This was a guest review and reflection of her first sweat & freeze experience at Soma Haus.
Here’s a question: what 45 minute activity will result in an elevated mood, better circulation and more efficient muscle recovery?
Sweating it out at 75 degrees celsius and being submerged, chest deep, in a pool that’s as cold as the perfect serving temperature for champagne might not have been the first thing that came to mind.
Does that pique your interest? Or make you shudder? Perhaps your sore muscles have been looking forward to this all week.
Soma Haus’ proprietary sweat and freeze treatment is backed by research, and it’s the tangible feelings of quicker recovery, a clearer mind, and truly a sense of accomplishment for having braved the icy bath that made me want to return.
The journey began with a knowledgeable and open Educator called Rae. She does indeed suit her name, with the warmth of the sun providing comfort to you and your nerves when your mind is psyching you up for the cold. Rae leads me into Room 3, a neat treatment room boasting a shower lit by warm recessed lighting, a state-of-the-art infrared sauna and an elevated plunge pool. I am advised to have a shower to remove all body oils with locally owned conflict free products with an uplifting neroli scent, before getting into the sauna.
Unlike a traditional sauna, Rae explains, the heat goes directly to your skin and penetrates your muscles. The air feels lighter than a traditional sauna, where hot stones heat up the air around your body instead. In the infrared sauna, I break into a relaxing sweat, and there’s a Bluetooth speaker at the ready if I wanted to listen to a podcast or read.
Toward the end of my initial sweat, I find my gaze shifting to the digital numbers of the clock, trying to find all the courage I can to take the dip on my own. This is wildly different from the first contrast therapy experience I encountered- which was by accident, day drunk in Zurich, and without a care in the world.
So I bring myself, stone cold sober, to the edge of the pool. My nose picks up on cold it is, which undoubtedly raises my heart rate ever so slightly. Nonetheless, I plucked up the courage and lowered myself on the exhale. The initial sensation: my toes are fully numb and I’m trying my best to regulate my breathing. After about 30 seconds I am just about ready to never step foot in a cold pool again, but something told me to stick it out for as long as I possibly could. At this point, my fingers and toes have lost all feeling, and they are almost unbearably stinging with the cold. I last 15 seconds more.
Then begins the symphony of sweating and freezing for the next 25 minutes or so, and I find myself getting acclimatised. I am wary of the soreness in my arms and hamstrings and make a mental note to focus my stretching in the infrared sauna on these areas.
My final departure from the cold is welcomed by the earth stone mat at the base of the steps. It swiftly wicks away the cold dripping water from my body, and I am grateful for the thought that has gone into every little detail of the space.
Post sweat and freeze, I gather myself in the living room, and have a debrief and a warm cuppa with Rae. And trust me – I slept like a baby that night.
Want to share your experience with others? Email us and we would love to feature you! Receive a complimentary sweat & freeze on your next visit to Soma Haus!