Enzyme Bath Revisited – My Quest to Japan

Last fall my friend Duke from Ten Thousand waves, the Japanese style hot tub spa in Santa Fe New Mexico, forwarded me an article about the enzyme bath published in the Japan Timessuggesting there was growing interest in this esoteric therapy.

This article became the impetus to visit Japan for the first time in many years.

My goal was to see what new I could learn about the bath since researching it extensively nearly 30 years ago prior to creating Osmosis. Re-experiencing Japan was considerably more than I expected. I will be posting points of interest on this blog in installments as I unpack the journey.

On the first day in Japan I went to HAGI NO SATO in Chiba, a beautiful countryside area south of Tokyo. A mother and son team runs the place. The feel was like a cross between someone’s home and a B&B. People come for days sometimes weeks at a time to fast and take the bath twice daily. A copious number of testimonials were presented that accounted for many a healing transformation for all kinds of conditions. Yukari Dithmar, who interpreted for me, has been coming here for years herself on personal retreats to restore her health and spirit. The bath itself was a large communal tub that was about 16’ by 25’. It had direct earth contact on the bottom with a layer of Charcoal

The mixture was nearly 4 feet. The bath was plenty hot, just bearable. New age music from the 80’s played.

Afterwards we met with the founder, Mr. Kitajima who has been working with the enzyme bath to support people’s health for decades. He is a major proponent of the Macrobiotic diet and works with the detoxification qualties of the bath along with dietary regimen to obtain therapeutic results.

He believes the bath effects the body in a manor similar to a major workout and in some ways it’s more effective. The bath purifies old blood and improves kidney flow. Detoxification is so effective because the quality of sweat produced has six times as much waste as urine. At the same time enzyme bath has a major restorative effect similar to what achieved only by deep sleep.

I was reminded how much I would like to organize extended retreats for people to experience the full benefits of the bath by taking many in a short period of time. My initial experience was a seven-day full immersion retreat.

My next post will be about visiting a very different version of the enzyme bath in Tokyo.

– Michael Stusser