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Infared sauna studio eyes West Falls Church for first Virginia location

Perspire Sauna Studio is expanding to Virginia with three franchises planned in Fairfax County (courtesy Perspire Sauna Studio)

An expanding chain of sauna studios is targeting West Falls Church for its introduction to Virginia.

Local entrepreneurs Michael Sobhi and Michael Baffa will open three Perspire Sauna Studio franchises in Fairfax County under a recently signed agreement with the California-based company, which offers infrared sauna and red-light therapy services.

The first location will be in West Falls Church, though a specific site is still being identified, according to a public relations representative for Perspire. The locations for the other two studios are also being determined.

Sobhi and Baffa, who have a combined 20 years of experience in the real estate and construction industries, hope to eventually expand the company’s presence in the area to 10 spas.

“We’ve always been health-conscious and familiar with the benefits of saunas, though our experiences have been limited to gyms and public facilities, where truly enjoying the experience can be challenging,” Sobhi said in a press release announcing the franchising deal. “The concept of Perspire, with its private and personalized approach to wellness, immediately resonated with us. We saw it as something we would personally use and benefit from if it were available in our area.”

Started by CEO Lee Braun in Costa Mesa, California, in 2010, Perspire Sauna Studio says it utilizes “age-old” sauna heat therapy practices that can help cleanse the body, ease joint and muscle pain, encourage relaxation and assist with weight loss.

The cedar-paneled saunas generate heat with colored lights that warm up the body, rather than the air, according to the company’s website. Available services include red light therapy, which is used in treatments for skin conditions, hair loss and other health needs, and chromotherapy, which can supposedly be used to treat diseases.

Perspire currently has 49 studios, with another 20 in development and 170 signed franchise agreements. Sobhi and Baffa’s franchises will be Perspire’s first locations in Virginia.

“At the crux of our brand is the intent to ignite a passion in our members and our communities for a more relaxing, health-conscious lifestyle,” Braun said in a statement. “That passion starts by introducing the science-backed approach of infrared and red light therapy to new people and new places; something both Michaels are now playing a pivotal role in seeing through.”

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