The first time I heard of ganbanyoku – known as “rock bathing” in Japanese – I had no idea what to expect. I couldn’t help but think that it sounded pretty far out. In a gist, ganbanyoku is a treatment where you lie on volcanic stone slabs that have been heated to 45 deg C. The rocks are then said to release far infrared rays (FIR) and negative ions to help boost the release of toxins from the body through perspiration. FIRs do not contain UV rays and are very safe, offering a whole host of benefits that include improving blood circulation, aiding detox, easing pains, increasing metabolism and regulating digestion. As someone who frequently has shoulder aches and a weak gut, I was game to give this a shot. No harm trying, right?
Associate editor Estelle and I went for a session together recently. Scroll through to get a glimpse of what ganbanyoku is like so you’ll know what to expect.