Healthy Hollywood: The Secret Is In The Sweat!

Healthy Hollywood spent the weekend in LA to celebrate Access Hollywood’s Daytime Emmy nomination. While we didn’t win, it was fun to spend time with all my LA co-workers and explore a few of the city’s trendy wellness treatments.

Number one on my to-do list was the urban sweat lodge, Shape House. “True Blood” actress Lauren Bowles raved to me in a recent interview about its benefits. This sweat session is supposed to help you lose weight, detox and make your skin look fabulous – among other things.

“The procedure is 55 minutes in the beds and by the end you have burned 800 to 1600 calories. You feel like your heart is beating like you’ve done a 10K. And, it kicks up your endorphins so you end up with this joyful energy,” revealed owner Sophie Chiche.

So, my first stop was at Shape House to experience this hot bed of wellness. Upon arrival, I was greeted with alkaline water, which helps your body hydrate more efficiently and was then told to change into my sweat pants, a long sleeve shirt and socks. Then, I was escorted into a partitioned off area of sweat beds, which use infrared heat to make you perspire profusely. Atop of the bed is what looks like a metallic sleeping bag. I am snuggled inside, with my heading sticking out. I have the option to watch TV, listen to music or just simply meditate. I choose to sweat it out listening to the Maroon 5 station on Pandora. After about five minutes, I am soaking wet and I am actually enjoying the sensation of sweat dripping off my entire body. I can actually feel the toxins seeping out of my skin.

“You’re detoxing what you get from the world, like what you eat and breathe and you’re also detoxing from what you do inside yourself, like when we get stressed and release cortisol. Your body produces all these toxins in your body,” adds Sophie.

After 45 minutes or so of intense sweating, my heart started to beat rapidly and I did become anxious. I ended up taking my hands out of the bag so I could cool down a bit. At one point I was desperate to leave, as the heat was intense. Then I kicked into mind over matter mode and was determined to make it through the entire treatment.

“Often when people go into the beds, I tell them it is like working out and your trainer says, ‘Give me five more,’ and you don’t want to give five more. You’re done and your abs are hurting. The folks who carry on are the ones who make it to the other side. You’re working hard and burning all these calories and releasing all this stuff,” noted Sophie.

I did make it the entire time. And, I am super psyched that I did. After the treatment, I cooled down in a relaxation room. I must admit I felt lighter and more energized. My skin did have a fabulous glow and I slept incredibly well that night.

Thanks, Sophie for an amazing experience. Now, when can we expect a Shape House in New York City?

-- Terri MacLeod

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