Saturday, March 21, 2009

Asian Body Treatments

For centuries, Asians have mastered the art of health and beauty. From the finest in Korean body scrubs, Thai massage, and Chinese herb and acupuncture. So the Gypsy way is to find these cultural spots in your city and treat yourself to much more then you would if it was a commercially-owned spa.
Koreatown, in the mid-Wilshire District of Los Angeles, is considered one of the most diverse neighborhoods in America with a Korean population of an estimated 160,000 people, making it the largest concentration of Koreans outside of Korea. It is under 5 square miles and is rich with brownstones, high-end Asian boutiques, markets and spas. For under a hundred dollars you can spend all day in a Korean spa or Jimjilbang and receive countless options of ancient healing treatments such as the famous Korean Scrub. Ajumas (older Korean women only wearing black underwear) or Ajoshis for the gentlemen (yes men get scrubs too), will scrub you from head to toe with a special exfoliating glove. The Korean Spa is in alignment with the tradition of the public bathhouses that began in Greece in the sixth century B.C and spread to Rome (Thermae), the Middle Eastern steam bath (Hamam), The Japanese (Sento), and the more contemporary uses of the Hot Springs in America. “Anyong Haseo” is the greeting in Korea and “Kamsamnida” is how to say thank you.

Just off Hollywood and Western in Los Angeles you will find an elaborate and lively neighborhood that resembles Thailand and is filled with Thai restaurants, markets, shops, import stores, clothing stores and massage spas. Thai town in Los Angeles is home to the world's first and only Thai Town with an estimated 80,000 Thai immigrants and is referred to as Thailand's 77th province because Bangkok (the capital of Thailand) and Los Angeles are both known as the City of Angels. For under $50 you can receive one of the most honoring and invigorating Thai massages, which some people refer to as the “lazy man’s yoga” because it is energizing instead of tiring when you are being crawled on by an adorable and giddy Thai masseuse. After the massage, you can walk to a local Thai restaurant and have a delicious meal. There are plenty of stores to shop in; great for buying gifts for others, as well as decorating your home with Asian accents. When you are in Thai town you forget you are in a big city…the generous spirit of the people fill your heart with gratitude for they are known to live in the Land of Smiles. Be sure to say “Sawadeka” when you enter and “Kob Kun ka” as you leave to say ‘thank you’.

These cultural excursions have been little countries of lessons in love for me.
Helping me to remember what it feels like to truly be honored by the human touch.
We so often stay 'closed', even in the comfort of our lovers' arms.
Or we resist the slightest touch from a friend.
But for some reason, a strangers touch can sometimes heal without any hesitation.
At least it has for me.

It just shows me that the skin is a vessel of energy...waiting to spread its love-filled message in the disguise of a massage.

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