Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Shape House - Sweat It Out

Every now and then, we all need a little TLC. For the past several months, my go-to has been Shape House. If you follow me (@torystangl), you've probably seen my weekly snapchats at the Larchmont or Robertson location.

As someone who is always plugged in to some sort of device, Shape House has been my sanctuary to get away from life for 55 minutes a week. If you aren't familiar, Shape House is an urban sweat lodge with a few different locations in Los Angeles. It's designed to detox your body, boost weight loss, clear up your skin, help you sleep more soundly and decrease any stress you may have.

As the site says, "Our bodies need to detox in order to eliminate elements that are not good for us, so that our systems can function optimally. When you sweat using FAR infrared technology, you enhance your body's ability to free itself from toxic chemicals, pathogens, and heavy metals by cleansing from the inside out."

There are three different services that Shape House offers, so I'll detail them below:

FAR Infrared Sweat Session

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1Ml2CDW

Once you arrive, a staff member will provide you with clothes to change into, give you an alkaline water and tuck you into your FAR infrared bed, which is basically like a sleeping bag (pictured above). They can adjust the bed to lift you up or down and can give you a towel for your neck and a bolster to prop your legs up slightly. I personally cannot lay straight and flat on my back for more than about 10 minutes, so I take them up on all of these bed adjustments.

Once you're in the bed, the staff member can either find a show for you or you can browse on the many different apps they have, including Hulu, HBO Go, Netflix and more. I definitely recommend watching a show while you sweat to distract from the heat. I find it to be a very relaxing experience overall, but the heat level does get more intense in the last 15 minutes, so it's good to stay distracted. The bed basically heats your body from the inside out, resulting in a cleansing and drenching sweat.

Once your session is finished, a staff member will take you to the relaxation room where you will be offered tea and orange slices. Hot tea might not sound appealing after a session, but once you're sitting out of the bed the sweat actually makes you kind of cold, so the tea feels good. Citrus is immune boosting, hydrating and vitamin replenishing so the orange slices perk you back up and give you the energy you need after the session.

Lymphatic Drainage

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1Ml2CDW

After a couple months of regular sweating, I decided to give the lymphatic drainage a try. In these sessions, you still go into the same sort of bed/room as you would for a traditional sweat but, instead of being tucked into the FAR infrared bed, you are put into a sort of body suit that is connected to a device that is similar to those that measure blood pressure (pictured above). It sounds odd, but it's actually very relaxing!

As the site explains, "lymphatic drainage helps boost the immune system, making you less susceptible to colds, flus and other viruses. It also aids digestion and improves a sluggish colon. The balancing effects of lymphatic drainage provide relief from asthma, earaches, heart fatigue, fibromyalgia, and many other diseases, and ease menstrual cramps as well. Lymphatic drainage also improves the appearance of cellulite, while inducing a deep feeling of relaxation that leads to better sleep."

I don't do the lymphatic drainage sessions as often as the regular sweat bed, but I like to book this right before or after travel and when I feel like I might be getting sick.

Color Reading & Chakra Sprays

When you walk into Shape House you will probably notice the colorful bottles that are lined on the table. A staff member will give you their iPad and tell you to choose three colors that speak to you. She'll enter this information into the system and give you your results.

The way it works is your first choice represents who you are, your second choice represents your core challenges and your third choice represents the overall energy of the future.

Here are my results, which I found to be eerily accurate:

You can also do the color reading from home, by going here.

Because your second choice is the chakra that you need more of, I decided to purchase that one and I swear it brightens my mood and gives me a little extra pep in my step! I am the biggest perfectionist and am, without a doubt, my own biggest critic, so whether the spray actually works or not the act of using it makes me remember to take it easy on myself.

I started going to Shape House in May 2016 and after just one session I bought a membership. It comes with several benefits, including a lower price-per-sweat in the long run, more bed availability throughout the week and any unused purchases will roll over into the next month.

Update: My yearly membership came and they awarded me with 4 free sessions for being a loyal member, so that's also a nice perk!

Just a couple of tips...

1. I mentioned above that they'll provide you with clothes to sweat in, but you can also wear your own. I personally prefer to wear the clothes they provide, simply so I don't have to do extra laundry each week. You will be completely drenched, so you'll have to change into something afterwards anyways!

2. Go on a day where you don't have a ton of other commitments or care about your personal appearance. I say this because they recommend waiting at least one to two hours before showering and - trust me - you will need to shower. Your body continues to sweat after the session, until it naturally cools down to its regular temperature. This keeps your metabolism up and you will continue to burn calories. I personally liked going after work. It was super relaxing and I always had a very restful sleep. 

3. You can go as often as once a day, but I went once a week with my membership plan. If I was out of town or missed a week for whatever reason, I would sometimes go twice a week. 

4. This might go without saying, but you shouldn't wear makeup or any sort of moisturizer on your skin for the session. They do provide makeup wipes if you need them. You should go without, because your pores will clog and you'll likely break out. The whole point is to detox so your skin needs to be able to breathe.

I've truly seen an improvement in my skin and mood from going each week. If you like steam rooms or saunas, Shape House is definitely for you! I always feel so light and refreshed following a session. If I haven't convinced you enough, they included a very detailed Q&A section to answer any and every question/concern you may have.

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