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Infrared Saunaing – Basically The Greatest Thing Ever

By Mikhaila

When I react to something, I use an infrared sauna. I’m super lucky to have access to one. I would say it improves my mood by about 20%, as well as energy levels, and gets rid of the itching I get from these reactions as well. I sit in there for 30-40 minutes. I’m not sure if it’s removing the toxins that make me feel better, or if it does some sort of mitochondrial invigoration… Christine is my dad’s grad student who also follows the same diet and she read that it changes gene expression. Who knows. Maybe all 3 things. Whatever it does, it’s wonderful. It looks like it’s actually the near infrared energy that helps, not the act of saunaing. But the sauna part is nice too.

If I wake up in the morning and feel anxious due to a reaction, hop in the sauna for 30-40 minutes and I’m good to go again. If I’m having a really bad reaction I find the positive effects wear off in 6-7 hours. It never cures the reaction either… but it takes the edge off. During the later part of the reaction (days 13+), I can go 1-2 days between saunaing. I don’t usually feel the need or the positive effects as much after day 16.

If you are feeling rough, or if you’ve eaten something that you shouldn’t have eaten and need to detox faster, infrared saunaing works incredibly well.

My mom had one built in their basement, so I use that. It’s basically a big pine closet with infrared panels in it. These are the panels. I also googled it, and apparently for about 2000$ you can buy a premade little IR sauna. They usually have spas in cities though. Just type in “Infrared Sauna Spa” and that should do the trick. Give it a try and let me know if it makes you feel any different.

If you have an autoimmune disorder or mood problems, try it out, it helps me so much.  It reduces the arthritis and muscle pain I experience during reactions, and also clears up my skin! This is a huge point. If I have a reaction, I almost always break out (about a week after I’ve ingested the food). This seems to stop that as well. I also won’t sweat at night, I still get hot, but the sauna gets rid of enough of the toxins that I don’t need to sweat at night. Many positive things. There is a lot of evidence for the benefits of saunaing for blood pressure, and I’ve linked to studies for arthritis, removing toxins, and muscle recovery above.

Mercola does a good job of summarizing and links to many studies. So does Dr. Northrup.

Last but not least, bring water in with you and stay hydrated. During reactions my water consumption sky rockets (whether or not I sauna). I also tend to eat more salt, possibly to replace electrolytes.

If you need a quick pick me up, definitely give it a try!

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  1. As winter closes in here in Scotland, that is very, very tempting. Unfortunately we don’t have one locally to test out, so I’d have to go all in and buy one. Hmmm…. Christmas is just around the corner after all. It may well help my wife’s Hashimoto’s too I guess, which now I think about it, may be just the leverage I need to persuade her 😉

    1. I’ve read that it can help those with methylation issues due to MTHFR defects too – which both my wife and I have. I think I’ll see if I can get a go in one when I’m in the city next week, before I take the plunge.

  2. That’s very interesting, Mikhaila!

    I’ve been interested in the effect of saunas on depression for a long time and actually bought 2 large quartz and one halogen heater to try and experiment at home – it does have an effect, but it has been quite inconsistent for me.

    Some possible mechanisms that might be at work:

    1. “Whole-Body Hyperthermia for Treating Major Depressive Disorder” – author’s theory is that hyperthermia shuts off the default mode network, because a part of the brain that senses skin heat is nearby. That doesn’t really relate well to the auto-immune component you have though…but again neither do SSRIs. If that’s the mechanism, going to the sauna at the body temperature daily peak (5-8pm), and not in the morning would achieve much higher body temperatures more easily.

    2. “Near-Infrared Transcranial Radiation for Major Depressive Disorder” – apparently, every cell in the body has something called cytochrome c oxidase, which absorbs certain wavelengths (~810nm) and kicks-starts energy production in the cell. Far-infrared saunas (heaters have a dark orange glow) wouldn’t really have any of those wavelengths. Near-infrared saunas (halogen heaters – very bright almost like a light bulb) have plenty of them.

    3. Heat shock proteins – apparently get released when the skin gets heated above 106f – that’s the easiest mechanism to work with, as it takes almost no time for that to happen. I don’t think there are publications linking HSP to alleviation of depression though.

  3. There are portable saunas you can buy for $150. I have one, they work very well, don’t take up much space, and are cost effective. My only stigma on this product is not sharing the one-man sauna with anyone else. It doesn’t feel very hygienic.

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