Review: Is Ganbanyoku Hot Stone Therapy For You? | Clozette


In today's world of self-care and wellness, we are always reminded that taking a break once in a while should not be viewed as over-indulgence. In fact, investing time and effort in retreats or spa sessions are highly encouraged because they help keep the balance in our lives. A busy businesswoman — and mama — our Creative Director, Kersie Koh knows this all too well.


Kersie at Ganbanyoku entrance


A couple of weeks ago, Kersie tried Ganbanyoku, a Japanese-style hot stone therapy that directly translates to 'rock bathing'. This method uses magma stones from Japan, aimed to heat the body from outside in. The stones naturally release Far Infrared Rays (FIR) and negative ions that help the body release toxins from perspiration, while helping balance out the body's natural ecosystem internally. It also strategically hits the body's acupressure points, making it helpful to get rid of nerve pains, aches, or muscles' tight knots. Cool, right? But while everything sounds pleasing on paper, we asked Kersie to spill the beans on how the actual experience was like. Here's what she has to say. 



Diving into the session as a first-timer


Ganbanyoku session preparation


Tucked in a quiet corner of Far East Plaza, the therapy venue gave off a very comfortable vibe with its clean, quiet and private setting. The staff were also welcoming, helpful and gave clear instructions on how the therapy will be conducted. Prior to the session, Kersie was instructed to bring a change of underwear (as the one worn during might get soaked in sweat) and avoid undergoing the therapy with an empty stomach.



Going Ganbanyoku


What's unique about the Ganbanyoku therapy is that there is no massaging involved. "I was under the impression that I would be lying on hot pebbles while my therapist placed hot stones on me," Kersie shares. "But I quickly realised that's not how Ganbanyoku works. Upon entering the treatment room, I was given a cup of water to stay hydrated. Then, I was asked to lie on a flat, heated platform made of magma stones all the way from Japan."


"The treatment room featured three spaces allocated to three patrons," Kersie says. "I followed the instructions given to me. First 10 minutes, I was on lying on my tummy. Then, for the next 40 to 50 minutes, I flipped and lied on my back."


Ganbayoku Hot Stone Therapy


"About 10 minutes into the session, I began to perspire. But what's interesting was the staff shared that I don't have to worry about sweat because it will not smell." This is apparently because the FIR coming from the stones cause the body to excrete 'silky sweat' that is composed of the body's natural oils and serves as a natural conditioner to the skin. The sweat comes from within because the body is also heated internally, as opposed to a sauna which only heats the body on the surface. This is why people who try Ganbanyoku are also advised to shower before the session, not after, as the perspiration produced is actually beneficial to your skin's hydration level.




Overall thoughts


"It did feel a little warm for me towards the end, but I was advised to lay out a big towel and lie on it, which made me feel better after," shares Kersie. "In essence, I felt very comfortable the entire time. After the session, my mind felt relaxed and my body refreshed."


For those who like heated therapies, this could be a more soothing alternative to steamy saunas because the latter can be quite suffocating. "I can imagine how helpful it would be to soothe those nasty body aches and for people who are in need of some much-needed relaxation." 


Ganbanyoku mood shots


Price-wise, a 60-minute Ganbanyoku Hot Stone Therapy is priced at SGD32. Sign up for bulk sessions (of up to either 10 or 20) and enjoy free +1 or +3 sessions in a bundle for only SGD27 to 29 per therapy.


Find out more about Ganbanyoku Hot Stone Therapy here.


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It's no secret that throwback trends are all the rage since the beginning of this decade. From midi skirts and pastel palettes of the '50s to the neon colours and high-waisted jeans of the '80s, any fashionista would notice that these days, almost everything new on the runway looks a bit old. For the most part, it's actually cool to see awesome trends get their day in the sun once again. But some regrettable fashion choices are best left in the past. Ahead, the fashion trends we hope never make a comeback in our wardrobe.


Visible thongs




In a way, we can understand why we thought this was a good idea. Low-rise jeans were super popular back then (thanks, Paris Hilton!) and this means you have to wear cute undies since they will be visible anyway. Plus, when your favourite celebrities are rocking this style, then you're bound to also try to rock it — even if it's in vain. Over time, we realised it was not the classiest way to dress. So we really hope this one never makes a comeback. Although, this makes us think, "Are we gonna regret showcasing our pretty bralettes in the future?"


Low-rise jeans



Shawty got low, low indeed. Along with the visible thong trend came the rise of the low-rise jeans. We don't really know which one came first but they sure did reinforce one another. It was the fashion combo that we regretted as soon as it faded from vogue. Why? For starters, it just looked painfully awkward. The crotch section is positioned in the weirdest way possible; it's unflattering unless you have rock hard abs and just the simple act of doing a bend and snap becomes impossible. Fair warning: this trend is in danger of making a comeback. Let's all remember why it shouldn't.


Try-hard emo look



Now, we're gonna hit it where it hurts. Your emo look wasn't awesome nor is it "da bomb." It was the epitome of an emotional, newly minted teenager trying too hard to look cool. Inspired by Avril Lavinge and Gerard Way, we popped on our not-so-stylish version of their ensembles complete with studded belts and denim skirts. For good measure, we also threw in neckties over black, non-collared tees. Add on to that the massive eyeliner and cheekbone-length bangs and what you get is a cringe-worthy look that will haunt you for many years to come.


The bullet bra



We have a tendency to romanticise the past and that includes overlooking bad fashion choices people made back in the day. Vintage fashion also had its lows! The biggest one of them, in our humble opinion, is the bullet bra from the fabulous '50s. It's a bra with cups that are comically pointed outwards to overemphasise the shape of a woman's breast. By modern standards, it's not at all comfortable or pleasing to look at. But maybe it was a product influenced by the 1947 Dior New Look or it could be inspired by the shape of the space shuttles from the space race era. We're not really sure, but we're definitely glad this one didn't become a staple.



The traditional corset


It would be hard to think of a more dangerous fashion trend than the traditional corset. We're not talking about the modern ones we see today but the ones worn by women in past centuries to shape the body into an unnatural silhouette featuring a very slim waist. Not only did they constrict the breathing but also compressed organs leading to various internal issues. Yes, they were pretty and stylish but they're also basically a torture device. We say, never again.


Next, learn how to rock animal prints in 2019.


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Animal prints are going through another renaissance right now. From zebra to leopard patterns, the style is taking centre stage at recent runway shows. It's been a while since this design was on the spotlight, partly because there's a certain stigma against it. Usually seen as a tacky fashion choice, the animal print is given a new and more elegant look in 2019. Keep reading to know how you can rock this bold style in a modern way.


Start by wearing one animal print at a time



If you're a newbie in wearing animal prints, start by working with only one pattern at a time. This will help you familiarise yourself with what colours would match well with a particular print. Of course, there's always black as a safe bet but mixing things up will make for a more interesting look. Concentrating on a single print first is the best way to do this.


Match the print with items of the same colour palette



Here's an easy way to build an elegant ensemble featuring an animal print. First, determine what colour is dominant in each pattern. Then, look for items that are in the same colour palette. For example, leopards are dominated by browns so pairing them with khaki colours is a great way to streamline the whole look. Need a peg? Look to the iconic character of Mrs. Robinson from the 1967 movie The Graduate for inspiration.


Want a bolder look? Go for contrasting colours



Pulling this off is easier than you may think. The one thing that you should always keep in mind is the base colour of each animal print. After that, all you have to do is look for contrasting colours that will look good against the pattern. Usually, those with dominant brown hues will go well with red and teals. While prints dominated by black and white like zebra patterns can be paired with almost any bright shade.


Wear only one statement accessory



Pairing an eye-catching print together with loads of statement accessories can be a bit of an overkill. On the other hand, if you wear subtle jewellery, it can tone down the boldness of the look. And when you're wearing animal prints, that's not really what you want to go for. Instead, match the print with one equally bold statement accessory. It can be hoop earrings, studs or a stunning opera necklace. 



If all else fails, animal printed dresses are the way to go



A fail-proof way to rock animal prints is to pick a dress decked in single or various patterns. It's a no-brainer but still looks gorgeous and well-thought out. To give the dress a little visual break and to showcase your figure (which may be lost due to the busy design), wear belts in bold colours.


(Cover photo from: @imjennim)


Next, learn how to wear neon green.


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