Finally your sauna is home. It’s time to relax from your day and let the soft infrared heat wash over and soothe your entire body. Sweat away the stress. Relieve sore muscles. Re-energize every cell of your body while you increase circulation, strengthen your heart and bring nutrient and oxygen rich blood to the surface of your skin and all your vital organs. Here are a few tips to get the most from your sauna experience. Happy bathing!
Stay Hydrated! It’s the most important rule of sauna use. Most of us don’t drink enough water as it is. To get the most out of yoursauna you must sweat! Your body is only going to be able to sweat out as much water as you give it. A good rule of thumb is to divide your body weight in half and drink that number of ounces in water daily. Drink, Drink, Drink at least a pint to 3 pints of water before, during and after your sauna session. It is never safe to drink alcohol in your sauna.
Wait at least 1 – 2 hours after eating before beginning a far infrared sauna session. This allows your body to attain the best overall results, since blood is not being diverted for digestion.
No skin lotions. Do not use skin lotions or oils before or during your sauna session as this will inhibit sweating and clog up pores. As a side note: Your skin crème is wasted if used before or during your sauna. As you drip sweat lotion will run, it can get in your eyes. It’s quite a messy business, it’s much better to wait until after you’ve cooled down and showered before applying your favorite skin crème.
Find the right time for you! There are lots of right times to enjoy your sauna session. Sauna sessions are enjoyed to get the day started or the capstone of a long day. Saunas sessions can be quite beneficial in starting an exercise routine or ending one. A short sauna bath is often better than no sauna bath.
Sauna Apparel. Lightweight shorts and tee shirt are ok. Swim suits are better. “Birthday Suit” is fine, too. More skin exposure is certainly preferable as it’s easier to wipe away sweat.
Towels, Towels, and more towels. How many towels you bring into the sauna is up to you. You will probably appreciate having one towel to sit on or lay on. One towel to help wipe off and absorb perspiration as it accumulates on your body so that you sweat more. One towel placed under your feet to catch any perspiration that might otherwise fall to the sauna floor.
Sauna Temperature: Set your sauna temperature to 115 -135 degrees F to begin infrared sauna warm up. When sauna reaches 90-110 degrees F, it’s time to begin your session.
Sauna Session Timer: Start Slowly When you first begin to use your infrared sauna. After you begin to break a sweat, a 10 -20 minute session is recommended. For the first week to two weeks, schedule your far infrared sauna sessions every other day. Do not exceed 60 minutes in the sauna per session.
Sauna Session Activities: By stretching your arms, legs, neck, back area, etc. during your far infrared sauna session you can achieve increased body flexibility, range of motion, and reduce chronic stiffness and problem areas. Massage congested and “knotty” muscle areas to help alleviate soreness, pain and tightness. Massage the area around old injuries to help bring more oxygen to the damaged area. This will assist in bringing improved healing to old injuries.
Cool Down. When you finish your sauna session, it is important to relax and cool down while your body continues to perspire. Find a quiet locations and sit quietly or recline with a towel or robe around you for about 10 minutes, or until you cease perspiring all together.
Shower Power: Once you have cooled down its time to take a warm shower, exfoliate your skin to thoroughly clean and remove sweat residue, old skin cells and any toxins that have risen to the surface of your skin. Once your body is thoroughly clean, cool the shower to help cool down your body completely and close the skin pores.
Healing Reactions are temporary symptoms associated with eliminating toxic substances, healing chronic infections or metabolic changes in the body. They are an important function of all deep healing methods. These short lived “flare-ups” are generally mild and are positive sign that deep healing is occurring. Symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, odors, and fatigue. If you are experiencing a healing reaction, drink water and lie down and rest until the symptoms abate.
No Sweat: You may not sweat a lot during your first 2-3 sauna sessions. This is normal for many people, as they haven’t had a recent history of sweating, and it takes a few sessions to “retrain” the body/ lymph system to do what comes naturally. Over time, you will begin to sweat more quickly and at a lower temperature setting as your body adjusts to your regular sauna routine. Dr. J.H. Halperin, Professor of Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Listen to your Body: Take care not to overheat during your first few sessions. If you feel lightheaded, have a queasy stomach, or start to get a headache, terminate session immediately. As the body continues to adjust, sweating can increase dramatically and body temperature regulation becomes more effective. An increase in heartbeat of up to 30% above the resting pulse is generally considered safe, unless a medical or heart condition requires keeping your pulse rate lower. Body temperature should not be allowed to rise above 102 degrees F.
Sauna Maintenance. Vacuum your sauna once per week to keep it free of dust, dead skin particles and hair. Use a mild baking soda or diluted vinegar solution with a damp sponge/cloth to clean the bench and backrests. Vinegar will cleanse and disinfect wood where sweat has collected. Try not to soak the wood with water as this can darken the color. Never use chemical or cleansers. Again, if you will use plenty of towels on the bench seat where you sit and lie down during your session, you will reduce the amount of cleaning maintenance that is required.
Oxygen Ionizer. This useful device is ideal for keeping your sauna germ and bacteria free. The free oxygen radicals produced by the Oxygen Ionizer are a superb cleaning and disinfecting agent. In more humid climates, the Ionizer also prevents mold, fungus and mildew from forming. Turn on the Oxygen Ionizer for 30 minutes after each sauna session to keep your sauna sanitary and odor free. The Oxygen Ionizer is a most effective tool for keeping your infrared sauna sanitary and fresh smelling for years!