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Salt Scrubs

Prologue to a series: My new project for the next six months will be branding this site and making it a resource for travelers and researchers on Japan. Firstly, the internet is flooded with information on life over here. Many of the sites/blogs explore the dynamics between foreigner and native from a linguistic and cultural stand point. When you first visit Japan, one of...

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The video above to to help you understand a little more about the salt scrub.    The reason for me posting this is because I'm an onsen expert who's been categorizing hot spas throughout Japan, Southeast Asia, and Europe for a number of years - all of them I have been to.    From time to time, you can see salt troughs adjacent to medium heat saunas at these spas or bath houses whereby you can rub salt on your naked body and then enter.

Just last night at a hot spring spa I was sitting down on a bench cooling my body down when I noticed a gentleman over by the salt trough.   He was scrubbing his body down with dead sea salt from neck to toe.    I too have done this on numerous occasions, but with more focus on my scalp as it tends to get dry, especially during winter....    I immediately  notice a burning sensation.  

The whole thing with salts scrubs is that you want to rejuvenate the skin and bring back astringency.   The affects of scrubbing is also stress relieving.    In the West, people tend to add sugar or mint, or some other additive to salt to make it more enjoyable and pleasant to the senses.   Here in Japan.  No.
Salt is salt, and there's no need for an additive.  

How you use the salt is up to you, but one thing you want to remember is that it burns!   For me, I like to rub salt under my arm pits, scalp, and pubic area as these areas are the most sensitive to salt.    What this does is promote sweating and unclog pores.    

When entering a bath house you need to shower down first.   If there's a salt trough, it's a good idea to grab a hand full of salt, sit down an start to rub the stuff on the back of your scalp vigorously until you no longer feel the grains.    I wouldn't advice rubbing the top of your scalp as the salt may run down into your eyes.   Rub salt behind the ears the neck area.   I also like to rub salt on my feet and in between my toes in order to kill any bacteria or fungi.    

Next, I enter the sauna and sit down for about 10 minutes.   I can feel the burning start as my pores begin to open up and release excessive oils and dirt.   It is really good.   I like to repeat this second time for maximum effect.    Once finished rinse off the leftover salts, shower, and then soak in a cool bath for a few minutes.



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