Wellbeing

Treatment to try: Enzyme spa

enzyme spa

Thinking about mixing up your body treatment routine, or just keen to try something new? An Enzyme dry spa might be just the ticket.

Fermentation is currently the buzzword du jour, and for good reason. By eating fermented foods teeming with good bacteria (probiotics), we help the hundreds of good bacteria present in our bodies to flourish – increasing immune function, encouraging digestion and promoting the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body.

What does this have to do with enzyme spas exactly?
This dry spa treatment, originating in Japan around 100 years ago, involves a special technique whereby enzymes are extracted from organic produce (over 50 carefully selected organic fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and seaweeds) before undergoing a fermentation process with sugar beet. This then becomes one of the main substances in the enzyme spa.

The spa itself is much like an adult sandpit, but filled instead with pinewood sawdust, rice bran and enzyme liquid. You lie in it, just like you would a normal spa, except you have to dig your way in and then have your whole body – except your head – covered in the dust (claustrophobics beware).

The sawdust is kept at a stable temperature of around 65-75 degrees Celsius, with heat energy naturally occurring as the enzymes break down the rice bran, causing the temperature to rise. So if you’re a fan of saunas, you’ll be more inclined to enjoy the heat aspect – which admittedly, takes a bit of getting used to.

The treatment itself lasts around 60 minutes, though if the heat gets too much, your therapist (who is in the room with you for the duration) will help you to free your arms or sit your body a little higher out of the sawdust to help the air cool you down.

What are the benefits of the enzyme spa?
Well, in terms of instant gratification, following the treatment you’ll feel relaxed and your skin will feel softer. Long term, however, you’ll find the whole body can reap the benefits, which include improved sleep quality, increased blood circulation, reduced swelling and pain in muscles, stimulated metabolic activity, improved digestion and organ cleansing and increased oxygen levels in the bloodstream.

Ikoi Spa in Takapuna offers this treatment and has worked with Super Ohtaka (the company that produces the enzyme blend) in Hokkaido, Japan, to create an enzyme spa uncompromisingly based on the traditional experience.

To read about beauty editor Lucy Slight’s own enzyme spa experience, see the latest issue of FQ Life, on sale now.

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