According to the 2015 SpaFinder Trends Report, Sand Therapy or Sand Bathing is getting increasingly popular across the globe. Like other spa treatments, sand therapy is a part of an ancient healing tradition that helps reduce body pain. Sand warms the body uniformly, helping relieve musculoskeletal and arthritic pain. Like a sauna or steam room, the heat causes you to sweat, detoxifying the body and the moisture washes away by the sand.
About 20 minutes from Tsu Country Club, there is a quaint little onsen (Geothermal hotspring bathing house) called ‘Sawa’. This is an onsen with a twist though, in that it also offers a very unique sand therapy plus cleanse combo that is perfect to unwind after a day on the course. However, to have an effective therapy, one needs to follow a particular process.
After changing into a Yukata (Japanese robe) you head straight into the sand therapy which is kept quite hot with high humidity. You are immediately sweating- don’t worry, that is part of the cleanse. You keep your robe on and you proceed to be expertly buried by one of the staff, they place a loin cloth over your head and proceed to completely cover your body and your head in sand. Don’t worry if you are not comfortable with that, they can leave your head uncovered or just your mouth if you wish.
The feeling once they leave you alone is quite surreal, entering a meditative state. Despite the heavy sand, you feel almost weightless- suspended and relaxed. Once they give you a gentle tap and start removing the sand you feel like you have experienced quite profound. After you wash in the adjoining room you are invited to sit in a very comfortable chair and you can enjoy 5 different types of tea- yes, you must drink all 5 which help cleanse and replenish, they are also delicious.
There is also a fantastic option is to enjoy a foot and leg massage while drinking the tea, which is highly recommended. Finally, after the tea and massage you head to the onsen, the water is a wonderful alkaline type, which eases whatever tiredness remaining from your body and leaves you feeling utterly relaxed, replenished and yes… a little more spiritually enriched!