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I spent 55 minutes in a boiling hot infrared heat bed watching TV at an ‘urban sweat lodge.’ I almost didn’t make it through.

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Shape House Sweat lobbyIrene Jiang / Business Insider

  • "Sweating" is a wellness trend that’s been around for ages, and now there’s a new way to sweat: the "urban sweat lodge."
  • I went to Shape House in Brooklyn to try one of its 55-minute sweat sessions in an infrared heat bed.
  • Shape House claims that benefits of sweat sessions include weight loss, brighter skin, and improved mood, among many others.
  • I found it hard to get through the 55 minutes, and afterward, while I felt very refreshed, I also experienced dehydration, increased hunger, and heightened anxiety.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Humans have always found ways to get really, really hot.

Now, there’s a new one: the "urban sweat lodge."

I went to Shape House, an urban sweat lodge with locations in New York and Los Angeles. For a cool $50, you’re put into a specially designed infrared bed that heats you up as you lay back and watch TV for 55 minutes, because of which Shape House claims you will burn 800-1,600 calories.

Shape House also claims that the benefits of their sweat sessions include detoxification, weight loss, improved skin, sleep, increased energy, endorphin release, strengthened immunity, improved mood, stress relief, improved hormone balance, and the alleviation of muscle soreness.

Now, those seem like a lot of unbelievable benefits from doing a whole lot of nothing. You might almost say that they sound too good to be true, especially because "detoxification" isn’t really a thing.

Read more: I tested 5 unusual fitness trends — including aerial yoga, an urban sweat lodge, and a prison-style bootcamp led by a former inmate — and saw how much exercise has changed

So the curious skeptic in me decided to investigate and to investigate by trying out one of these sweat sessions for myself.

The thing is, I don’t do well in high temperatures.

I headed over to the Shape House location in Dumbo, Brooklyn. I was greeted by New Age music, the smell of incense, and Kathleen, who seemed to be the only staff member around.

Irene Jiang / Business Insider

I was given an iPad with an extensive waiver on it. Apparently, pregnancy and open wounds are two of the many things that make sweating dangerous.

Irene Jiang / Business Insider

After I signed the waiver, Kathleen led me to a hallway with cubbies and changing rooms. Since this was my first time at Shape House, my session came with a complimentary clothing rental.

Irene Jiang / Business Insider

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ijiang@businessinsider.com (Irene Jiang)

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