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Sauna

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building sauna

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.
Hi christopher,

SOunds like you have pieced together your own sauna arrangement?THat sounds great and I may want to do that myself. ANy suggestions for doing that anybody?

The heat lamps you are using, are those the same ones used in those inexspensive saunas do you know? If so, any idea where to buy them and what to call them?

I saw a picture of a $800 suana, but am wondering if I could just make my own, and do a better job at it. Be kind fun too if I knew what kind of light bulbs used, and also what the recommened temperature would be

COntrolling the temp may be tricky, have to figure that one out too. Anyone know if there is a thermostat in those inexpensive home versions? Part numbers/manufacturers would help me get it done. If I make one, would certainly post pictures and specs for those interested for doing the same.

Thanks
Mark
 

sarahg

Admin Assistant
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I hold out dreams of having a wood-fired sauna in a shed in my yard. I have all the materials except the correct stovepipe. All I lack is the organizational skills to make it happen. If you have a backyard and can assemble helpers, stuff like this can be thrown together cheaply. Several friends in my old neighborhood had stuff like this and they were a great comfort in the extreme winters of maine. (which last like half the year) The health and detox benefits WERE great, but more than anything such heat was just so comforting when it is at or below 0 degrees, there is more than 5 feet of snow on the ground and it gets dark at 3:30. there was the added bonus of being able to stand in or roll around in snow to cool down. And no better way to get to know your neighbors way too well.
Anyway, here are some design resources if anyone is interested. Some are websites trying to sell you crap, but just ignore that because they have specifications and designs and stuff. It's just stuff I had bookmarked.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-I...Some-Like-It-Hot-in-our-home-built-sauna.aspx
really cheap homemade sauna

http://www.daycreek.com/DC/html/TMEN_No177.htm
A cordwood sauna, way beyond my expertice but amazing. I want to build a house like this someday.

http://cankar.org/sauna/building/design.html
specifications and ideas

http://www.kalle.com/sauna_faq.html
A guy that writes a sauna blog, actually a lot of info

http://www.almostheaven.net/aho/woodinst.htm
stove specifications, actually you don't need a "special" stove, but you do need a small one that you can place vats or trays of water on.

http://www.cedarbarrelsaunas.com/traditional-wood-fired-saunas.html
lots of articles, and beautiful sauna kits if one were to have excessive money to spend!
 
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great links

wow sarah. these are fantastic links for suanas! Thank you very much. I would love to have one of these suanas in my yard, wouldn;t that be a dream come true? I guess with the wood fired ones, or the ones with large electirc heaters may be good to have a few people to share with to afford keeping them hot?

I kind of was imagining one with infrared lights that would heat up fast I could put in my garage. What you are showing me here is fantastic though. very good for ideas that may be combined with my light concept.

If you have all the materials, I love to put it together! But unfortunately I don;t have the time enrgy to spare....:( and I'm in CA too. SOrry, maybe in my next lifetime, or if I go into remission. I have all the tools, collecting dust in my garage. TOns of tools. bummer they don't get more use.

In my better energy days, this would have been a lot of fun. It still would, but It may take me a few months though as I only work a few hours at a time when I have an energy spurt. I can never tell how long my energy will last either. So probably not going to happen... I would like to see you have your dream though.

You seem like a real nice lady. My dad's family is from Maine and they just came out to spend some time with us for awhile. Really great, humble people, with loads of integrity.

WOuldn't that be neat to have a sauna like the ones shown in your links, especially where it snows. Very warm place to go during the winter months. THat sounds fantastic.

I will come back to these links for some more study later. fantastic info though. I'll do some of my own research when I get time and see what I can come with for an inexpensive unit that works with lights. Right after I get around to paying my bills, cleaning my room, and all the other stuff that may be more pressing.
 
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wow sarah. these are fantastic links for suanas! Thank you very much. I would love to have one of these suanas in my yard, wouldn;t that be a dream come true? .....
............

In my better energy days, this would have been a lot of fun. It still would, but It may take me a few months though as I only work a few hours at a time when I have an energy spurt. I can never tell how long my energy will last either. So probably not going to happen... I would like to see you have your dream though...............

I'll do some of my own research when I get time and see what I can come with for an inexpensive unit that works with lights. Right after I get around to paying my bills, cleaning my room, and all the other stuff that may be more pressing.
Hi Mark and sarahg................fellow sauna lover here (you can probably guess that from my name!). I so love how clean /detoxed I feel afterwards, but now have to be very careful because of heat intolerance.

I just want to say to both of you - don't give up hope!

I love gardening but can't do too much. Instead of giving it it up, I just changed my time frame. It took me over 2 years to do what would have taken me less than 1/2 a day pre-ME/CFS. But now I have 3 little patches of garden in my front yard that I can experiment with plants that thrive on neglect in.

Maybe it would work to just plug away at it (unless some great friend appears and makes it all happen quickly)?

Now that I've got my little bit of garden, think the sauna may be the next life-affirming project.

Might try to save up some money to go try an infrared sauna as that might be better for my heat intolerance. Won't be the same as the finnish sauna, water on the rocks............

Keep me posted. Love to find out more about affordable and easy ways of doing all types.

islandfinn:)
 

Sunday

Senior Member
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I'm curious to know the difference between far infrared and near infrared. I have a heat lamp I got recently because someone showed me how useful they can be for muscle and nerve pain (shine it on the afflicted area from a distance of 15 or 20 inches for about 20 minutes). It does help the muscle pain and I'd be interested to know if some of that other FIR stuff is going on, too.

For years I've been using a Nikken far infrared comforter. Swear by the things, and I'd be willing to be that it's some of the reason I don't have as much pain as others do. Definitely I feel better in that department when I get up than when I go to bed. The FIR comforter is also supposed to alkalize your body, which has various good effects, and increase your circulation, ditto.

I'm wondering if any of these effects is similar to the infrared saunas, including the one on the BioMat.
 
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I have a FIR sauna and it's amazing. It also wasn't THAT expensive - a few hundred pounds - I think someone mentioned a figure of 2000 dollars! I was skeptical before I actually tried it. It does tire me out - as I get chest pain I have to be careful with it, but I have learned to use it effectively. I have the "blanket" one, which is like a sleeping bag. I read that these were the most effective because you get all-over coverage (there are three adjustable panels so you can change the temp around your middle, top, feet) and keep your head out. It's amazing!!!! I feel energy and it feels like exercise without the bad parts - I feel a BIT tired the next day but I am building up a tolerance to it. My main tip is to have a warm bath BEFORE you get in. (Then dry yourself, put sweatclothes on, get into the FIR blanket thing)... (And then shower afterwards, of course.) That way you heat up your skin and sweat a lot quicker (someone mentioned drinking a hot drink - I found taking a hot bath to make it go even quicker) - that way you spend much less time in the machine. After 20 mins there is quite a lot of sweat - 20 mins is a lot! You can sweat after 10 mins if you get in the bath first. :) The FIR sauna is REALLY worth doing, and again I do recommend the "blanket" ones, not the "tent" ones... :)
 
M

Michael

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My tips for the IR sauna is to be well hydrated before entering the sauna, the temperature is about 140-160 degrees, and I breathe supplemental oxygen at a rate of 6 litres/hr. These things have really helped me a lot and made the saunas more effective. I stay in the sauna for 15-20 minutes.
 
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Wayne/Clay foot baths

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
Hi Wayne,

I know this is from a long time ago, but I hope you will be reading this thread. Can you tell me what kind of clay foot baths you were using for detox? I have looked at the ones from Ancient Secrets but have never bought any. Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Maxine
 
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Mostly used as a regular systemic body detoxification method, infrared saunas efficiently penetrate the skin with their infrared energy waves to promote perspiration, thus speeding the elimination of toxic waste from the body. Infrared sauna detox is the most popular reason why people are using an infrared sauna because it stimulates your metabolism at a cellular level, while breaking up the liquid molecules and detoxifying your body. When your body perspires, it allows the body to release these toxins.
 
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Getting an FIR sauna is one of the best decisions I've made regarding the affect is has on my general well-being. I'd been to a public steam sauna a couple of times in the past, which were immensely relaxing, so I had confidence in the real-world affect of the far infra-red type living up to all the hype. And it did.

I use it mostly for 30 minutes at a time, after which I'm covered in sweat and feelings very relaxed, restored and with a clearer, lighter mindset than before. I then rub myself in magnesium chloride, and finally my self-prepared mixture of Dermol lotion and Epsom salts. I've got sensitive skin, with mild eczema/dryness and boy does it sting! Like rubbing vinegar onto skin covered in tiny cuts and rashes. I usually stand in the porch at the rear of the house, which gets down to somewhere between average household ambient temperature and the near zero of outside at this time of year. That soothes the sting and closes the pores of my skin back up (hopefully trapping the magnesium inside them, though I'm not entirely sure about that)

I got none of the instant rushes of energy some have mentioned with magnesium oil, but It seems to be having a profoundly subtle effect.
 

jeffrez

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I had great results with sauna after having my amalgams removed. I did a 6 week regimen, building up to doing 6 hours a day, and felt amazing afterward. I seem to have an intolerance to that degree of heat now and haven't been able to do sauna since then, but at the time it was one of the best things I ever did. That was before I had full-blown CFS, too. I doubt I could do 6 hours a day now even if I built up gradually at half the rate.

The guy I bought the sauna from told me that somewhere in Minnesota, I think it was (or maybe Michigan), some cows in the '70s accidentally had been poisoned with an agent orange-like organophosphate, which then of course got in the milk. The people who drank the milk and became poisoned showed relatively unchanged levels of the toxin in fat biopsies even like a decade later. After a 6-8 week sauna regimen, the pesticide levels not only had decreased dramatically (50+ percent), but they continued decreasing even for months after stopping sauna. Apparently the metabolism is shifted in the long term by the therapy and the beneficial effects continue for some time even after you stop.

You have to build up to the proper amount, though. Just doing a day or two of sauna every couple of weeks is not going to have the same result. And this is all with FIR - the "steam bath" type of sauna is not the same thing and can possibly even be detrimental, can have bad effects on blood pressure, etc. FIR was so beneficial, though, that this thread has me seriously considering trying it again when I recover more from this latest crash. Maybe building up to even 5-10 minutes a day 5-6 days a week would give some meaningful improvements.
 

Sushi

Moderation Resource Albuquerque
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Saunas are great but FIRs are better. A more portable and powerful way to get the benefits of Far Infrared Rays is the amethyst biomat which also uses negative ion technology. Negative ions are naturally found in nature and are very beneficial. there is lots of information here http://healthy.biomat.com
Love, my Biomat too. I do about 50 minutes every other day followed by a cool shower. Even for simple muscle aches (not to mention detox) it is great.

Sushi
 
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Cort,

I just got infrared sauna. I did it for 2 consecutive days. 30 minutes over 100 degrees. I sweated. After first day I was a bit tired. But the next day I was completely depleted could barely function severe PEM. I'm very concerned. I may be too weak for two days. Any protocol you think I should follow. Why do I feel so bad herx detox effect my guess?

Any thoughts?
 

Wayne

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FIR Sauna Notes

Cort,

I just got infrared sauna. I did it for 2 consecutive days. 30 minutes over 100 degrees. I sweated. After first day I was a bit tired. But the next day I was completely depleted could barely function severe PEM. I'm very concerned. I may be too weak for two days. Any protocol you think I should follow. Why do I feel so bad herx detox effect my guess?

Any thoughts?
Hi Dolche,

I've been doing FIR saunas for about 2 1/2 years now, and have gone through a number of different cycles during this time. Initially, I also started out with about 30-minute sessions, but quickly realized it was way too much, even when I spaced them out every two or three days (or more). Given your initial experience, it seems you're also trying to start out too quickly.

Saunas actually provide the body with quite a work out, including cardiovascular. Denmark, whose residents do more saunas per capita than any other industrialized nation, also has the lowest rate of cardiovascular disease than any other nation. This type of workout can easily burn about 500 calories +, so it's not surprising that somebody with CFS could easily experience PEM if they're not careful.

I had to watch my sauna time and temperature quite closely, and learned to do saunas at low heat and for only about 15 minutes in the beginning. This would generally avert a major PEM experience, but it seemed to almost always leave me with varying degrees of an exacerbation of my chronic headaches (herx reaction). I now attribute these headaches to Lyme infections, and the intensification of them as a dieoff of Lyme bacteria.

Since starting some homeopathic remedies for Lyme a few weeks ago, I've noticed that my ability to do FIR saunas has increased rather dramatically. I can now go for 20-25 minutes, sometimes more, and rarely experience PEM or the exacerbation of headaches that I used to. This has been quite an encouraging development.

I would recommend giving yourself a good break and recover from your current PEM. Then, start out slowly, and only do as much as your body can handle. Good luck as you go forward. I suspect that some pwCFS would have a very hard time ever being able to do FIR saunas, but I also believe many of us do have that capability, especially if we take it very slowly and try to never push beyond any current capabilities.

I'm really happy I stuck with this and was able to gradually increase my stamina, although I did find myself having to take breaks at times for as long as several weeks. Being able to do saunas has been enormously helpful with my latest Lyme protocol, and dealing with the potent neurotoxins that are being released into my system.

Best, Wayne

P.S. I guess another possibility for your difficulties is that the sauna could be out-gassing to a degree, something you may want to look into.
 

baccarat

Senior Member
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I don't think it would be advisable even for somebody healthy to do two saunas in a row. And thirty minutes seems far too long for anybody.
I stopped doing saunas years ago as over time they made me worse.
Raising body temperature and sweating will stress the hypothalamus and adrenals, leaving you wiped out for days. If you suffer from adrenal fatigue or have weak adrenal output, saunas will make that worse.
That was my experience.
 

triffid113

Day of the Square Peg
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I know that saunas raise BH4 (and I need BH4 to excrete ammonia, but my body genetics don't make it so good) but I can't tolerate saunas nor epsom salt baths (nor even epsom salt foot soaks). I do sometimes go in the sauna at my fitness center (it is a wet sauna - dunno if that's FIR?) but I have to drink water before I go in and can only stay about 10 minutes. I have always had problems when I sweat due to electrolyte loss. I want to say that everyone should be aware you might need extra potassium if you sauna. I had heat stroke 3 times as a teen due to running around in the heat sweating w/o eating and I am afraid to sweat as a result.
Trif
 
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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
Thank you for your post. I started sauna therapy 2 months ago. The first month I started slowly by the second month I was doing 30 minute sessions everyday. I went from homebound to being able to run three errand a day. I was driving again. However, end of second month I felt my hormones were acting up. I noticed I became tired after sauna w pem the next day. Perhaps it's too much for me. Do you know if this could affect my adrenals. I am going to take sauna break.

Thanks,

Dolche