Introducing the Far-infrared Sauna
By Amy Crawford
When ever I am asked what the turning points in my CFS recovery were, the FIR sauna was without doubt the very first (and probably the most significant). Now I should preface this post (in particular for any CFS sufferers following my blog) by saying not everyone seems to have the same immediate (and amazing) response and short term relief that I did. Irrespective anyone living on this planet who is exposed to some form of toxicity (read: all of you) will benefit from wiling away a few hours in one of these on a weekly, monthly or bi-monthly basis.
As a result of the immeasurable kindness of family friends who own this sauna, a 5 minute drive and a 35 minute sweat in 60 odd degrees became a 5-7 day/week outing for months. There were days when I would jump in this sauna without an iota of energy - pale and weak I would hold my body upright and ride it out. But it was the proceeding feeling for the next 24 or so hours that gave me hope and a little taste of what it was like to feel 'normal'. 'Vital' became a regularly used word because this amazing invention seemed to inject me with surges of vitality like I had not experienced for years.
So what is a Far Infrared Sauna?
Traditional saunas are super hot, raising the temperature of the air around us to warm our bodies. That is why we start sweating almost as soon as we jump in - it is an overwhelming heat that we find difficult to sit in for more than 10-15 mins. The FIR sauna on the other hand produces the same infrared energy we get from the sun - and they use their energy to convert heat onto and within our bodies. They use infrared wavelengths to warm the body from the inside out resulting in a deeper sweat and an amazing array of health benefits.
And what are the benefits you ask? Well here lies just a few:
- Toxic removal - and this is the most important benefit of all. It creates a much deeper sweat. The sweat we produce from exercise or a normal sauna is approximately 97% water and 3% toxins (from what I understand). The sweat of those of us using a FIR sauna contains 80% water and 20% toxins including heavy metals (such as mercury, aluminium, arsenic - all of which I had in my system with off the richter scale readings), nicotine, ammonia, cholesterol and fat-soluble toxins.
- Aids weight loss - burns 900 calories in one 30 minute session (why go for a run?!)
- Strenghtens the immune system
- Increases blood flow so speeds up healing processes in our body and improves circulation
- Improves skin tone and skin conditions
- Reduces stress and fatigue (oh YES IT DOES!)
- Strenghtens the cardiovascular system
Where can I have a FIR sauna?
As far as I understand there is a big difference between one FIR sauna and another and I dare say there are a few 'dodgy brothers' out there having crack at a progressively popular product. One FIR sauna is not the same as another. My first introduction to FIR saunas was through a business in Melbourne called Sunlighten. These guys sell their saunas into clinics, gyms and health related businesses all over Australia and have a good reputation in the market. A good place to start might be giving them a call and finding out where they have made sales in your area. They also rent them out at different sizes or you can visit their South Melbourne office and pay by the hour.