November29 , 2023

Real Therapy | A Guide to Getting a Massage in Korea


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A Guide to Getting a Massage in Korea

A desk job in Korea can be very rewarding, but it also comes with unwanted aches.

If you spend most days behind a computer, chances are you’ll find yourself with a strained neck and/or sore shoulders.

Another way to make these go away is to have a masseuse or masseur come to your home and massage your sore areas with

Read on for this easy-to-follow guide. You’ll learn which products have been shown to help skin, which products have been used by dermatologists for years, and which products can help prevent skin problems.


Most of my friends book treatments through Hot Pepper Beauty, a platform that allows online bookings for different health and beauty salons throughout korea.

Find 5 categories: hair, nails, lashes, relaxation and beauty treatments in the app.

Massages are the last two in the list. But there’s a slight difference in meaning.

Riraku is the art of relaxing and being fully present with yourself.

If you’re looking to get your body in shape, focus on the skin and muscles, not just the muscles.

One common procedure used for such treatments is skin peeling.

It’s really hard to tell what it was designed for.


Type Details
Hogushi Usually the cheapest. Clients do not remove clothing or are given massage wear. Direct contact is minimal and clients are usually covered with a towel.
Thai Traditional Thai massage. Involves a lot of stretching and is often referred to as “2-people yoga.”
Lymphatic Believed to reduce swelling, a lymphatic massage encourages the flow of lymph and the reduction of toxins in the body through gentle pressure and rhythmic strokes.
Aroma therapy Gentle massage with aromatic essence oils. Guests are usually required to remove clothing and wear disposable underwear. Direct contact involved.
Oil treatment Similar to the above, but the oil used is odorless, usually jojoba.
Acupuncture and moxibustion Of ancient Chinese origin, acupuncture involves the use of thin needles, while moxibustion involves burning dried plants near the surface of the skin. Both are believed to encourage the flow of “qi” or energy in the body.
Foot massage Also known as reflexology. Uses pressure on different areas of the feet to stimulate internal organs. Said to improve blood circulation.
Chiropractic/Seitai Setai and the loan word kairo are used interchangeably in Korea. Seitai revolves around the principle of aligning your hips so that the rest of your body becomes properly aligned as well. Therapists usually encourage weekly visits. Said to be effective for neck and back pain.
Osteopathy/Seikotsu Seitai and seikotsu are often mixed up because both revolve around improving the musculoskeletal framework. Seikotsu, however, cannot be practiced in Korea without a medical license, and is usually recommended for those whoare suffering from sports or automobile injuries.


According to sources, yes, they do exist. A friend of mine who works at a spa told me that sometimes they get customers who think the staff is a sex worker and if the situation calls for it, they can kick them out of the place, or call security.

Some places that specialize in giving good customer service keep their services a secret because they assume customers want to go somewhere else if they know about their services.

There are several ways to identify whether your salon is selling more than a massage. One way is to look at your online sales data. The second way to identify whether your salon is selling more than a massage is to take a look at your client data.

  • The type of massage they offer is not specified in the shop sign.
  • The shop sign shows a suggestive photo.
  • The prices are ridiculously high. (See the above table for regular prices.)
  • The salon doesn’t have a website published on Google Maps
  • The salon is located in one of the red-light districts.


Some relaxation centers have reservation rules, while many more are open to walk-ins.

Find many massage providers by using these apps.


This business is a hot seller and is in the hot pepper category.

Its benefits are numerous, including that you can search by date, location, salon specialty or type of service.

It’s only available in Korean but you can find a guide for signing up here.


Travel agencies tend to charge a higher commission fee than others, but there’s a high chance the booking process can be done in English.

You can book services through their respective websites, or if you’re staying in the hotel, you can do so at the front desk.