As you all know, self-care has been something high on my priority list in 2017 and I have been doing everything I can to make sure I devote an appropriate amount of time to self-care in recent months. Most of my self-care has been done at home – whether it be meditating before bed, an extra long shower with some calming body washes, reading books that inspire me to be better (at work, as a girlfriend, as a family member, as a friend, and just in general to be a better human), and putting time aside to just “be” and enjoy being and taking a step back from this crazy city I call home. Although most of my self-care has been done at home, I have also been trying to take advantage of all the resources NYC has to offer and making an effort to try new and different things while working on my self-care. Last Friday a friend and I spent our post-work “happy hour” at The Alchemist’s Kitchen here in NYC where we got to try-out HigherDOSE’s infared sauana, vitamin boosters from NutriDrip, and some state changing plant based tonics from the Alchemist’s Kitchen. So while at some time soon I will share my experience with each of these components of this ultimate self-care happy hour, today I want to talk infared saunas.
Just a little background. Infrared saunas are an effective tool for natural healing and prevention. Infrared light has the ability to penetrate human tissue, which in turn produces a host of anti-aging health benefits, making infrared saunas a go to therapy for overall healthier living. Infared saunas are known for helping users get back into balance and achieve their wellness goals. Specifically, the saunas promise detoxification, relaxation, calorie burning, pain relief, anti-aging, skin purification, cell health, and improved circulation. HigherDOSE’s owners describe their infrared saunas as ”a workout, a massage, acupuncture, and a facial in one.” The DOSE in HigherDOSE stands for Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins, some of our much needed neurotransmitters in the brain.
One of the main differences between a traditional sauna and an infrared sauna is the heat involved while inside the unit. Traditional dry saunas use temperatures as high as 185 to 195 degrees F, which can overwhelm those who are more sensitive to the heat. Infrared saunas use a much milder temperature environment of between 120 to 150 degrees F. However, because the heat of infrared saunas travels much deeper into the body, they are able to cause a more aggressive sweat at lower temperature.
The saunas themselves can be booked for single or double and for 30 or 60 minute sessions. I opted to go in with a friend for 30 minutes, figuring it would be easier to sweat it out with company and it was our first time checking this out. The saunas are located in private dimly lit rooms, which included some candles and a water pitcher (trust me, you’re going to need it). The sauna itself had a cable and speaker to connect your phone so you can enjoy the music of your choice, as well a remote that allows you to change the color of the lighting to a color that fits your mood and vibe. So in we went, choose a red color light, and a Spotify “Chill” playlist.
I was instantly sweaty, but not in a way that was too hot or too uncomfortable. To be honest, I’m not sure if it was the week I had, the company, the music or what, but I was actually shocked at how quickly the 30-minute session flew by. Once we left the sauna, we continued to sweat for a while, so we put on the provided robes and continued our relaxation session outside of the sauna while our bodies cooled back down. The entire experience was beyond relaxing.
Even after I got dressed and headed back into the madness of NYC, I was in a complete state of calm and bliss that I hadn’t experienced in a very long time. Apparently, there was a lot that I needed to just sweat out in the infared sauna. I even slept well, which for those who know me personally know never really happens.
So needless to say, I loved my first infared sauna session and the affects that even one 30-minute session has on my mind and body. Let’s just say this is definitely going to become a more regular part of my self-care routine.