4 Secret Tips to Staying Warm During the Winter Months

From sweat lodges to saunas to steams, we’re bringing the heat.

By Geneva Diaz

Finnish sauna with infrared panels in a classic wooden sauna interioir.

Houston only averages about 4 nights a year that dip below freezing, but for a lot of us, anything below 60 is too cold. So to help you stay warm this winter, we’ve gathered a few tips and tricks to get your blood pumping and take the chill off, some more unconventional than others. 

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.

Try a Sweat Lodge

The sweat lodge is a common Native American practice, where individuals enter a dome-shaped dwelling, usually as part of a larger spiritual ceremony, 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.

Earth Tribe Sweat Lodge

According to Earth Tribe Sweat Lodge, there are mental, physical, and spiritual benefits from attending a sweat lodge ceremony. And although the group represents a number of Native American tribes, they welcome anyone who wants to participate. If you’re considering booking a ceremony at Earth Tribe, keep in mind that some rules must be followed, not only to ensure everyone's safety, but to make sure the process is done respectfully. There is no fee at Earth Tribe, or many other sweat lodge facilities, but donations are encouraged.

Earth Tribe has 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 the Earth Tribe Sweat Lodge  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 with similar benefits.

Infrared Saunas

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.

Lava Bene

3524 Broadway Street | Open Tuesday thru Saturday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. | $50 and up

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 help your body detox naturally. According to Lava Bene, one session can help with blood circulation, rejuvenate cellular repair, and help restore balance in the body. As their website says: “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.” A single session is $50, or $33 for a first-timer, and multiple session packages start at $120 for three sessions.

Shape Room Infrared Sauna Spa

2631 Persa Street | Open everyday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. | $69 and up

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 enjoy a partnered infrared sauna session for $98.

Whole Body Therapies

26730 Interstate 45 N. Spring, TX | Open Monday thru Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. | $40 and up

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.

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 nodes 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.

Activate Ozone - West U

4665 Southwest Freeway | open Monday thru Saturday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. | $89 and up

Step into your own personal sauna capsule, with only your head remaining outside the system, as heat circulates 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.

Yoni Steam

Also known as vaginal steaming, this age-old natural remedy is said to cleanse the vagina and uterus while also regulating menstruation and easing period cramps. The yoni steam remedy has experienced newfound popularity since Gwyneth Paltrow’s company Goop promoted the practice. Herbs traditionally used for the steaming process include basil, witch hazel, chamomile, mugwort, sage, calendula, wormwood, and oregano.

SOUL The Beauty Bar and Yoni Spa

7211 Regency Square Blvd Suite 219 | open Tuesday thru Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. | $45 and up

SOUL The Beauty Bar and Yoni Spa call themselves “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 where you can discuss any gynecological discomforts or concerns before the session begins.

Honey Dip Yoni Spa

7919 Bowen Street, Unit 2 | open Tuesday thru Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday to 2 p.m. | $55 and up

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 also include life coaching and energy reading sessions. If you want to make it a recurring practice, the Good JuJu Monthly Package will include a yoni steam once a month for $55.

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