Sweat Your Way Back to Health
All the Benefits of a Trip to Perspire Sauna
Written By: Nicole Fera
Photographed By: Dhrumil Desai
Anyone who has ever worked out in their life can appreciate the feeling that you get after working up a good sweat. There’s something about your body building up heat and then finally releasing all of the toxins and detoxing itself. Along with working out, a visit to the sauna can also help you reap many of the benefits that a good sweat can cause. Perspire Sauna in Costa Mesa is the perfect facility to visit for this cleansing experience whether you are a first timer or way ahead of the game with your sauna visits.
As I cruised up to Costa Mesa, I was thrilled at the idea of relaxing in a sauna, sweating out my weekend bender and kicking off the day in a healthy way. Although I knew that there were many benefits to a visit to the sauna I had no idea just how many until I arrived and spoke with Lee. I rode down Irvine Avenue to E 17th Street and then pulled into the mini-mall parking lot where Perspire is located. Upon walking in I was greeted by a friendly employee named Katy who quickly got me set up in my room and explained how things worked. Each room has its own individual hotbox with a regulated thermometer and timer. The room was set up for success with anything that I could have possibly wanted or needed. This included: cold water, fresh towels, a wrap to wear, makeup remover, deodorant, a cold towel to cool down with and a television for either watching or listening to music. Katy explained how the sauna worked and that I could re-arrange the pillows inside to whatever was comfortable for me.
Katy got me all set up on a relaxing music channel before leaving me to it. I wore a bathing suit into the sauna, but you can choose to go commando if you like. As I climbed in the heat instantly warmed my mind, body and soul and I felt myself relax instantly. I set up the cushions so that I could lie down and clear my mind while my body did its thing. Within the first minutes, I had broken into a sweat and I noticed that it was a different kind of sweat. It struck me odd that the beads of moisture seemed cold rather than the dirty and smelly after some time spent at the gym. The hardest part for me was trying to let go of all of the thoughts swirling in my head for 40 whole minutes. I did my best as sweat dripped out of every pore. About 30 minutes in I had to open the door for a breath of fresh air, but after a minute I climbed back in realizing just how much I loved the heat.
When I finally emerged my cool towel was waiting and welcoming on my skin. I continued to sweat for several minutes after as I chugged my water and washing my face with the wipes provided. Once I finished and got dressed I realized again that my sweat had been almost “clean.” I wasn’t smelly (I hope) and I didn’t feel dirty at all even though moments before I had been drenched like I was at the gym for five hours. I made a mental note to ask Lee about this as I walked out. He and Katy were attentively sitting at the front desk when I emerged and told them how amazing and refreshed I felt already. Afterward he was kind enough to sit down with me while I picked his brain about what I had just experienced and the business itself.
Q: So Lee, tell me. How did you come to be the managing partner of Perspire Sauna?
Lee Braun: Some family friends of mine came up with the concept of it all back when it first came together and was called Suite Sweat. Since then the sauna and idea have gone through many positive changes as we move forward. I have always been inclined toward a healthy lifestyle, and this is the perfect addition to a healthy diet and exercise. Plus it’s interesting how after a session you want to eat healthy and exercise.
Q: When did you guys open your doors? Is this your only location?
LB: We first opened our doors in May 2010 and like I said, we’ve gone through a lot of positive changes since then, including re-branding ourselves to better exemplify what we do here. Right now, this is our only location, but who knows what the future holds for us as we continue to grow.
Q: What drew you to this business?
LB: I was also attracted to the different health benefits that come from infrared sauna use. Not only can you burn calories during each session but improve skin clarity and reduce muscle and joint pain. The most interesting health benefit is the way infrared light detoxes seven times more effectively than conventional sweating.
Q: How does this all work?
LB: During your infrared sauna session, the far infrared heat produced penetrates the skin, removing impurities that build up in our cells from our diet and exposure to urban life, including heavy metals. Many doctors do not test for common toxicities like mercury poisoning and other chemicals, so many of us don’t even realize what harmful by-products are in our system. Infrared therapy helps flush them out of our skin through the sweat glands.
Q: How hot does it get in there? After a certain point, I stopped paying attention to the thermometer and tried to tune the world out.
LB: The temperature will vary depending on if you open the door and how long you stay in, but the average is 135 degrees, although it feels milder than you would expect.
Q: I know you’ve already explained plenty of the benefits from a visit to your sauna but what would you say most clients come in for or achieve by coming?
LB: We have clients come in for all different reasons ranging from people looking to improve their overall health with a good sweat. A typical session can accomplish so much at once. For example, it promotes weight loss because it puts your body into a passive workout state. It can clean wounds up to 50% faster for anyone looking to heal, and it detoxes the body and even improves your immune system after continued practice. The positive effects that it has on the body are countless, and you will leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated immediately after which is always a great way to kick off or end your day. Many clients don’t even realize how many benefits there are but simply come because it is so relaxing.
Q: Who can this benefit? What type of clients do you tend to?
LB: People of all ages come to our sauna and have become members after a few visits. There is no age limit so anyone who has health as a priority can join us. We just ask that you listen to your body while you are in the session. If you don’t think you can stay in the heat for the full 40 minutes, then don’t. Or take a break and get back in when you feel comfortable. This is especially important for your first few sessions because it’s a new experience for your body. Some people also find that they may not sweat as much their first couple times, but your body will eventually retrain itself to do what comes naturally to it.
Q: How often should clients visit the sauna?
LB: That’s all going to depend on the individual client. We recommend that if you are making this a part of your weekly lifestyle that you come in 1-3 times a week at least, although there is no downside to coming every day. If you’re coming in for weight loss reasons, it’s best to attend right after your workout and come in as often as you can for the best results possible.
Q: What should first timers know before arriving at the sauna?
LB: A few tips before coming into the sauna would be to come in fully hydrated, makeup free, in comfortable clothing and with a swimsuit if possible. You can wear loose clothes or nothing at all if you prefer, but most people will wear a swim suit and throw something easy on afterward to go home in. When you do get home try and shower within 30 minutes of your session and continue to drink as much water as possible. Your body has just lost a lot of water and the more you drink, the more toxins your body can release.
Q: Last question (and this might be odd), but I noticed that I don’t feel dirty after my sweat-sesh. Is this a different kind of sweat than going to the gym or for a run or am I just hoping that I don’t smell while talking to you about all of this? Ha.
LB: Haha. Nope, you’re right on the money. Infrared light is thought to kill the specific kind of bacteria on our skin that creates body odor. When you are done with your session, some people notice how they don’t smell like they do when they go for a run or work out. It’s an interesting phenomenon.
After thanking Lee and Katy for all their help and hospitality that day I headed home feeling rejuvenated and fresh. I felt motivated to keep as many toxins out of my body as I could. I had a salad for lunch and skipped out on the greasy fries that I love from my favorite little spot that day. I felt like I had just gained a sense of calm and cleanliness inside and out and wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible. Anything that can get me to skip out on fries is definitely a positive addition and miracle to my life. Whether you are looking to check out a sauna and all these benefits for the first time or haven’t found your dream sauna quite yet, you need to check out Perspire Sauna. Lee and his team will have you sweating out all the negatives from your life in no time and one step closer to the overall health that we all continue to strive for.
488 E. 17th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
949.722.1264 | www.perspiresaunastudio.com