Acquiring a Sauna
Filling the Gaps
Change in Plans
Effects and Results
WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: Although saunas have been used for thousands of years, in many different areas of the world, with very few problems, there is always the possibility of serious adverse reactions from their use. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you read “SAUNA THERAPY, for Detoxification and Healing”, and consult a doctor, before starting sessions in a sauna. It is also a good idea to have another person who knows when you start a session, and when you should be finished, so that they will check on you if you're not out in time.
Preparation for a session in the sauna begins with the process of pre-heating it to the desired temperature. First, the bamboo curtain is pulled up to the top of its range, and both pieces of canvas are pulled up, and out of the way, and placed on the top of the sauna for easy access.
A large towel is spread out on the floor, in the center of the sauna. A stool is placed on this towel. I use a plastic stool that was made to be used with outdoor furniture. A smaller towel is spread out over the stool, and a hand towel is placed inside the sauna that will be used for wiping sweat off my body.
I turn the lamps on, step inside, and sit on the stool. From this position, I can read the temperature on the thermometer mounted on the sidewall. The idea is to pre-heat the sauna to at least 100-102 degrees. By subtracting the temperature from 100, I can get a rough idea of how much pre-heat time I need. It takes about one minute for each degree when the inside temperature is very low, and slightly less when it is higher.
The lowest starting temperature I had last winter was about 50 degrees, and it took 55 minutes to preheat it to 102 degrees. In the Spring, when it was 70 degrees inside, it took about 100 - 70 = 30 minutes to preheat it. This Summer, with temperatures around 85 degrees, it is only taking 10 minutes to pre-heat the sauna.
The idea is to start with a temperature of about 100-102, and after a 30 minute session, end at 112-116.
After these preliminary steps are completed, I exit the sauna, and the inner piece of canvas is dropped back into place. Then, the outer piece of canvas is positioned to cover the opening, the bamboo curtain is lowered all the way, and a timer is set for the computed pre-heating interval. During pre-heating, I drink a large glass of water.
For the first week, 20 minute sessions are recommended. After that 30 minutes is standard.
I remove all my clothes before entering the sauna.
When the pre-heating is complete, the bamboo curtain is pulled up and out of the way, and the two pieces of canvas are opened and closed as quickly as possible, to allow entry without a major loss of heat. After I am seated on the stool, I make sure that both pieces of canvas are in place to hold the heat in.
The session MUST be broken down into at least four parts, since, in an Infrared-Lamp Sauna, the heating of the body is very uneven. The side of the body facing the lamps gets much hotter than the other three. At first, I changed position every 7 1/2 minutes, but now I like doing a session in an eight part sequence. I start with four 5-minute segments, and then follow that with four 2 1/2-minute segments, to get the total of 30 minutes. This way, no segment gets too intense.
I set the timer for 5 minutes, and I begin the session by sitting (for example) facing the right wall, and then I start the timer. When the time expires, I rotate 90 degrees (for example) to face the lamps, and then I start the timer, again. I continue this process two more times to complete a full 360 degree rotation. When facing the lamps, your eyes will not be harmed if they remain open, but it is better not to stare directly at the bulbs. I close my eyes when I am facing the lamps.
Next, I set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes, and begin the whole 4-step rotation all over again.
When the last segment is completed, I exit the sauna, and turn off the lamps, and I take a quick rinse-off shower to remove the toxins that have been expelled through my skin. The water temperature should be luke warm. When I finish my shower, I drink another large glass of water. Then I lay down for at least 25 minutes to allow my body to rest, re-set its pulse rate and temperature, and recover from the stress of the sauna.
A session in an Infrared-Lamp Sauna is very much like doing long-term, moderately-intense exercise, such as jogging. The heat and infrared energy, from the lamps, puts stress on your body that intensifies as the session progresses. Your cardiopulmonary system receives a real work out, because your pulse rate increases as your heart pumps more blood in an effort to cool your body.
As with exercise, you feel energized, and invigorated, while you are in the sauna, but you also begin to get tired towards the end, and need to rest, and recuperate from the stress, afterwards. Your body begins to tell you that it wants to quit, and get out, and cool off, so it is necessary to use your will power to override these signals and keep going.