I have longed to install a portable home sauna for decades, but when my arthritis and disc back pain were getting the better of me, I decided I could finally treat myself one for health reasons. Little did I know when I bought our infrared sauna this Spring that it would also turn out to be an integral part of my husband’s quest for health and beating back cancer.
I did extensive research into which was the best sauna available and found that there was much more to a sauna than just a wooden box with a heater in it. There were a myriad of types of heaters and the reports on their varying reliability and effectiveness which gave me reason to pause and consider this purchase seriously. It was very important to me that the sauna deliver enough infrared rays to penetrate sufficiently (about 1.5 inches below skin level) to make a real therapeutic difference. It was nice to think that saunas can help you relax at night, or sweating can help you detoxify and possibly lose weight, but I wanted more than that. For your information, some analysis has been done on sweat from a sauna and reports that 80% of the sweat is water, but some full 20% is toxins that are being sweated out and that in itself sounds pretty good to me.
I settled on a the TheraSauna which was made out of hypoallergenic hemlock wood, so that my allergies would not kick up from being inside it. The most important decision of all was to discover what kind of heater is most effective in a sauna. It did not take much time to discover that industry experts agree that ceramic heaters are considered the best and the patented designed ones by Therasauna appeared to be the gold standard as they delivered more consistent heat, as opposed to a thermostat switching on and off during a session, and delivered a deeper and more intensive sauna experience.
Our installation was relatively simple, although the lack of white glove delivery meant that our gardener and helper had an extra task to do one Sunday morning. It took about 2 hours to set up. The only part we flubbed was the electrical installation and although we had an electrician come and put in a 20 amp socket, we found that the plug on the end of the sauna was a little unusual. In our case, the electrician came twice, but you can avoid that if you have the electrical work done AFTER the sauna is set up.
Now comes the good part. I am totally in love with the sauna and find its benefits totally addictive. So much so I try to nip in and do two short 20 minute sessions a day, one in the morning and the other at night as it feels so good afterwards! The chief benefit to me is that it relaxes all my muscles which ache from my herniated disk, arthritis or simply from playing golf. Which ever way you look at it, I am usually in chronic pain. However, with the sauna, the deep heat allows me to stretch out more extensively afterwards, and even without stretching it provides pain relief for many hours at a time. And there is no doubt about it if I have a sauna at night, I am out for the count and sleep much more soundly.
By extraordinary coincidence, I was reading a book on alkaline water filters and found mention of some studies that were done in Europe and Japan where infrared saunas were used in the treatment of cancer with some success. In layman’s terms cancer cells do not like extreme heat. As a result, my husband uses the sauna religiously every night and morning for about 30 minutes. I cannot even begin to tell you whether I think it has made any difference as he is still very much alive, but I did check my research out with a couple of doctors who confirmed my own findings and told me that cancer cells do not thrive in extreme heat and encouraged my husband to continue using the sauna.
Will all this prolong my husband’s life? I cannot tell you but it has certainly given him hope and it has lifted his spirits. As a doctor himself, he is so convinced that this will help him, he wants to share our sauna and water with friends and neighbors who have cancer. God bless him.
If you want to read more extensively about the health benefits of using a sauna I found the following two articles very helpful and informative; both on how to use a sauna to best advantage, and why infrared sauna sessions are so helpful in detoxification.