The private sauna within your private room is quite soothingly private, unless you go in with another person, which is allowed. I asked Berlingeri and Kaps if they endorsed the idea of people having sex in the saunas, and they said, no, they did not. I asked why, then, doesn’t their website say, “No having sex in the sauna”? They said they didn’t want to give anyone any ideas. (I bet people have sex in there.)
Inside the sauna, you’re able to change the LED lighting with a remote, and you’re given a guide to the benefits of each color. I chose the cancer one (green), of course, to fix any cancer I may have; blue, to calm me; orange, for wisdom; and purple, in case I had cerebrospinal meningitis, for which the color is allegedly an “excellent remedy.” So far so good, when it comes to cerebrospinal meningitis. The feeling of the infrared sauna didn’t differ too wildly from any other sauna I’ve experienced, but I did feel comfortable staying inside for a much longer period of time than I have in others. I’m not sure, though, whether this was due to the lower temperature, the magical lighting, the privacy, the Brian Eno, or the countdown timer on the wall, which made it feel like a challenge against which I refused to crumble.
According to HigherDOSE, infrared sweat is not just any old sweat. I’ll allow a quote from the website to explain. “Sweat induced from an infrared heat source is comprised of 20 percent toxins whereas sweat induced from traditional heating systems is comprised of 3 percent toxins. This is why it’s accurate to say infrared is 7x more detoxifying than traditional heat.” You may have noticed that, rather than provide a citation to prove why it is accurate to say infrared is seven times more detoxifying than traditional heat, HigherDOSE opted for a mathematical rephrasing. Very tricky. One might also say that I am 100 percent beautiful and my enemy Susan is 50-percent beautiful, which is why it is accurate to say I am two times more beautiful than my enemy Susan. I’m sorry, Susan, but, as you can see, that’s just the way it is.
I asked Berlingeri to elaborate on infrared’s advanced toxin removal. “It penetrates your body three inches deep to pull toxins out of your fat cells, which is a big deal,” she said. “Normally when you sweat, it’s a more superficial sweat. Not only that, but normally working out is one of the other big times people think they’re releasing toxins. But when your body is in ‘fight-or-flight,’ it actually doesn’t release toxins. It’s only when your body is in ‘rest and digest’ mode that it actually releases toxins. So that’s one of the key misconceptions about sweating and working out.”
This sounds wrong to me, but I’m not a doctor. So I spoke with Dee Anna Glaser, a dermatology professor at St. Louis University and the president of the International Hyperhidrosis Society. Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for “excessive sweating,” which basically means Glaser is a sweat expert. First I asked how she felt about the idea, in general, of toxins being released in sweat. “In general,” she said, “sweat can release some toxins and some chemicals, but that is not really sweat’s major job. The organs responsible for detoxifying our system are the kidneys and the liver. Those two do such a good job that, really, sweat doesn’t need to do that. So, for most people, sweating a lot does not detoxify them at all. Because the kidneys are doing it. Sweat’s main job is to keep us cool.”