A wait-listed Japanese sleep massage promises to help us rest—but does it really work?


Want to learn about the dreamy massage? Watch the video here.

You seriously shouldn’t be sleeping on this intel: Goku spa has landed stateside from Japan and is ready to put New Yorkers to bed with its slumber-inducing massage treatment. For the uninitiated, the relaxation destination has four locations in Japan—and they are in high demand, with a waitlist toppling over 480,000 people. That staggering number really isn’t so surprising though, given that a recent survey of nearly 1,500 Well+Good readers pointed to few of us feeling as though we get enough quality sleep. That’s why the latest installment of What the Wellness, the Well+Good YouTube series that follows producer Ella Dove as she tries out the latest interesting wellness offerings, tests the sleep massage once and for all.

When Dove stops by the spa’s Manhattan location, she makes clear from the start that’s she may be a tough customer; that is, she identifies as a bad napper: “I feel like I kind of wake up in kind of a bad, groggy mood, like the world was ending. But maybe if I have someone gently massaging me to sleep in a space that is designated for napping, I will wake up refreshed and take some of what we’re doing here today into my own bed when I go to sleep tonight.”

So, she goes for the 60-minute dry head massage treatment for sleep (in fact, some people reportedly conk out in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the service). According to Goku founder Atsumi Kaneda, the technique—which she learned from doctors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists—is supposed to relieve tension in your head and neck. Ideally, the sleep massage will lull you into a peaceful slumber, induce a sense of euphoria, and keep you resting better for days afterward.

So, what’s the verdict? Is a Goku sleep massage absolutely bizarre, or completely dreamy, or both? Watch the video to get Dove’s take.

ICYMI, in other recent episodes of What the Wellness, Ella gets an eyelash lift and faces the beautiful (but pointy!) gemstone acupuncture facial.

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