feel super soft and clean. Make sure you start with the hot, so the heat opens your pores releasing dirt etc. and then finish with the cold, to close the pores back up and prevent new dirt from getting in.
Aside from feeling invigorating, both the hot and cold tubs have numerous beneficial reasons to do it. Take time between each dip to let your body temperature come back to normal and repeat as necessary.
Itʻs a spa.. so relax!
The Salt Dry Sauna Room was our first stop. We dropped our fluffy robes and laid on our towels. It felt amazing in there. All I could think about was the 365 days of coldness I experienced on the mainland. This was what my body longed for.
The room was filled entirely of mineral salt which releases negative ions that create a fresh, clean, bacteria-free environment. The negative ions captured in salt result in regulating blood pressure, balancing blood sugar, and pH levels promoting healthy sleep patterns. This sauna is also perfect for the respiratory system, purifying the skin, and of course, reducing the effects of stress and common signs of aging.
We didnʻt go in the Loess Dry Sauna, but this room is a meditative room smelling of the Loess Soil and natural herbs calming your senses and body. The benefits include enhancing biological rhythms of the body by preventing infrared rays. It significantly reduces unavoidable toxins in our society, including bad odors, fungus, pollutants, and viruses.
The Misty Steam Sauna was gnarly! The room was thick with continuous hot mist and I could hardly keep my eyes open.. I had to get out of the room after maybe five minutes opposed to the other room(s) where we were in for maybe 10-15 minutes each… This was the best decorated though, with Crystals EVERY WHERE. The atmosphere was alluring, mystical, and the Swarovski elements created infinite energy with the smell of eucalyptus captivating our senses. The detoxification in this room was amazing even though it was short-lived.
Our Sauna Sessions were perfectly timed as it was time to head to the back when we left the Misty Steam Room. We rinsed off and jumped on the massage tables. Naked. Faces down first.
In the picture shown, the curtains are missing, so donʻt worry, itʻs private if you want it to be. The spa wasnʻt crowded, and it was just the three of us back there, so we kept it open. I was slowly getting over my modesty by that point.
Iʻm sure ALL the Masseuses there are awesome, but my gal was AMAZING. All 4ʻ9″ of her! She applied perfect pressure, really knew the anatomy of the body/pressure points and how to release all the stress I apparently bottle up. I actually have a really bad neck, which could be where all my stress goes? Anyway..I kept that a secret. I have a “donʻt touch my neck” issue..
The body scrub was ridiculously awesome! The salt felt and smelled great. And I swear there were little massage tools involved, but I made it a point to not think and just enjoy, as I kept my eyes closed.
I started on my tummy and was relaxed. I noticed a bunch of dead skin coming off and was disgusted and relieved at the same time. I was turned to my side, then on to my back, then on to the other side. To clean off the dead skin she would get a bucket of warm water and pour it on me and the table–it was the coolest thing. The scrub lasted 45+ minutes, or until there was no more dead skin, and I really loved every second.
Because this was my first time, I kept expecting something inappropriate to happen? But thank goodness that was not the case here. Arms and legs were moved, turned, twisted, spread, the whole nine yards, and boobies were semi-included if Iʻm remembering correctly! Ha!
My Masseuse asked me if I wanted to continue with the “Special” like my friends and at that point I was ALL ABOUT IT! I said heck yes and she had me lay on my back with my hair hanging over the massage table. She poured warm water on it and began an intoxicating scalp massage and aroma oil massage. She put a folded warm/hot towel on my whoo-ha and continued with the scalp massage; I was in heaven, I love scalp massages!
I scooted back down the massage table so I was completely flat and comfortable on my back and she prepared for my facial. It smelled like cucumbers and mint? Yum… She explained that it was going to be cold and put a little bit on my chin so I was prepared. Very courteous!
She covered my entire face with what felt like chopped up semi-frozen cucumbers, it was like nothing I had ever felt on my face before, it was very exhilarating to say the least. She let that sit awhile, and I felt a little claustrophobic not being able to open my eyes, but breathed through it with some positive self-talk. It went something like this: “Buck up Jenn. Youʻre getting spoiled right now, enjoy it!” ..So I did!
She was massaging my neck, shoulders, arms, and chest for a bit, and I noticed she kept revisiting my neck. Instant fear. Again I began focusing on my breathing and just.. went with it.
She lifted my head, kind of wiggled it? Said something to what I interpreted as “relax” and CR-CR-CR-CR-CR-CRRRRACK!!! She sneakily and swiftly turned my head/neck to the left and wobbled it a couple beats and then CR-CR-CR-CR-CR-CRRRRACK!!!! She swiftly turned my head/neck to the right and wobbled it a couple beats before bringing it back to center.
I had never been adjusted before and was in utter shock. I felt 1000 times better! It was inevitable because the night before a friend of a friend asked if I wanted her to give me an adjustment and I was sketched out….again, I have a “donʻt touch my neck” issue!
So the AMAZING aroma oil massage continued much like the salt scrub did, but now I felt unbelievably clean and utterly relaxed!
When our time was up we rinsed off our gumbo bodies and were in our own heaven of careless nakedness. I felt like a new person! With what felt like pounds of skin scrubbed off of me.. As if years of combined, stored stressed was removed..
I was hooked.. I was impressed.. I was full of energy and I finally understood why my friends were sooooooooooo stubborn on getting me to try it.
I remember telling the BF all about it and he was like “who is this girl?! I liiiiiiike!!” …Take her to the Korean Spa more often!! Ha!
Truth be told, when we get busy, when we constantly put others first… we neglect ourselves, we forget to take care of ourselves as good as we take care of others. I have this horrible habit of putting my own needs aside, and this year my personal goal is to return to my routine of taking care of myself.
Itʻs ridiculous I needed to literally be dragged to this amazing experience, isnʻt it? And at the same time of wanting to keep this amazing place a secret and all to myself, I really want to share with you all this amazing Korean Spa and encourage you, especially if youʻre in town, to go experience it for yourself! And seriously? Get the Special!
Aloha Spa & Sauna is at 1724 Kalauokalani Way in Honolulu, Hawaii. They are open from 9AM – 9PM Monday through Sunday and have earned bragging rights!
They do EVERYTHING there, so check them out! Visit their website at AlohaSauna.com and make an appointment.
If I left anything out, or if you have questions about my experience there, or about Korean Massages in general, please let me know!
Detoxifying our bodies is a necessity that we need to do more often, so make time. Take care of yourself. Escape the grind, or indulge on your vacation and treat yourself to utter serenity and the ultimate Spa Experience.
My friends and I are “Spa Junkies” because we love experiencing different spas. We go..just to go, no occasion required. Iʻm of course obviously more reserved sticking to the standard treatments in the past, but now have broaden my horizons and Iʻm LOVING it.
Do yourself a favor–or do your woman a favor. Speaking of which, guys? Spa treatments are the easiest gifts for women in your life. If you think women are impossible to shop for… buy them a Spa Certificate and they will be the HAPPIEST woman on earth! ..Your welcome! 😉
Since weʻre on the topic.. Iʻm about due. Maybe I should round the girls again for a rendezvous………..hmmmmmm, what do you think?