Aside from the occasional new cafe or restaurant opening, it’s rare for city dwellers like us to find a reason to flock to what sometimes feels like the far-flung corner of the globe that is Albany. At least that was our stance until we checked in on the latest with Forme Spa, and discovered that the spa’s northern suburb outpost is now home to an infrared sauna. In light of this revelation, we thought it crucial to investigate — all in the name of wellbeing journalism, of course.
Infrared saunas blew up last year after a plethora of celebrities and renowned aesthetes began waxing lyrical about them. Often described as the next big thing in wellness, the infrared sauna offers a stream of benefits from better sleep to improved circulation, weight loss, relief from sore muscles and joint pain and — perhaps the most anticipated of all — clearer, fresher, tighter-looking skin.
There are, the Forme Spa specialist tells me as I gear up for my session, numerous programs that the sauna offers. While some cater specifically to ageing, others are designed to detox the body. Taking into account my relatively young age and recent festive over-consumption, we decide together that the general detox will be enough to detox and expel around 600 calories from my body. I strip down to my underwear — those who are feeling brave are more than welcome to sweat it out starkers (just be sure to sit on a towel) — grab a magazine (it’s recommended that you leave your phone outside), and settle in.
The infrared sauna, a compact, cabin-sized hut, is aesthetically much like its regular counterpart. But there the similarities end. Infrared heats up the body from the inside out, penetrating the skin tissue with red and near-red infrared light. So while I found myself sweating closer to the end, it was more of a gentle perspiring as opposed to the head-pulsating sweat sesh induced by a regular sauna.
As I exited the infrared sauna I felt far more zen than I had forty minutes earlier: my muscles relaxed, my mind calm, and my skin fresher and certainly rejuvenated. As for the more in-depth benefits, however, I presumed I would have to indulge in a few more sessions — professionals recommend carrying out a sauna session twice a week — to truly reap the benefits.
Overall it was an enlightening and deeply relaxing experience. When topped off with an incredible body massage — this highly-recommended infrared sauna can be chosen as an add-on to all of Forme Spa’s treatments — I realised that the trip to Albany was, after all, well worth the effort.
1/4 Kell Drive