by Grace T. Kim
Have you ever tried a sand bath before? Well, fortunately you don’t have to go to Japan for this as, although there are no geothermal beaches in Thailand, The One Spa has brought the next best thing to Bangkok.
The concept of The One Spa’s Signature Sand Bath Therapy is to detoxify the body through perspiration, induced by the heat from thermal sandy beaches. This is meant to replenish your body of essential minerals coming from the volcanic sand, through your pores.
What makes this treatment so special is the fact that they use large volcanic grains of sand—that are more like tiny pebbles—and, more importantly, what they do with it. I had an ordinary sand bath experience in Japan once, so I was only expecting my body to steam as I laid there, but the Signature Sand Bath Therapy was so much more than that!
The bathing process is much like what you would expect at an onsen — you have to wash the body before entering the bath. You are given special clothing to wear during the sand bath, and are given fresh water before starting the therapy. People with hypertension or heart conditions are contraindicated and the therapist checks your blood pressure before entering the sand bath as a safety precaution.
Throughout the sand bath experience, the therapist puts extra attention into making sure that you are comfortable and safe. She contours the body with the sand to make every part of it completely supported and relaxed. The heat is therapeutic to the joints and tight muscles, and the eucalyptus essential oil keeps the mind at peace. The surprising part of this unique spa experience is the massage techniques used with the volcanic pebbles, and the use of cool packs and cold towels to massage my face and neck. There is something sublime to have the contrast of the cool packs resting behind the neck and head, while the body is steaming under a bed of sand.
The cold-towel facial massage during the 30-minute sand bath is what makes this session absolutely divine. Another note worth mentioning is that the therapist applies acupressure to the stomach meridian points on the face, which enhances the detoxifying effect of the sand bath. When the sand bath is finished, the therapist massages the limbs with the sand while brushing it off. The special massage boosts blood circulation and stimulates the skin’s pores. It was a revitalizing end to this steamy spa therapy.
After brushing off the sand from the body, a cool drink is offered to replenish your electrolytes. Your special garment will be soaked in your sweat and your skin will be primed for a shower. Because of the weight of the large sand pebbles on top of your body, and your body laying on them, there will be a slight dimpling of the skin all over the body, but they go away in 30 minutes.
After showering, you can cool off and rest in their tranquil lounge area. My body felt clean, refreshed, and light. I immediately noticed that my muscles aches were completely gone. Anyone who tries this therapy will wonder why he/she hadn’t done it any sooner.
Where: The One Spa, The One Residence, 319 Srinakarin Road, NongBon, Prawet, Bangkok (BTS UdomSok and then take a taxi)
How much: THB 2,500/45 min. Signature Sand Bath; THB 1,490/60 min. Regular Sand Bath and Thai Massage; THB 1,990/60 min. Regular Sand Bath and Aromatherapy Massage
Hours: By appointment only, 48 hours in advance