Member Spotlight: Perspire Sauna Studio
Member Spotlight: Perspire Sauna Studio
Perspire Sauna Studio is not the sauna at your hotel or gym. The science behind it is different, using full spectrum infrared light to heat your body, not the air or environment around you.
Studio owner Julie Wordell says the science is based on research by a Japanese oncologist trying to find ways for chemo patients to feel better during treatment. The technology converts the full spectrum of light into energy.
“When you take those rays and convert them into energy to create heat, they heat you inside, not the air,” says Wordell. The sauna (there are actually 10 infrared sauna suites at the Winter Park studio -- each one is private for individual use) is a roomy glass-enclosed vessel with a teak bench housed in its own individual room with a TV. Patrons spend 40 minutes inside the sauna during their session and can watch Netflix, YouTube or another streaming service or do yoga, read, meditate or just relax.
“So many clients love having that dedicated time to themselves to recharge,” says Wordell.
Wordell explains that the rays heat you up internally and that the technology is not unsafe, that it’s not UV light. “It’s a real therapy that actually works,” she says. Perspire Sauna Studio’s website lists the benefits as detoxing the body, burning calories, easing pain, relaxing the mind, enhancing immunity, clearing the skin and improving sleep.
Wordell shares that the feedback from her clients is that the saunas are also helping people with autoimmune disorders, Lyme’s disease, chronic fatigue, depression, and in some cases, those recovering from substance abuse. The detoxification that happens at the cellular level is good for everyone, she says.
“Anytime your body can shed toxins, it allows your body to function at a better level,” says Wordell. “The light in the sauna is a medical grade chromatherapy. There is a lot of scientific research on how chromatherapy helps your overall well-being and mood. Light therapy is already proven to really make a difference in mental health.”
Wordell opened her franchise in Winter Park in July of 2020, making it the first location in Florida. She opened a second studio in Lake Mary in November and is scouting locations for a third one near Dr. Phillips. Since the studio opened in July, the community support has been excellent, surpassing the 500-member mark in record time based on company statistics. The only other studio to gain that many members so quickly is the original studio in Costa Mesa, CA, which was started in 2010.
“Winter Park has treated us incredibly wonderfully despite the pandemic. My husband and I live and work here, and our kids go to school here, so we knew our network would support us at first, but it has really grown and spread by word of mouth and recommendations since then. It’s a real therapy that actually works,” says Wordell. “It’s a very reasonable $20 for your first session to try it. Once someone tries it, they really enjoy it and feel great,” she says.
She also highlights that the saunas are popular with men, having about a 60/40 ratio of women to men as clients. She explains that they don’t do other spa type services, so it isn’t a female-focused business. “We do one thing here, and we focus just on that, and we knock it out of the park with our customer service. Our team is incredible.”
Wordell says the studio experience can be different with each visit. “I call it a choose-your-own adventure. They might go to our YouTube channel and listen to the ocean or nature and just Zen out.
Other times people watch Netflix and have 40 minutes of peace (all while burning 200-400 calories each session) or they can bring hand weights or a yoga mat and stretch or workout,” says Wordell.
What is also interesting she’s found is that the younger generations have really embraced the concept of how important self-care is and have become steady members. “We (Gen Xers and older) don’t necessarily appreciate how important self-care is, but younger generations have already discovered that it’s truly necessary for supporting your overall health.”