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When you hear the word sauna, what goes through your mind? Perhaps a small, scorching room lined with wooden benches centered around a pile of very hot rocks. Or maybe you think of steam blasting all around you in a similarly close-quartered space filled with strangers in towels.
Sauna is actually a healing tradition that dates back more than 2,000 years. Immersing oneself in a high-temperature sauna environment causes the body to sweat, which even in primitive times was recognized as an effective way to cleanse the body and eliminate waste via the skin.
The routine use of a sauna is one of the most effective means by which to detoxify the body, rejuvenate its cellular system, and promote a vibrant, disease-free life.
Near, Mid, and Far: The 3 Types of Infrared Sauna
The use of heat therapy really isn’t new in the realm of the healing arts, but technological advances that capitalize on infrared energy have made it possible to generate heat in just the right spots with pinpointed precision, hence the advent of the infrared sauna.
There are three distinct types of infrared wavelengths that generate energy: near infrared, mid infrared, and far infrared. Because they penetrate the skin and cells at varying depths, each type of infrared provides different therapeutic benefits depending on its use.
#1. Near infrared
Also referred to as low level light therapy, uses special LEDs to permeate the outer surface of the skin and promote cell health and skin rejuvenation. LEDs are effective because they can trigger a natural photo-biochemical reaction (similar to how plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into plant tissue).
#2. Mid infrared
This type of sauna has been shown to help aid in pain relief and weight loss.
#3. Far infrared
By far the most common type used in commercial infrared saunas, far infrared saunas help pull toxins from the body and lower blood pressure.
Each type of infrared sauna comes with its own unique set of health benefits, and one isn’t necessarily better or worse than another. However, exposing yourself to all three types offers a wider range of comprehensive health benefits. This is why many healing practitioners now encourage their patients to use or invest in a 3-in-1 full-spectrum infrared sauna.
Infrared Saunas vs. Traditional Saunas: What’s the Difference?
The most noteworthy differences between an infrared sauna and a traditional sauna have to do with temperature and heating method. A traditional sauna uses convection heat, much like the stove in your kitchen, to warm the body from the outside. It typically does so at higher temperatures around 185 degrees Fahrenheit (85 degrees Celsius).
Many people find traditional saunas to be too hot and drying, making them intolerable to sit in for longer than just a few minutes.
An infrared sauna, on the other hand, can provide health benefits at much lower temperatures ranging between 120- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit (49 to 60 degrees Celsius). This is due to the fact that radiating heat is more evenly distributed and penetrates more deeply into the skin, gently warming the body, rather than “charring” it with blasts of higher-temperature heat.
This is an important distinction because infrared heat is much more effective at drawing out toxins from the deep tissue areas where they’re hiding, allowing them to be more effectively and efficiently expelled from the body.
Despite the lower temperature thresholds, infrared heat also causes the body to sweat much more profusely than it otherwise would with convection heat.
The Science Behind Infrared Sauna Benefits
There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to show that infrared saunas are helping people detoxify their bodies, increase their energy levels, and even overcome chronic disease. But what does the science say? In a 2009 scientific review, a Canadian researcher found that:
- At least four separate studies support the use of far infrared saunas in treating patients with cardiovascular disease.
- At least five studies support the use of far infrared saunas in the treatment of coronary risk factors.
- At least one study supports the use of far infrared saunas in treating chronic pain.
Another researcher from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona, put out a paper several years ago highlighting the benefits of infrared sauna use as a way to trim body fat and eliminate toxic xenobiotics (foreign chemicals) from the body.
A 1981 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that regular use of an infrared sauna exerts a weight-loss effect on the body. This is due to the fact that infrared radiation raises core body temperature, mimicking the cardiovascular exertion brought about by aerobic exercises such as running.
There is also copious emerging research demonstrating infrared sauna benefits in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems, rheumatoid arthritis, joint stiffness, muscle spasms, edema, soft tissue injury, sciatica, eczema, pelvic infection, pediatric pneumonia, and even cancer.
The Effect of Infrared Saunas on Cancer Cells
For cancer specifically, infrared sauna treatments are exceptionally promising because of the selective toxicity they have on cells. In a nutshell, the hyperthermic effects of infrared radiation are only harmful to malignant cells, as was explained to me by Dr. Irvin Sahni in The Truth About Cancer’s The Quest for the Cures Continues docu-series interview. Dr. Sahni told us that normal healthy cells are essentially immune to infrared radiation, while cancer cells are hyper-thermically challenged:
…by exposing your body to that heat, you’re selectively killing or eradicating those less viable cells, those cancer cells, without hurting your normal cells. And so a far infrared sauna is useful because it can help you sweat, excrete toxins, and in theory, eliminate cancer cells which can’t survive the heat.”
Another study published in the Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy found that after just 30 days of infrared treatment, tumor-infected mice saw reductions in their cancerous masses of up to 86% − even with low-temperature infrared exposures of as little as 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius).
And if that isn’t enough, another study out of Japan found that infrared-induced, whole-body hyperthermia helped strongly inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells in mice, without causing any harmful side effects.
How to Choose the Right Infrared Sauna for You
Between this internal heating mechanism and the sweat it produces, infrared saunas offer a one-two punch for powerful detoxification and cellular maintenance and regeneration. As long as you’re continually replenishing your body with both clean hydration and electrolytes, the sky’s the limit: the more you heat your core and sweat, the better off you’ll be health-wise.
Having a sauna at home is a great tool for health − if you have the means − for detoxification, relaxation, pain relief, weight loss, cardiovascular, and even anti-aging benefits. If space is a concern, there are portable options available.
The 3 most important factors to look for when purchasing an infrared sauna are:
- Even heat output − no “hot spots” near the heating element. You should also opt for radiant (rather than reflected) heating technology, as radiant heat is more evenly distributed, efficient, and effective.
- High emissivity rate − the test of an infrared heater is its “radiant efficiency” − basically its ability to produce high levels of infrared heat. Look for a sauna with a high emissivity rating and large heating panels that stay relatively cool on their surface. These types of heating panels produce the longer infrared waves that will most effectively penetrate your skin and cells, allowing for the greatest toxic release and greater amounts of sweat.
- Low (or no) EMF pollution − obviously you don’t want to expose yourself to unnecessary UV or electromagnetic radiation in the process of detoxifying your body.
If you’re considering a sauna for your home, we recommend the Sunlighten line of full-spectrum infrared saunas. Sunlighten saunas are custom-designed and backed by dozens of clinical studies showing that they effectively deliver all three types of infrared wavelengths (near, mid, and far) at the proper amounts for achieving your desired health goals.
As far as we’re aware, there’s no other brand on the market that offers a three-in-one system capable of delivering an optimal balance of all three infrared wavelengths. Sunlighten saunas also have high emissivity − upwards of 99% − which simply means that they’re extremely efficient in infrared heat output.
They’re also extremely low in harmful EMF emissions. The company claims its Signature far infrared line “Ultra Low EMF Technology” produces “virtually no EMFs” at all, and it has the third-party test results to back this. After looking through the test results ourselves, we have to say that we’re thoroughly impressed with this particular sauna brand. If you’re looking to invest in your wellness, consider this top-of-the-line sauna.
If you are dealing with a chronic condition or specific disease situation, be sure to consult with your health practitioner before using an infrared sauna.
Click Here to Learn More About Getting a Sunlighten Sauna for Your Home
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Sauna is a healing tradition that dates back more than 2,000 years.
There are 3 types of infrared sauna:
- Near infrared
- Mid infrared
- Far infrared
Infrared saunas can provide health benefits at much lower temperatures than traditional saunas.
3 factors to look for when purchasing an infrared sauna:
- Even heat output
- High emissivity rate
- Low (or no) EMF pollution
Ted A. says
I ordered a Sunllighten Solo sauna today. I have to wait 9 weeks to get it, but I think it will be worth it. Sunlighten has a great sale on until the end of March.
I have one and love it! I use it every day and believe it helped in eliminating my bladder cancer.
Rebecca, do you have the Solo System, as well? I bought one but have hardly used it because it’s so cumbersome to put together each time (I don’t have a place where I can leave it set). I also worry about laying on the pad with rays basically (supposedly) right on your body. I worry about the safety and wonder if ‘good old fashioned sweating” from exercise might be better after all.
Sweating from exercise is different from sweating from a stationary position. I believe the correct terms are aerobic vs. anaerobic. Anaerobic sweating occurs when the core is heated up from the inside out in a stationary position allowing our biggest detoxification organ, our skin, to help our major detoxification organ, our liver, to detox. Infrared saunas are wonderful but make sure you buy one that is made from Aspen wood only. The aspen tree grows so high where there are no bugs and therefore no need to spray pesticides. If you are in a different wooded sauna, as you are sweating, you will be breathing in the toxins from the pesticides and it will also enter your bloodstream through your open pores of your skin. For years, I do something called a sweat bath. I use an anti chlorine tablet when I start my bath and it turns the chlorine in the bath water to a harmless chloride. I took a sweat bath just before and I took my temperature while I was sweating and it was 102.5. Hippocrates said, “Give me fever and I can cure anything.”
Rhonda are you referring to a regular hot bath as a sweat bath?
I have a Clear Light infrared sauna and I love it! Clear light and Sunlighten are the top brands on the market, both with very low EMF’s. I did a lot of research before I bought one. Either brand will work wonders!
I would love to know if there is anyone who should not use full spectrum sauna’s. I have lymphedema due to a giant lipoma disorder. I was considering a sauna because I read they improve circulation including the lymphatic system. But then I heard that sauna’s are off limits for lymphedema. I know hot weather and hot showers aggrevate lymphedema but hoping infrared was different since it heats from the inside out. My goals in getting a sauna were for cell regeneration because I am planning on stem cell knee replacement (as is my husband), weight loss for both of us, flushing toxin’s to prevent cancer especially since my lymphatic isn’t working properly, and overall health improvement.
Jocelyn Chouinard says
I would like to know about a comparison between the infrared sauna and a steam room. I have been a steam room fan for years. Thanks so much.
Dana V. says
I’m sure if you google it, you will find the info you are looking for. Simply search health benefits of steam room vs. infrared sauna. Cheers.
I read that steam rooms are not good for us at all. While it will make us sweat in a stationary position, we are also breathing in the poisons in the tap water and they are also entering our bloodstream through our skin through since the steam opens our pores.
Russians and most of Europe has been using steam saunas for centuries. There is no chlorine because you only throw a little water over hot stones. If going to a commercial one for a fee they probably have filters for the water they use.
I have mild Lymphadema from breast cancer treatment. I, too, was very interested in using an infrared sauna. I asked multiple medical people if they could advise for or against it, and unfortunately, this treatment is not mainstream enough and none of them even knew about these type saunas! I paid for 3 sessions at a spa to try it out. I wore a compression sleeve the first session, wore a sleeve AFTER the 2nd session for a few hrs and no compression w 3rd session. No side effects whatsoever 👍
I now own a Healthmate Infrared sauna and have no lymphadema issues and wear no compression garments!
I think it assists the body to do the lymph systems work, thereby decreasing the lymph issues. I know your diagnosis is not the same as mine, but wanted to send my experiences…good luck!
Thanks for posting that, Mary. I have lymphedema from bad vericose veins, obesity and various surgeries. Your results have encouraged me to give this a try. How often do you use it now? What about in the beginning? Thanks!
Thanks post that post Pam. That is the response I was looking for as I have had lymph glands removed in one armpit due to breast cancer & have healed nicely now. I think I will give the infrared sauna a go & hopefully it will be ok for me too.
Faye van Haaren says
I have been using a Far Infrared hothouse for over 15 years. Also sold for many years. We use ours every night, with many benefits. What I don’t understand with the new ones selling is why they don’t inform people that you cannot use this if you have a Pace Maker, plus other heart attachments for people with heart attacks, or heart problems……Why wouldn’t people be told? If one looks up HTE America that is what you will see and you will not use it. Used in China and Japan for Cancer like 30 or more years ago. Everyone is out to sell on Facebook, but at least be correct in your information for your customers, that do not know about the devices and or machines..
Peggy Loflin says
thank you for info. second time in a week I heard of Sunlighten Infrared. So, meant to be, I guess.
also, would love to know what stem cell knee replacements are… (off topic I know). I know about stem cell for bones, stem for joints and cartilage, 3- D ortho, but never heard of a stem cell knee replacement and also who does them?? (Is someone taking your stem cells and making a 3-D knee ?)
Lynda Kamrath says
Well, infrared sauna and mushroom extract are my projects for today. I have been following all the health series and information out there since TTAC and am know as the “health junkie”. I have had diabetes for 25 years and my husband was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, so it is all of interest to me. Love your work and will continue to follow your advice and inspiration.
Lisa G. says
I have used a far infrared sauna for 10 years and I love it.
When I had my uterus removed at age 70 because my grandmother
had uterine cancer, my uterus was pink and plump and healthy, not
the expected grey and shriveled up average uterus for a woman my age.
Removing toxins is excellent!!!
Customer Success says
Thanks for sharing your experience with us. We are glad you are doing well!
I don’t see an answer to MaryO, and I want to see one since our son-in-law has lymphedema also. If you add a section for comments, it should really be monitored and questions answered promptly. MaryO asked her question. 3 1/2 months ago! I thought this article very informative until the end when it seemed like just an ad for Sunlighten. We have a Good Health Infrared Sauna. What is wrong with it? Thank you for a reply soon?
I didn’t get immediate pricing as they say. Now I have to wait for someone to call, then delete and unregister my details. Not happy. Do what you say or go away.
Customer Success says
What were you trying to order?
I bought an infrared lamp but it doesn’t say if it’s far or near infrared light. Is it possible one bulb to include the full infrared spectrum or it should be separate bulbs?
I would like to know if ALL LED lights are safe, such as light displays on stereo systems and some alarm clocks. According to ‘The Cancer Prevention Diet’ by Mitsio Kushi it is not recommended to have these LED displays in your bedroom while sleeping. I assume that this is based on science, but has there been any further research on this, and does this have anything to do with infrared saunas, not to mention Biomats and other types of infrared heat lamps?
I would love to hear about testimonials on these other types of infrared heat therapy as well.
Dan Price says
All led lights are not considered healthy. It is recommended to use incandescent or any type of “full spectrum” or daylight lamps in areas where you will be spending a lot of time, such as kitchens, bedrooms, workshops, workbenches etc. I’m an electrician and have read several articles about this. You should be able to search them yourself.
Bev Laiblel says
At what temperature and for how long should I stay in the sauna for treating cancer? Also, should I do this every day?
Kat Ballard says
Okay that sounds great, now what about the people that don’t happen to have $2, 000 laying around for that kind of sauna
Susan C Zimprich says
If you google infrared saunas salon in your area. The cost would be similar to a tanning session.
There are other brands less expensive. Search for outlet sites or seconds. I got mine for $750.
The problem with low price is usually low quality and higher EMF output whiich is more damaging to your health. You definitely don’t want cedar as it offgases and usually comes from China where glues and toxic stains are used including formaldehyde in shipping. Check out Saunaray.. they are excellent. It was recommended by my naturopath who did a ton of research before purchasing. I now have one as well as 3 other family members. They are guaranteed for 50 years and have the lowest EMF. Also made of nontoxic basswood and sealed with beeswax. You get what you pay for..
Shahida uddin says
How much are the saunas to buy
I dislike it when one must sign in to a company in order to get pricing, as Sunlighten requires you to do…
I just ordered the clearlight sanctuary because sunlighten made me talk to 4 different people and not a single 1 can give me the price.
I also do not like the fact that you cannot get the prices on the website. You have to give your phone number and they will call you. No thanks!
I bought a two-person HealthMate sauna a few years ago at a home show and paid only $1200. I live in that thing! It saves me from getting sick in winter (immune boost) + helped me not have to get cut/burn/poison when I was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer 10 years ago. I’m 55 and look 35. Must be doing something right! Oh, and the sauna is very portable (folds down by undoing clips) and uses about the same amount of energy as a toaster oven–my bill doesn’t budge. It takes up about the same floor space as a small kitchen table. I can’t rave enough about it. Get one used if you must! Good health to all!
I have a portable one person far and near infrared sauna from therasage. It cost $800 and well worth it.
sharon boots says
I would definitely stay away from Sunlighten. I tried to get to simple questions answered and all they did was phone, text me etc. about all the benefits and they never answered my questions. They were rude and unprofessional and when I said that I would like them to onlyanswer my questions, I got a smart answer saying that they could read.
I’ve had a HealthMate for years and love it. I also use Lumen Photon Therapy for near infrared. I love this too. Stay healthy!!
A sauna is similar to a indian sweatlodge. Their use is thousands of years old. But this is how we pray. We go in for cleansing of our body and mind. We sing and we pray. These ceremonies are as old as our spirituality. Called savages by ignorance, but we have always believed the creator put everyrhing we need on the planet with us. Open your mind and your heart, you might let a new idea in?! Ty Bollinger ww may pray differently but we pray.
Customer Success says
You’re right. There are so MANY things we can learn from other cultures.
Each and every one of us here at TTAC respect and honor the Native Indians and we appreciate you sharing this with us.
Indeed, we may pray differently, but we all have the same human life within each of us. Regardless of race, colour, spirituality, or gender.
We love and appreciate you! 🙂
Ruthie Grady says
Ruthie Grady I have breast cancer her2 positive and surgery can July 24,2018. What you should I do now and can I cure this and I need help please.
Customer Success says
Hi Ruthie –
We appreciate you reaching out to us about this.
I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis – I’ll be sure to pray for you.
Unfortunately, we are unable to give any kind of medical advice. The best advice we can give you is to consult with one of the doctors we interviewed in the Global series.
Please note that we are not able to select an expert for you.
We’ve created a page with the experts’ contact info as it was available to us.
Here’s the link to the actual webpage:
We do have one more resource you may be interested in. During our Live Event 2017 series, Dr. Patrick Quillin suggested contacting The Institute of Functional Medicine to locate a practitioner in your area.
If you are interested, here is the link to search for a Functional Medicine Practitioner in your area: https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/
I’m also attaching the info about the Hope4Cancer clinic in Tijuana, MX if you’d like to reach out to them.
Please also see the resources below in case they will be helpful to you.
From our beginning, we have supported charities that really help these cancer patients.
HealingStrong supports MANY cancer patients and are amazing. HealingStrong, a nonprofit organization, is supported 100% by volunteers, who are experienced in using natural strategies. The organization’s mission is to educate, encourage, equip, and empower those seeking comprehensive natural strategies to heal strong and stay strong.
HealingStrong Connect Groups meet monthly in various areas of the U.S. and South Australia to link others interested in natural strategies, holistic protocols, and local resources. Their groups focus on mind, body and emotional healing based on Biblical promises, as they believe the God of the Bible is our healer. For more information on how to start a group, or become involved in one, please go to: http://www.healingstrong.org/groups, and like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/healingstrong.
Cancer Crackdown is so awesome and helps patients without a lot of money get supplements and treatments and even helps them raise money:
Also, the Independent Cancer Research Foundation is another charity that we support, also known as Cancer Tutor. They have been a TREMENDOUS help for cancer patients and have a TON of life saving information they give out freely and they do real research into treatments for cancer that are outside of the toxic Big Pharma Big 3:
The best that we can suggest is to contact Healing Strong and Cancer Crackdown for any need in financial resources.
We also support Mary Beth’s “Nick Gonzalez Foundation” which is bringing Nick’s protocol to the people…which is one of the most powerful cancer killing protocols out there.
I hope this is helpful! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us again if there’s anything else we can help with.
Wishing you endless blessings and love!
Marcia Mendoza says
Many thanks for the wonderful work and ministry of you and Charlene your wife. I would be grateful for some information on cancer and fasting please. Many thanks in anticipation.
Customer Support says
Hi Marcia –
Thank you so much for your love and support!
We have a lot of info on these topics on our website. You can search through our articles here: https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/category/nutrition/
Blessings and love!
Thanks for making health and healing your life’s mission. I want to ask your thoughts on Ozone saunas. I have both a far infrared and an ozone sauna and I love the ozone sauna so much. Part of it is due to the fact you actually see the toxic load drop on the towels – you know you are getting rid of the toxins and the after effect is a clean smelling body as soon as you get out of it. In your opinion, which would you find superior
Customer Service says
Hi Janice, great question! We’ve covered ozone therapy here and far infrared saunas here here and here. We will look more into the ozone saunas and try to get some information out on that soon.
Silvia Logan says
I would not mind using a sauna, but they are so expensive to buy.
Lorraine Della says
Lucky me … I buy a block of six of infrared sauna and I will be having one day (only 15 minutes drive away). 60 degrees for 45 minutes and I drink a cup of pure water every 10 minutes. Very cost effective