Shape House – Get Your Sweat On

Thursday, October 13, 2016 | 1:18 am

Shape House is an Urban Sweat Lodge - with Sophie Chiche, founder and CEO.

shape-house-10-12-2016-2ndSweating isn’t something most people look forward to but, once you meet Sophie Chiche, the founder of Shape House, your perspective may change.

Chiche is a firm believer in the benefits of sweating. After discovering far-infrared therapy in France, she decided to give this alternative wellness tool a try. Although she initially discovered sweating to aid in her weight loss journey, she found that the benefits far surpasses calorie-burn. According to Chiche, clients report glowing skin, improved sleep, higher morale, reduced stress and increased stamina.

“We help people detox in the most comfortable environment possible,” she said.

She founded Shape House to provide a comfortable sweating experience for fellow wellness seekers. The Pasadena location opened one and a half years ago and has become a destination for a devout group.

shape-house-10-12-2016-3rdThe urban sweat lodge offers clothes to sweat in, a Relaxing Room and enough on-demand TV shows and movies to take your mind off your sweat session. The premise is simple, lie in a heated sleeping bag cocoon (lined in plastic for sanitary reasons) and relax while the FAR infrared heat cranks up the temperature. Sophie worked with Dr. Hans D. Gruenn, a longevity specialist, to determine the temperature and duration of the sweat session.

Each session lasts 55 minutes but an attendant will check in on you after 15. Now is a good time to tune into your favorite show and sip the mineral water provided by Shape House.

Personally, I’m a firm believer in the mind-body connection so watching TV in a heated nest seemed more of a distraction. But, as with anything, you get out what you put into it. As Shape House employees confirm, many people use this time to recharge and reconnect with themselves and their inner peace.

shape-house-10-12-2016-4th-4thAt the 35 minute mark, an attendant will place a cool, lavender towel on your forehead. The last 20 minutes are typically the most challenging but you’re encouraged to stick it out to reap the most benefits.

After your sweat, spend some time in the relaxing room sipping tea (yes, hot tea) and reading their handy information guide “What the Heck?” Chiche adds that she enjoys conversation with clients in the Pasadena Relaxing Room and loves connecting with people there.

Shape House suggests not showering for two hours after your sweat so that your skin and body can continue the detoxification process. But, if that doesn’t fit into your schedule there is a shower you can use.

11873451_1013482695363732_8482110559134432828_nAccording to Shape House’s website, FAR infrared sweating your heart receives a workout similar to that of a ten-mile run during each session but provides a more productive detox than a marathon.

Shape House confirms that each session burns 800-1,200 calories – but this calculation includes the calories you burn after your sweat session too – so you won’t be torching 1,000 calories in an hour. This passive form of exercise certainly gets your heart rate up but has little effect in terms of toning.

“It makes you feel well and does everything exercise does except muscle building,” she said.

Chiche adds that many athletes sweat to reduce lactic acid build-up in their muscles but others come to Shape House for a dose of concentrated me-time. She points to the emotional as well as physical benefits of sweat sessions and feels sweating improves overall quality of life.

“I’m not interested in convincing people — if they feel good then they come back,” said Chiche.

In fact, many of her devoted sweaters are men. She jokes that they were brought along by their wives and girlfriends but found the benefits of sweating too good to pass up even when their partners moved on to the latest fitness trend.

Sweating isn’t for everyone but those who love it tend to be loyal to it.

“I feel like we’re encouraging people to live better lives,” said Chiche.

If you’re interested in sweating. Visit Shape House at 1169 South Fair Oaks Avenue. Call (855) 567-2346 or visit



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