Shape House, a Hollywood-obsessed sweat spa where you allegedly can burn up to 1,600 calories in one hour, is expanding on the East Coast. But doctors are skeptical
Sweat more, do less.
At Shape House, a luxury sweat spa, you can allegedly burn between 800 and 1,600 calories in one hour — more than running on a treadmill for the same amount of time — by laying motionless in a heat bed watching Netflix (sans chill).
Celebrity clients like Selena Gomez, Demi Moore, Emma Roberts and the Kardashians swear by the Los Angeles-based company, praising its no workout method that’s said to literally melt away pounds while you watch TV or listen to music. Now, Hollywood’s hottest secret is gearing up for national expansion, starting with the East Coast with a brand new Upper East Side location in New York City, and plans to open up in the Flatiron District and Dumbo, Brooklyn by next year.
For $70 per session, guests slip into a sweatsuit, sip alkaline water, which, according to Shape House’s website, is “an ionized form of H20 that has a higher pH level and smaller molecular clusters than typical drinking water,” and lay in custom-designed infrared beds. They’re made of ceramic plates and infrared blankets that are programmed to bring energy to the body at a firey 158°F. The heat generated by the rays stimulates the body’s response producing increased heart rates and a deep sweat.
About 20 minutes before the end of the session, a staff member will bring in a towel soaked in cold water with lavender to cool down. You’re in full control of your session and can remove any body part from the sleeping bag to cool down, or leave early if it’s too hot to handle.
“The obvious benefit is you burn a lot of calories. In one hour you’ll feel better physically and emotionally. It’s good for morale; it boosts your endorphins,” founder Sophie Chiche, tells Moneyish.
Chiche was inspired to help other clients achieve optimal health and wellness from her own personal experience.
“I lost 200 pounds myself. I was very young when it started. I had a hormonal imbalance, but there was also a lot of Nutella and bread and butter,” she says. “There was always a quest of ‘how do I help myself in my journey?’ I had already lost 150 pounds. I lost the last 60 doing it with the [heat] bed.”
Chiche says that you can sweat as much as you want, but for new clients, once a week is recommended.
Aside from weight loss and the peace of mind from unplugging for an hour, Shape House promises other benefits, like deeper sleep, increased energy and clearer skin. And Chiche says it can even help clear up psoriasis.
Guests emerge from the beds dripping in sweat, but Shape House advises clients not to shower immediately after the session and instead, wait a few hours so that all of the toxins are disposed. Gomez, who loves the treatment so much she bought an infrared bed at her home, says her skin felt much softer.
Anyone with a recent heart condition, or those who are on blood thinners, should not get the treatment, Shape House advises on its website. And doctors agree.
“I’m skeptical, it’s certainly not safe for everyone,” Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, tells Moneyish, adding that pregnant women and people with heart and lung conditions should absolutely refrain from the service.
“I don’t think this is a way to lose weight. You can get dehydrated and that will get the pounds off, and when you drink water again they’re back. You’ve done nothing to accelerate your metabolism. Just go to the gym.”
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