For my first V Herbal Therapy experience I choose Tikkun Holistic Spa in Santa Monica. The V Steam is quite the experience. This is an ancient Korean treatment also known as the V Herbal Therapy, meant to balance and regulate your hormones, soothe menstrual cramps, heal bladder infections and kidney problems and provide help for women trying to conceive.
The treatment works like this; A mugwart tea along with other herbs are heated in a little steamer under a port o potty type chair. The steamer is set to a comfortable heat level but my spa therapist at Tikkun Holistic Spa, showed me how to turn it up or down in case it got too hot or too cold. She left me in the room with my pink vinyl tent, a towel, a timer and a stack of magazines. I slipped the tent on to just under my arms and sat on the little chair, grabbed a magazine and settled in. It was actually a pretty comfortable treatment, feeling like this had to be doing something as healthful as a facial steam or a body massage.
I looked a little deeper into where else I could have this treatment and found Daengki Spa in Korea town. Here you can leave your modesty at home and strip down in a room with other women relaxing after their own body scrubs and steams. Jinyoung the spa owner explained how the mixture of the herbs used in the V Herbal Therapy will help to cleanse your body after your period and recommends having this treatment the week before and then right after. Twice a month and you will notice your premenstrual symptoms disappear and experience a more regular menstrual cycle.
The treatment at Daengki is a wee bit more intense, the scent of the herbs was much stronger and the women setting me up gave me a demonstration so I knew if the steam got too hot to lift my legs up a bit. She then pulled my tent up over my arms wrapped a towel around my neck and said “only 5 minutes, 10” as she pulled the tent up over my face indicating the herbs were a nice steam for the face as well.
After 10 minutes she came back over and pulled the tent down around my neck and said, ”only 30 minutes, 40”, I found this little trick of hers to keep me feeling like, “ok I can do this”. Every so often she would peek out from behind the reception desk and give me a thumbs up. Other women passing by would have comments like, “is it ok?” I gave them the yes nod and they said, ”good job.” I felt camaraderie with my new found Korean sisters.
The main ingredient in the V Herbal Steam tea is mugwort also known as wormwood. Mugwort is not only used as a digestive aid, and to assist in infertility and regulating menstrual cycles, but has metaphysical benefits as well. If you want to enhance your dreams it is said to fill your pillow with mugwort, or use a strong infusion in your bath before a ritual or dreaming.
The herbal mixture had a strong earthy scent with a deep hint of mint. My skin felt great afterwards and I felt as relaxed as you normally do after a good steam. So depending on whether you prefer a little privacy in a more modern setting or a truly authentic experience in the heart of Korea Town, I would recommend both of these spas. And while your there it’s always nice to add on a Korean Scrub to help remove all of the toxins you just sweated out.