Have you heard? Sweating. It’s all the rage. And that’s exactly what I did at Shape House, an urban sweat lodge. I sweat.
Shape House uses a technology that’s called Far Infrared. Far Infrared is part of the natural light spectrum just beyond visible light. You can’t see it but you can feel it in the form of radiant heat. Infrared heat is completely safe and natural. Whereas this is very interesting, I was here for the many benefits Shape House boasts:
- Weight loss
- Improves the glow of your skin
- It cleanses the inside of your body
- Great detox
- Makes you look younger
- Lowers your stress and relaxes you
- Improves your mood
- Raises your metabolism for fitness
- Increases your energy and stamina
- Helps with sleep
Whoa! Those are some pretty fantastic benefits! Well, if anything it can’t hurt. If just one of those things are true, I’ll consider it a win.
When you arrive you are greeted by the friendly staff and they breakdown what is going to happen. You lie down in the middle of these infrared blankets that looks just like a sleeping bag. You have your own personal TV with tons of options; Netfilx, Hulu, etc. They suggested that I choose something captivating to take my mind off the heat. Huh? Ok, whatever. I choose Departures on Netflix, a fantastic travel documentary series that my good friend had introduced me to. I was settling in as she handed me a bottle of electrolyte rich water and said, “If you need me or feel like you need to bail, just push that button. We’ll be back to check on you twice otherwise.” Oh god, why am I scared?
My 55 minute session had begun. As it was explained the heat began mild and gradually increased to about 150 degrees. At first it felt really nice. I was all snug in my futuristic sleeping bag watching Departures getting inspired for my next trip. Maybe a nice tropical island? Or maybe that’s the heat talking? As the heat increased, you guessed it, so did my sweat. I tried to concentrate on my “captivating” show but it proved to be more difficult as time went on and the heat went up. The heat was intense! I was checked on by a staff member. Thumbs up, she motions? Yes, thumbs up. I’m ok, I can do this. Just think of that list of benefits. I’m gonna be yooounnng and thiiiiinn. I move my body position around thinking it would create wind. It didn’t. I somehow found a hotter part of the blanket. How?! But the one thing that separates Shape House from a sauna and makes it bearable is that your head is outside of the blankets. You do sweat on your face and hair, but you are not breathing that super hot, heavy air as you do in a sauna. I find this fact comforting as I otherwise melt into oblivion. I’m checked on for the second time. “HOW MUCH LONGER?!?!” “10 minutes” she says. Oh god. Oh look, Departures is going to Jordan. How interesting! Just watch the show. Just watch the show. But you know what?! Who cares about Jordan! I realize I can use Netflix as a timer and begin the countdown. After the eternal 10 minutes have ended, I am let out of my pod.
As I stand up, I realize how much I did sweat. My sweatpants, sweatshirt and socks are all pretty much drenched. That must be some of my water weight and toxins, hopefully. But how did I feel? I have to say, pretty good as I sat in the relaxation room and gulped water. I had an intense workout with a new trainer that morning. My muscles felt warm and my body felt way more relaxed than when I left the gym. And after bouts of intermittent insomnia, I had a great night sleep that night.
I would like to mention that if you feel you have ailments that might be affected by the excessive heat, please as always ask questions and consult your doctor. It’s no joke.
I bought a package of session from Living Social (Deal Alert!) I will update PK readers with the more long-term results. I’m optimistic!
UPDATE: After 5 sweat sessions I can say that I love this. I really went in hopeful to lose water weight. Although I did lose a little, sadly it was nothing significant. But, it did help my body recover at an accelerated pace after a few weeks of intense exercise. My muscles and joints feel pretty good. I think without my sweat sessions I would for sure be very sore. Plus, my skin felt much better and I felt I had way more energy. I’m slightly addicted to this place.
Locations in Santa Monica, Pasadena and Larchmont Village