If you love the sauna at the gym but want to take your sweat sessions to a whole new level then it might be time to start treating yourself to a little infrared therapy. Whether you’re in need of a detox, feel bloated, struggling with sore muscles, or stressed, just 30-minutes in an infrared sauna can help. Offering a wide range of benefits including weight loss, relaxation, pain relief, and increased circulation, it’s easy to see why infrared saunas have become so popular of late. I got the chance to visit Carley Studios in Green Point, Cape Town to try out this unique treatment to see what all the fuss is about.

Offering a wide range of slimming, wellness, aesthetic and beauty treatments, Carley Studios, is a one-stop-shop for those looking for a little help to look their best. From basic manicures, pedicures, and facials to more specialised treatments like lipolaser, LED Light Therapy, and full body wellness scans, this Cape Town salon offers something for every kind of beauty. As for the Far Infrared (FIR) Sauna Dome, it’s basically like a sauna on steroids, so if you like saunas, you’ll LOVE this treatment.

Far Infrared (FIR) Sauna Dome

Step onto the scale

Carley Studios is unique in that it offers a holistic approach to slimming and wellness treatments. The spa encourages all of its clients to start off their treatment journey with an InBody Scan and consultation to firstly see where they’re starting out health wise, what they can improve upon, and what they would  like to achieve through their treatments. This body composition scan involves a super high-tech scale that in 45-seconds gives you a detailed analysis of your minerals, protein, water levels, muscle- and fat content as well as your body fat percentage, BMI and general health status. After the scan, the therapist goes through your results with you to discuss what you’re doing right as well as where your problematic areas are and what your treatment plan needs to be going forward.

I was amazed at the level of detail you get in the InBody Scan report and it was super interesting to see where my body holds the most weight and which areas were of key concern to me in terms of exercise and toning. After receiving my rather sobering results it was time to strip down and climb into the Sauna Dome. Located in a beautifully decorated and serene treatment room, the dome sits on a spa bed dressed with velvety-soft towels and a pillow. While you’re not there to sleep (nodding off in a 40-degree sauna dome isn’t exactly easy), you are there to relax and Carley Studios makes sure the room is ready to melt away your stress.

Far Infrared (FIR) Sauna Dome

Time to sweat

Excited to get started, I stripped down to my birthday suit, popped on the disposable underwear, and slipped inside the dome. Once inside the dome, the therapist ran me through the process and explained that she would start off the treatment at a low heat and increase it throughout the 30-minute time slot to help me work up a good sweat. While it did get super hot in there closer to the end of my treatment, it wasn’t anything too uncomfortable and I didn’t feel claustrophobic or uneasy during the treatment. This is probably because your head is outside of the dome for the duration of the treatment and the dome is actually quite large so you feel like you have space to shift and move around a bit while you lay there.

But listen ladies, it does get super hot in there – I don’t think I’ve ever sweated that much in my life and while feeling like a sweaty pig isn’t the best feeling in the world I just imagined all the little seat droplets forming ALL over my body as my unwanted fat crying and all was right with the world again. Of course, the sauna dome is about so much more than weight loss, all that sweat coming out of your body does wonders for your skin (I had the best glow ever after this treatment!) and all your other organs that need help getting rid of toxins in the body. While I can’t report back on any centimeter loss as a result of this treatment (Carley Studios claims it can help you Burn 600 calories in 30 min) I can tell you that I felt lighter and more energised after the treatment which was a huge plus for me.

I was also experiencing quite a lot of post-gym stiffness and muscle pain on the day of my treatment and was amazed at how much the sauna dome helped to relieve my stiffness. This machine is a gym bunny’s dream come true – my body felt so great after my treatment that I’d go back just for the muscle relief benefits alone! 30-minutes laying still inside a hot sweaty box also does wonders for your stress levels and it literally felt like my stress was melting away while I was inside the dome. Even though you’re the sweatiest you’ve ever been in your adult life it’s quite serene in that little dome and if you’re a mom who can’t even get 5-minutes to go to the toilet alone, you’ll love this time all to yourself.

Far Infrared (FIR) Sauna Dome

Put a fork in me, I’m done

Once the heat was turned off and I was allowed to put my clothes back on I made sure to reach for the jug of water available on the table in my treatment room to replenish any life-giving water that had escaped my body while I was roasting like a chicken inside the dome. Also on the table was a chilled, wet towel which I used to wipe myself down and make myself mildly presentable to the world again after my sweat session. While the cold towel felt like heaven on my skin after sweating for 30 minutes, I must admit the only thing I wanted to do after this treatment was take a shower. There are no shower facilities at Carley Studios so I would suggest you go for this treatment before you head home for the day or risk feeling like a sweaty mess for hours after – not cute! If you have access to a shower at work or the gym close by then this quick 30-minute session is ideal to squeeze in during your lunch break.

If you really want to get the full benefits of the Far Infrared (FIR) Sauna Dome it is recommended that you do 6 sessions within 2 weeks, followed by two sessions per week thereafter, until you reach your goal weight, start seeing a noticeable difference in cellulite, or reach your health and wellness goals. One 30-minute session in the Far Infrared (FIR) Sauna Dome is R250 and the InBody Scan is R250.

For more information and to book your treatments at Carley Studios, visit their website.

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