A new sauna in Burbank uses color light therapy, or chromotherapy, to heal clients' bouts with depression, insomnia or anxiety. Or, it may just raise the heartbeats of those who are physically injured and can't work out at a gym or those who are disabled.
About a month ago, longtime local resident Jeannette Tashjian opened Burbank Infrared Sauna, where clients spend 30 minutes sweating inside cedar wood saunas as tranquil music plays and they burn an estimated 600 calories by the time it's over.
Infrared saunas heat the body directly through light, whereas a traditional sauna warms air to heat the body.
Before clients begin their session, Tashjian will work with them to determine which color light may be most beneficial for them. For example, blue may help address insomnia, while purple may reduce anxiety, she said.
Individuals enter the sauna privately, or couples can sign up for a session together. Children must be accompanied by a parent.
"It's everyone's own personal experience," she said.
Born and raised in Burbank, Tashjian describes herself as a retired ballerina, retired massage therapist and retired physical therapist.
She was looking to take on something new a couple of years ago when she was seeing up to 60 patients daily.
"I knew I needed to transition and find something I believed in … and serve a client-patient base. This was such a beautiful transition. It was a win-win situation for my personality, what I believe in, what I stand behind holistically," she said.
While Burbank has its "nooks and crannies of holistic places" Tashjian said, referring to massage businesses, vitamin stores and colon hydrotherapy offices, she said she wanted to add infrared sauna into the mix.
The infrared sauna is often operated at lower temperatures than a traditional one, and a session at Burbank Infrared Sauna can begin at 135 degrees Fahrenheit and finish at 150.
"Once a client has been acclimated and been a regular sweater, we can go up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, if tolerated and desired," she said.
Clients can also be exposed to the heat seven days a week. However, Tashjian cautioned, "You have to stay hydrated."
Some studies have shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis reported reduced pain and stiffness after using an infrared sauna. Other studies have found some benefit for people with high blood pressure.
Tashjian said the saunas may help with other ailments, including digestive or respiratory issues.
Opening a business that offers holistic therapy "makes what I do worthwhile," she said.