The Iyahsi Dome is based off of Suna Ryoho, a treatment well-known in Japan for eliminating toxins from the body. For several centuries, in the summer, the Japanese would bury themselves in the hot sand near the hot springs on the beach to eliminate toxins from their bodies.
The heat from both the sun and Earth would help release many therapeutic benefits from the elements found naturally in the environment, such as sea salt and its benefit in aiding to cleanse the body of toxins, maintain water balance and help to energize the body. Once buried, the body would begin to eliminate the accumulated toxins by sweating. Once a specific area had been used for this therapy, it was then carefully avoided for several days to allow for the environment to absorb the remnant toxins.
Building on the tradition of Suna Ryoho, the modern day Iyashi Dome was created. The Dome is an organic-based far infrared therapy which focuses on generating perspiration in order to provide an easy, efficient and unique technique to help cleanse the body and even to provide long-lasting slimming results!
Giving the body a good cleanse once in a while is something I think everyone should think about and so I was more than willing to get my cleanse on by trying the new Iyashi Dome at L’Atelier Aquafitness. It looked and sounded like it would be something quite relaxing and rejuvenating and so I decided to start my morning with a session.
First things first- Anne, the super friendly studio coordinator, took my measurements and explained that typically there is a difference before and after the 30 minute session. Awesome – I’d be able to see tangible results right then and there.
Looking around the designated Dome Room, I noticed that the Iyashi Dome was not really a dome, per se. It was more like a tanning bed that only went up to your neck and functioned similarly. All you need to do is lay down on the bed and the upper “dome” section would slide up the length of your body until it was level with your chest. Then the Dome would do its thing – its thing being heat.
The session was broken down into two fifteen-minute portions; for the first fifteen minutes I was facedown and then I flipped over and spent the last fifteen minutes on my back. I definitely liked the first fifteen minutes more than the last fifteen.
For the first portion of the session, I was enjoying the ambient music playing and had gotten so relaxed that I dozed off. While the enclosed space covering my body was quite warm, I didn’t feel that I had sweated much at all! So, when Anne came to ask me to turn over, I sleepily told her that I didn’t really know if the Dome was working. She suggested that the heat could be turned up, however I decided to stick it out since I would probably fall asleep again on my back anyway.
Fast forward a couple of minutes and thank goodness I did NOT raise the heat! Within minutes of flipping over, I began to get really warm and started sweating profusely. I become uncomfortable and irritated with each trickle of sweat; there was no way I would be finding my zen doze zone now. Eternity passed and I was only about 10 minutes in. Each tick of the clock sounded like mockery.
How could I have thought this would be a good idea?! I knew I needed a distraction and so I used the excruciating minutes left devising colorful curses for whomever had thought it would be a good idea to leave an old-fashioned clock in the room where I could hear each second as it passed. Two minutes of that and I began to think of Hell. I guess it’s moments like these that make you realize how lucky you are not to be there. And then I had had it. I am not a quitter but I just didn’t think I could possibly take one more second of that tick…
Knock knock. And like a guardian angel, Anne came into the room to finish the session. Once out of the Dome, we took my measurements again and I was disheartened to find nothing had really changed. In fact I am pretty sure that my body fat percentage had gone up a little. Even Anne was puzzled by that one.
While I don’t think I would do it again, I have to say that the resulting feeling was similar to that of Bikram. If you have ever done it, you probably can relate to how you can end up feeling a lot like you are in Hell during the session. You keep asking yourself just how quickly would you be able to pack up your mat and run out the door without the instructor noticing and find yourself constantly making mental notes to remind yourself in the future that being asked to move around vigorously in 45 degree heat is inhumane.
However, when it’s all said and done, and you’ve survived, you feel a bit smug that you’ve made it. It does feel pretty freaking awesome. Plus the Studio offers great herbal tea afterwards.
An Iyashi Dome session is 30 minutes long and can burn up to 600 calories, equivalent to a 20 km run without high impact on the body. I would only use these sessions, however, for rejuvenation and detoxification and not as a weight-loss method.
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