LA is full of health and wellness treatments that promise wonderful effects. After my cryotherapy session I decided to test out the opposite end of the thermometer and try FAR infrared sweating. What is this, you ask? These healthy, safe waves of invisible light increase your body’s core temperature causing a deep-penetration sweat that help cleanse and rejuvenate. Basically you get all wrapped up in a sleeping bag that gives off heat and your body works to try to regulate its temperature by sweating like crazy.
I went to the Larchmont Shape House that has plenty of metered and street parking. Armed with a long sleeve shirt and sports bra, I headed inside. I was given a glass bottle of their house made alkaline water to tote around with me throughout the session that I happily started sipping as I filled out the waiver. Once complete, I was ushered into the bathroom to change into the provided sweat uniform: gigantic grey sweatpants and long socks. While you can bring clothes, it’s much easier to borrow…sweaty clothes aren’t fun to bring home, I learned with my shirt and bra.
Fully covered, I was escorted to the sweat room, which is partitioned by curtains into private pods including a bed and TV. As I was tucked in for my 55-minute session, I browsed the television full of Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, HBO, Ted Talks, and more, landing on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The sleeping bag was Velcroed in at the sides and she taught me out how to escape if I felt too hot. Everything but my head was covered and I started sweating surprisingly quickly.
For the next 55 minutes, I progressively went from “it’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes” to “holy crap my butt is on fire”, but the heat never felt so overpowering that I had to get out. Although every inch of me was sweating, I noticed it most in my face. I had to keep taking my right arm out to wipe drops trying to make their way into my eyes and mouth. Every once in while I also peeked my arm out to take sips of the water, knowing my body was losing a lot.
Someone came to check on me every once in a while but the most magical one was when, twenty minutes before my session was complete, she came bearing gifts: a cool lavender towel. Hallelujah! She put the towel over my forehead and it cooled me off just the right amount to make it through. It was getting pretty crazy at this point because my heart started to pound just like it does during a cardio class.
When time was up, she helped me get out of the sleeping bag and led me into the relaxation room where I cooled down and nibbled on orange slices as my heart rate slowed. According to Shape House, one session can burn between 800 and 1600 calories and has the same effect on the heart as would a 10-mile run and the same perspiration as a 12-mile run. It is truly a unique feeling. Once I felt my internal temperature come back to normal, I headed into the shower and finally removed my sopping wet clothing. On the way out I filled my personal water bottle with their alkaline water in order to hydrate faster.
I will definitely be back to Shape House. I felt so refreshed after my sweat and slept like a baby that night. I will say, I had a slight headache from lack of water although I was trying to drink as much as possible! They recommend that you drink one gallon of water within the 24 hours of your sweat.
Interested in trying Shape House? One session is $45 or you can buy 10 for $350. They also offer a variety of memberships that you can find here.
Shape House has three locations in the Los Angeles area:
434 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90004
Santa Monica, California 90401
1169 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, California 91105