The Jjim Jil Bang is a korean spa popular with men, women, and children for leisure and relaxation. Many believe the relaxation properties are also good for one's health. The spa itself is usually sectioned off into both gender segregated and communal areas. Jjim Jil Bangs are popular in Korea and with the number of immigrants living in the United States, it's popularity has been brought to the US. Here in Southern California, the korean spa is now becoming more and more popular with the non-Korean population as was exhibited by the large party of young Caucasian women celebrating a bachelorette party during my last visit to one.
Once we'd had enough of the treatment rooms, we left the common area and headed back to the women's section. This section had additional resting areas with loungers as well as the three different jaccuzi tubs (hot, warm, cold), dry sauna, steam room, showers, and mirrored vanity area. We spent an another hour in the hot tubs, dry sauna, and steam room. From there we showered, in which the toiletry caddy came in handy, and got ready in the vanity area. In the gender specific sections, it is common to use the facilities in the nude so some may find that aspect uncomfortable.
There are two theories of origin. The first one dates back to the royal chronicles of the Joseon Dynasty in the 15th century which references two individuals, one from a medical school and one from a public hospital, chosen and sent to Hanjeungso,which would be similar to a Jjim Jil Bang and considered a private medical clinic. The second theory was that people entered a pottery or charcol kiln which remained hot after the baking of pottery or charcol. The infrared rays from the red clay and germanium were thought to be medically benficial.