Why pampering is important for your health!

In America, if someone gets a massage, or relaxes, or goes to a spa, it is called “treating yourself” This implies a treat, something extra, something unnecessary. But these things are essential to your health!

Why are relaxing activities so important? It’s all about the parasympathetic nervous system…getting our body out of the “fight or flight” mode, and it’s a state of function and healing. Getting your body to this state is not only important for your body, it’s important for your career, and the health of those around you! So no excuses, rejuvenating activities need to become part of your schedule.

I discuss these points in more detail below. So find your activity…walking, reading, a day without the cell phone, massage, stretching, yoga, or a sauna! Or, whatever activity you can think of that gets you out of panic mode and into repair mode.



A Day in the Korea Town Spas

Since life in Los Angeles can be a bit stressful, there’s almost nothing better than spending the day at a relaxing Korean spa. “So why not spend the day at an upscale spa in Santa Monica?” you ask. Well, I can’t really relax when I know I’ve spent half my paycheck getting in. Plus, the saunas in most western spas just don’t get warm enough. (140 degrees? What is that, a warm day in the Palm Dessert?)
But my spa visits in Korea-town rarely disappoint. Since admission can be as low as $15, I don’t even have to feel guilty about spending the money. Plus, a whole day in out and out of steam rooms, cold pools, Himalayan salt saunas, and tea tubs leaves me feeling like a new person. Posted below are my favorites, with a comparison of prices, amenities, and other factors. They’re not too far from each other, but if location is very important you can see a map of all spas in relation to each other here:  Spa Map
Otherwise, click on the address after each description to see the google map location of the individual spas.
Also, please note that bathing suits are not allowed in the spas. So, you have to be decently comfortable with nudity. (It’s a good time to expand your comfort zone, right?)

Natura Spa
Best for: Cleanliness, smaller spa that’s rarely crowded, Korean food cafe, great price. 
Cons: Hard to think of one, but I guess saunas are on the small side. 
This spa is a lesser known find, but it’s a chill alternative to some of the bigger, more crowded spas. It’s especially clean, and provides robes, towels, drinking water with fruit, and other nice perks. It has all the things a spa would need…clay, jade, and wood saunas, steam room, cold pool, and different hot tubs. At $15 for all day entrance, it’s one of the best deals.  
3240 Wilshire Blvd, LA 90010 
Phone: (213) 381-2288

Hours:  Mon-Thu 6 am – 10 pm
              Fri-Sat 6 am – 11 pm
              Sun 7 am – 10 pm
General Admission: $15

Wi Spa
Best for: Couples, families, 24 hour facilities, cleanliness and the most unique saunas.
Cons: Slightly higher entrance fee, not great for people who don’t like kids.
This is truly one of the most unique spas that I have visited. There are the separate women’s and men’s areas, but the top floor is actually coed. (They give you a a shirt and shorts to wear in the coed area). The different kinds of saunas are my favorite part. Most spas have a “mud sauna” and a “salt sauna,” where the walls are covered with mineral mud, jade, and crystal salt. But the Wi Spa makes it special…the Mud Sauna is inches deep in heated mud balls, which you crawl into and cover yourself with. I can feel the healing minerals all around me as I sink deeply into mud bliss. The Himalayan Salt Sauna is similar; a bed of pink salt crystals to lay yourself in. They also have a special sauna called the Bulgarama, which is 245 degrees. I always spend some time there, smelling the warm cedar and chugging water to keep from getting dizzy.
They also have a kids room, complete with toys, and a camera that projects your little ones onto a t.v. screen seen from the coed area. There’s also a restaurant upstairs if you get hungry…just be careful if your vegetarian, because their “veggie” entries usually contain fish.
2700 Wilshire Boulevard, LA 90057
Phone: (213) 487-2700
Hours: 24 hours 
Basic Admission: $25

Hankook Spa
Best for: Woman only, mineral water, large facilities, great prices for admission and treatments, ice room. 
Cons: Often a lot of people, no men’s facility, and treatment room is in the open.  
A few of the Korean spas are women only, and this is one of them. Not only is the entrance fee cheap, but the treatments are well-priced and often eliminate or reduce the spa fee.  They also have some food dishes for sale, and often serve complimentary tea.
3121 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Phone: (213) 388-8899
Hours: Mon – Sat: 7am ~ 11pm
Sunday: 7am ~ 9pm   
Basic Admission: $15

Olympic Spa
Good for: woman only, large spa, Korean restaurant, good prices.
Cons: One of the most popular Korean spas, so weekends and evenings can get very crowded.
As mentioned, this is one of the most well-known spas in Korea town. The facilities are very large, so it can be a really fun place to spend a day. But be wary of the after-work and weekend crowd, as there can be a lot of people.
3915 W. Olympic Blvd, LA 90019
Phone: (323) 857-0666 

Hours: Mon-Sun 9 am – 10 pm
Beverly Hot Springs
Good for: Real mineral spring water, not very crowded, stone-cave walls.
Cons: The priciest of the Korean spas, treatments do not include spa admission, 2 hour limit on spa use.
The specifically unique feature of this spa is the actual mineral water used in the tubs. They use it for the hot and cold tubs, and some people swear by it’s healing power. It only has the basic amenities (hot and cold pool, sauna and steam room,) but it’s decorated in an interesting way. The walls are made of stone, in a way that it looks like an underground cave.
The big downside is the price…although it is cheaper on weekdays. And they technically give you a two hour limit, although they don’t seem to hunt you down if you go a little over.
Phone: 323-734-7000
Hours: Mon-Sun 9:30 am – 9 pm
Entrance Fee: Mon-Thurs: $30, Fri-Sun/Holidays: $40