Well, tonight I was told that my month was up. I took a five day break because of a last-minute trip to the Sunshine Coast–where the picture above was taken–over the Canada Day long weekend. Upon my return, I increased my time to 60 minutes, and tried to keep the heat between 140-151 degrees for the majority of the time. I made two new discoveries since my last post:
- I realized that I could use my phone without it over-heating. I kept it wrapped in a hand towel as far away from me as I could on the floor. I played meditation podcasts, and avoided checking social media or email by putting my phone on airplane mode. Like I mentioned previously, meditation in the sauna comes a lot easier to me. I am able to breathe long and slow, focus on the words, and let go of the urge to move.
- Hydrating after the sauna with Alkaline water seems to help me regain focus and energy. I started filling up my water bottle with Kangen filter at 9.5, and drank one bottle 5-6 days a week. I’ve been running a lot lately–usually right before I head into the sauna–and I notice when my body is feeling acidic. I fill up before I leave and add a serving of BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids) to the bottle and it helps bring me back down to earth and ready to face the rest of the day.
Recap of Observations
The infrared sauna dramatically improved my mood and mindset about 85-95% of the time. I can think of only two trips where I went and came out not smiling blissfully ear to ear. The ability to think deep and stretch and pay attention all helped me tune into my emotions, my instincts, and my body. I learned that spending as little as 20 minutes was enough to boost my mood and energy–and get a solid sweat on. Anywhere above 45 minutes I found helped me feel more relaxed and quiet. It was easier to meditate and be still.
Going into the infrared sauna after my runs and workouts helped me recover faster. I usually have to foam roll every other day for fifteen minutes or so to get my muscles to agree to move again, but all month long I have only used a bouncy ball on my feet twice in the sauna, and have felt great. Granted, I do spend at least fifteen minutes doing static stretches while I’m in there, but I would have done those anyway and still felt the need to roll out.
I was most surprised by the sauna’s ability to stunt my appetite. Anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours after leaving the sauna, my cravings for food were completely turned off. I found that there was a correlation between the amount of time spent in the sauna and this effect. The longer sessions, the longer I went without feeling hunger. Interestingly, exercising before the sauna boosted this effect even more.
I played around with taking 250mg of niacin before the sauna, and found no noticeable differences other than a slight energy increase. Perhaps because I have the non-flush type of niacin, the effects were not as strong. I would try using the regular flush niacin if I ever embark on a serious heavy metal cleanse, and would then also follow Dr. Yu’s niacin detox protocol and add some extra supplements such as activated charcoal and milk thistle.
If you are stressed out or just hard-wired to be a busy person, the infrared sauna is the place for you. Carving out 30-60 minutes of solitude will do your mind and body wonders. Any adult alive in this day and age could likely benefit from a bit of quiet time, and given that we spend most of our days indoors, the concentrated far-infrared light gives our bodies what it would naturally get if we were living like our ancestors did.
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Tomorrow I will be signing up for another month. I can’t really imagine not having the infrared sauna in my routine now, and I hope my experiment motivates you to try it out for yourself!
Read my Week 2 Recap.
Read my Week 1 Recap.
Read about the 30 Day Experiment from the beginning.