When Selena Gomez told our sister pub, ELLE.com, about the “burrito” sweat bed she uses to detoxify her skin and body, we knew we had to look into it ASAP. So we went straight to the source to find out exactly what goes down in these so-called burritos (sadly there is no food) and reached out to Shape House, where Gomez goes in California.
Here’s what we learned: For the 55-minutes session, guests are tucked into private, heated FAR-infrared beds with their head above the covers and water close by (because if you haven’t guessed, you’ll sweat – A LOT). These beds pump a different heat than the type you’ll feel in a sauna or hot yoga class. FAR-infrared sweating heats the body from the outside-in, says Shape House’s Julia Dopp. “FAR-infrared energy actually penetrates the subcutaneous tissue and warms the body’s core rather than warming the skin first. This allows for a more productive sweat that can actually deplete stores of toxins and even fatty deposits in a more efficient way.” The warmth can also help muscles recovery and reduce chronic pain. And a single session can reportedly burn up to 1,600 calories. (No wonder it’s popular in L.A.)
But how does it feel? For most people, it’s very relaxing. It’s only until the last 15 minutes that your body feels like it would during a workout, because your core temperature is at its highest. “During this most challenging period, your body reaps the most significant benefits in terms of calorie burn, cardio workout and toxin release,” says Dopp. She says staff members pop by to check in to make sure you’re comfortable. (You also get a personal TV so you don’t get bored. Win!)
Not everyone agrees with the premise though. “Sweating doesn’t get rid of anything but excess water and electrolytes. There are no toxins in your sweat. Things that the body doesn’t want or need are eliminated through other bodily functions,” says registered dietitian Abby Langer. “There are hazards to heating your core temperature up like this – dehydration, stress on the heart. If you have heart problems, are pregnant, or are intolerant to heat, definitely don’t go near this trend.”
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