Relaxation in the sand sauna

There are a variety of unusual saunas and bathhouses. Below, we would like to introduce you to an exotic type of bath and tell you about the so-called sand sauna. This type of sauna is also very appreciated in medicine. In addition, there is even a special branch of medicine - psammotherapy, or in other words, an application with sand.
Woman enjoy Surigahama Spa in Ibusuki

What is a sand sauna?

Sand bathing is not so well known in our culture and originates from Japan. The characteristic of the so-called sand sauna is that the entire body, with the exception of the head, is covered with warm sand. In Japan, sand bathing near the beach has a long tradition, so it is offered and practiced on sandy beaches, but also in regions with hot volcanic sand. Sand bathing in Japan is like a natural spa and very relaxing at the same time. For example, Japan’s third-largest island, Kyūshū, is known not only for natural hot springs, but also for the sand sauna in Ibusuki, a sleepy little town in the south of the island.

The health benefits of a sand sauna

It is very pleasant to first have your whole body buried in the hot volcanic sand before enjoying a bath in the onsen, or hot thermal springs. The sand sauna is not only an incredibly regenerative experience for the entire body, but also offers plenty of health benefits. In addition to providing complete relaxation for the body, mind and spirit, being completely enveloped in warm sand also means purification, cleansing and deep cleansing.

A sand bath also helps with joint and back pain, women’s ailments, hemorrhoids, muscle weakness and skin diseases. It is especially popular among women because it beautifies the skin and is good for detox (detoxification) effect. Therefore, of course, this unique experience is extremely popular not only with the local people, but also with tourists.

Sand sauna is more relaxing than any spa in Japan….

Of course, you don’t lie down in the sand with your naked body, but you wear a thin yukata (robe) made of light cotton fabric. The surface of the skin is thus directly protected from the sand, but the pleasant warmth nevertheless penetrates quickly and deeply, even into deeper layers of the skin and muscles. The sand has a temperature of about 45-50 °C (113 to 122 °F).

So, together with the body temperature, a slight heat accumulation occurs during the stay in the sand sauna. Due to the heat development, the sand sauna is therefore just as stressful for the organism, especially for the heart and circulation, as a stay in a conventional 90° C (194 °F) dry sauna. Only the head is exposed, the duration of the sand bath should not exceed 15 minutes.

Sand sauna is not suitable for everyone

Sensitive people with claustrophobia fears, however, could feel so totally enveloped in sand, somewhat uncomfortable. Therefore, everyone must decide for themselves whether this form of sauna bathing is personally suitable or not. No matter whether fine-grained sand from the beach or somewhat coarse-grained volcanic sand, sand bathing always creates the feeling of being enveloped and surrounded by a very heavy blanket.

Keeping an eye on the clock, it is of course always possible to extricate oneself from the sand prematurely, should this become necessary for health reasons, for example. Completely buried, it is then simply to lean back and enjoy the pleasant warmth. If you become quiet inside and listen to yourself, you can feel the pulsation of the blood vessels very precisely, enveloped by the sand. After a stay in the sand sauna, it is quite normal that the skin is reddened over a large area due to the strong stimulation of blood circulation, but this is only temporary.


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