Before central heating, people had to be resourceful in finding ways to keep the cold at bay. The practice of thermal therapy– or sweat therapy– has spanned generations and continents. From the ancient Greeks to Native Americans, we are no strangers to the healing power of a good sweat.
In Houston, there are a variety of ways to increase your body temperature while lowering your home’s heating bill. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a hot bowl of soup, or cup of tea, but if you’re looking for a more unconventional list, we got you covered. Here are a few ideas to stay warm, besides layering clothes, during the winter months.
Try a Sweat Lodge
A sweat lodge is commonly known for its Native American roots, where individuals enter a dome-shaped dwelling to experience a sauna-like environment. The “lodge” is typically a wooden-framed structure made from tree branches that has a pit dug into the center of the enclosure. Hot rocks are placed in the pit and water is periodically poured over the heated rocks to create a hot and steamy room.
Some of the benefits include respiratory relief by opening up clogged passageways and sweating to detoxify kidneys. Additionally, the steam from water on the hot rocks gives off negative ions that balance the excess positive ions we absorb on a daily basis.
According to Earth Tribe Sweat Lodge, there are mental, physical and spiritual benefits to attending a sweat lodge ceremony. Although there are “Native American tribes represented,” they do not limit themselves to any one tradition and welcome everyone. There are things to consider when booking a ceremony at EarthTribe. For example, rules must be followed, not only to ensure everyone's safety, but to make sure the process is done respectfully. Another thing to note is that most sweat lodge experiences are donation-based.
The Earthtribe Organizers have two different sweat lodge locations: the Flying Buffalo lodge in Wimberley, Texas, and the Owl/Eagle lodge at Deer Dancer Ranch near Columbus, Texas. Before attending, it is strongly encouraged to visit their website to learn more on how to prepare and make sure it is the right fit for you.
If you can’t make it to a sweat lodge or would prefer a more modern approach, here are some alternatives to receiving similar benefits.
Unlike a traditional sauna that relies on heating the body indirectly through warming surfaces within the sauna room, infrared saunas emit heat that is directly absorbed by the skin. This results in allowing heat to penetrate muscles and deep tissue, creating a rise in body temperature at a much lower temperature level.
Get your blood flowing by sitting in a stone-bath vessel lined with volcanic stone. Once heated, the rocks emit Far Infrared Rays and negative ions to naturally detox. According to LavaBene, one session can help with blood circulation, rejuvenate cellular repair, and help restore balance in the body. “Increased blood flow also helps to rid unwanted substances such as metabolic waste, heavy metals, residual medicines, and other toxins from the body. Unwanted substances are thereby excreted from the bloodstream through sweat,” LavaBene tells Houstonia.
LavaBene, 9889 Bellaire Blvd, c339. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. A single session is $50, or $33 for a first-timer, and multiple session packages start at $120 for three sessions. Visit their website for pricing and booking here.
Shape Room Infrared Sauna Spa
Select from a variety of detox packages at Shape Room Infrared Sauna Spa. The spa has an hour-and-a-half infrared body wrap session that provides the same detoxifying benefits as doing an hour of hot yoga ($69). There is also an option to get a partnered infrared sauna session for $98.
Shape Room Infrared Sauna Spa, 2631 Persa St. Open everyday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. by appointment only. Visit their website for booking and information.
Whole Body Therapies
Whole Body Therapies offers both, hot and cold therapies for health and wellness. While cryotherapy reduces body temperatures to help with muscle soreness and calorie burning, the infrared sauna raises your temperatures to get the heat you need. Book a one time infrared sauna session for $40 or get the unlimited session membership for $150/month.
26730 Interstate 45 N. Spring, TX. To book an appointment, call (281)721-4300 or visit their website.
Ozone Sauna therapy
Originating in Russia, this sauna therapy is one-of-a-kind and takes stimulating your sweat glands to a new level. Steam surrounds the body while infusing ozone, or O3 molecules, through the pores in your skin. Ozone then enters into the bloodstream, where it can eliminate toxins in the lymph and fat tissues, relieving stress on the liver. With cold weather, our muscles tend to tighten up and our body stiffens, but ozone sauna therapy can loosen and relax your muscles to increase muscle flexibility.
Step into your own personal sauna capsule with only your head outside the system while heat is circulated throughout to start the sweating process. The benefits include everything from promoting metabolism and detoxifying the body to stimulating the immune system and purifying the lymphatic system.
Try a 30-minute one time session for $75 or choose from a package of five to 20 sessions.
Due to Covid-19, appointments are only being taken at their West U location, 4665 Southwest Freeway. Call (713) 294-8075 or visit their website for more information.
Also known as vaginal steaming, is an age-old natural remedy that’s said to cleanse the vagina and uterus while also regulating menstruation and easing period cramps. The yoni steam remedy increased in popularity since Gwyneth Paltrow’s company Goop promoted the practice. Herbs traditionally used include: basil, witch hazel, chamomile, mugwort, sage, calendula, wormwood, and oregano.
SOUL The Beauty Bar and Yoni Spa
SOUL The Beauty Bar and Yoni Spa coin themselves as “a holistic wellness studio with a twist,” specializing in yoni steaming and womb therapy. A first-timer can opt for the Harmony introductory steam for 30-minutes ($45). The steam has a blend of cleansing, disinfecting, nourishing and detoxifying herbs made in-house by professional herbalists. This session also includes a consultation with a Yoni Steam Practitioner so that you can discuss any gynecological discomforts or concerns before the session begins.
7211 Regency Square Blvd Suite 219. To see a full list of packages and prices, click here.
Honey Dip Yoni Spa
This spa is a feminine wellness center that caters to womb wellness and feminine energy. Depending on your needs, Honey Dip Yoni Spa has six different yoni steams available starting at $77 and wellness packages that add life coaching and energy reading. If you want to make it a recurring practice, the Good JuJu Monthly Package will include a yoni steam once a month for $55.
7919 Bowen St Unit 2. For more information and booking go to their website.