Many will remember 2020 as the year of the great reset. Modern life as we’ve known it – with its fast pace and its incessant demands, both physically and mentally – has, for a brief spell, been put on pause. But this has also given us a chance to slow down and check in on our health and well-being. Forced to marshal our priorities and focus on what’s truly important, many people have shifted to examine that great elephant in the room: health.
But with spas and gyms periodically shutting, it’s been difficult to work up a good sweat. How to get that regular kick of endorphins when work-from-home measures and stay-at-home orders see screen time on the uptick and immune systems a little more sluggish than ever? Thankfully, in Hong Kong, the wellness culture has always been dynamic. From traditional Chinese medicine to yoga, and from Pilates to sound baths, the city’s preoccupation with well-being, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, has augmented its citizens’ quests for healthy living.
LifeHub is a pioneer in this new-normal landscape. Offering an array of toxin-busting regimes as an antidote to busy city lifestyles, its aim is to “optimise you” by providing personalised tests, treatments and wellness programmes that are overseen by a team of medical professionals.
Located on Wellington Street, LifeHub uses the latest innovations to support overall well-being. From toxicology tests to bioresonance (a type of therapy that uses energy frequencies to diagnose and remedy certain diseases) and a menu of mineral and vitamin restorative IV drips, the centre can test, check and restore the body’s balance on nearly every front.
For those looking for a less clinical approach, the infrared sauna is a good option to optimise their immune systems. Sweating inside a heated box – or using a sauna, as it’s more commonly known – is an age-old tradition. The first written description of a sauna dates back to 1112. Native Americans, the Romans and the Russians are among the many to have recognised the beneficial effects of sweating it out.
The skin is our largest organ and acts as a major elimination channel for toxins. Sweating is a physiological response to heat and an increased heart rate, which activates the elimination of toxins. Interestingly, a fever is the way our body creates the optimal conditions for our immune system to perform better. A sauna session has a similar effect, although to a lesser extent.
A traditional sauna uses heat to warm the air, which in turn warms your body, whereas an infrared sauna heats your body directly without warming the air around you. Infrared heat was first used in incubators to keep premature infants warm; this type of gentle heat warms the body from the inside out. In recent years, this technology has been adapted for use in saunas that are sometimes called far-infrared saunas. The “far” describes where the infrared waves fall on the light spectrum.
Traditional saunas can typically reach a temperature of an uncomfortable 94°C, while infrared saunas peak at a more bearable 60°C. Maximal sweating occurs within 15 minutes, releasing excess water and toxins. Infrared saunas allow heat to penetrate deeper than the conventional sauna, which in turn mobilises fat cells. Since many of the toxins we absorb are trapped within fat, infrared saunas are at the forefront of detoxification treatments. Research by the University of British Columbia has found evidence to support the use of infrared saunas for chronic pain, heart health, and high blood pressure.
Most of the environmental toxins we absorb are known to contribute to a whole host of diseases, including cancer, arthritis, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s and more. While most sweat is comprised of water and little salt, studies have shown that 15 to 20 per cent of infrared sauna-induced sweat is composed of cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, heavy metals, sulfuric acid, and ammonia. In other words, an infrared sauna may enable your body to eliminate environmental toxins through sweat.
The main reason you feel good after sweating (regardless of the cause) is that your body releases endorphins. Similar to that post-workout energy, an infrared sauna session can re-energise you and help reset your body to its natural balance.
As well as having beneficial physical effects, saunas can also provide a safe space for your mind. Being secluded within an infrared sauna is a welcome opportunity to have nothing to do. It’s an opportunity to sit quietly and reflect, without the presence of smartphone screens and the endless notifications that come with them. It’s a chance to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect within.
The perfect treatment for men and women, the infrared sauna may just be the best treatment to re-centre in this crazy world – after all, health is wealth. #
For more from the October issue check out: What makes men tick: In conversation with Austen Chu and Jean-Christophe Babin