1. Patients launch a $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Never Ask Us if We're Hungry -- The Answer's Always No
There are three of us here and for many years, none of us ever got hungry. When our brains would turn to mush, when our faces would go numb, and we would start the invisible vibration which is the signature dance of ME/CFS, we knew we needed to eat.
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  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Wayne posted this on another thread. I wanted to open it up again as as I have an interest in sauna

    I have a sauna - a non-infrared one. Sometimes I feel great afterwards - much increased clarity and a general sharpness of thought - and sometimes not but in general it also usually drives me later on in the day into that postexertional state. I've wondered if this has to do with increased heart rate?

    In any case, my question is how different is the infrared sauna relative to the 'bake and broil' sauna that I have? Would I expect to have markedly different results in it? ( I wonder if I can make my sauna into an infrared sauna?)
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    FIR Sauna

    I get quite different results from dry heat sauna (kinda wipes me out), steam sauna (good results), FIR sauna (best results). I don't have the scientific data on the FIR effect handy, but I do know it is said to increase BH4 (a good thing for most of us), and it seems to help detox not only through sweating but from the action of the FIR itself.

    For me, it has been an enormous help with detox symptoms and takes the pressure off the liver, kidneys and lympth systems. I use a moderate temperature rather than a high one to avoid the wiped out feeling, palpitations and "just gotta get out of this thing" feeling.

    It is good to follow immediately with a cool shower. I know people use FIR saunas at different times of the day but for me, it works best right before bed as then the effect seems to work overnight.

    Sushi
  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Thanks - I really love my sauna - I love sitting in it - it's so relaxing but it's just too much exertion I guess. I'd love to find a better alternative - I'd do it all the time. I should probably do it the lower temperature although mine doesn't get all that hot. Nothing makes me feel cleaner or clearer - it's such an uplifting feeling but then there's that little problem of that 'crash' later:)
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    FIR Sauna - Biocircuits - Alpha Stim 100

    Hi Cort, Hi Sushi, Hi All,

    Cautionary Note: Long Post

    I've been meaning to post a little more on some of my FIR sauna experiences, but a dental appointment a week ago has kept me in a pretty significant recovery mode. The best I've felt this past week was generally shortly after my FIR saunas that I do approx. every other day. But it generally didn't last very long.

    Well, today was a pretty typical recovery day (ugh!) :), but I've been out of the sauna for about 5 hours now, and I feel it's the catalyst that has gotten me on the other side of this recovery business. So, tonight feels like a good time to post a bit more.

    I've actually been looking into FIR saunas for about the past 3-4 years, always wanting one, but trying to go the cheap route at first (which didn't work), and then hesitating to make a big investment in a better model. And then I debated whether to go with a portable stand-up model made of wood, or a cone-shaped model where you can lay down in, and is much lighter and more portable. But not necessarily less expensive. Pretty close to $2000.

    I had finally decided I would likely get a cone-shaped model for two primary reasons. One was that I could lay down and rest comfortably while doing them. The other was that I could do a sauna without getting my head hot, which has in the past led to me feeling some pressure in my head. Ayurvedic medicine apparently doesn't feel it's a good thing to get the head hot either. I met an Ayurvedic practitioner recently who suggested that cold packs or cold towels be placed on the neck and/or head when doing a sauna.

    Well, the saunas I've been doing in the past 6 weeks weeks have been at a local health spa, and has been in the wood stand up kind. As I mentioned earlier, it always seems to take the edge off for me, both physically and neurologically. (Not sure if neurologically is completely physical or not). It also had a consistently big upliftment for my psyche, in particular leaving me with a calmed down feeling.

    Some things I've noticed. When first starting out, it would take me about 15 minutes to start sweating. I would then stay in another 10 minutes or so, but by the end would be feeling like it might have been a bit too much, and I could also get a headache. Headaches were the main reason I could never do regular saunas, which were usually 180-200 degrees. FIR saunas are generally from 120-130 degrees, and apparently about twice as effective.

    After a while, my headaches started getting better. I think this was because I was building up a certain stamina by doing these saunas regularly. I also learned to lay down on an ice pack once I got home, or if I started noticing a headache coming on.

    After a while, I started experimenting with drinking a hot beverage while in the sauna. I soon noticed that I would start sweating after only about 7-8 minutes, and seemed to sweat more profusely for the rest of the time I was in. So I could decrease my total time in while the sauna was on.

    Today, after weeks of experimentation, I turned the sauna on for 20 minutes, started sweating after 7, had the sauna on for the remainder 13, and then hung out for about 5 minutes afterward as it began to cool down. This now seems pretty close to what I feel will be an optimal schedule for me.

    Cort, regarding PEM. I have noticed this in varying degrees the following day since I started these saunas. It got better over time as I seemed to increase my stamina. I once did a sauna two days in a row, and it was way too much. I doubt I'll do that again. My regular schedule is to do them every other day, and occasionally wait a third day if I feel it would be prudent to do so.

    I do believe that a sauna is a workout, which is why it can lead to PEM if it's overdone. I've read that a 30-minute sauna can burn anywhere from 500-1000 calories. So it's probably an increased heart rate, plus a workout for all our body's systems that are called on to try to cool us down.

    Interestingly, I've noticed since doing these saunas that I have a much higher tolerance of heat than I did before. I was outside yesterday in 90's weather, and though I didn't overdo it, did much better than I have in the past. In fact, I feel I should mention that heat has always been quite a bugaboo for me, having crashed very badly once (for about two years) after being stuck outside on a hot and humid afternoon. Which makes my ability to build up a stamina all the more impressive.

    Another point Cort, in case you're not aware, is that the far infrared rays that produce the heat, also are able to penetrate the body. I've read different numbers, but they say as much as 1-3 inches. Probably depends on how close you are to the rays and what part of the body is exposed. My thoughts on this is that these rays can likely reach places that can make things quite uncomfortable for any number of bugs that may be hanging out there.

    In my case, I'm assuming these rays are affecting some of the Lyme bacteria that I've tested positive for. I also suspect these rays are helping out with what I feel are at least some residual mold issues. And who knows what all else. Perhaps some mycoplasmas, viruses, etc.

    I have noticed since starting these saunas is that my immune system seems to be healthier than before. I often go into what I call viral overload cycles (very uncomfortable), but I've noticed I've experienced very little of this in the past six weeks.

    Some variables I should mention. This health spa has a machine that I call a "jiggler". I stand and sit on it for ten minutes breathing in 100% oxygen from an oxygen concentrator before going into the sauna. I think both of these things could be affecting some of my positive outcome. The jiggling I believe is highly beneficial for lymph drainage. Anyway, doing just these always has me feeling better afterward than before I started.

    After my sauna, they have a cold plunge tub which is sanitized with ozone. The water is generally room temperature, but I've found it to be immensely helpful in cooling down my "core" very quickly (3-5 minutes) after I'm done with the sauna. I believe that keeping my core too hot for too long is what helped produce some of my worst headaches in the beginning. And probably contributed to some of my following day PEM as well. The shortened sauna time as a result of drinking the hot beverage, along with the quick cool down, feels like it's been a significant part of the sauna equation for me.

    Sushi, I'm happy to hear you're getting good results with your sauna. Are you using the wood kind as well? Also, I was wondering what an increase in BH4 is about. If mine is being increased, it would be good to feel good about this as well. :)

    Cort, RE: "it's so relaxing but it's just too much exertion I guess."

    I know everybody has different degrees of stamina for various things, but I do not view my saunas as an exertion. I realize there is an exertion to a degree as our bodies are called upon to do their detoxification and cooling thing, but the benefits I receive seem to more than compensate for the physical challenges I face with these saunas. Also, I never go beyond what Sushi calls that, "just gotta get out of this thing" feeling.

    Well, I'm pretty amazed how I'm just kind of rolling along with my typing here tonight. I think besides having a successful sauna this afternoon, I'm also feeling the benefits of another therapy I've kind of come across. Cort, I've posted on your other thread about biocircuits and Alpha-Stim. Well, the past couple of days, I've combined the two, and I'm feeling like I may have stumbled onto something pretty significant. I'll likely be posting on some of my experiences with this relatively soon.

    Hope I haven't forgotten anything. :)

    Best, Wayne
  5. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Hello Wayne!

    I'm happy to hear that you feel like you may be past the worst of your recovery from the dental appointment. You certainly sound a lot clearer to me! :D

    Hope you keep feeling better and better!
    Lisa :)
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Lisa - Thanks

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks so much for your well wishes. Unfortunately, I have to go back to the dentist again in a couple weeks for more work. I'm hoping this next one will be less traumatic.

    Lisa, I read your story a while back and was truly impressed with the courage you have shown on your most difficult journey. I even e-mailed your story to a couple of friends.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know I admire your resilience and tenacity. I can't quite remember all the suggestions you received, but I've wondered on and off again since reading your story whether a simpler living arrangement (other than the new house) might work better for you.

    So many variables to consider. But, wishing you the very best as you move forward. :)

    Wayne
  7. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    thanks so much for all the info. Is that a infrared sauna at the gym?

    When I get back to Vegas in a month ( where the sauna is) I'm going to give it another go - at a lower temperature. I'll try drinking hot fluids, I'll make sure that I cool down quickly:eek: and I'll try to maintain a moderate yet regular schedule.

    Dr. Rea recommends vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, Tri-salts, a tablespoon of cold pressed oil and fiber to mop up the toxins being released. Have you tried any of those?

    I had the same experience regarding sweating - it just took a while to build up the 'sweat response'. So relaxing though to listen to the sweat just drip drip drip off of you.

    Too bad Lisa and her friend can't get a sweat lodge built!
  8. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Hello boys! :)

    A warm place to sweat sounds fabulous! I love heat and have daydreamed a time or two about having a sauna or sweat lodge. Wouldn't have a clue how to build one from materials Jeremy and I could use or how to heat it, but mmmm it is a nice thought!

    Wayne, your words really touched me this morning when I read them. Thank you. I was amazed that you emailed my story to a couple friends because it is such a wondrous feeling to have written something to be shared. Thank you for that too! hehe

    I agree completely that a simpler life would be very ideal, I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to make one happen. I followed the two links on my stories' thread and both options of MCS safe housing would work for toxicity but I am unsure about how much they would simplify things compared to now. It seems like what we need would include indoor plumbing (an amazing concept!), an indoor kitchen, and then a living/sleeping area.

    I am starting to think the answer might be to come at the problem from a different angle, one where we find a means to reign in the MCS enough to live with Jeremy's dad. There have been a few other thoughts I have had about places to live but this seems the most logical with the longest option of permanence.

    But anytime anyone has any other ideals, I am all ears and will look into each and every one because I am very ready and open to getting us out of this tent! :D

    Sorry folks, didn't mean to side track the thread. Go Saunas! hehehe

    Wayne, is there anything you can do in the week prior to your dentist appointment to help bolster your body for the trip? Will some hydroxy b-12 help for some of the chemical overload? Perhaps some Vitamin C increases starting a few days prior. I'll be keeping some good thoughts your way that it goes easier for you and that you will be back up to speed in a quicker time frame. :)

    Good luck!
    Lisa :)
  9. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    More sauna experience!

    I use a BioMat--if you google it you will find lots of explanation. It is a mat that emits FIR, has many different heat levels, emits negative ions and has some sort of technology to nix the electromagnetic problems. It sends the FIR through a layer of amethyst, which is supposed to enhance it. And, as you actually lie on the source of the FIR, it penetrates the body more deeply. For the sauna effect, you simply cover with many layers of cotton blankets.

    It works! I can't compare it scientifically to the other designs, but it is very portable and that is what I need right now. I also like the ability to fine tune the heat. For instance muscle pain responds without using the high temperatures necessary for the big sweat effect.

    Everything is covered with cotton and it has a removable, washable, cotton cover.

    As far as BH4, here is Wiki:

    Tetrahydrobiopterin (THB, BH4; Kuvan) or sapropterin, is a naturally occurring nutrient and essential cofactor of the three aromatic amino acid hydroxylase enzymes, used in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)), melatonin, dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), epinephrine (adrenaline), and nitric oxide (NO)....THB has the following responsibilities as a cofactor:
    Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) for the conversion of L-tryptophan (TRP) to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
    Phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) for conversion of L-phenylalanine (PHE) to L-tyrosine (TYR)
    Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) for the conversion of L-tyrosine to L-DOPA (DOPA)
    Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) for the conversion of nitrogen (N) to nitric oxide (NO)
    Glyceryl ether monooxygenase (GEMO) for the conversion of 1-alkyl-sn-glycerol to 1-hydroxyalkyl-sn-glycerol.


    Probably a lot more than you want to know! It is significant in methylation and that is where I came across it.

    Wayne: I don't know which part of the dental work is affecting you most, but in my experience using arnica before and arnica and rescue remedy frequently after major dental work makes a huge difference in pain, shock, and tissue damage.

    Sushi
  10. R**

    R** Senior Member

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    Ner Infrared Lamp Sauna

    I have a Wilson Near Infrared Lamp Sauna. Here is some info I have found about the lamps:

    http://www.saunalite.com/infratherapy_how.htm

    I'm just wondering if the body can produce ATP if the right precursers are not there... is that a problem for us?

    (I think the release of NO could be a problem for some people?)

    Here's what this site says:

    What are the benefits of SaunaLite and Near-Infrared (NIR)?

    BOOST METABOLISM – The mitochondria (power plants of the cells) produce more ATP (energy currency of the cells) when NIR is in introduced.1,2

    REDUCE BODY FAT – A group of 20 women riding stationary bicycles 3 times per week for 4 weeks exposed to NIR lost an average of 8 cm’s or 444% more as compared to 20 women doing the same exercise without NIR. 3

    FEEL AN INCREASE IN ENERGY – NIR activates the color sensitive chemicals (chromophores & cytochrome systems) to depths of 23 cm’s stimulating the energy processes in cells. 1

    INCREASE CIRCULATION TO THE MUSCLES – NIR causes the release of Nitric Oxide which stimulates vasodilatation of the microcirculatory system bringing more blood flow to the muscles.4

    BETTER ENDURANCE – Muscle fatigue was reduced by up to 42.2% when exposing muscle to NIR.5,6

    INCREASE STRENGTH – Growth Hormone release is induced by an increase in body temperature and not by exercise itself. Growth Hormone increases muscle mass, calcium retention, and lipolysis (the breakdown of stored fat).14

    FASTER RECOVERY TIME – Microtrauma, tiny damage to the muscle fibers, is the basis of building muscle. Certain tissue regenerating genes including integrins, laminin, gap junction proteins and kinesin proteins have shown a two- to five-fold increase upon exposure to NIR. 7,8

    WORKOUT IN LESS TIME – Due to increased production of ATP and quick dilation of the microcirculatory system, a person can lessen warm-up time and work at a higher level of exertion without increasing blood pressure.1,9,10

    TANNING PREP – SaunaLite brings blood closer to the skin surface which helps oxidize the melanin in your skin increasing the effectiveness of a tanning bed if used just prior to tanning.

    DETOXIFY THE BODY - Increased blood circulation stimulates the sweat glands, releasing built-up toxins and waste. Sweat is the only way to remove certain carcinogenic PCBs, dioxins, phthalates, and volatile organic hydrocarbons.11

    REDUCE VISIBLE CELLULITE! - Cellulite is exasperated by trapped fat and toxins due to poor circulatory system and visible by weakened connective tissue. NIR helps rebuild connective tissue and has been shown to reduce cellulite.12

    REJUVENATE SKIN! - DNA Synthesis of fibroblasts which affects the elasticity of skin can increase five-fold. The result is younger more beautiful skin.1,7

    LESSEN JOINT AND MUSCLE PAIN & INCREASE FLEXIBILITY - Penetrating heat from NIR has long been proven to reduce pain and increase circulation to areas of discomfort. NIR has also been shown to significantly increase the range of flexibility.13
  11. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Waon Therapy (infrared sauna) Works in FM

    Check this out. Waon therapy appears to be (or is) infrared sauna. It had good effects in fibromyalgia.

    Intern Med. 2008;47(16):1473-6. Epub 2008 Aug 15. Links
    Efficacy of Waon therapy for fibromyalgia.


    That's 140 Fahrenheit for 15 minutes (wussies:p) and then to about 80 degrees FahrenheitI

    What can you say? Way to go Waon!
  12. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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  13. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Sushi - so it seems the FIR sauna does not make you detox? I have a terrible time with detoxing on so many things. I've been doing the methylation protocol off and on for over two years and am still detoxing. You said the FIR sauna helps with detox - so it doesn't make you feel worse? I've considered trying it at my chiropractor's office but have been afraid to.
  14. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Hi Mary,

    For me it relieves the detox symptoms of increased methylation. I suspect by moving toxins out in other ways like the skin, or the effect of helping the body to create more BH4.

    I don't know exactly why, but it has been very important to me for relieving detox symptoms--though I cannot do it every day. I do it every other day.

    Others on methylation protocols have found the same help I have found.

    Sushi
  15. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Dreams and Detoxification Saunas

    Hi All,

    I posted on Dreambirdie's Personal Statement thread about some dreams I had regarding my sauna experience. Thought I'd post part of it over here as well.

    Regards, Wayne
    ...................................................

    An interesting dream sequence I had recently: I started doing some far infrared (FIR) saunas back in June on a regular basis (about every other day or so) at a local health facility. Shortly after that, I started having all different kinds of dreams where I was cleaning things. Like cleaning up the bathroom, cleaning walls with various kinds of brushes, etc.

    To me this reflected that I was indeed doing some significant detoxification that I had hoped to achieve with the FIR saunas. Then I had an even more significant dream about two weeks ago. I was in a room (my body) and saw all kinds of standing water just sitting around. All of a sudden, the stagnant water starts moving rapidly toward a drain and quickly flowed away. I remember looking at the area where it drained from and felt amazed how open and free flowing it was. To me, these images were clearly reflective of the rapidly improving lymph drainage in my body. More than likely, this reflected that other detoxification pathways were improved as well.

    Right about the time of this dream, my sleep, which had been gradually improving, all of a sudden improved even more significantly. So in the past two weeks, the dreams around this cleaning and detoxification have pretty much ceased. But I'm now sleeping around 8-9 1/2 hrs a night, and only waking up about 2-3 times. This is pretty miraculous for me, and I'm currently feeling I'm beginning to make up a long-term deep sleep deficit. All of this together seems to be somewhat helping my pretty severe cognitive deficits as well.
  16. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Detox from FIR Saunas

    Hi Mary & Sushi,

    Mary, I too have to be careful about initiating any kind of detox reaction, as my system can easily be overwhelmed by them. When I first started on the methylation block supplements, I immediately experienced some pretty piercing headaches.

    But I've found that FIR saunas and clay foot baths, if done in moderation, actually lessen various kinds of detox reactions. Of course, if I overdo it, I can initiate detox reactions as well. I think the trick is to find the delicate balance that might work for each individual.

    I know Forbearance has said she will start detoxing withing 30 seconds of getting in a FIR sauna. So I'm guessing it just might not work for her, no matter how slowly she tried to start. I feel fortunate that I'm able to do both the clay foot baths and the FIR saunas. I think it's possible that doing regular coffee enemas has allowed me to keep some of my body toxicity at somewhat manageable levels, to the extent that I can do these adjunctive detoxification protocols.

    Best, Wayne
  17. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Sushi - I feel rather silly. I never saw your reply until today, I assumed I had posted my inquiry wrong, because I never saw it. Well, I just discovered this thread has a page 2! How bright am I ... Anyways, I am really glad to hear that it helps with the increased detox of the methylation protocol. I just may pay a visit to my chiro - anything to speed this up -

    Best wishes,

    Mary
  18. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Wayne - first, your dreams do sound very interesting and hopeful. Awhile ago I had dreams a little similar, always involving the bathroom .... and I wondered if they were signaling info about the detoxing process. I'm glad to hear the FIR is helping you. I remember you wrote about the clay foot baths quite awhile ago on the other board. I tried it once or twice I think, didn't notice much, but is probably worth another go. I guess I will give the FIR a shot at my chiro's office. Unfortunately, I don't think he has a shower there, which seems to be important right afterwards. Will have to make a point to drive right home afterwards and shower.

    Best wishes,

    Mary
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Senior Member

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    Wayne, if you wouldn't mind doing a bit of cleaning in my house during your next dream, I would appreciate that. :)

    Anyway, I have constructed an extremely cheap "FIR sauna" that has given me some benefits. I purchased a stand-alone heat lamp which I place in my small bathroom. Then I purchased 3 heat lamp bulbs and 3 bulb sockets. I screwed the sockets onto a wooden board and wired them serially for electricity. I also have a heat lamp socket in the ceiling of my bathroom.

    In all, I have the wooden board with 3 heat lamps, 1 stand-alone heat lamp, and 1 heat lamp bulb in my ceiling. I hang out in there for 30 minutes, sweating a fair amount.

    Like others, sometimes it has a great effect and sometimes none. Initially, after a nighttime session in the sauna, the following morning my mood and clarity of thought increased dramatically along with an increase in a sore throat I often have.

    That lasted for about a week. I did a session every night, and the immediate effects faded. However, after a week or so stoppage, the first session after this would produce immediate effects again.

    For the past few months I have not used my sauna regularly, but I plan to start again as my CFS symptoms have been increasing.

    -chris

    EDIT: It is worthwhile to note that I sometimes receive the same benefits from taking the simple methylation protocol supplements. Raising BH4 levels is part of that protocol, and some believe that FIR saunas increase BH4 levels. This would seem to suggest that methylation is something that would help me.
  20. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    Dr Martin Pall explains how FIR saunas increase BH4

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19581054

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