Health, Healing & Hummingbirds

Scientific information on improving serious disease through nutrition and treating the causes of disease
 – summarised from 100 of the world’s most cutting-edge health books

FIR saunas for detoxification

Saunas have long been considered an excellent way to remove toxins from the body and to treat and improve diseases where detoxification is severely compromised, such as in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome.


Mild to severe symptoms of chemical sensitivity are very common in M.E., and many other features of M.E. also contribute to, or suggest, serious problems with detoxification in the disease. Using saunas to safely remove as much of the toxic load from the M.E. patient as possible, without causing systemic problems and relapse, could have many beneficial effects on symptoms of toxic overload and also the course of the disease generally.


There is also a significant amount of research supporting the use of FIR saunas in different types of cardiac diseases, which also has relevance to patients with M.E. 

FIR saunas are also a good idea for anyone with serious disease, as this article will explain.



What is the difference between traditional saunas and Far Infrared (FIR) Saunas?

The therapeutic advantages of the infrared sauna as compared to a traditional sauna are considerable.


FIR saunas are far better tolerated by patients who are sensitive to high temperatures than traditional saunas because they do not raise the body’s core temperature. Many patients can tolerate an FIR sauna who can not tolerate traditional saunas, warm baths or even warm weather conditions.


Patient advocate Mary Laredo explains, in her ‘Natural News’ article ‘Whole Body Detoxification: Far-Infrared Sauna Use’ that,


Infrared saunas warm the body instead of heating the surrounding air. Traditional steam saunas heat the air and require temperatures ranging from 150 – 200 [approximately 66 – 93C] degrees Fahrenheit to promote perspiration, whereas a heat range of 110 – 140 [approximately 40 – 60 C] degrees in an infrared sauna produces the same results. The cooler air temperature is more tolerable to heat-sensitive individuals and allows for sessions of up to forty-five minutes, nearly twice as long as in a typical steam sauna session.
     The softer heat of an infrared sauna also penetrates deeper into the skin - as much as 1 ½ inches - and draws out more toxins than a steam sauna, according to Dr. Aundrea Adams of the International Institute of Holistic Healing, who compared the detoxification findings of the two sauna types.
     Dr. Adams summarizes a report which concludes that sweat from a traditional sauna was up to 97% water, while the sweat released in an infrared sauna was only 80 – 85% water. The remaining 15 – 20% was comprised of heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia, uric acid and fat-soluble toxins.


Sherry Rogers MD is an international specialist in Environmental Medicine. In her book ‘Detoxify or Die’ she extols the benefits of the Far Infrared sauna for patients with many different types of diseases and explains that FIR saunas allow toxins to be mobilized and excreted without causing systemic poisoning. Dr Rogers writes, in ‘Detoxify or Die,’


What is the best way to get rid of toxic chemicals including pesticides, heavy metals and hydrocarbon residues when you cannot tolerate a sauna? When a sauna makes you feel weak, sick, have a fast heart rate, faint, dizzy, panicky, headachy or just plain miserable, what is the solution? The far infrared sauna. Thanks to improved technology, the far infrared sauna is far safer and infinitely more tolerable, because it uses a heat energy that penetrates tissues, triggering mobilization of chemicals from subcutaneous fat storage, directly into the sweat. This activating penetration allows for a much lower overall temperature to be used (as I'll show you later), one that is enjoyable and not torture.
     But more importantly, you haven't forced the body to bear very high temperatures (160 degrees and higher), pulling chemicals back into the bloodstream where they can duplicate original symptoms. Instead they slip out the back door, so to speak, from just under the skin storage directly into the sweat. Over weeks and months there is an equilibrium, or chemicals that are stored in other organs slowly and safely disseminate throughout the body and eventually empty into subcutaneous fat. It is the chemical load that is stored beneath the skin that is the main area activated by the far infrared sauna.
     The far infrared sauna (FIRS) has been proven by specialists at the famed Mayo Clinic to improve heart failure, even when nothing more could be done by medicine. And in Japan, clinicians and researchers have confirmed its life-saving properties when nothing else could be done.
     Preferably start with an oil change to get rid of trans fatty acids, and restore missing fatty acids while correcting mineral deficiencies, like selenium, manganese, zinc and magnesium, to facilitate safer detoxification. The formula is really quite simple. The problem is it doesn't make any money for the drug industry that owns medicine. In fact the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA 287: 6 12- 6 17, 2002) documented how over 87% of physicians who make up the panels of "experts" who determine the practice guidelines for medicine receive compensation from the drug industry. These are the guidelines that your doctors and insurance companies follow.

     The bottom line is that sweat is the only proven method for getting the most damaging toxins out of the body. There are no drugs, no surgery, no chelation, nor other detoxification methods with before and after measurements proving that unwanted chemicals like PCBs and pesticides were eliminated.



What other benefits can FIR saunas have?

Far Infrared therapy has been shown in several medical studies to have numerous health benefits. The heat from an FIR sauna can decrease joint and muscle stiffness and pain directly, relax the muscles, improve flexibility and relieve muscle spasms.


FIR saunas can also:

Reduce pain and increase endorphin production

Improve skin tone by unclogging pores and improving circulation

Reduce cellulite and fat stores (where fat stores are higher than necessary in order to store a high level of toxins)

Improve the immune system (increasing the number of leukocytes in the blood) and increase resistance to infections

Help fight chronic infections

Reduce the load on the liver and kidneys (by doing some of their detoxification work for them)

Speed up metabolic processes of vital organs and glands, including endocrine glands.

Inhibit the development of pleomorphic microforms (fungis, yeasts, bacteria and molds).

Cause a ‘fever reaction’ of rising temperature than can neutralise viruses and other infections. (Heating tissues for 15 minutes can cause weak cells to die including cells infected with viruses, mutated cells or tumour cells)

Inhibit the ‘fight or flight’ response (during the sauna)

Allow many temperature dependent enzyme reactions to take place that otherwise would not in patients that have a low body temperature due to low thyroid hormone levels

Dramatically improve circulation and relieve internal congestion



The importance of working with an experienced medical professional

Any serious detoxification regime should always be done under the supervision of an experienced medical professional and approached cautiously and very gradually in M.E. where there is such a huge potential for relapse. Detoxifying the body of toxins faster than the body can get rid of them can be very dangerous or even fatal. Saunas can also cause death, if the fluid and minerals lost during their use are not replaced. A medical professional with experience in detoxification programs will ensure that FIR saunas are appropriate for the patient and direct them in their safe usage.



Before each FIR sauna

Some experts recommend dry-brushing the skin for 5-10 minutes with a natural bristle brush before a sauna to remove dead skin cells, allow free perspiration and to stimulate circulation and the lymphatic system.  This should be followed by a quick warm shower.


For many M.E. patients, the sauna itself is probably enough to do at one time, and so instead, the patient might try and lightly exfoliate themselves all over in the bath the day before using a bath mitt or brush.

Patients should avoid using skin lotions as much as possible as this clogs the pores and inhibits respiration and the skin’s waste removal processes.


Some experts recommend taking vasodilators before a sauna – including niacin, bromelain or digestive enzymes –to make it easier for the chemicals to get out.


Because the FIR sauna is effective at removing toxic chemicals and heavy metals from the body there is a possibility of side effects. Dr Rogers recommends that patients take various nutrients before the sauna, in order to minimise any symptoms caused by a ‘healing reaction,’ ‘healing crisis’ or a ‘detox reaction.’ These include: magnesium chloride (magnesium oil), zinc, calcium and tri-salts. She also recommends correcting mineral deficiencies such as selenium, manganese, zinc and magnesium before having saunas to facilitate safer detoxification.


Detox symptoms can include: muscle cramps and spasms, rashes, strange odours and tastes, heart palpitations and high blood pressure, gastrointestinal changes, headache and nausea. These symptoms are normal but if they become severe, medical attention should be sought.


Patients should wait an hour after eating to have a sauna and always drink adequate water before, during and after the sauna. M.E. patients may also want to have an extra electrolyte drink before and/or after each sauna (containing salt and potassium). The best time for a sauna may be on waking. right before bed  or at the time of day the M.E. patient is at their best physically.


Dr Rogers recommends that patients measure their blood pressure, pulse, respiration rate and weight before and after the first few saunas, and mid-sauna as well, if the patient is very fragile. If the BP or pulse go up by 10 points or more or temperature reaches 100 F/37.7 C, the patient should leave the sauna and make the next sauna of a shorter duration and/or at a lower temperature and perhaps also increase the amount of water and minerals taken during the sauna. If the patient weighs less than before the sauna this indicates that not enough water was taken during the sauna.


During an FIR sauna

Not pre-heating the sauna lets your body slowly adjust to the heat and so is recommended.


Once in the sauna, perspiration usually begins after 15 – 20 minutes. If sweating is difficult, this may be because the body has a significant heavy metal and toxic chemical burden. Regular sauna use may lead to increased perspiration over time as the patient’s detoxifying abilities improve.


Patients or carers should make sure that time spent in the sauna is carefully monitored. Most saunas feature a timer for this purpose. Staying in the sauna for too long can cause serious problems.


It is very important to regularly wash the sweat off the body with a towel during a sauna, otherwise many of the toxins expelled may be reabsorbed through the skin! It is also very important to always lie on a fresh towel in the sauna, to avoid contamination.


If the sauna becomes too hot or stifling, patients should open the door, window or zip for a while. Patients who begin to feel very unwell for any reason, must get out of the sauna straight away.


If the patient’s skin becomes clammy, or they feel weak or nauseous, they must GET OUT immediately as these could be signs of heat exhaustion.  If the patient stops sweating, they must GET OUT immediately as this may be the initial stage of heat stroke. If these symptoms do not resolve, medical attention should be sought.



Increase the time spent in an FIR sauna gradually

Patients should not have saunas for longer than 10 - 20 minutes once a day for the first few weeks or months as this may cause massive healing reactions that could even be dangerous. Very ill patients should start with having a sauna for 10 – 20 minutes only, once a week, at only 100 F/40 C. Patients can then slowly increase the number of saunas they have each week, depending on their tolerance (and the recommendations of their doctor).


If patients experience significant negative detox symptoms, the frequency, duration or temperature of saunas should again be reduced.


Healthy people may work up to having once or twice daily 30-60 minute saunas at a temperature of up to 130 F or 55 C. For M.E. patients, it may be best to always stay on the lower temperature settings of 100 - 120 F or 40 - 48 C and to work up to a once or twice daily sauna lasting 30 minutes. Dr Sherry Rogers recommends working up slowly over weeks or months to an hour of sauna time daily, over one or two sessions, at a temperature of 120 – 130 F or 48 – 55 C.


Saunas over 1 hour long are never recommended and most experts recommend a maximum daily sauna time of 2 hours.


After a period of a year or two, depending on the severity of the illness, a once or twice a day sauna regime may be able to be cut back to twice weekly with no loss of benefits, according to Dr Rogers.



After an FIR sauna

It is often recommended that an FIR sauna be followed by a cold shower however this would make many patients ill. M.E. patients may do better following a sauna with a very quick warm shower, or warm bed bath. For some, there may be no need for bathing afterward as all the towelling off of sweat may leave the skin feeling nice and clean.


One way to work out how much water needs to be drunk after a sauna, is to weigh the towels used to mop up the sweat, before and after each sauna.


Dr Rogers recommends that patients consume a detox cocktail after each sauna (1-2 times daily) containing vitamin C (5g) and Alpha Lipoic Acid (300 – 600 mg) and glutathione. This cocktail revs up both stages of detox, according to Dr Rogers. She also recommends that patients take a multi-vitamin and mineral tablet 2 hours or more after the sauna.

Additional notes on sauna use and detoxification by Dr Sherry Rogers:


All disease is caused by free radicals or ROS. Toxic chemicals in the body increase ROS.

The work of detoxifying uses up and depletes nutrients. For example, for every molecule of a chemical detoxified you lose one molecule of glutathione and one molecule of ATP.

Never have a sauna if you don’t have on hand: tri-salts (salt, potassium and calcium), liquid magnesium and a cool floor or shower handy (in case of overheating). Make sure to clear up any mineral deficiencies before starting sauna therapy as this therapy will make such deficiencies worse. It is also important to take in significant amounts of each of the minerals throughout the therapy to replace what is lost through sweating.

In case you feel terrible after a sauna, have on hand: extra water, potassium citrate, calcium citrate, zinc, sea salt and coral calcium. First, lie down and drink water with tri-salts and take some calcium or magnesium if you think a lack of these may be the problem. If you crave salt, take ½ - 1 tsp in water. Try different minerals if these don’t do the trick in a few hours or at most a day. For a fast fix take all the supplements a half hour apart so you can see which one worked.

When having sauna therapy 2 x multimineral tablets should be taken daily along with extra magnesium, salt, calcium and potassium. The following should also be taken 1 – 4 times weekly: selenium (400 – 1000 mcg), chromium (400 – 1000 mcg), vanadium (400 mcg – 7 mg), iodine (400 mcg), lithium (400 mcg), Biosil drops and boron (3 – 6 mg).

Some patients have such damaged autonomic nervous systems that they cannot sweat or feel very ill if they try to sweat. These patients may benefit from having ‘Detoxification Profile’ testing before having saunas to make sure that their bodies can cope with the detoxification process.

If 15 minutes is all that can be tolerated in a sauna, consider having more than one short sauna each day.

Liver supporting nutrients include: ALA, selenium and Silymarin.

Glycine can be added to each detox cocktail to make it more potent; 500 – 1000 mg with each cocktail is the appropriate dose.

Dr Rogers recommends glutathione as Reconcostat.

Over half of the body’s detoxification systems and immune system is in the gut, so you can’t heal from serious disease without first achieving good gut health.

Kyolic aged garlic extract and probiotics are recommended for good gut health, Seavive is recommended to help heal a leaky gut.

Other supplements recommended include Indolplex, Biosil, OPC, choline, carnitine and calcium D glucarate. A high-strength multi-mineral regime is essential during detoxing, as well as nutrients which support phase I and phase II detoxification.

Don’t ever detox to the point you feel terrible. If you feel awful, cut right back with what you are doing. Slow and steady is the way to go.

NEVER have another sauna if you haven’t completely recovered from the last one.



Additional notes on sauna use and detoxification by Dr Lawrence Wilson


The amount of salt lost in a sauna through sweating gets lower over time. While 15 – 30 grams may be lost daily at first, over time this may drop to only 3 – 4 grams.

Body temperature may rise 1 – 4 degrees in an infrared sauna.

Sauna therapy programs are far safer than fasting programs. Sauna use is safe for most but very low or unbalanced salt, potassium, calcium and magnesium levels could make it dangerous for some and these levels must be assessed and addressed before sauna therapy begins.

If possible, it is best to expose the head during sauna use, but only once you are 4 or 5 months into sauna therapy. It can also be helpful to expose the palms of the hands to the sauna heaters.

Shower off immediately after a sauna but don’t use soap, plain water is enough.

Healing reactions may occur throughout the day after a sauna, and may sometimes persist for days or even weeks. Healing reactions are the reason many people give up on sauna therapy, but these reactions are an essential sign that the sauna is doing what it is supposed to do and so they should be expected. If healing reactions are at all severe, slow down your sauna use until they are at a more manageable level.

Make sure you give your body lots of extra rest when you’re having sauna therapy and going through detox. If possible, have a medical professional on hand to help you manage the symptoms from your healing reactions.

Toxins are layered in the body at a cellular level. Some are more deeply buried than others. Rather than selecting one mineral to detox, saunas respect the body’s wisdom and natural order in removing toxins. This is a much safer, if slower approach.

Toxins can cause defective gene expression, so even where genetic abnormalities can be shown the cause can still be toxins and poor detoxification.

Sauna use can improve EMF sensitivity.

Saunas improve circulation without a huge expenditure of energy (as in exercise).

If you are very ill, have a friend or attendant on hand during your sauna.

Clean your sauna once a month with Oxiclean (or similar).

Sauna therapy is recommended for 2 years, in severe illness.



Additional FIR sauna cautions
Pregnant women and those with open cuts or burns or any type of implant or internal infection (i.e. dental, joints) should avoid sauna use. Patients should always remove contact lenses before entering the sauna. Saunas should be avoided 48 hours after an acute joint injury. Saunas may increase blood flow during menstruation.


Patients using any prescription drugs, should check with their physician or pharmacist for any possible change in the drug's effect due to any interaction with infrared energy.


Saunas may cause problems in those with Lupus, MS, hyperthyroidism and haemophilia or other bleeding disorders. They should not be used in children under the age of 5.


M.E. patients should never spend time in a sauna SITTING UP! This can cause severe relapse and possibly disease progression. Even where non-severely affected patients are able to sit up with little discomfort, sitting up while using a sauna is a complete waste of valuable cardiac output and places additional and unnecessary stress on the body, which may very easily make this treatment counter-productive.


The book Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide by Pamela Reed Gibson warns that intensive 1 week or 6 week sauna programs (which may involve 6 or more hours of daily saunas as well as high dose detox supplements) can have a devastating effect on MCS patients, possibly even causing strokes and seizures, and so should be strictly avoided. A far safer and less risky approach is to have an FIR sauna at a moderate heat for 20 minutes every second day, she recommends. (Research compiled by the author of the book using a MCS patient group shows that FIR saunas were of great benefit for 40% of responders, a moderate benefit for 19%, no benefit for 10% and the remainder had an adverse effect from the treatment. The results were very similar in this patient group for coffee enemas with 40% of respondents rating them as being of ‘great benefit.’) Symptoms of chemical sensitivity are very often part of M.E., although M.E. and MCS are very different diseases.


Again, self-treating with an FIR sauna can be dangerous. A medical professional with experience in detoxification programs will ensure that FIR saunas are appropriate for you and direct you in their safe usage.

Buying an FIR sauna

FIR saunas can be bought for anywhere between $200 and $1500 or more. Portable models are available, some of which also fold up for easy storage, as well as the traditional ones made of wood.


Canadian Hemlock wood saunas:  The benefit of this type of FIR sauna is that they are solidly constructed and come with a warranty that lasts 2 – 5 years or even a lifetime warranty, depending on price. This is the best type of sauna to buy, if budget allows. A one person model costs around $1,000 but unfortunately, these will be unsuitable for most M.E. patients as they must be used sitting up. So M.E. patients who need to have saunas while lying down may choose either a two person sauna with a 1.2 metre bench length, or a three person sauna with a bench length of 1.5 – 1.6 metres. Four person saunas will probably be the best option for those with a very large budget and lots of spare room in the house. Which sauna is best depends on the budget, the patient’s height and also, possibly, how willing and able they are to scrunch up their legs in the sauna a little bit to save some money.


Some saunas will be installed by the seller, while others are sent in pieces for two people to assemble (tool free and glue free) in half an hour or so. Optional extras include coloured lights, built-in CD players and external as well as internal controls. Some sauna sellers may be willing to negotiate on price a bit so it doesn’t hurt to ask about possible discounts.


Portable FIR saunas: The benefit of this type of FIR sauna is that it is relatively cheap, allows the head to remain heat-free and with a bit of modification and can possibly be used lying down. (The unit can be used on its side, or the patient can curl up in it lying down with their head sticking out of the opening at the bottom  with a bit of adjustment to the zip. For shorter patients only!) Large sized models may also be available for those over 105 kg or those wanting more space to lie down in. Portable FIR saunas cost around $200.


Dome-design portable FIR saunas: This type of sauna is designed to be used lying down but is also almost as expensive as wood saunas and may not represent as good value. Dome-design portable FIR saunas cost around $1000 to $5000.


FIR sauna blankets: The benefit of this type of FIR sauna is that it is relatively cheap, allows the head to remain heat-free and can easily be used lying down. They may or not be as effective as enclosed saunas. Cocoon-type saunas are also available. FIR sauna blankets cost around $300 to $400.



Make sure the product states that it is FAR infrared. The quality between different products varies and some models may not be as good as others. Note that in her book ‘Detoxify or Die’ Dr Rogers ONLY recommends wood saunas. (The links given to products here may or may not be good choices for purchase and may or may not be available for purchase in your country. Patients must research buying a sauna carefully and/or ask their doctor for product recommendations. Patients must always take into account the product’s warranty and safety features, the company’s return policy and whether or not they sell replacements parts.)

Other important notes on detoxification

Avoiding chemicals in personal care products, in the home and in food is of the utmost importance on any detoxification program. Eating an alkaline diet containing lots of fresh and unprocessed fruits and vegetables is equally important. Patients must also take care to avoid any vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Another well-established way of lowering the body’s toxic load is the coffee enema. A daily enema is highly recommended during sauna therapy by experts such Dr Lawrence Wilson and Dr Sherry Rogers, in order to minimise healing reaction symptoms. For more information on this treatment see the HHH paper on enemas.

Taking diuretic herbs so that more water can be taken in and the kidneys flushed more thoroughly during detoxifiation is also a very good idea. Stinging nettle tea and/or asparagus extract capsules work very well for this purpose.


At the very least it is absolutely essential to have at least one bowel movement daily while undertaking ANY detoxification regime, including an FIR sauna program. Two or three bowel movements daily is ideal. The shorter the ‘transit time’ of fecal material in the bowel, the less time there is for fermentation and for toxins to be reabsorbed into the body.

Further reading

Detoxify or Die by Sherry Rogers MD. (Click here to read a PDF extract from the book focusing on FIR saunas, in PDF format). This book is essential reading for patients and for doctors interested in sauna therapy.

Pain Free in Six Weeks by Dr Sherry Rogers

Detoxification Through the Skin by Mark Sircus Ac., OMD

Sauna Therapy for Detoxification and Healing by Dr Laurence Wilson (book)


Whole Body Detoxification: Far-Infrared Sauna Use by Mary Laredo


Additional references:

Is Your Family Toxic? by James Ferguson (Extracted from The Vitamin Murders: Who Killed Healthy Eating in Britain)

Bringing Devon Back... A Family's Crusade

Sauna Detoxification Therapy: A Guide for the Chemically Sensitive by Marilyn McVicker

Detoxify or Die by Sherry Rogers, MD review by Irene Alleger

Sauna Therapy for Detoxification and Healing reviewed in Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Oct, 2006 by Beatrice Trum Hunter

FIRS Therapy by Justin Tobias, M.D.

MCS: A Survival Guide by Pamela Reed Gibson. This book warns that intensive 1 week or 6 week sauna programs can have a devastating effect on MCS patients, possibly even causing strokes and seizures, and so should be strictly avoided. A far safer and less risky approach is to have an FIR sauna at a moderate heat for 20 minutes, every second day. Research compiled by the author the book using a MCS patient group shows that FIR saunas had a great benefit for 40% of responders, a moderate benefit for 19%, no benefit for 10% and the remainder had an adverse effect from the treatment.

Juicing, Fasting and Detoxing for Life by Cherie Calbom

The Pollution Within from National Geographic

Repeated Sauna Treatment Improves Vascular Endothelial and Cardiac Function in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure Journal of the American College of Cardiology March 6, 2002 (Volume 39, Number 5)

Effects of Repeated Sauna Treatment on Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure (study)

Saunas Improve Results for Heart Patients by author Patricia Palmer

Repeated thermal therapy improves impaired vascular endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors (study)

Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call by by Doris J. Rapp

Detoxing - Far Infrared Sauna (FIRS) by Dr Sarah Myhill. This paper includes product links for UK patients. (Note that Dr Myhill uses the term ‘CFS’ to refer to a strange and unscientific mix of information on various patients who merely qualify for a ‘CFS’ misdiagnosis, and patients with M.E. Experienced and educated patients can easily tell which information actually relates to M.E. and which does not, but beginners must be cautioned about relying on any non-general information from Dr Myhill, unfortunately.) Dr Myhill writes:

Most chemicals come out in the first few minutes of saunaing; so you do not have to "boil" yourself for hours to get a result! The best results are achieved from many short sessions (e.g. one daily just to the point of sweating; but you may want to start with two sessions a week and build up). Once you have a covering of sweat, this means chemicals will have been mobilized from the subcutaneous tissues onto the skin. At this point shower off at once. If you do not wash off the released chemicals, they will simply be reabsorbed. After 24 hours, chemicals redistribute from deeper tissues into the superficial layers, and the process can be repeated. This way, after some weeks of saunaing, chemicals will gradually be drawn out from even deeper layers. It is very likely that massage will help by physically mobilising chemicals stuck in fat.
     The key point to remember is that sweat does not contain just the bad things; it also contains the good minerals. This is because sweat is in fact blood without the protein and cellular content. So it is important to rehydrate with a physiological mix of minerals.
     Far Infrared Saunaing does not damage the skin. I have now seen several patients who have had fat-biopsies done before and after sauna detox regimes. So far, everyone has been able to reduce their chemical load substantially. It is clear, then, that the sweating techniques are effective. As a compelling example: one patient saw his chemical load reduce to 25% after a daily sauna for 3 weeks.

Additional notes

Note that prices quoted are in US dollars or Australians dollars (which are almost the same as I write this) and can also be considered accurate to within 10 to 20% for the Canadian or New Zealand dollar.

Far infrared saunas vs Near infrared saunas: While FIR saunas are by far the most commonly used and recommended saunas for medical use, a smaller group of medical experts consider NIR saunas the superior option. NIR advocate Lawrence Wilson MD explains that NIR saunas are lower EMF emitters and have several other advantages over FIR saunas. For more information, and to make up your own mind on this issue, see: Dr Laurence Wilson’s book Sauna Therapy (which includes instructions on how to make your own NIR sauna at home), and the articles: Far Infrared Versus Near Infrared Saunas, Infrared Sauna Therapy and What is A Near Infrared Sauna? (Please note that the HFME does not support the political views expressed on Dr Wilson’s website. Only the medical information portion of the site is recommended by HFME.)

For patients living in Western Australia I can personally recommend ‘Triple Health Saunas’

Thank you to Caroline Gilliford for editing this text.

“As a holistic physician, I am ever searching for better ways to heal the body that are safe, inexpensive, and powerful enough to handle today’s health disasters. Over the past four years, I have incorporated infrared lamp saunas as a healing and detoxification modality. Rarely have I seen such an impressive aid for healing many diverse conditions.” Dr. Larry Wilson


“The sweating process gently and safely helps eliminate all heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Medical studies demonstrate that most toxins can be eliminated through the skin, relieving the burden on the kidneys and liver.  Sweating increases dramatically in most people after several months of daily sauna use. Sweating during exercise is not nearly as effective for detoxification because exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic nervous activity inhibits toxin elimination.” Lawrence Wilson MD


“Begin with only 20 minutes in the sauna. After a few weeks, only if you feel well enough to do so, you may increase to 30 or even 40 minutes. Never begin with sessions longer than 20-minutes once a day because this can cause massive healing reactions that are unpleasant and even dangerous. If debilitated or very heat sensitive, begin with 15 minutes or less in the sauna. Always leave a sauna at once if you feel very faint, if you stop sweating, or if your heart starts to race”. Lawrence Wilson MD


“By far the most important health benefit of an effective far infra red sauna is it's efficiency in removing toxins from the body. This is achieved by a process called "resonate absorption" whereby the frequency of the far infra red waves matches the frequency of the water in the cell, causing toxins to be released into the blood stream and excreted through sweat. Increased blood circulation caused by sweating stimulates the sweat glands, releasing built up toxins and waste”. Sue Pollock, ND. Ballina Naturopathics.

“Always rest for 15 minutes after a sauna session. Shower off and then relax after a sauna session to allow the body to readjust. Do not go right back to daily activities. It is best to use a sauna first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. These are the times one is most relaxed and it will be most effective.  The more one relaxes, the more one will sweat. Use a sauna twice a week to twice a day. However, always begin with a maximum of one session daily for no more than one-half hour. If one is very debilitated, begin with once a week. Work up to daily use as you are able to do so.” Lawrence Wilson MD


“I do a sauna every day and have for a number of years. Usually I go to the YMCA and they have a regular dry sauna. Recently I got an infrared and I was intrigued that the sweat felt different, less watery, and slimier. It made me think there was some truth to the assertions being made about far infrared and its ability to draw more toxins then the standard regular sauna”. Dr. David Minkoff

“Healing reactions are temporary symptoms that occur as toxic substances are eliminated and chronic infections heal. Symptoms vary from mild odors, tastes or rashes are very common and usually pass quickly.  Some people feel great fatigue after sessions and this is normal. Some people have bowel changes, aches, pains or headaches. Old infections may flare up as they are healed due to repeated sauna use”. Lawrence Wilson MD