Body Scrubs, Now I Know How My Lasagna Pan Feels

Body Scrubs, Now I Know How My Lasagna Pan Feels
While stuck on an airplane and desperate for something to read, I ended up perusing a magazine touting the need for pampering. My eyes fluttered upon Korean body scrubs. I learned that Korean body scrubs are an important part of traditional Korean culture. In Korean bathhouses, called jimjibang, people go once a week to sauna, steam, soak and scrub. The author described how she had been living in the US for over a year and when she returned home for a visit she joined the entire family in what was something clearly all of the them enjoyed together, and often. Her experience was comical as the technician who performed her scrub told her how she had more dead skin than the rest of her relatives combined.

Immediately I was ready to try this. I did a little research and found an all women's spa in the Greater Seattle Area where I reside. My research on the art of Korean scrubs promised greater circulation, and smoother skin. The elimination of itchy, dry skin we all experience during the blah winter months was a huge reason for me to check this place out. At the time it was mid-January and I was suffering from the winter itch so many of us get. When the dry air from heating and the cold weather provided no moisture for my already clinically dry skin, no amount of moisturizer gave relief. This Korean body scrub sounded like the perfect remedy.

The spa is great and will be a subject for a completely different article. Olympus Spa in Lynnwood, Washington, a suburb just north of Seattle, likened my body scrub experience to an S.O.S. pad cleaning a pan of baked ribs. I began to appreciate the need to shed all that dry skin. My use of lotion seemed to be keeping this dry skin attached to my body and just squishing it into my new skin a few hundred layers underneath.

Much like your lasagna pan, the spa has everyone soak in pools of warm water for at least 30 minutes. Then the scrubbing begins. You lay on your back and your technician will literally, enthusiastically, scrub you from top to bottom. They have these little mitts - like loofas for your hands. You get the once-over with the mitt, then you are rinsed with scalding hot water. After that, they repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Only until you are smooth will they turn you over and scrub you all over again.

Pretty soon skin begins to build up on the little hairs on my arms. The padded table I lie upon has these thin ropes of dead flesh. One glance over the side of the table reveals a floor covered in debris that used to rest on my body. Now it's being removed from with the vigor you use to scrub that lasagna pan.

I am then put on my side to make sure no nooks or crannies are missed. Soon I begin to wonder if I may indeed begin to bleed. There can't be much skin left to cover my body, right?

While it's not painful, being scoured and polished doesn't exactly tickle. The little hand mitt my "assistant" uses resembles the one preferable for cleaning the tires on a car. Not the soft one that avoids scratching the paint. This is the one used to make sure all the road gunk is removed in and around your hubcaps. Speaking of hubcaps, they can get really skungie and gross. Apparently my skin is equally skungie.

Finally I am all pink and shiny. Part of the Korean tradition is to pour warm milk over the skin, pack the face in cucumbers and slather in warm honey. I found myself encased in this fruit salad for a while as my new layer of skin absorbs all the nutrients. One more rinse and Wow!! No more itch. Lots of glow.

If I were to use this technique on all my lasagna pans, baked ribs and burned sauces, they wouldn't stand a chance. It's an experience I highly recommend.

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