Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Infrared Saunas are sold-out and we hear about them everywhere.
Why now and how can it impact your health?
The long and short of it is: infrared (IR) saunas allow you to sweat toxins out of the body which in turn will help reduce your overall toxic burden...which in turn makes your body in a better position to fight any insult (such as a virus).
Get why it's been so popular lately?
As oppose to regular saunas, infrared saunas don't heat the ambient air but rather raise your internal body temperature with a lower heat required which makes for a more efficient and comfortable session (and as a result increased compliance).
Detoxification is the number one benefit of this therapy as well as the best studied one.
Here is how it works in a nutshell: the heat will free up toxins that are stored (and hidden) in fats and get 1) sweated out and 2) released in the blood to go through the regular detoxification pathways (liver, kidney, and GI tract).
[Keep reading to ensure you maximize your results with toxin binders.]
What to look for in a IR Sauna?
I started being interested in infrared saunas when we got a bad luck exposure to mold in the house. The family and I needed to detoxify and reduce our toxic load fast because of all the symptoms we were having.
I was going to my physician's office to do a 40-minute sauna session twice a week but I quickly realized this pace was too slow to get me where I wanted to be.*
So I started researching what it would mean to have our own unit in order to have the ability for the whole family to go more often.
I asked my doctors and researched some more. There was such a massive price difference between brands and the search became overwhelming.
After weeks of literature review, we decided to go with Radiant Health, the only Canadian brand we could find that provides detailed third-party lab testing ensuring:
- Low EMF emission (the lowest in the industry)
- Non-toxic wood
- No glue to ensure zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds which are highly toxic)
That is essentially where the price difference comes from.
Knowing we had a long detoxification journey ahead of us, the last thing I wanted was to add more toxic exposure and do more harm than good!
*Depending on the reason why you are considering a IR sauna, it might make more sense - financially and logistically - to simply get a sauna membership from a local spa or health center. At least, I believe it's the ideal thing to do to try it out and ensure you enjoy how you feel after a session.
What are the main benefits?
I have a whole highlight on this topic on my Instagram but essentially IR sauna sessions can do as per the picture below.
I personally do it primarily for detoxification purposes but I'm now addicted to the other benefits such as stress reduction (me-time!), clearer skin, reduced inflammation, improved sleep quality, boosted metabolism and more.
How to do it right? Frequency, time of day, temperature, duration.
There is no good or bad way of doing it in terms of frequency. It all depends on why you're doing it in the first place.
If you're trying to detoxify from toxins you know you have been exposed to (ie. mold, Lyme, heavy metals, glyphosate, etc) then the more, the better (up to 1x/day). You also will need to stay longer at top heat: I do 35-45min at 140F.
I personally have been doing it 5-6x/week for the last year.
I prefer to do it after dinner and before 8pm but that is personal. Some people enjoy it in the morning for an energy kick but I like how calm I feel afterwards; setting the tone for a good night of sleep. Find what works for you!
My kids come every other night in it. They stay for about 20mins while the sauna is heating and not at its max temperature (normally around 110-130F is good for them). We try to make it fun by reading books, putting music...I even have my daughter do her dictation in there!
Note that for us, it took about 4 months of daily sauna sessions paired with an aggressive supplementation regimen designed for mold detoxification before we could feel like ourselves again. This is a journey and the results don't come overnight. Be patient with yourself :)
If you're going all the way to embark on this journey, might as well do it well. Be sure to:
1- Bind toxins: Binders are going to help with catch toxins released in your bloodstream and make sure they come out of you. The last thing you want is more toxins freed up and circulating in your body (causing headaches, dizziness, etc).
I take a toxin binder such as Coconut Charcoal, 20-30min before entering the sauna. I also like to alternate with Chlorella but you can play around and see how you feel.
2- Wipe the sweat: this is CRITICAL! You don't want to leave any sweat on your body. Remember that this sweat is toxic. If you leave it on the skin it will unfortunately penetrate back into the body which will erase all your hard work!
I always have 2 face cloths with me: 1 for my face and 1 for my body. I wipe as the sweat comes out and I do the same for the kids.
Trust me, by the end of a session it will be dripping. Rinse and wash them right away!
Most saunas also include LED light therapy - red light is my favorite for the reasons below!
In closing, I'm beyond thrilled to have integrated a IR sauna practice in my health routine. I enjoy this 40-minute of time alone (most of the time) to read a book, catch-up on my favorite podcasts or just meditate.
The fact that I've been able to carve out this much time in my day 5-6x per week, consistently for a year, proves how great I feel afterwards.
I highly recommend you give it a try and see how you feel!
Hope this was helpful!
Nothing featured in this post is sponsored.
Are we friends on social yet? Find me on Instagram @vgrutman