Infrared saunas

LLLT can include light emitting diodes (LED), lamps and fluorescent tube devices. This form of therapy appears to help the inflammation of rosacea. LED is one example of a gentle form of light which can be used. There are also infra-red and near infra-red forms of light therapy being reported as effective. Drop by here to find out the latest about this emerging treatment area.

Infrared saunas

Postby Twickle Purple » Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:39 pm

This has come up and I wonder if anyone here has experience using these. I am just beginning to read about it and have seen claims that it aids in relieving inflammatory skin conditions. I am not sure how this is so, as I think that heat is an irritant.
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Re: Infrared saunas

Postby Dan » Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:17 pm

Hi Twickle P,

I'm actually having very good luck with recent use (last 3 months or so) of a Far Infrared (FIR) Sauna as odd as this would seem, and I've found continued non-aggressive use (meaning not too long in duration and not too high in heat level) actually seems to help what's left of my rosacea symptoms. If you search the internet, some sites suggest that FIR saunas are a great method of detoxification by producing a sweat at a low temperature (low in terms of saunas that is, with temps as low as 120-130 degrees F or so) and others suggest that they are also antimicrobial via the heating / febrile response they produce (most pathogens are very heat sensitive).

Generally though as you know, many of us rosaceans react very, very negatively to heat, so I'm not sure how others might react to FIR sauna. I did find one old post in the RSG archives where a member posted that saunas (I don't believe he mentioned FIR sauna) seemed to help with his rosacea after causing a short post sauna flush, a description that I found very similar to what I actually find with it (generally I take a cool shower afterwards and by the time I'm out of the shower all signs of flush are gone). Many other posts in the RSG archives are by members who found saunas in general to be bad for their rosacea though (as we might expect). Still though, FIR saunas are a little different than general saunas in that their heat levels are usually much lower.

When I started using my FIR sauna in early August, my rosacea was pretty much non-existent anyway after months of treatment for C. pneumoniae, so I'm really not the best test subject here. Perhaps it is worth a try though, particularly if you have access to one that you might try for a few times before having to purchase one.

BTW, I found the following site helpful in that it lists some studies on FIR saunas and Far Infrared Radiation in general:

INFRARED SAUNA THERAPY

Studies like the following out of Japan and Korea are probably the most interesting though:

Promotive effects of far-infrared ray on full-thickness skin wound healing in rats

Effects of infrared radiation on skin photo-aging and pigmentation

The effects of repeated thermal therapy for two patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

Repeated sauna therapy reduces urinary 8-epi-prostaglandin F(2alpha)

Hyperthermic treatment of sporotrichosis: experimental use of infrared and far infrared rays

Good luck if you do try an infrared sauna. Let us know what you find...
Dan
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Re: Infrared saunas

Postby Twickle Purple » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:34 pm

Thanks Dan.

I do find this intriguing. I'm not a fan of perspiring though, it aggravates my eczema terribly, but I have come across some sites claiming the FIR sauna is quite beneficial for eczema, to the point of touting 'no more emollients or steroids." I find that highly doubtful, yet harbor the hope it's true.

Thanks for the links. I will do more reading.

Cheers,
TP

Removing drugs from tissue storage may cause flashbacks or temporary drug effects, the same as when you took the drug. If you have used LSD or other psychotropic drugs, have an attendant near by, as a few have experienced flashbacks or even full-blown LSD trips.
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Re: Infrared saunas

Postby Twickle Purple » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:02 pm

Hi Dan,

Would you mind sharing what unit you use?

Thanks,
TP
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Re: Infrared saunas

Postby Dan » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:04 pm

Removing drugs from tissue storage may cause flashbacks or temporary drug effects, the same as when you took the drug. If you have used LSD or other psychotropic drugs, have an attendant near by, as a few have experienced flashbacks or even full-blown LSD trips.


Wow, too funny! Two trips for the price of one! :lol:
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Re: Infrared saunas

Postby Dan » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:05 pm

Sure Twickle P, I just got a reconditioned I-Spa-L from this site for US $199 (I have no affiliation with them btw):

http://www.ib3health.com/products/InfraredSauna/ReconditionedISPA.shtml

It came clean and in perfect working condition. It also comes with a foot heating pad and a folding chair, neither of which I use. I just put a towel down on the rubber floor mat, put the little flap down over the hole where your head can stick out, zip up the arm holes, and sit cross-legged inside, turning around once, with my back to the heating pads for 15 minutes and my front (including my face) to the heating pads for 15 minutes, 30 minutes total, once a day. I kind of figured when I purchased it that if I liked it, I would go with a better unit later, but this one seems to be serving its purpose for me just fine, and I like that it is small enough to set up in my bedroom, near my bathroom, so I can just run right over to the shower afterwards without dripping sweat all through my house. I sweat like an absolute PIG while in the sauna (although actually this description is completely unfair to PIGS, since they probably don't sweat like this at all! :) )...

If you were interested in a bigger and nicer unit though, someone on cpnhelp.org mentioned this site, with basic one and two person units sold relatively inexpensively (again, I have no affiliation with them, but I also don't have any experience with ordering from them):

http://qualitysaunawarehouse.com/1p.htm

Hope this helps...
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Re: Infrared saunas

Postby Twickle Purple » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:37 pm

Thanks Dan.

I like your unit because you can keep your head out of it, and also read while passing the time.

This unit is available locally, and I wonder about the different heat technology.

http://www.soleilsaunas.com/solopro.htm

The lady I spoke with says that it emits 9.4 – 9.6 microns and uses a black carbon heater. Are all NIR emitters equal if they have the same output?

The unit above also has 9 temperature settings which would allow me to control the process a bit more. Start off slow and progress gently depending on the reaction I get.

I really appreciate your thoughts on this!

thanks,
TP
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Re: Infrared saunas

Postby Dan » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:21 pm

You're welcome Twickle P. These are great questions, but gosh, I just don't know. I googled a bit just now for you, but I couldn't really find any scientific studies to support one FIR emitter over another. It's so hard to sort through all the marketing claims to find what is actually supported by real studies.

Everyone seems to suggest that their particular type of FIR emitters are best. But I tend to believe that any FIR emitter will do, however, and some even suggest that plain old infrared lamps (like brooder lamps) may work as well, potentially even penetrating into tissues more deeply. I believe the benefits are really all about the heating and sweating, and I get plenty of sweat from my cheap model, however.

Here's a site that tries to weed through some of the marketing hype btw:

http://altmed.creighton.edu/sauna/

I don't mean to try to sway you towards any particular type of emitter though, as I really just don't know...

Let us know what you do decide. And most of all, good luck!
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Re: Infrared saunas

Postby Twickle Purple » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:28 pm

Thanks again Dan.

I have taken the plunge and ordered the unit I linked to previously. I liked it because of its size and shape, and because I can tuck it away easily. I bought the mat as well so that I get full coverage. I should have it next week. :D I will take this very slowly, but if it doesn't work out all is not lost, my husband loves a good sweat.

Cheers!
TP
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Re: Infrared saunas

Postby Dan » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:35 pm

Congrats! Looks like a really nice unit.

I'm hoping you'll find it very beneficial. One of the things I've noticed is much improved moisture content of my skin while using the FIR sauna so I'm hoping that this helps your eczema greatly...

Definitely do start up slowly. I started with 40 minutes on high for the first several days (there's no doing like overdoing!) and found that 30 minutes on medium levels seems to work better for me. BTW, I found improvement almost from the first session though, with continued improvement over time. Let's hope you find the same thing...
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