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Tried and tested: the hottest thing in detoxing, Iyashi Dome

From: Selected Treats,

Tried and tested: the hottest thing in detoxing, Iyashi Dome

Desperate for a detox? Wishing there was a way to help proscribe those pounds without putting in another gruelling slog at the gym? Maybe it’s time to turn up the heat when it comes to weight loss.

It’s all too easy to let the odd indulgence slide, but if summertime treats have left you feeling more sluggish than spritely as the winter party season approaches, then now is the time to take action. With more than a few holiday cocktails and bumper beachside breakfasts under my belt, I decided to help Wahanda tackle wellness lying down by hopping on the train and trying out the Iyashi Dome at the Waldorf Hotel’s LA Fitness in Aldwych.


Beneath the bustling streets of Holborn (a mere five minute walk away from the tube station), lies the Waldorf’s LA Fitness, a clean and modern fitness centre. Hidden away up two flights of stairs at the back of the basement building are the treatment rooms and it is here that my Iyashi Dome experience took place.

The dome itself resides in a compact, modern room furnished with a marble-topped wash basin, chair, large wall length mirrors and a set of biometric scales. I was guided through the ins and outs of the treatment by the polite and friendly practitioner and had a good snoop round the interior and exterior of the sci-fi looking equipment before I got started.

Smaller than I expected, but by no means claustrophobic, the Iyashi Dome looks a bit like the end of a giant whiteboard marker. It is composed of two carbon fibre-lined white half-cylinders (that slide inside each other when not in use) and a pristine, covered wooden bed and foam pillow. Once inside, lying on a towel and with your head poking out of the top, a second towel is draped over the entrance and your shoulders to stop the heat escaping (though you can lift this and the top cylinder at any time to release some heat or climb out if things become a little too much). All that remains then is to lie back and sweat it out as the temperature rises.


Before clambering into the Japanese contraption, I had to drink 250ml of mineral water in order to prepare for the intense heat and profound amount of toxin-busting sweating that was to follow.

Once I’d gulped down half of the provided bottle, it was off with my shoes, socks and jewellery and onto the biometric analyser (essentially, a very clever pair of scales). My age, gender and height were fed into the machine before it took a reading of my weight and calculated (amongst other things) my BMI, body fat percentage, metabolic age, visceral fat levels and bone density. This information was later to be compared to post-treatment statistics in order to show how much of an effect the dome had had on my overall body composition, but more about that later…

After my weigh in, I was left to remove my make up, strip off and lie inside the dome (you can either choose to have the treatment whilst fully naked, can slip on a pair of paper knickers that the centre provides or can brave the perspiration in your own underwear), before giving the therapist a shout to let her know I was ready.

I was instructed to lie on my front for the first half of the treatment to help my body adjust to the heat levels, so flipped over, closed my eyes and tried to relax as the practitioner gently turned up the traditional Japanese background music as well as the heat setting on the dome. I was left on my own to sweat it out for fifteen minutes and although my head was uncovered, I could soon feel the sweat glistening on my face as well as the rest of my body. While not unpleasant, the sensation was that of sunbathing in intense sunlight, without the glaring rays of the sun stinging your eyes.

When the time came to lie on my back, the therapist returned to check I was OK, provided me with a special pillow and made sure I was comfortable. I then stuck it out for another fifteen minutes, before she entered once more and the machine was switched off. I was handed a towel and left alone to emerge from my heated cocoon (whilst ‘glowing’ profusely).

After a quick wipe down and tidy up, it was onto the scales again in a change of clothes to see what I had managed to achieve during my half hour sweat-a-thon. When readings had been taken, I was allowed to drink the remainder of my mineral water to prevent dehydration as I cooled. I then rapidly made my way to the showers to freshen up (unfortunately the general gym showers located back by reception as there aren’t any conveniently situated by the treatment rooms) with instructions not to have the water too hot (which would heat my body temperature further) or too cold (which would cause rapid cooling and apparently halt any fat burning after effects).


According to the print outs, I had managed to lose 400g and had reduced my body fat percentage by just over one per cent- not bad for a short lie down!

Although it was not uncomfortable, it did take me a few minutes to relax whilst in the dome and I’d advise tying long hair back to keep it well out of the way before you get going. I made the mistake of leaving mine down, assuming that my head would remain relatively cool and it soon turned into a bit of a damp mess.

Once my experience was over, the warmth stayed with me and my muscles felt a little more relaxed. Whether as a result of the treatment or my commute home in the rain, I felt ready to curl up and sleep as soon as I got home too. Over the next few days, my skin did feel especially cleansed, my body energised and my system detoxed, although next time, I’d be sure to drink enough fluids in the hours following the treatment as I found that I developed a dehydration related headache later in the evening.

Key Facts

  • The Iyashi Dome is based on an ancient Japanese technique called Suna Ryoho, which involved participants burying themselves in hot sand to detoxify the body through perspiration.
  • The average modern treatment burns 532 calories- the equivalent of an entire Easter egg.
  • You will also produce as much as 1200ml of sweat during the half hour session.

If you fancy giving the Iyashi Dome a go and you missed out on our marvellous MobDeal last week, don’t sweat! Simply keep an eye out for future offers on site. In the mean time, why not have a quick read of some customer reviews on Wahanda and see what others thought of the experience.

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Alison is a freelance journalist, blogger and life-long Londoner. A subject matter magpie and self-confessed make up junkie, if it's new, a little bit different and promises great things, she'll be onto it in a flash.

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