Wellness news: Contrast Therapy is coming to Hana

I regular indulge in the many healing and energising modalities on offer at HANA, a stunning wellness space in the Scrapyard development in Grey Lynn. HANA, which means in “to shine, glow and radiate” in Te Reo Māori, opened last year in June - just in time for Winter – offering LED treatments for the whole body via red light therapy pods, as well as infrared saunas, massage, Pilates and more.

It’s a beautifully warm and inviting space, with eco chic stylist’s touches and a carefully curated collection of wellness products on offer as well. It’s the work of ex-pharmacist Sara Higgins (above, with in-house pup, Teddy), who says her key focus is to provide a space that allows clients the freedom to slow down. “Looking after your health is so important and should be prioritised,” says the super passionate Sara, “and with HANA my aim is to create a calming and healing sanctuary that encourages people to relax and take time for self-care.”
The main attraction for many is most definitely the private infrared saunas that can be booked for up to 45 minutes, and soon to be added to that is contrast therapy therapy via a designated infrared sauna and ice bath treatment room.
Widely used in Europe for centuries, the traditional hot/cold experience involves pushing yourself to your limit in a communal sauna with a very high temperature, then immersing yourself in snow – then repeat. The Hana experience however optimises the latest technology in architecturally designed private rooms, for a far more controlled and contemporary experience.
The session begins in the infrared sauna for twenty minutes. While traditional saunas raise the air temperature to very high levels, infrared saunas heat the body directly, so that only around 20 percent of the heat goes to heat the air. Instead, infrared waves penetrate deep into the body for deep heating, which allows the body to activate sweat glands and eliminate toxins. The heat also supports the dilation of blood and lymphatic vessels to encourage better circulation.
Pairing this heat with a two-minute immersion into the ice bath, which sits at six degrees, has numerous benefits including reducing inflammation, constricting blood vessels to redirect circulation towards vital organs, and boosting the metabolism to support weight management.
Exposing the body to these extremes of temperature triggers the production of heat shock and cold shock proteins, which repair damaged proteins and cells, increases the immune system response, and speeds up muscle recovery.
HANA founder, Sara says contrast therapy makes you feel incredibly alive. “Long term benefits aside, the immediate effects of the hot/cold combo is invigorating - to say the least. It enhances all your senses and you feel quite incredible.”
Contrast therapy will be available from soon with sessions costing $80 and concessions are available, and I for one, cannot wait.


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