The first time I hot boxed was in an Acura Legend that reeked of Black and Milds and Polo Sport. My eyes rolled in the back of my head when I saw an infrared studio of that same moniker pop up in my neighborhood. Situated on the under-developed corner of Hill and 9th St in Downtown Los Angeles is a studio using this hood hyperbole to generate a crowd. The overall approach is vibrant, colorful and full of all the spiritual holistic tidbits you would expect these days. You know, geodesic shapes and thin ass line weights that are barely legible. Two weeks ago, I booked my first experience at Hot Box. When I booked my appointment online and went to check-out, the cart read zero so I figured that the first class was free. Wrong I was, as I showed up two hours later to pay a first time fee of $35 for 45 minutes. The facility was unique. Inside the private suites were Vitamin C showers, citrus essential oil infused cold compress towels, a help button and private sound equipment offering everything under the sun including Spotify, Pandora, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, the Unplug meditation app and chromotherapy lights. Overall, the experience was a nice breather from the filth and flavor or DTLA but I don’t know if I would go back for a few personal reasons. One of the main reason is that the sauna room was small, in my opinion. I couldn’t get comfortable enough to enjoy my experience and all those channels. The options for seating are either upright or on your back with your legs up on the wall. Only problem with that is that the temperature of the wood starts to burn as the the heat rises. So my 45 minutes were spent trying to find the right position to rest. Hell, I would have sprawled out on the floor if the space was large enough but it just wasn’t.
The second reason is the price. I spent the entire time thinking about all the things that I could have purchased for $35. Call me frugal but not spending keeps my anxiety down. I don’t know if my first experience was actually worth that much money. One thing about these boutique studios is that they often set a rate for starter classes that is uninviting and in result causes a backlash if the experience was unsatisfactory. Mind you, that’s just the intro price. Regular classes cost $10 more at $50 for a mediocre experience.
Overall, I feel as though I can sweat under colorful lights and watch tv in much better comfort. I want my infrared to be peaceful and restful. I believe in the powers of infrared treatment and know that it all of the body has to work together for complete wellness. I was not wowed enough physically on my first experience to return again, especially not at a higher rate. Infrared saunas have great benefits and Vitamin C showers sound really cool but are not mandatory for optimum health. Still looking for something at this price to blow my mind. I’ll keep searching.