Seeking to detox myself from many years of non-organic food, toxic beauty products, less than enviable lifestyle habits, and environmental pollutants, I found that infrared saunas are a must for a healthy lifestyle. You need to detoxify from the 700 industrial chemicals that are found on average in your blood.
Infrared saunas have so many health benefits, including weight loss, detoxification, pain relief, etc. If you’re having trouble losing weight, have a lack of energy, are sick, or suffering from a chronic disease or condition, toxin accumulation is contributing to the problem. Infrared sauna therapy is one of the safest and most powerful ways to eliminate toxins and increase your overall health.
Infrared Saunas even gets Dr. Oz’s stamp of approval. Dr. Oz says the high temperature helps lower blood pressure and increase blood circulation. “It gets your heart to beat faster, and it burns calories,” Dr. Oz says. “It raises your metabolism a little bit, and also when you sweat, you sweat out toxins through the skin.”
Listen to this podcast to learn more! It will make you sweat! >>>
Although the human body is known to be accommodating, ecological alterations are now occurring at a faster rate than our bodies are able to adapt. We are now faced with a situation where inadequacies or uncertainties centering around the manufacturing, use, storage, and disposal of toxic chemicals, have resulted in an overwhelming number of environmentally induced illnesses. These illnesses include cancers of almost every organ system of the body, liver disease, pulmonary damage, nervous system disease, immune system damage, reproductive and fertility impairment, and kidney dysfunction.
Scientific evidence shows that thousands of drugs, food additives, pesticides, and other pollutants remain stored in the body long after exposure. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, everyone has 700 chemicals on average in our bodies, while babies have 70 on average. When toxins are not excreted from our body, they accumulate in our fat tissue and do ongoing damage. It’s one of our body’s defense mechanisms to keep toxins away from the vital organs. The heat stress of a sauna is an effective method of removing fat-stored toxins from the body.
Detoxification is a life-long process. We are constantly bombarded with chemicals in our air, food, and water. If you don’t make an effort to detox these chemicals out of your body, they will inevitably manifest as a disease or chronic health condition depending upon your genetic susceptibility. Since, you have been building up a lifetime of chemicals in your body, it will take you one to three years to completely detox when using the sauna every day to every other day. After this, you can maintain your clean, healthy body by using the sauna twice a week.
Why not burn some fat while you detox? Saunas can burn 200-300 calories per hour depending on your metabolism. That’s the equivalent of 10-20 minutes on the stairmaster or running 1-2 miles. I’ll take the extra workout while sitting on my bum, thank you! Your body burns these calories trying to maintain your body’s core temperature. Our body does this by increasing peripheral blood flow and by sweating. Infrared sauna sessions can also help rid your body of cellulite, which is a gel like substance made up of fat cells, water and toxins. Feel those extra pounds melt away.
Scientists today are finding more and more evidence that chemicals in our bodies lead to heavier people in various ways. “There are between fifteen and twenty chemicals that have been shown to cause weight gain,” says an obesity researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. And many of these chemicals, the average person already have in their blood. Some of the chemicals increase the number of fat cells you have, so you have more cells to store fat in. Others increase the size of your fat cells and make them larger so they can store more fat per cell. The only way to get rid of these chemicals, like phthalates, is an Infrared Sauna.
The infrared energy can penetrate over 1.5″ deep into muscle tissue. By heating these tissues, we experience increased blood flow which can be beneficial in reducing muscle spasms, joint stiffness and as well as general aches and pains due to conditions such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. There is also evidence that when used 24-48 hours post injury, infrared energy can reduce the time it takes for your body to heal sprains and strains.
Some researchers believe that infrared therapy can help stimulate the body’s immune system by elevating body temperature. Many viruses, bacteria and tumor cells have poor tolerance to heat compared to normal healthy cells. A 30 minute infrared sauna session can cause a temporary 3° increase in body temperature. This increase has been shown to stimulate white blood cells, assisting your body’s immune system.
Colds and Flu
Given the human body’s effectiveness in fighting disease by inducing a fever, why not induce your own fever with an infrared sauna? Get your heat therapy as soon as you start feeling sick. The temperature increase induces a faux fever, assisting the body in fighting upper respiratory infections, colds, and flu.
There are many types of saunas, including the conventional Swedish or Finnish sauna, far infrared, and near infrared. Let’s do a comparison:
- Traditional saunas consist of a small room that is heated with a heater powered by electricity, gas, wood or other fuel. Heat from conventional saunas penetrates only a few millimeters even though the temperature can range from 180-220 degrees Fahrenheit. With traditional saunas, your sweat is 2-3% toxins.
- Far infrared saunas use ceramic, metallic rods, or carbon (the best) for heating that mainly emit in the far infrared range. Infrared heats you, rather than the air, with penetration 1.5 inches or more. Air temperature ranges from 120-150 degrees normally. With infrared saunas, your sweat is 15-20% toxins.
- Near Infrared saunas use incandescent infrared heat lamps or carbon for heating. They emit mainly near infrared, some middle infrared and perhaps a tiny amount of far infrared energy. Again, the rays penetrate about 3 inches. The air temperature can be kept at a comfortable 110-140 degrees, allowing people to sauna who are sick or sensitive to heat. With infrared saunas, your sweat is 15-20% toxins.
- Steam rooms can be very hot and may not allow many to stay in for very long. While you do sweat in a steam room, you won’t enjoy the benefit of deep penetrating infrared rays. The steam room heat will penetrate a few millimeters like a traditional sauna.
Far and near infrared have many of the same benefits, but clinical research shows that different parts of the infrared spectrum are more effective than others at targeting various health benefits. Below is a chart so you can seek out the part of the spectrum that meets your needs.
|Near Infrared||Cell health/immunity, Wound healing, Skin purification, Pain relief|
|Mid Infrared||Pain relief, Improved circulation, Weight loss|
|Far Infrared||Weight loss, Detoxification, Blood pressure reduction, Relaxation|
New research on near infrared therapy (NIR) proves the following health benefits, though many of these benefits are also enjoyed with far infrared therapy.
- BOOSTS METABOLISM – The mitochondria (power plants of the cells) produce more ATP (energy currency of the cells) when NIR (near infrared rays) is introduced.
- WOUND HEALING – Physicians from NASA and the Medical College of Wisconsin found that NIR LED light significantly promotes faster cell regeneration, wound healing and human tissue growth. Human cell growth increased by 155%-171% in some cases and wound size decreased by 36%.
- INCREASES ENERGY – NIR activates the color sensitive chemicals (chromophores & cytochrome systems) to depths of 23 centimeters (or about 10 inches), stimulating the energy processes in cells.
- IMPROVES CIRCULATION TO THE MUSCLES – NIR causes the release of nitric oxide. This stimulates vasodilatation of the microcirculatory system, bringing more blood to the muscles.
- BETTER ENDURANCE – Muscle fatigue was reduced by up to 42.2% when exposing muscle to NIR.
- INCREASES STRENGTH – Growth hormone release is induced by an increase in body temperature and not by exercise itself. Growth hormone increases muscle mass, calcium retention, and lipolysis (the breakdown of stored fat).
- FASTER RECOVERY TIME – Certain tissue regenerating genes including integrins, laminin, gap junction proteins and kinesin proteins have shown a two- to five-fold increase upon exposure to NIR.
- REDUCES VISIBLE CELLULITE – Cellulite is fat mixed with toxins that are trapped, in part due to an underactive circulatory system. Cellulite is so visible, in part due to weakened connective tissue. NIR helps rebuild connective tissue, reducing the appearance of cellulite.
- REJUVENATES SKIN – DNA synthesis of fibroblasts, which affects the elasticity of skin, increased five-fold with NIR. The result is younger-looking, more beautiful skin.
- PAIN RELIEF – Penetrating heat from NIR has long been proven to reduce pain in joints and muscles by reducing inflammation and increasing circulation to areas of discomfort. NIR has also been shown to significantly increase the range of flexibility.
- HEALS INFECTIONS - Raising body temperature powerfully assists the body to kill bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Many people have a low body temperature and, for this reason, cannot get rid of chronic infections. Common sites of infections are the sinuses, ears, eyes, bladder, throat and intestines.
- HEALS CANCER – NIR helps kill many types of abnormal cells mutated by radiation or damaged by other toxins, including tumors. Tumors, for example, tolerate heat poorly. Raising body temperature hastens their death. Though not a conventional method, hyperthermia is a well-researched therapy for cancer.
Research from Japan and other countries prove the many, many benefits of far infrared therapy (FIR).
- WEIGHT LOSS – FIR burns 200-600 calories an hour! It is the perfect complement to a weight loss regimen.
- INCREASED HEALING – FIR increases blood circulation and oxygen supply to damaged tissues aiding reduction of chronic joint and muscle pain or sport injuries.
- REDUCES BLOOD PRESSURE – German medical researchers concluded one session of FIR for over 1 hour can have significant reduction of blood pressure thanks to persistent peripheral vessel dilation. They also noted that blood viscosity was improved.
- IMPROVES SKIN – FIR opens pores that have been malfunctioning for years, forcing out clogging cosmetics, and loosening dry outer skin, healing acne and scars.
- PROMOTES HEALTHY ARTERIES - When the normally smooth, firm lining of the arteries become thickened and roughened by deposits of fat, fibrin, calcium and cellular debris, it reduces their ability to expand and contract, slowing the movement of blood through narrowed channels. These conditions make it easier for blood clots to form. FIR is able to neutralize blood toxicity and smooth the walls of arteries, capillaries and veins.
- HEALS UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS - FIR has proven to be outstanding for asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, colds, flu, sinusitis and congestion as it clears inflammation, swelling and mucus clogged passages. FIR kills viruses and bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections.
- DETOXIFICATION – FIR enhances white blood cell function, thereby increasing immune response and the elimination of foreign pathogens and cellular waste products. It also removes accumulated toxins by improving lymph circulation.
Far infrared therapy is being used all over the world to treat a wide array of diseases and conditions. There have been hundreds of clinical trials reporting success with the use of FIR treatment for the following:
- Acne (clears acne and blackheads).
- Adhesions (common in competitive athletes, trauma, and repetitive stress syndromes).
- Arthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis (relieved or improved).
- Asthma, bronchitis.
- Body odor.
- Brain contusion (accelerated healing).
- Bursitis (eliminated).
- Cancer pain (greatly relieved pain in later stages).
- Cardiovascular health (improved).
- Carpel tunnel syndrome (positive results in 70% of patients).
- Crohn’s disease.
- Chronic middle-ear inflammation or infection.
- Cirrhosis of the liver (reversed).
- Compression fractures (pain eliminated or reduced).
- Dandruff (increased blood flow through the scalp).
- Disc-protrusion related neuralgia.
- Duodenal ulcers (eliminated).
- Ear, nose, and throat conditions.
- Eczema and psoriasis (respond well).
- Exercise recovery and muscle pain.
- Gastritis (relieved).
- Gastroenteric problems.
- Hemorrhoids (reduced).
- Hepatitis (eliminated).
- High blood pressure (reduced).
- Keloid scars (significantly softened and, in some cases, completely gone).
- Lacerations (healed quicker with less pain and scarring).
- Leg ulcers (healed when previously static and resistant to other care).
- Low-back pain (relieved).
- Muscle spasms (reduced or eliminated).
- Nose bleeding (reduced).
- Post-surgical adhesions (reduced).
- Scars and pain from burns or wounds (decreased in severity and extent).
- Sore throats.
- Spinal chord shock (reversed post traumatic shock).
- Tinnitus (chronic severe case cleared with 10 infrared treatments).
- TMJ arthritis.
Here are a few tips to turn you into a sauna pro!
- HOW LONG – Begin with only 10-20 minutes in the sauna. After a few weeks, if you feel well enough to do so, you may increase to between 30-60 minutes. Never begin with sessions longer than 20-minutes once a day because this can cause massive healing reactions that are unpleasant and even dangerous.
- HOW OFTEN – Work up to regular use over time. It will take you one year to completely detox when using the sauna every day to every other day. After this, you can maintain your clean, healthy body by using the sauna twice a week.
- HYDRATE – Be sure to properly hydrate with fresh, pure water before and after taking a sauna. After all that sweating, I recommend you replace your electrolytes with coconut water, nature’s Gatorade, or sea salt in your food.
- GET NAKED – Infrared emitters do not work through clothing. Disrobe as much as possible to optimize the heating and sweating effects. A bathing suit is fine.
- SHOWER – If possible, shower and exfoliate before your session to open your pores. When finished with your session, take a shower, warm or cool, but not hot. Wash off all the toxins with water or a natural, organic liquid soap. This washes off the toxins so they don’t reabsorb into the skin. Avoid cleaners with chemicals like phthalates, fragrance (made with petroleum, aka motor oil), or parabens that are sold at most major retailers. This would defeat the purpose of detoxing!
- RELAX – After showering, sit or lie down for at least 10 minutes to allow your body to return to its normal temperature and readjust. A cold shower helps with this, too. A cold shower is also great for improving your skin tone.
- ASK – Always consult a health professional if you have a chronic illness and are not sure about sauna use. Keep in mind that many mainstream doctors may not be aware of a sauna’s benefits and may be skeptical about its benefits. Most people who have diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses have found no problems in using a sauna. Infrared sauna sessions are a must for those with cancer.
Seek permission from your doctor prior to use for the following conditions:
- Taking Medications
- Under 12 years old
- The Elderly
- Cardiovascular Conditions
- Chronic Conditions
- Silicone Breast Implants. Sauna makers tend to suggest avoiding saunas if you have implants, however, after doing some research it seems it is safe to use saunas with breast implants. The general consensus seems to be that saunas can contribute to the demise of the implants, but there is no proof of this. If you experience pain in your breasts while in a sauna, get out immediately and see your doctor.
Infrared sauna use is contraindicated for people with the following conditions:
- Insensitivity to Heat
- Alcohol Abuse
- Hip replacements
- Metal implants
- Multiple Sclerosis
Find an Infrared Sauna
Los Angeles, Ca
- Planet Beach Locations all over the world.
- SweatShop Hollywood
- Optimal Health Beverly Hills
- Beverly Hills Wellness Center Beverly Hills
- Firm Body Evolution West Hollywood
- Aquarian Wellness Mid Los Angeles
- Tao of Venus Silver Lake
- Soothing Solutions Burbank
- Pure Center Hollywood
Marina del Rey
- 14 Buddhas Skincare
- In-Spiraling Movement Arts
- Tikkun Holistic Spa
- Tao Healing Arts Center
- Gentle Wellness Center
- Arcona Spa
- Raven Spa
- Spa Balance
- Alchemie Spa
Sherman Oaks/Studio City
If you know of any other infrared saunas in Los Angeles County, please let me know so I can add it to the list.
There are a lot of saunas on the market, but you need to consider purchasing one that emits few, if any, EMF (electromagnetic fields) and uses wood, glues, and other building materials that will not exacerbate chemical sensitivity. These brands pass my seal of approval:
Has an infrared sauna healed your illness? How much do you love the sauna? Is there anything important I left out of this blog? Tell me your story by leaving a comment below.
1. “The Daily ’15-Minute Habit’ that Helps Burn Toxins Out of Your Body” http://Products.mercola.com/saunas/
2. How Does a Sauna Detoxify Your Body by Raymond Francis
3. Saunas to the Rescue! By Raymond Francis
4. Infrared Sauna Therapy http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/sauna_therapy.htm
5. Sunlighten Saunas http://www.sunlighten.com/mpulse-infrared-sauna-heating-technology.html
6. A Study of the Health Benefits of Far Infrared Sauna Therapy, Becky Edwards, M.D., Heather Kort D.O, Faculty Staff Advisor: Dr. John Foxworth, Conducted by the University of Missouri, Kansas City, 2005.
7. Benefits and Risks of Sauna Bathing, Hannuksela M.L., Ellahham S.
8. Why Is Detoxification Important, Excerpted from: Literature Review & Comparison Studies of Sauna/Hyperthermia in Detoxification, Townsend Letter for Doctors, June 1992, Zane R. Gard, M.D. & Erma J. Brown, BSN, PhN
9. How Using a Near Infrared Sauna Benefits Specific Health Challenges http://www.nearinfraredsauna.com/Specific_Health_Issues.html
10. Wound Healing with Near Infrared Saunas by Sunlighten
11. Far Infrared Medical Facts: Detoxification and Research from Japan. http://www.chimachine4u.com/fir2.html