My Quest for Muscle Tension Relief

By Josephine Atluri, Dir. Business Operations

I workout six days a week religiously.  It is my form of stress relief.  It is the one time in the day that I get purely for myself.  Personally, my mind races too much for the art of meditation - at least that’s what I think.  I can’t even lay in bed at night without thinking of the laundry list of items that I have to do the next day.  Yet, when I work out, somehow the exercise completely silences all the things running through my head and I am completely in tune with my body and the exercise at hand.  It is my warped version of meditation.

Unfortunately, all this work that my body does naturally takes its toll.  One rest day a week sometimes doesn’t cut it.  I need to do some extra stuff to help my body get the recovery it needs such as stretching after a workout or getting a massage.  As I now live in the mecca of all that is health and fitness related (Los Angeles), I have a plethora of options at hand touting all sorts of fantastic medical healing claims.  I love trying out new fitness or wellness trends….I just need a wingman to join me on these crazy adventures.  As luck would have it, the “Fit Latina in the Making” blogger, Nubia Chaidez, was in town visiting me so I forced her to try out an urban sweat lodge and cryo therapy with me.  Did we die?  Well, I'll be honest, Nubia and I totally thought we might at least pass out from heat exhaustion or dehydration.  We had a serious case of the nervous giggles when we entered this unassuming house in the middle of a busy commercial street.  Obviously, we survived and live to tell our tales….

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The Urban Sweat Lodge

Sweating out toxins has been done for hundreds of years in all sorts of cultures.  The particular place we went to get our sweat on took the experience to a new level with a technology spin.  Rather than sit in an actual hot room and feel miserable with random strangers, we went to a place that wrapped us up in what seemed like a giant heat wrap the encased our whole bodies.  We laid in beds with every inch of our bodies covered in the hot wrap with the exception of our heads.  To pass the time away, we each had control of our personal tvs complete with any type of show we desired to watch.  They gave us headphones so the place remained quiet and they also gave us easily accessible bottles of water to maintain a good level of hydration.

The first half of the hour long experience was extremely tolerable.  Our bodies got very warm and it wasn’t at all stifling.  In fact, I was thrilled to be so cozy while catching up on my favorite show on Hulu!  The second half, however, when the sweat really started to come out, I began to get fidgety.  I was still enjoying my show but it was getting really hot on my toes and it was getting gross in the heat wrap because of all the moisture.  Before I decided I could no longer last through the detox of the impurities within my body, they told me time was up.  Hallelujah!  I made it through the entire experience.  They released us from the torture wraps and escorted us to a room where we could drink hot tea and relax.  We had to wear a long sleeve shirt, sweatpants, and socks for the appointment and every inch of our clothing was beyond drenched with sweat.  

I did notice that my sweat was a clean sweat, beyond a Bikram yoga class sweat.  When we walked out of that sweat lodge, Nubia and I felt super relaxed like we had a massage but oddly we also felt very energized like we had exercised.  They claimed we would burn 500-800 calories from the sweat experience because of the way our hearts were pumping during the detox. 

Verdict: So, would I do it again? After thinking about it and comparing it to the other experiences I tried out later that week, I’m really surprised with myself in that I would totally do it again.  Maybe not once a week, but perhaps once a month just to cleanse out some impurities (and to catch up on my show since I’m not a subscriber to Hulu!  hahaha)

Curious to know about our cryo therapy experience?  Be on the lookout in the weeks to come for the second part of my quest for muscle tension relief.

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