How to Use a Sauna for Detox

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How Infrared Technology Impacts the Body

Many people have an excess of toxins in their system without even realizing it. They experience symptoms like frequent illnesses, injuries that are slow to heal, and a general state of fatigue or sluggishness. 

Sweating is one of the easiest ways to help your body get rid of all the toxins. 

Whether you prefer going for a long run or taking a walk in the park, there are plenty of ways you can get your body temperature up. 

But today I’m sharing my favorite way to work up a good, healthy sweat: an infrared sauna.

Sauna therapy utilizes three main types of infrared technology to help you build heat and sweat out those harmful toxins. As long as you are adhering to the sauna best practices and staying hydrated, this is a safe way for you to reap all of the benefits of sweating without the physical activity.

Read on to learn the benefits of each type of infrared sauna therapy, my top hacks for getting the most out of your sauna session, and tips for choosing the sauna that’s right for you.

The Different Types of Infrared Sauna Therapy

Far Infrared Sauna Therapy: Deep Penetration

A lot of substantial claims have been made regarding the potential far infrared sauna therapy benefits. These devices are approved for sale to the public and can be a great way to help detox your body. However, it is important to understand just what the research shows as far as the potential advantages of this type of treatment. 

Far infrared sauna therapy penetrates deep into the body. As a result of this type of penetration, it is thought to dramatically influence your overall health. Researchers are still working on proving some of these connections, but early studies have shown strong evidence that it can improve numerous conditions. 

Sweating is the natural way for the body to heal itself and promote better health. As the sauna naturally produces an increase in your body temperature, you begin to reach deeper levels of sweat-induced detoxification. Your core temperature is primarily affected when undergoing a far infrared sauna therapy, affecting your body at the cellular level for the deepest kind of detox. 

Detox is significant for your overall health. It contributes to important aspects of your well-being by bolstering your immune system, improving the efficiency of your digestive tract, and providing an energy boost for those who feel chronic fatigue. (1)

Patients who are rather sedentary due to conditions like osteoarthritis, respiratory illnesses, or cardiovascular problems may want to consider infrared sauna therapy like this. Some researchers believe that it could be used as an alternative to traditional exercises. (2)

Patients who are struggling with chronic kidney disease have also seen success using far infrared sauna therapy as a treatment. Patients who receive hemodialysis and this type of sauna therapy do seem to have better endothelial function, according to studies conducted over the past few years. (3)

Mid Infrared Sauna Therapy: Medium Penetration

While far infrared sauna therapy has many research studies proving its potential sauna benefits, mid infrared sauna therapy can be just as effective. This type of infrared sauna does not penetrate as deeply. Instead of reaching the organs, mid infrared sauna therapy is only intended to impact the muscles of the body. 

Mid infrared sauna therapy is well known for improving circulation. In a recent study conducted by Auburn University, participants were asked to stretch in either a normal environment or inside one of the popular personal saunas. Those who stretched in the sauna had a greater degree of flexibility, along with an increased range of motion, less stiffness, and less friction. (4)

It also bears some of the same benefits of both far infrared and near infrared treatments. A good personal sauna can be an excellent addition to promote healing to muscle tears and strains.

Patients with chronic pain conditions found that routine use of one of these devices dramatically reduced their overall subjective experience of pain. After just a single treatment, it was estimated that their pain levels reduced by about 70 percent. (5)

Near Infrared Sauna Therapy: on the Surface

If the first two types of treatment impact the organs and muscles, it may be clear that near infrared influences only the very surface of things.

This type of personal sauna is excellent for the skin and can really benefit a well-rounded beauty routine.

Near infrared sauna therapy consists of extremely short wavelengths that improve the quality of your skin. One of the primary ways they do this is through their anti-inflammatory properties. When your skin is less inflamed, it is possible to reduce the appearance of unwanted acne and blemishes that might result from hormonal imbalances or poor dietary choices. (6)

The specific mechanisms behind the efficacy of this treatment are not yet known, but researchers continue to dig deep. They are already finding that near infrared sauna therapy can help modulate reactive oxygen species, activate DNA replication, and increase early-response genes

 The potential healing power of this holistic option might open the door to newer less-invasive treatment options for cell health and anti-aging. It increases cell growth from the inside, leading to healthier and fresher-looking skin. (7)

Much like mid infrared sauna therapy, near infrared is also being used to treat sprains and fractures in the veterinary field. It could be a helpful tool to aide in the healing process for some of these more severe injuries.

Getting the Most Benefit from a Portable Infrared Sauna

If you have access to infrared sauna technology at home, you might be able to get more of these sauna health benefits with a few handy tips and tricks. 

The Basics to Get You Started

  1. Set a time limit in the very beginning. Your body will not be able to tolerate an hour-long session at first. Take it slow with ten to fifteen minute sessions until you are able to sit in your sauna and sweat it out for a half hour or more. Take it slowly and listen to your body--if your body says it’s time to get out, just get out!

  2. Make sure that you are drinking enough water to remain hydrated with your treatments. Experts recommend drinking a couple of glasses before you sit down in the sauna, as well as a couple of glasses when you are finished.

  3. Always take a full shower, soaping all of head and body with a non-toxic soap, after your sauna.

Special Tips to Enhance Your Detox 

These are my ‘special tips’ to supercharge your sauna experience. They are not required, but you may want to experiment with them:

  1. Use glutathione before getting in the sauna. This can be 100-200 mg of a liquid or capsule, or 12 sprays of our ACG glutathione.

  2. Drink electrolytes. You can do this during or after your sauna. Look for a clean brand, free of sugars, or make your own! This is a brand I like, Ultima, and here is a recipe to make it yourself from Katie the Wellness Mama. Or you can drink straight coconut water.

  3. Take binders. You will be mobilizing toxins, and they won’t just come out through your sweat, but also through your urine and stool. To make sure they continue outward and don’t recirculate back into you, take 2 capsules of GI Detox before or after your sauna and away from food and medications.

  4. Bathe with charcoal soap after the sauna. The above binding supplement contains charcoal. Charcoal can also be used in toothpastes, masks, or in a soap! Check out this charcoal bar soap and mask from Beautycounter as a way to really pull those toxins off of you after a sauna.

How to Buy an Infrared Sauna

After seeing all of the potential benefits of a sauna for your immune system, it makes sense that you might want one in your own home. This makes it more convenient to receive the daily treatments that make infrared technology so effective. 

Prospective buyers want to make certain they are purchasing the type of infrared technology that makes the most sense for their needs. 

While some may be interested in using it solely for beauty purposes, others might want some of the detox or immune-boosting properties that a sauna can boast. Be aware of what kind of lightbulbs are used in the production of your sauna. LED bulbs are more effective than halogen.

Of course, you should also investigate the materials used to craft your new sauna and their safety certifications. Make sure that each potential unit is listed in prominent directories like the one offered by Intertek.

For more information on the benefits of this technology and how to pick out your new sauna, be sure to watch this video

Making the Most of Infrared Technology 

No matter what type of infrared technology you use, science is clearly demonstrating that it holds immense promise for the future. It is beneficial for detoxing the body, boosting the immune system, and even slowing down the aging process.

When you are ready to pull the trigger on your purchase, be sure to check out the various makes and models made by Sunlighten. They are listed on the Intertek directory for safety, meet some of the most stringent manufacturing guidelines, and craft their saunas from responsibly harvested materials. 

Please watch the video with Sunlighten founder Connie Zack (also linked above) to learn more! Sunlighten is offering our customers a complementary colored light therapy upgrade when you mention Bridgit Danner. 

Browse their selection today at Sunlighten.com and call at (877) 292-0020!  A Sunlighten agent will carefully answer your questions to make sure you are getting the right sauna for you.

Have you tried using an infrared sauna before? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Check our her easy 5-Day DIY Detox Guide here!