Infrared Sauna Therapy

Episode 61

We are always on the lookout for new evidence-based technology, and one of the things taking the wellness world by storm is Infrared Sauna Therapy a form of energy therapy (pun intended). This episode dives into the following:

➡️ What is Infrared Light
➡️ How it benefits our health
➡️ Side effects/cautions of Infrared Therapy
➡️ How to prepare to use the sauna & when not to use it
➡️ What to look for when buying a home Infrared Sauna
➡️ Is it safe and how long do I use it

Infrared/PEMF Mat

Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Harris

The Ultimate Wellness Course

How You Can Benefit From Rootine

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dr. Richard Harris: Join me, Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secrets of the human body. Strive for wellness. Strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.

This week’s episode is brought to you by Rootine. One of the things we get asked a lot is what supplements should we take? And I say, it really depends. I can make just a ballpark assumption based upon a couple of things, or I can find a way to look at specifically what your body needs, and this is Rootine.

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It’s more important to check at B12 and what the body’s using B12 to make. And that’s Rootine. It meets all of my quality standards, and that’s why I am a clinical advisor for the company because I believe in what we’re trying to do. So to learn more about Rootine, to see how you can benefit from Rootine, check out the link in the show notes, or head to our website, scroll down the bottom and click on the free assessment.

And now to this week’s episode. Hello, and welcome to the Strive for Great Health Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris. And today, we’re going to be talking about infrared saunas. So this is something that I think is really interesting tech, but we’re going to dive into what it does, what it doesn’t do, how it works, should you get one, and what brands seem to be the best brands on the market as of this recording.

So let’s dive right in. So let’s start off with energy medicine; energy medicine dates back to 2,750 BC. Right? So energy medicine’s been around for forever. And then what did they use back in those days for energy medicine, electric heals, they shocked you with electric eels, and that was the precursor to energy medicine.

So if I walk up to you and slap you in the face with an electric eel, I’m actually really just trying to help you out. Okay. And then, after that, people used load stones for magnetism, and they used that for energy therapy. Now, how does this relate to infrared light? Well, infrared light is a type of radiation, and I don’t mean that we’re going to go glow yellow, or green or blow up, or anything like that.

All radiation means is energy propagation in the form of rays, waves, or particles. So it’s spreading energy from one object to another object. So examples of radiation include light, radio waves, microwaves, et cetera. Infrared light, it was first found in 1800 by astronomer William Herschel. And this was a really cool experiment.

He found an invisible spectrum of, of energy, of light that was lower in energy than red light. And so that’s what infrared therapy or infrared light; when we think of it, we think of it today as night vision. And so it’s used as detectors for infrared light are used for thermal imaging and night vision, and the human body radiates at around 10 micrometers.

So when the predator is looking at us, he’s looking at us at about 10 micrometers, and hopefully, the predator isn’t looking at me right now. So, this is why I’m not a stand-up comedian because my jokes are terrible, but we know some animals are able to see infrared light, like Pit Vipers, pythons, bats, and some fish in poor lighting situations are able [00:04:00] to use infrared therapy to see predators or prey.

Now infrared light is invisible, so we can’t see it; humans can’t see it. And its wavelength is between 700 nanometers and one millimeter it’s divided into infrared A, B, and C. And this is the difference in basically that wavelength length. So 700 to 1400 nanometers is infrared A, 1400 to 3000 is B,  3000 to one millimeter is C.

So, you can also see this as near-infrared, middle, or far. So those are terms that you’ll see as well. You also see infrared A, B, and C. So if you see that now, you know what people are talking about. So infrared radiation, some heat penetrates up to five millimeters into the skin. And that is actually the infrared E.

The A penetrates deeper into the skin while the B & C are, are more at the surface of the skin. So the infrared A can actually go into the subcutaneous layer or the layer underneath the skin. And why do we feel this as heat? So this type of wavelength is perceived by heat, by something called Thermoreceptors in the skin.

So this is why when we’re out in the sun, you feel hot. Or even if you step into an infrared sauna, you feel hot. Although there is new evidence that high powered light can penetrate even into the brain and fat and nerve layers. So even three to four centimeters down in, sorry, I use metric because I’m a scientist.

I know. Here in America, we are on the horrible, horrible system of inches and feet and stuff like that. But all the scientists use metric systems. So, my international listeners, I know you understand what I’m talking about. Sorry, America. I still love you, though. So we penetrate three to four centimeters, but it’s in low amounts.

So only one to 2% of the admitted signal actually reaches those depths. But there are studies that show that that can make a difference. And we’ll talk about that in a minute. So, where do we normally get infrared light from? Of course, the sun. So sunlight at the Earth’s surface is about 50, 50 to 55%, depending on which study you read infrared, usually above the 700 nanometers mark.

So, and then 42 to 43% is the visible light. And three to 5% is UV light. So that’s the breakdown of light when it hits the surface. So what are the mechanisms of infrared benefit? Because there’s lots of studies out there showing some benefit, how does this actually work? And it’s interesting because it seems to be a slightly different benefit than regular saunas. In regular saunas, you get something called thermal stress, which is basically a good stressor.

It’s like exercise. Some degree of stress is beneficial. And so regular saunas, you get activation of something called heat shock proteins. And this is a teaser because I’m going to do another episode on regular saunas and the benefits that they show. And why is that? So that’s a teaser. Sorry, I’ll, we’ll talk about that more in a later episode on regular saunas, but let’s get back to infrared saunas.

So infrared saunas seem to activate something called cytochrome C oxidase. And this is in the electron transport chain that we talked about in the metabolism episode, briefly recapping, this is how we make energy. There are enzymes or cellular machinery in the mitochondria, a powerhouse of our cells that generate ATP and ATP is what our bodies use for energy.

It’s what the food we eat, the calories we eat now, the fats, the proteins, the carbs. If we need to use them for fuel, they get burned and turned into ATP. And so infrared helps increase ATP production and is also a low-level stressor. So you get some of [00:08:00] that thermal stress we talked about. And why is that important?

We’ll talk about that in a minute. What’s really cool about this is a local application in animal models causes systemic effects. So even if you’re applying it to an arm or a leg in animal models, there were still distant effects on other organ systems based upon that. So that’s a really cool feature.

Now, one of the things that infrared light does is it increases nitric oxide expression. And we talked about nitric oxide on the nitric oxide podcasts, but briefly, nitric oxide is really, really important for blood vessel function. It improves blood vessel function; the cells that line our blood vessels are called endothelial cells.

So improves endothelial cell function. It actually helps their repair. It decreases platelet aggregation. Platelets are the little guys in the blood that clot. And so what happens when you have a heart attack or a stroke, you get inflammation, which recruits cytokines, you know, those inflammatory messengers we talked about, but the main goal of activating platelets.

So they stick together clump, and that blocks off an artery. And so we have platelets, so we don’t bleed to death. That’s what they’re there for. If you get cut, you want your platelets to activate, so you stop the bleeding, but what happens if they activate inappropriately is they can clog up arteries.

And so, one of the key things that infrared light does is it decreases platelet aggregation. It also decreases something that we call artery vasospasm. So arteries have a muscular wall, and because they have a muscular wall, they can get muscle spasms, just like your arm can get muscle spasms. Your legs can spasm.

Your arteries can spasm. And why is that a bad thing? Well, it’s like your leg cramping hurts like heck, your arteries cramping doesn’t really hurt. Or your veins cramping doesn’t really hurt, but what it means is the flow now changes. And so you can actually see heart attacks and other heart abnormalities or stroke, things like that because of vasospasm.

So it actually makes it so that the arterial wall, the vessel wall. It’s doing what it’s supposed to do is not contracting or quivering, which is going to interrupt flow. Another thing that infrared therapy does is it decreases blood pressure, and it probably does this through nitric oxide, but there’s also a thermal effect there.

So what happens is when the infrared light hits us. It warms the vessels in the skin, which warms the blood throughout the body. And that warming causes dilation of the vessels. So when the vessels dilate or get bigger, the pressure decreases, right? So it’s like if I’m squeezing your arm, that the harder I squeeze, the tighter the pressure gets.

And if I start to let off, the pressure gets lower, and in the medicine, we call this afterload. So it actually decreases afterload and preload, meaning it decreases the pressure coming into the heart and decreases the pressure going out of the heart. And what you’ll typically see with this is a slight increase in heart rate and an increase in cardiac output, how much the heart is pumping.

In fact, there are some evidence that shows that you get a similar kind of stress response that you see with exercise as you do with light therapy with infrared therapy. Now I’m not saying that infrared therapy is something that you can substitute exercise for. There’s no substitute for exercise, people.

Sorry. Hasn’t been developed yet. If you, if there was, I wouldn’t take it because you know, I love exercising. I identify as someone who likes to exercise. So it decreases blood pressure. One study actually showed a reduction in the systolic, the top number by 12 millimeters of mercury. And that’s actually on par or better than some of our blood pressure medications.

So using the sauna can help you lower your blood pressure. It actually increases something we call progenitor CD34 cells. And so what these cells are, these are our cells in our bone marrow. And what they do is they actually [00:12:00] help to repair. These are precursors cells to the cells that are in our blood vessels.

In fact, this study showed that it doubled them with this type of therapy. So it has the potential to heal the blood vessels. And then, in heart failure, I talked about it decreases the preload, decreases the afterload. So you improve heart function. And in heart failure in animal models have shown that it improves blood flow.

We’ve talked about that, and it actually improves the making of new blood vessels called angiogenesis. And this is really important in helping with certain disorders, like this study was focused on models of chronic kidney disease. And what happens with people who have dialysis and chronic kidney disease is they get clots in their vascular access and the access that they use for dialysis called a fistula.

And this can be a very costly as far as preventing dialysis from happening and also high costs. And so what that study looked at was a mechanism for how infrared therapy can help either prevent the, the thrombosis, prevent the clots from forming in those fistulas, but can also help with new blood vessel growth as well.

And so that’s a really cool, that it’s not only helping us develop new pathways for transport of blood, but it’s also helping improve the flow. And then you sweat; it does cause a thermal response. It does heat you up. It does increase your body temperature when you’re in an infrared sauna. And we know that sweating is a way that we can get rid of heavy metals and toxins.

Some of them are excreted more in the sweat. Some of them are excreted more in our urine, some more in our feces. You know, it just depends on the toxin, but one of the protocols that we have in holistic medicine for detoxification is sweat, exercise, and sauna because you will eliminate things through your skin.

Your skin is actually the biggest elimination organ in the body. So another thing that it does is a reduction in pain and inflammation. So it does this by inducing NRF-2. So remember how I talked about earlier in this podcast that it’s a low-level stressor? Well, low-level stressors actually upregulate our body’s stress responses.

And what happens there is you induce in our NRF-2. NRF-2 is our master antioxidant switch. It’s involved with genes with glutathione. It’s involved with genes with nitric oxide. It’s involved with genes with something else called heme oxygenase. And so what this study showed that infrared therapy actually activates heme oxygenase.

And so what’s the main benefit there. There was actually a 50% reduction in pain scale in multiple studies that looked at this from pain. That’s huge. And so what they showed was in another study that about a 40-minute exposure started to increase gene expression in a time-dependent manner, one hour after exposure.

So this is starting to kick in very quickly after you get into the sauna. And so that’s why you can see these results very quickly after you do your sauna therapy. What I thought was really interesting is because it’s a low-level stressor. You might think that it might cause some adverse stress effects and those adverse stress effects are those ROS, those reactive oxygen species that we talked about, they have free electrons.

They pull electrons from proteins and other molecules, and that causes damage. But this study did not show an increase in ROS with infrared therapy. And in fact, in cell cultures, it showed no difference in cell viability. So there didn’t seem to be any damage done at the cellular level from this therapy, even though it is a stressor.

And that’s really important because too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Just like you can exercise too much. You can put your [00:16:00] body through too much stress, and that can kick over the induction of NRF and good things to, Hey, we’re making too many bad things, but this study did not show that, and I thought that was really cool.

So this study also showed that 30-minute exposure was needed to increase NRF-2, and the protein stayed high for about six hours after exposure. So you’re seeing a post-therapy effect, and it was time-dependent. And then, at 40 minutes of therapy, pro-inflammatory markers like TNF-alpha, TNF-alpha is a cytokine; we’ve talked about those messengers.

And a decreased downstream products like adhesion molecules. So our cells need these adhesion molecules to get from the bloodstream out into the tissue. And so this is for immune cells. And so they use things called CAMS, VCAM, ICAM. And that’s what they use to get from the bloodstream into the tissue.

And so you decrease the expression on the cells of these CAMS, which allows those white blood cells to get out of the bloodstream. So overall, this has an effect to decrease inflammation. Therapy was also shown to decrease CRP. CRP is a marker of inflammation. In fact, it’s one of the things that we routinely check on people when they come into the hospital with COVID because we’re checking to see how inflamed is their system.

CRP, especially the high sensitivity CRP, is something I routinely check in all my clients because I want to know, are we having inflammation? Because if we’re having inflammation, I need to figure out where it is. And then I go through the process of figuring out what’s causing that inflammation.

And I talked about that on the inflammation podcast. You can check that podcast out for how we’re going to approach someone who has high levels of inflammation. Another study showed that lower levels of pro-inflammatory signals like hydrogen peroxide, hydrogen peroxide is a reactive oxygen species and something called F2-Isoprostanes.

So, F2-Isoprostanes are a product of free radical damage, free radical oxidation of something called arachidonic acid. So arachidonic acid is a precursor to a lot of our either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory molecules in the body. These are called leukotrienes and prostaglandins, and this can either be molecules that either make inflammation or molecules that help fight inflammation.

And what happens is if arachidonic acid is oxidized is damaged by free radicals, it sends it to the pro-inflammatory arm. So if you have a decrease in these F2-Isoprostanes, that means there is less oxidative damage going on in the body. That means there’s less inflammation. That is a very good thing.

And that it may also work on pain, not only because of the anti-inflammatory action, but it may modulate certain pain receptors called TRPV receptors. And we talked about these a little bit with CBD because CBD actually modulates these receptors as well, but actual heating, the thermic effect in the body when the body gets hot, you get modulation of these pain receptors.

And so that’s why we think that one of the main mechanisms why infrared therapy is associated with a reduction in pain. Nerves, infrared therapy has some really cool effects on nerve cells and actually brain cells in animal models. So this model, this study, looked at rat models of peripheral nerve injury, actually sciatic nerve injury. And what they found was they found a decreased expression of inflammatory cells, CD4, and CD8 cells after injury. So what happened is they injured the rats, they exposed them to [00:20:00] infrared therapy, and then they looked at certain things like immune markers, and they found that there was less inflammation after injury in the infrared therapy.

They also found that it increased collagen synthesis and improved wound healing. So other rat studies show that there’s an increase in something called TGF-B, and this is absolutely necessary for wound repair and healing. And so this was increased in these rat studies, and it was associated with improved wound healing and it improved collagen synthesis.

We’ve talked about collagen before; collagen is extremely important for our connective tissue, the scaffolding that cells are anchored to. Also, our joints, it’s in our skin. It’s in our bones. Collagen is very important, especially if you need to heal.

There’s evidence in chronic lung diseases that it improves lung function, improves markers of lung function. There’s evidence that it increases endorphins. And this is probably one of the effects that people feel most readily when they get out of it. They feel good. You know, endorphins are happy, feel-good molecules, one of the classes of them. There’s a small study that showed it improvement in chronic fatigue syndrome.

And this is really important because chronic fatigue syndrome is still being understood. There’s some evidence that shows that there’s some dysregulation in inflammatory markers with chronic fatigue syndrome. Of course, dysbiosis is associated with it, but basically, these people are just tired all the time.

And so this study showed that there was improvement in chronic fatigue syndrome with symptoms of fatigue. And then they also looked at scores on something called. P O M S or POMS and POMS is a test that looks at mood states. It tests anger, anxiety, confusion, depression, fatigue, and vigor. And so on the POMS test in the patients with CFS, chronic fatigue syndrome, there was improvement in anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

In fact, another study of 28 patients with depression showed a reduction in somatic complaints. What we mean by somatic is physical complaints. So people with depression often have increased pain, increased abdominal complaints, increased fatigue. And so these are what we call somatic complaints. It also improved their hunger and improved relaxation.

There’s evidence that infrared therapy can actually help with recovery after strenuous exercise. There’s evidence that it helps with muscle relaxation. It increases the elastic properties of tendons and the joint capsule. And that’s really important as we age that these tendons tend to get a little bit more stiff, and the joints tend to not slide as well.

And there’s also fluid in between our joints, and it actually reduces the viscosity of the fluid in between our joints. So they’re able to slide easier. All of this means that there’s going to be less injury and more recovery after exercise. And so that’s a traditional use that people use the sauna for is post-exercise recovery.

There’s also neuroprotective effects, meaning it helps protect brain cells. So we call Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and some other diseases neurodegenerative diseases, meaning over time that the neurons in the brain in these disease states die off. And this is why these diseases are really hard to treat with medical therapy, really hard to treat because there’s already so much damage and destruction by the time they get diagnosed.

So animal models of Alzheimer’s have shown a reduction in amyloid, plaques, and tau. We talked about those things in the Alzheimer’s podcast. You can go listen to that podcast; that’s actually one of my favorites. It actually reduces inflammation and stress in these animal models as well.

Animal models of Parkinson’s show a reduction in cell death and a reduction in oxidative damage. In fact, these models show that what happens in infrared [00:24:00] therapy is that it conditions healthy cells to resist stress and then rescues the damaged neurons. So that’s really cool. So it’s telling the healthy cells, Hey man, I’m gonna support you.

I got your back. I’m going to make sure that what you go through, it’s going to be easy breezy. We got this. And at the same time, it’s picking up the neurons that are lagging behind, that have already been damaged, and getting them back to healthy cells. That’s really cool. There are some human studies that show improvement in executive cognitive function and emotional function.

However, these studies are, are limited. There’s some studies in post-stroke that it may help the brain recover after stroke. And there’s some studies in traumatic brain injuries that there are better outcomes after a traumatic brain injury. As far as brain repair, we actually talked about that on one of our segments on this podcast, one of the wellness weeklies, and this is because of one again, effects on the skin seemed to have long effects in the body seemed to have long-reaching effects in the body.

And two is that it seems to be that some of these therapies, especially if they’re really close to the skin, like the helmets that they’re, the infrared therapy that were used in these studies, are actually able to penetrate a little bit into the brain area, certain brain areas. So this is something you’re probably going to see going on more and more in the future as more studies are done on infrared therapy for these neurodegenerative disorders. It’s also been shown to increase growth hormone. This is something that people are trying to do left and right. You know, it’s been associated with longevity; as we age, growth hormone goes down, and we all want to look young and feel vibrant.

Well, a lot of people are taking synthetic growth hormones. They’re doing peptide therapy for growth hormones, and I’m okay with that as long as you’re getting your IGF-1 levels checked because if your IGF-1 level starts to creep up above 200, that’s a really high risk for cancer. There’s other ways you can naturally increase your growth hormone.

You want to increase your growth hormone, get proper sleep, exercise. And now, sauna has been shown to increase growth hormone. Fasting is a profound signal for growth hormone release. So after you fast, and then you in the refeeding process, your body’s like I need to repair and releases growth hormone.

One study showed that the sauna is actually helps with fat loss. So it combined 15 minutes of exercise with 30 minutes of sauna, verse 15 minutes of exercise. And it’s a small study. All of these studies were pretty small. These are not large studies. These are, these are small studies, but this study showed that those who got the sauna and exercise lost 1.8 times as much weight, but get this, this is the important factor because what was the weight they lost?

They lost 4.6 times as much body fat than the non-sauna group. And this is probably because of the anti-inflammatory mechanism. It’s probably because of the relaxation mechanism. I talked a lot about this in my fat loss guide. Most people think that fat loss is just exercise, and I’m going to eat less calories.

And both of those are very important fat loss. If you want to fat loss, but it’s the right type of exercise. It’s eating the right calories at a deficit, and it’s making sure that all the other systems are in concert for fat loss. If you have a lot of inflammation, it’s going to be really hard to lose body fat.

If you’re not getting enough sleep or you’re stressed out, it’s going to be really hard to lose body fat. So you can see now why some of these mechanisms from the infrared sauna would help with fat loss. Now, what are the side effects or cautions? The main thing you have to worry about is overheating.

And that’s why you don’t want to do too much of this. Too much of this could be a bad thing. And we’ll talk about the duration in a minute. And then there’s some signs and people who have scleroderma; this is an autoimmune skin condition that there can be worsening of that. And we’ll talk about pretty much when you want to avoid the sauna in a [00:28:00] minute.

When preparing to use the sauna, make sure you drink plenty of water, stay hydrated. And we talked about on the dehydration podcast. 70% of people on any given day walk around dehydrated. So before you get in the sauna, please make sure you are hydrated. And so when do you not want to use the sauna? If you’re dehydrated because you’re going to sweat.

If you’ve drank alcohol because that can lead to heat exhaustion because alcohol also dilates your vessels. So that can, that makes it hard for the body to exchange heat properly. So you can get very hot. If you have irritated skin and conditions like eczema. So this is something that sometimes we see improvement, sometimes we see worsening.

If you have any open skin wounds or anything like that, that might be a condition where you don’t want to use the sauna. You want to pay attention when you’re in there; you don’t just want to fall asleep. If you start to feel dizzy, if you start to feel like your heart’s beating too fast, if you start to feel too hot, if you start to feel very thirsty, get out.

In fact, the old saunas, the Finnish saunas, the traditional sauna method, they would come in and out. They’d be in there for 10 minutes. Then they go cold therapy. They’d go swim or in a bath or something like that. Or they’d go relax with a warm towel. So they were getting in and out of the sauna. So you want to pay attention to how you’re feeling. Now what to look for in a sauna, because this is something that a lot of people are starting to get in their home.

And this is a question I get asked about. So one of the things you want to look at is how efficient it is in converting electricity to IR energy to infrared energy. And this is called emissivity. So you’ll see this, the best products will tell you. Hey, our product is 97, 98, 99% effective. Nothing will be a hundred percent effective. If it says a hundred percent effective, then they obviously are ignoring the laws of thermodynamics. And that’s either a major breakthrough, or they’re lying to you. They’re lying to you because there’s no a hundred percent energy-efficient. You can’t convert anything a hundred percent efficiently. You also want to look at if it’s full spectrum versus narrow spectrum and what that means is it just, is it that infrared A, B, or C, does it contain one of them or does it contain all of them?

You want to look at the temperature control you want to look at, does it have 360-degree heating? Now we’ve talked about how even local effects can have systemic effects, but if you’re doing it for more of the systemic effect, you’re going to want as many panels covering you as possible. You want to take a look at the voltage to make sure your home is compatible.

Most of these things are 120-volt, and that’s compatible with most of the outlets here in the US. Some of them are 240. And so you may need to get a 240-volt outlet placed in your house. You may not. And then you want to check the Watts. Watts are basically a rate at which energy is generated. So you need enough wattage.

You need enough ability to generate energy, to generate enough power to make the infrared therapy. So you want to take a look at the Watts and see, cause you can compare how powerful the sauna is. That’s one of the ways you can compare how powerful the sauna is by taking a look at the Watts. Then you want to look at the actual wood it’s made of. Cheap saunas may use non-certified wood and thus would from cutting down the rainforest.

We don’t want that. And you want to make sure they’re cedar wood. Cedar is the traditional wood used in saunas. It’s because it resists cracking. It resists splitting. It has anti-microbial effects. It has a pleasant aroma that it enhances the relaxation effect. And then people often ask about the panels.

You’ll see two different types of panels, carbon versus ceramic, and they each have benefits and drawbacks. And actually, the best sauna uses a combination of both. So carbon is more stable, but it has less [00:32:00] heat. It has a lower emissivity. So more of the energy is lost. It’s not generating the IR signal that we need.

Ceramic is less stable, is less therapeutic, doesn’t penetrate as deeply, but it’s more heat. It can generate more heat. So in the debate of ceramic versus carbon, The best is a composite. Another thing you want to look at is, does it say that it has no EMF or no ELF? So ELF is basically extremely low EMF.

And basically, there’s different ranges of the spectrum of EMF. And they may cover things like TV and radio and cell phones. ELF is usually associated with things with power generation, so electricity in your home, thunderstorms, lightning, your computer, like the power cord to that. That’s generally what ELF is and the best devices because we know aberrant EMF exposure can lead to adverse problems, right?

You, you disrupt the charge gradient on your cells. We talk about this a lot in depth in the cellular exercise podcast. If the charge gradient on your cells is disrupted and you can’t move nutrients in, you can’t move toxins out. And that’s a problem. And we talk about this in-depth in the cellular exercise podcast.

Is it safe? Yeah, it’s pretty safe. There’s very few adverse events reported in routine use. Most of them related to dehydration or skin irritation. Again, the cautions, there are some disease states where you want to be a little bit more cautious with use. You might want to get cleared by your physician, and that’s, if you have orthostatic hypertension, meaning you’re someone who, when you get up, your blood pressure drops cause the sauna is going to drop your blood pressure.

If you have unstable angina, meaning your heart is not in a position to do exercise. Where there’s some things that we may have to do to get your heart safe again. If you have Aortic Stenosis, which is a tightening of the of the aorta as it comes out of the heart. If you’ve had a recent heart attack and then another one is pregnancy because there’s some evidence of increased malformation and abortions in animal models and especially early on in the pregnancy.

So if you’re pregnant, this is something that you want to avoid. Now how long to sauna? This is going to be the last thing we talk about. So the studies, all these studies, you know, I just didn’t, I said this study and that study, and I wasn’t talking about the same study. I was referencing about 10 different studies.

When I talked about this, if you want to see all the studies, join our Facebook group Strive for Great Health, Facebook group. I’m going to post a folder in there that says infrared sauna, and it’ll have all the studies I read and went through to talk about this podcast. So how long? The studies use protocols involving anywhere from 15 minutes to 40 minutes.

And most of them were short durations. They were four weeks studies, and then they had people do it daily or every five days a week, five days a week, not every five days a week. So that’s not realistic for most people unless you have one in your house. Right. What I’m going to do when I get one is I’m probably going to use it about twice a week.

And that’s just for general health maintenance properties. Now, if something happens, if I get acutely inflamed or something like that, I’ll probably use it daily until I get rid of that inflammation. Now, what brand do you use? The big brand that a lot of people are repping is ClearLight saunas. If you’re going to put one in your house, they’re probably the best brand to use.

Now, since I don’t have a house, I have an apartment. I’m not sure when I’m going to get a house because I’m putting all my money into investing in these companies I clinically consult for. I kinda like it, you know, you got to have skin in the game, so I’m doing consulting for them, and I’m investing in them.

It keeps skin in the game, but if you’re going to get one at home, there’s a company called Therasage. Therasage has a portable home sauna. They also have some home ozone therapy. [00:36:00] They also have some EMF blocking therapy. I’m about to nerd out on their products and buy a whole bunch of them because I used to have my PEMF machine at home.

I don’t anymore. And living downtown, it’s time. We get some EMF blocking some EMF conversion here at the house. And then I want to get a portable infrared sauna. So I’m going to get a Therasage sauna and then the ozone therapy, there’s a lot of benefits to ozone therapy. Maybe that’s another podcast.

So teaser for two podcasts episodes coming up, we’re going to talk about regular sauna. We’re gonna talk about ozone therapy. Well, guys, I hope you learned a lot about infrared saunas. I hope this answered some of your questions about what it is, who should use it, who should not use it, how to use it, what to look for in a product if you’re going to buy one at home.

As usual, you know, it’s our goal with the Strive for Great Health Podcast to just deliver information and try to help you walk through your wellness journey. Just like I’m walking through mine. Now, this is something that I haven’t routinely done the whole infrared sauna.

This is something that I’ve been planning for the last couple of months to fit into my wellness routine and in my wellness journey. And so now I’m at that point where I’m about to go all-in on this therapy. So thank you for listening to this drive for great health podcast. Have a blessed day.

Thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal at the podcast to impact as many lives as possible. To empower individuals, to take control of their health, and live a life full of joy and purpose.

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Thank you again, and God bless.

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