The ‘hot stone bath’ in Paro
The ‘hot stone bath’ is one of the most popular activities in Paro. I have had never heard of it before but when I reached in Paro, I saw it for the first time and experienced it. They believe that the hot stone bath will cure the back bone, knee pain and all. It’s like the hot spring bath. For that they firstly collect some logs or fire wood and heat the stone to red hot. Then they put the red hot stone in the wooden box called waa, it’s like a bathtub where they put cold water. After putting 5-8 red hot stones the water becomes so hot that one can hardly bare. In that hot water one has to sit for not less than 15 minutes and the technique is one shouldn’t at all move inside the water and stay stationary. If you try to move a bit also, surely you will have to jump out of the waa because our body can’t bare change in heat. In the sense the heat is same but when we move we’ll feel like the water has become so hot, may be because of some biological reasons may be like adaptation.
|My bro arranging the the stones|
|Heating the stones to red hot|
When I heard about the hot stone bath for the first time, I thought that they will heat some stone for few minutes and make the water warm only but in real it was not the case. In my first cousin sister’s house we planned to take hot stone bath on one fine day. Me and my three cousin brothers we brought some small logs from the nearest forest where I had a tough time following them. They start arranging the fire wood and stones which look like a small Chorten. At night we light the fire and heat the stone to red hot. One of my brothers start putting red hot stone in the waa and made the water so hot which I could never bare.
First was the ladies turn where my mom could not even walk to the room by herself after the bath because of dizziness. She was already quit sick at that time. After a long wait finally my turn came and I decided to stay in minimum of 30 minutes in the hot water so I stayed. When I came out after 30 minutes I was absolutely fine but as soon as I walked to change my dress I felt so dizzy that I couldn’t even keep my head erect and change the dress because I didn’t know the technique to stay stationary for few mins even after coming out of the water and that was actually adventure for me. I tried my best and change the dress and quickly went into the kitchen and drink one cup of hot tea mixing with cold water and slept for almost half an hour again. I felt so tired and my face become like I’m so sick. And after half an hour I was quit fine. It may be nothing for Parops but for me it was absolutely new thing and I really had a good moment, so I thought of keeping as an archive for my memory. Next time when I visit Paro, this will be one of the programmes I would do for sure.
D.K Thulung Rai