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New meaning to “Open your kimono!”

Posted by on May 18, 2012

Where do I begin. I can tell you how it ends – with me, completely naked, shiny like an apple, standing in front of a 65 year old woman in black lace granny panties and matching bra, shaking hands.  Shame I did not capture this moment with a picture for our photo album.

Part of me just wants to leave you hanging.  But this weeks “we never” was so good that I must share.  Lisa and I went to a local spa (CJ Grand in Hermosa) for a Akasuri body treatment (aka Korean red scrub).  It involves rubbing all dead skin cells off (and probably some living) until your skin feels like that of a baby’s bottom. Oh, and they rub any inhibitions that you might have about your body, nudity, nudity in front of others, nudity in front of strangers and some person you just met exfoliating your nasty bits.  It was awesome.

Details: you go to the spa and use various rooms (salt sauna, clay room, cold room, etc) to open your pores and sweat out toxins. Then you take a Jacuzzi to soften your skin (with any other woman who might be there at the same time – our favorite was the 60 year old woman reading “50 Shades of Grey” in there). Then you enter a room with your scrubber/masseuse.  Mine was 65 and in a robe.  She promptly has you remove your robe and as you stand there in your birthday suit as she gets ready.  Then the hum-dinger.  She takes off her robe as she probably does not want to get it wet – and there we were, me naked, and her in her undies, just chatting like old friends.  You lay down on a plastic table and it begins.  She pours buckets of warm water over you and you are reminded that hot water really is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  She then rubs you head to toe with sand-paper, I mean some rough towel that is special and I am sure is very expensive. She does it until you are quite buff – and then she lathers you with oil/cream and treats your face with cucumber while she washes your hair.  There is some showering and rinsing and we ended our treatments with a 30 minute massage.

And I gotta tell you – it was all AWESOME!  In the interest of full disclosure, I had a similar treatment another time in another country (not Korea) but this was fabulous and more of a scrub than just a washing.  I am committed to doing it again every few months as it has to be great for you – and it was dramatically less expensive than the treatments we both get at other local spas.  So if you can get past losing skin that has been with you since Carter was in office…and leaving your modesty at home with your own granny panties, then I recommend it highly – and have attached some more detail below.



CJ Grand Health Spa – 16th and PCH, Hermosa.  $50 for spa access and scrub.  $80 if you add in the massage. Entire treatment 70 minutes.

More on Akasuri:  In ancient Korea and Japan, people of nobility patronized bathhouses, where they had access to a unique form of exfoliating body scrub called akasuri. Known also as a “red scrub” or Korean-style body scrub because of its origins on the Korean peninsula, akasuri tones and restores vitality to skin by first relaxing and cleansing the pores, and then dead skin cells are rubbed away during a vigorous rub down that will leave you feeling remarkably smooth and clean.    Akasuri, which is itself a Japanese word meaning ‘red’ (aka) and ‘to rub’ (suru), begins with a brief visit to a steam room, sauna, or even a hot shower or bath, which will soften your skin in preparation for the scrub itself. In Korean spas, there is a traditional rough-surfaced towel used only for akasuri, but you may use an exfoliating mitt or loofah sponge with soap or lotion to thoroughly scrub, clean, and massage your body, sloughing off impurities and exposing newer, youthful skin. Though it may leave your skin looking a bit red at first (hence the “red scrub”), the brisk massage will promote increased circulation, stimulate the lymph system, and cleanse your skin as never before. Finally, you rinse in a second bath or shower and may choose to apply your favorite lotion.   As a traditional beauty treatment, akasuri is one way to immerse yourself in Korean culture, where bathing and cleanliness represent the spiritual experience of washing one’s soul and purifying oneself.

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