When I first walked into the infrared sauna room at Energy Zone Wellness Center, I honestly did not know what to expect. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved sitting in the sauna and steam room at the gym. But this felt different. The room is set up with two infrared sauna pods (that somewhat reminded me of a tanning bed) and a partition to divide for privacy purposes. It was relaxing. The lights were dim, the background music was soothing. Suzanne, one of the managers, was doing a great job of explaining why these infrared saunas are more beneficial than the typical sauna – detox for the body, relaxation, calorie burning, pain relief, anti-aging and skin purification, cell health, and improved circulation, just to name a few.
The infrared sauna heaters give off a heat that doesn’t actually heat up the room, but rather is absorbed by the body – just like sitting in the sunshine really, but without the skin cancer. Also, infrared kills bacteria. So win win!
She moved the the top of the apparatus to show me how easy it is to get in and out, that definitely relieved some of my claustrophobic-ness. She provided me with two cups of alkaline water, which is always available for clients in the center of the facility.
She set the 20 minute timer, gave me another cup of alkaline water just in case I needed it, closed the partition, and went on her way to assist the other clients. And there I was, all alone, not even with my cell phone. I slid the top of the pod down, got in like I was going to bed, and then slid the top of the pod back up to my shoulders.
(Side note – that’s not me, that’s one of our clients who won a free massage and infrared sauna session from a promotion a few months ago, but you get the idea).
For the first few minutes, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Just lying there seemed to be my only option, but of course I wanted to check my work emails, hop on Instagram, send a few texts, the usual. I’m used to constantly doing “something”, like most of us nowadays. But that feeling of what-do-I-do-now quickly subsided, and suddenly I felt relaxed; but not the “relaxation” we think we feel at the end of the day watching TV, lying on the couch, with a bag of chips in our hand.
Twenty minutes then flew by. I think I even dozed off for 10 minutes (which is something I do regularly now). The timer went off and I was a sweaty, glistening, glowing goddess . I felt 2 pounds lighter and that’s not even an exaggeration. I got out of the pod, drank more alkaline water as instructed, put my robe back on, and couldn’t wait to share this experience with whoever would listen. I was hooked. My coworkers actually did listen, since I told them this is covered by our insurance through the acupuncture package with Mr. Park, the licensed acupuncturist in the facility 🙂
The next week I made sure to make the infrared sauna a part of my weekly health and self-care routine. My schedule is pretty hectic, but I knew I needed to make time for myself more, and this was going to be it. After a month of using the sauna twice a week for 20 minute sessions, I even lost 4 pounds, my skin cleared up a bit, and my usual over-worked muscle soreness subsided.
Everyone who I have spoken to that uses the saunas at Energy Zone Wellness Center feels the same way as I do. Some people use it to escape their everyday responsibilities for 20 minutes of “me” time, some use it for weight loss, some use it as a pain reliever. Either way, we all use it and love it!
Don’t believe me? Try it yourself!!
If heat is a problem, then a shorter intro session is for you – anywhere from 5-10 min at a lower level heat until you feel comfortable sitting around relaxing in this slice of heaven for anywhere from 20-25 minutes.
You should definitely go in naked. Don’t worry, they change the towels and mats for everyone. Trust me, you will be a sweat ball and it will be glorious.