Gotta Sauna 12/19/17

Scott and Cheryl Sweet pose for a photo at Gotta Sauna in Mattoon on Dec. 19.

KEVIN KILHOFFER, JOURNAL GAZETTE & TIMES-COURIER

MATTOON -- Gotta Sauna infrared wellness studio aims to offer clients the opportunity to relax while burning calories and achieving other health benefits.

Owners Scott and Cheryl Sweet of Mattoon recently opened their studio, which offers a Cocoon Wellness Pro Hyperthermic Fitness System pod, at 501 N. 19th St., Suite A. Clients can use this sauna system for sessions of 20, 30, or 45 minutes or other duration at various infrared heat settings.

The Sweets reported that the heat generated by an infrared sauna causes the user's core temperature to increase, which can also lead to an increased heart rate and calorie burning comparable to exercising. They cited an an article, titled "Effect of Sweating," in the Journal of the American Medical Association that concluded a 30-minute infrared sauna session could burn roughly 600 calories.

"It gets you going for the day," said Scott Sweet. "It is considered exercise replacement."

Other potential benefits the Sweets noted for infrared sauna therapy include detoxification, relaxation, pain relief, improved circulation, and skin purification. While a client is in the sauna pod, their head remains outside of the bed on a cushioned head rest. They can adjust the strength of fans that blow air on their face to keep their head cool. They can also adjust the sauna temperature.

Regarding relaxation, the warming heat of the sauna can be accompanied by vibrating massage within the pod and soothing music on the private suite's sound system. Client are also welcome to bring their own music and headphones. The lighting in the suite is adjustable.

"You get in there and you want to go to sleep," said Cheryl Sweet. "It's warm. It's cozy. It's massaging. The stress of the world goes away."

Clients are advised to arrive early for their sauna use to check in and get sauna information, and to make sure they are hydrated beforehand. They can wear whatever makes them feel most comfortable, ranging from bathing suits to street clothes. Towels and clothing hooks are provided. Clients can stop the session and open the pod at any point, and communicate with the staff via an intercom.

Gotta Sauna is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday each week, and by appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are suggested. More information is available by contacting the studio at 217-234-4569 or info@gottasauna.com, or by going online to https://gottasauna.godaddysites.com/.

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