Ancient practice of sweat lodges becomes latest LA trend - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Ancient practice of sweat lodges becomes latest LA trend

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Imagine getting a full workout without lifting a finger -- all that's required is a good sweat, and watching TV. 

Ryan Weiss is getting quite a workout without moving a muscle. LA's Shapehouse puts a twist on the ancient practice of sweat lodges.

Instead of tents heated by fire or stones. An attendant tucks you in to a 160 degree blanket. "I notice I'm generally less irritable and less stress," said Ryan Weiss, a client. "Then there's the weight loss aspect of it too."

The luxury detox is gaining popularity, with its promises of glowing skin and burning calories. "It has that effect of like general wellness, which allows for better sleep, better digestion, better thought process," said Sophie Chiche, Shapehouse's owner.

You stay inside this infrared blanket for up to an hour, but it's really the last ten to 15 minutes that give your body a full workout. But experts say sweating should not replace exercise, and it's not recommended for pregnant women or people with heart disease. "When the heat demands are excessive, and your body cannot cope with it due to your medical conditions, due to your age... you will reach a stage where you can get a mild heat stroke at best, or at worst you can get a fatal heat stroke," said Dr. Anil Bhandari, a Cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Heather Catania hits this urban sweat lodge once a week. "you can lay down and burn a thousand calories while watching all your favorite shows on Netflix," she said.

She's already dropped 10 pounds, and says her skin is soft and clear.

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