Your Wellness Spa: Japanese Rock Bathing

Is it a hot new trend in the wellness spa world?

Co-owner of Iyashi Bedrock Spa, Ryusuke Juge, wields a sample of the black silica rock used in his spa’s stone beds.

Healing Space: Ganbanyoku stone bed suites at Iyashi Bedrock Spa, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Background and Benefits: Ganbanyoku (Japanese “rock bathing”) is one of the oldest and most natural ways to sweat away toxins and stress, say proponents. The waterless therapy of lying on natural stone has been a popular method of healing for generations of Japanese. One particular type of stone slab, black silica, which appears to date back to the beginning of life itself, is considered especially powerful for its natural minerals and reported abilities to emit far-infrared rays and negative ions. It is so rare and mysterious, in fact, it has been nicknamed the “phantom ore.” Benefits of ganbanyoku treatments are said to include detoxification; pain relief; increased circulation; tissue healing; weight loss; bolstered immunity; and stress reduction.

About the Spa: The founders of Iyashi Bedrock Spa are wholly committed to delivering the genuine article, and have imported black silica bedrock from Japan to outfit their extraordinary treatment areas. The stone is heated to approximately 108 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity at 60% for an ideal level of soothing comfort. The services offered at this first North American spa dedicated to ganbanyoku are Rock Bathing (30-, 60- or 90-min. sessions); Hot Rock/ Hot Yin Yoga (Ganban-Yoga), which consists of a 30-minute rock bathing session followed by a 60-minute yoga class held on the stone beds; and Massage Therapy (30-, 45-, 60- or 90-min. sessions, including Hot Stone Massage).

The spa provides guests with a two-piece cotton outfit to wear and towels on which to lie, then issues regular reminders to take breaks in the spa’s cooling room and drink water. There’s a traditional suite for women only that contains 17 stone beds and includes washrooms, showers, and changing and cool-down rooms; and a reservable deluxe suite for men, women and couples that features four stone beds plus the above-mentioned amenities.


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