Interview with Brian Richards, founder of SaunaSpace, who fully healed his toxin-related acne, brain fog, adrenal fatigue and more with the power of near infrared light and heat therapy. Chatting about the benefits of NIR, difference between NIR and FIR, how to use an NIR sauna, and more.
For podcast transcript, scroll down.
SHOW NOTES + LINKS
- Feel awesome on your keto diet with The Keto Bundle
- Try my free 7-day keto meal plan
- Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app
- Use KETO coupon code for 10% off at SaunaSpace (valid until June 30th, 2017 for exclusive podcast listeners only)
- More from Brian Richards
- Watch the video on NIR
- Check out my other interview with Brian
- Read about SaunaSpace in What Leanne Loves
- The benefits of near infrared healing therapy (10:05)
- The inner workings of cellular detoxification (22:43)
- Health risks of limited exposure to NIR (28:09)
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TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE
You’re listening to episode #32 of The Keto Diet Podcast. Today we’re chatting about the benefit of near infrared, also known as NIR, how detoxification works in an NIR sauna, and imbalances helped with NIR. So, stay tuned.
Hey, I’m Leanne from healthfulpursuit.com, and this is The Keto Diet Podcast, where we’re busting through the restrictive mentality of a traditional ketogenic diet to uncover the life you crave. What’s keto? Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet, where we’re switching from a sugar-burning state to become fat-burning machines. If you’re in need of keto recipe food prep inspiration, I’ve prepped a free, seven-day keto meal plan exclusive for podcast listeners. The plan is complete with a shopping list and everything you need to chow down on keto for seven whole days. Download your free copy at healthfulpursuit.com/ketomeal. Let’s get this party started.
Hey, guys. Happy episode 32, May 7th of 2017. Can’t even believe it. I just got back from Toronto on the book tour, and my birthday is in three days. I’m turning 31. It’s interesting. Ever since I was little, I never imagined myself going past the age of 30. I don’t know, I always just imagined at 30 I’d be like … have all my stuff figured out, which I totally don’t, and have … I don’t know, I’ve never thought past 30. It’s not a mid-life crisis, but now I’m feeling like my life is kind of an open slate, like I can do anything, because I’ve never dreamt of what it’d be like to go past this. I’m actually really excited. We’re going to be heading out camping, celebrating my birthday out in the woods. That’s where I feel the most at home and the calmest in these last couple of weeks, and even months. You know, this last year has just been insane, so I need a couple days … I need more than a couple days, but the couple days will have to last for now, of just relaxing, being by the fire, sleeping in, and eating all of the things.
The show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e32. The transcript is added to the post about three to five days following the initial air date of the episode. Let’s hear from one of our awesome partners.
Instant Pot, my personal favorite pressure cooker, is a partner of the podcast. With Instant Pot, you can make meals in minutes. Truly. I was someone who was intimated by pressure cookers, but I’m so happy I gave Instant Pot a try. It makes rich bone broths, hearty stews, and epic dishes just like your slow cooker does, but a lot quicker. I have the Instant Pot IP-DUO60, which pressure cooks, slow cooks, cooks rice, sautés, makes yogurts, steams, and warms up food all in one. As an exclusive for Keto Diet Podcast listeners only, Instant Pot is offering everyone $50 off any Instant Pot of their choice. Simply go to instantpot.com, find the unit that best suits you, and use the coupon code KETO — that’s in all caps, no spaces — for your $50 discount.
If you have an idea for a podcast episode or want to submit praise over and above the review, which you’re about to leave by going to healthfulpursuit.com/review, right? You can reach me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Our guest today is Brian, the founder of SaunaSpace and lead product developer. He healed his toxin-related acne, brain fog, adrenal fatigue, and more with the power of near infrared lamp sauna’s natural light and heat therapy. His personal journey to optimal health inspired him to create SaunaSpace and the Pocket Sauna product line in order to help others discover the pathway to healing. Brian has put together an amazing offer exclusive to podcast listeners only. Until June 30, 2017, you can use the coupon code KETO at saunaspace.com — I’ll also include a link in the show notes if you’re not sure — at checkout and get 10% off anything you purchase.
The 10% off coupon can be combined with any other offer that they’re running. If they have a promotion going on when you check out their website, any time before June 30, 2017, if you use that coupon code, you’re going to get 10% off. That is sweet. So good. I wanted to have Brian on the show because I got my Pocket Sauna about two years ago now — I think like two years and a month — after I calculated after recording. I go in it almost every day, probably about five, maybe six times a week. When I first got started with the NIR … And we’re going to be talking about what NIR is, so don’t worry about that. But when I first got started with my Pocket Sauna, I set it up. I went in there, and I didn’t sweat at all. I felt a little bit better, but I was like, “Eh, I don’t know.” And then over time, I started feeling happier and I started sweating more.
Every time I went in there, I was sweating more. Now, into my second year with my Pocket Sauna, when I’m traveling for long periods of time and I don’t have it with me, I just get a little agitated. I try to go in different saunas, but it doesn’t help because I just miss that near infrared light. If you guys have ever had questions about: What’s the best sauna, and what should I look for in a sauna? this is one of a couple of features that Brian and I have done together. I’ve known Brian for quite a while, and it’s been so cool to see his business flourish. He’s just so darn passionate about detoxification, mitochondria and cellular detoxification, and getting really into there instead of just looking at the mild detox approaches that we take with like juice cleansing or quote unquote, “eating clean,” which I hate that expression, but that’s what people say with a detoxification.
It’s just such a fabulous tool to have in your toolbox, even if you don’t use it right now, to just know more information about NIR and the benefits, and even just the sun and what the sun provides and looking at LED lighting. It’s a great episode. I hope you all enjoy it. If you do decide to move forward with checking out Brian’s website, totally do. You don’t have to. It’s totally cool. But you can go to saunaspace.com to read up more about it. I’ve also included some links in the show notes of other features that I’ve done with Brian that go through some more details if you’re curious to learn more about NIR. Without further ado, let’s cut over to the interview … Hey, Brian, how’s it going today?
Brian Richards: How are you doing, Leanne?
Leanne Vogel: I’m doing fabulous. I’m so happy to have you back. We haven’t chatted in a long time.
Brian Richards: Yeah. It’s been a busy year for SaunaSpace. This year is, I think, going to be pretty epic for us.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. I’m so excited for you guys. I know that we’ve chatted over the past couple of years. Like you said, you’ve definitely grown. Maybe for those listeners that may not be familiar with your work, why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Brian Richards: Yeah, so about six years ago, I had some toxin-related health problems. I had primarily acne on my torso, insomnia, some mind racing, and just some foggy lethargy stuff that I eventually realized was adrenal burnout, which was brain fog and all the other problems that come with that. In my search for a natural solution for detoxification and kind of restoring my health, I stumbled across the works of Dr. Lawrence Wilson, the foremost advocate of this near infrared lamp sauna therapy as just the most effective way to both detoxify and restore your cellular health. Long story short, I’m a tinker-er kind of guy. I built my own. It was pretty bricolaged, pretty ugly, but the therapy was phenomenal. Within a few days, or no more than a week or more of using it every day, my insomnia and my mind issues went away.
I think a part of that, now I understand the science and everything behind it, is the parasympathetic relaxation. I was sleeping better. I had more energy. And then over the course of six or nine months, near infrared sauna therapy, using my own every day, and just changing my diet to a more ancestral human diet, more of a paleo diet, transformed my health. I had a full recovery from everything, even my acne on my torso. That was the inspiration for SaunaSpace in all of this. That’s when I started thinking … Well, I was just kind of astonished. Why couldn’t I have bought this before, and why was it not available? Now, after about five years of product development and formation of my own company and developing the product and the business and all aspects of it, I realize why. It’s been a lot of grit and a lot of work, but here we are now. I have a big shop now, and I have 13 full-time employees.
And looking forward to really the best year we’ve ever had with a product, again, that’s been in development for a long time. It’s something really special. We’re SaunaSpace, and my product is the Near Infrared Pocket Sauna. If you haven’t heard from me yet, you’ll be hearing and seeing from me soon.
Leanne Vogel: He’s everywhere, watch out. Yeah, it’s so great. I’ve had the sauna probably, I would say, going on two years now. Probably two years this April, maybe. It’s phenomenal. We were talking before we started recording, when I’m away from home for long periods of time, I just crave that feeling that you get. It’s my meditation space. It’s where I work on my breathing. It’s just this little room that’s just mine that I can go. When you were starting up, like you were saying, researching things, why did you decide on the near infrared? What’s the difference between … you know, you see far infrared saunas and a full-spectrum red saunas. What’s the different between all of those things?
Brian Richards: Yeah, that’s a great question, Leanne. When people talk about infrared saunas typically out there in the market, they’re all talking about almost entirely far infrared saunas. What we do here is near infrared. Number one, it’s a difference of wavelength. But most importantly, it’s that near infrared lamp saunas using the tungsten lamp filament — so the incandescent light bulb — are totally unique in offering the two healing aspects of the sun that no other sauna in the world offers. Of all manmade light-emitting technologies, only the incandescent lamp emulates the incandescence of the sun. The sun heats up to 6,000 Kelvin, very hot, and incandesces. It produces a full spectrum, thermal light emission that’s a fundamental aspect of the universe. There’s no avoiding it. There’s no hiding it. It’s a part of our world.
Among all light-emitting technologies — amino fluorescents, LEDs, far infrared emitters, carbon emitters — it’s actually only the incandescent lamp that produces light via incandescence. It’s the same full spectrum emission we get from the sun, only it operates at a cooler temperature. As a cooler blackbody radiator that is an incandescent light source at about 3,000 Kelvin or so, it produces the same full spectrum bell curve emission with a long tail into the longer wavelength infrared. But instead of it peaking in the visible light spectrum like the sun, it peaks in the near infrared region. What that means is that the incandescent lamp emits no UV and no blue at all. I suppose that the minute amount of blue that is emitted is completely filtered out by the red glass on these heat lamps.
We use three or four of these incandescent near infrared heat lamps to provide the two healing aspects of the sun. One is, of course, heat. This is thermal heat, so there’s this heat from light. First of all, how does that heat you up? Water begins to absorb light wavelengths at 1,100 nanometers and greater. About half of the near infrared band and going on into longer wavelength, all of that’s absorbed by water. It only is partially absorbed by water when we start at 1,100, 1,200 nanometers. Uniquely, the near infrared lamp sauna has this radiant-style heating effect that heats you from within. Contrast that with far infrared saunas, far infrared wavelengths starting at 6,000 nanometers and greater are 100% absorbed by water. They don’t penetrate deep, they only penetrate as far as they hit a water molecule: one or two inches.
All that to say that this is the most efficient way to heat tissue, animal tissue, live tissue. That’s why farmers use these to heat their chickens. It’s a very efficient, very effective way to heat the body. Why do we want to heat the body? It’s the same reason we do all heat therapies. All cultures in the world have what’s, in general, called heat shock therapy. When we heat shock the cells — so we raise cell temperature about three degrees or so for a period of minutes — we activate cellular detox systems, primarily the heat shock proteins, but also other … vasodilation, increase oxygenation, and other systems that are primarily detoxifying us. There are other cellular growth and regenerative effects, but in short, heat shock detoxes the cell. We get that from all saunas, and actually all heat therapy, even the hot tub or being out in the sun.
Amongst all heat therapies, only the sun — an incandescent light source — and the incandescent lamp, our near infrared lamp sauna, also deliver something even perhaps more powerful: near infrared light for mitochondrial activation. This is the second healing aspect of the sunlight of the full spectrum of the sun. Thermal infrared is absorbed by water and heats us, but this very special light therapy band from 600 to 1,000 nanometers, roughly — that includes visible red light from 6 to 700 and about half of the near infrared band … This 400 nanometer-wide band, 600 to 1,000 nanometers, stimulates mitochondrial functions. How does it do that? This is the essence of light therapy. There are many names for this in the science and in the literature. They all refer to the same thing.
Red light therapy, near infrared therapy, light therapy, photobiology, photo biomodulation, these are all names for the same thing. Light is activating biological systems. The primary way that does that in the mitochondria is a special light receptor protein called the cytochrome C, I believe. This protein is a light receptor. When it’s stimulated with this narrow band of light, only this red light and this near infrared light, it activates mitochondrial regenerative and epigenetic repair systems. Anti-aging repair of the DNA, of the genes, cellular regenerative stimulation, these are all indirect effects of stimulating the mitochondria with light. We can go into that more, but in short, we eat light. Light is a nutrient, but only the right type of light.
We want full spectrum natural light. We don’t want monochromatic LED light. We don’t want one or two wavelengths of this light therapy band, we want all of them. In fact, we want all of them in an alliance with the thermal infrared that heat shocks us. Heat detoxifies and light reoptimizes and restores optimal functioning of the cell. The two are wedded together from a full spectrum light source, the sun, which is the primary revolutionary precedent for all these light therapy systems and these heat systems. It’s a billion years of evolution. What’s so fascinating about this and why this is different than any other type of detox modality out there, and any other type of light therapy modality out there, is that they come together from a single, low EMF incandescent light source — the lamp.
When we do the two together, clearly there’s a synergy between the two. It’s not enough to just detox. It’s not enough to just reoptimize the cells if we still have toxins in there. We want to do them both together at the same time in a systemic, full-body fashion. I didn’t realize any of this in the beginning, of course, but this is what we offer with SaunaSpace with the Near Infrared Pocket Sauna. The rest is really good design that we’ve been developing for four or five years, but this is how we heal our bodies. It’s not a juice cleanse for detoxing superficially. It’s not a monochromatic red light therapy wand that incompletely stimulates some mitochondrial function. It’s giving us exactly the full spectrum of light as nature intended it and the heat so that we can detox and heal every cell of our body.
I don’t know if you know this, Leanne, but there are between 1,000 and 2,000, on average, mitochondria in every cell of our body. With the mere application of near infrared light and heat in a systemic fashion, we stimulate the most fundamental biological healing systems that we have — heat detoxification and re-optimization in every cell of the body. To reinforce this a little bit, near infrared light is the most deeply … There’s a lot of confusion on this. Many people think that far infrared penetrates deeper than near infrared, or that they both penetrate the same. It’s actually near infrared white light wavelengths, particularly around 800 or 900 nanometers, that penetrate tissue the deepest. They’ve been shown to penetrate human tissue up to 23 centimeters. We have a NASA study on our website that shows that penetration through calf tissue. Very interesting.
That’s about six … that’s almost nine inches. What we say is, “Near infrared light penetrates six to nine inches in the human tissue,” which makes sense because we have these mitochondria in every cell of our body, not just our skin. It’s our liver, our organs, our kidneys, even inside of our bones. Near infrared lights are the only wavelengths of light that have actually been shown to penetrate bone tissue. All this is very interesting. We can go into the science a lot about the quantum mechanics of it and the rest, but suffice it to say that the most fundamental way our bodies heal at the cellular level is in this fashion — with light and heat in an alliance together. With our product, we’re basically bringing the sun and all these healing aspects of the sun into the convenience of your home every day for the rest of your life.
That’s been a big part of our success, is the fact that unlike far infrared saunas or unlike just light therapy systems, LED and other therapy systems, we’re addressing all aspects of restoring the health of every cell of your body, and particularly the mitochondrial activation. This light therapy stuff, it makes you feel happy. It’s the part of the sun that makes you feel happy. We were just at the Nutritional Therapy Association Conference, actually, last weekend in Vancouver, Washington, and it continually amazes me how positive of an impact it has to sit in our sauna, our near infrared sauna, for a couple of minutes. People come out with happy faces and a relaxed look on their face. It’s a very calming effect. It’s a very energizing heat and light.
It’s not something that’s draining or choking like people often report about your far infrared saunas and your wet saunas. This is a rejuvenative heat and light that is activating healing systems in the very cells of our body. All that to say that near infrared sauna is completely different than anything else out there.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, and you can definitely feel it. I went into, like, a steam sauna when we were on vacation, and I left feeling just drained. I was like, “I don’t get that with my Pocket Sauna like ever.” I always leave feeling more energetic and just happier, like you said, but I didn’t get that from that sauna, of course, because it’s nothing at all the same. Just having the sauna practice that I have now, my body was expecting that and didn’t get it. The mitochondria is at the center of all the energy in your cell. To get on a detox on the cellular level, of course it’s going to be so much more powerful than any juice cleanse or quote unquote, “clean eating program,” that you could possibly go on because it’s so much more powerful … More on my interview with Brian Richards after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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Leanne Vogel: What kind of people are using your sauna? What do you see people using it for?
Brian Richards: Well, if you go onto our website and you read some of our reviews, you’ll see the breadth of healing stories that people have. Really, it’s everything under the sun. Our customers are reporting restoration from really almost everything. It does seem to be a real fountain of youth. You can read these for yourself, our real customer stories on our website. Instances of fibromyalgia, MS, of joint pain, of amelioration of depression, of skin issues like eczema and acne, and even things like alopecia and just general ill health, all of these … We have all these names, and conventional medicine wants to convince us that there are these things called diseases that we’re stuck with.
Really, if you think of it from a different perspective, there is no such thing as disease. All there is is a biomechanical and bioluminescent system that degrades over time through toxic exposure, through environmental exposure, and through oxidation, through aging. As our cells experience the damages of toxins and aging and other pollutants, even electromagnetic pollution, not only do they get damaged, the cell body itself gets damaged physically, it also becomes degraded over time, the functioning of the cell. What we call epigenetics, this is kind of a newer, exciting term that we’re calling, what we’re referring to, things that are not in the direct blueprint of the DNA, but actually how the structure and the configuration of the DNA affects how the cell functions and how the cell regulates itself.
As our genes age over time and become degraded, our cell’s way of copying itself — so gene transcription, how the cell makes all of its parts — becomes degraded over time. It’s less and less optimal, so the proteins are not quite made perfectly and there are more mistakes that occur. The cell kind of still works okay, but not quite as good as before. Eventually, you get to a point where the degradation reaches such a point that the cell becomes diseased. When that happens in the tissues, the tissues become diseased and we develop what we would call a disease. When you think about it that way, if we can look at the cellular level and see that all cells are the same, they all respond with the detoxification when we heat shock them and they can all be reoptimized through full spectrum …
From near infrared light mitochondrial stimulation, what we see is that people seem to be able to recover from everything and anything. It doesn’t address your nutrition, what you’re eating, and it certainly doesn’t address your lifestyle choices and what you’re doing in your life, your relationships, your habits. As a single means and tool of anti-aging or regenerating, restoring your health and galvanizing yourself against this modern toxic world and this modern onslaught of stress, the near infrared sauna is unique because it’s, again, it’s going to the fundamental cellular level of things. It’s reoptimizing and detoxing and restoring. It’s just really amazing when you look on the website, and that really is only a small portion of our thousands of thousands of customers that we have out there.
It’s really gratifying to hear every time we hear back from a customer and they say, “This has changed my life. This has restored my life in this way or that way.” Or, “I’m back to work.” Or, “I’m doing things I haven’t done before.” I mean, reduction of heat sensitivity. People are getting back to work. People who are getting their lives back, they’re taking their health back naturally, safely, and effectively through natural healing, through light and heat.
Leanne Vogel: That’s so interesting. Something that I have seen, too, is calming the nervous system. I know that that’s something that I have experienced with adrenal dysfunction and hypothyroidism. It’s been super awesome for me. In fact, somebody even asked, or they had seen that therapies are starting to use near infrared directly, like closer to the thyroid, to help with Hashimoto’s. I think that’s really interesting that people are starting to wake up to the fact that this is such a powerful tool. I would imagine if clinics are starting to use that same technology — I mean, it’s not necessarily technology, but just this strategy for healing — that it could be also beneficial to just jump in your Pocket Sauna and have all of those benefits while also relaxing and not having to go to a doctor’s office.
I know for myself and my thyroid, it’s been quite phenomenal. In fact, there was actually a question, you know, “When I jump in my sauna and I’m not sweating, what’s going on? It’s been forever.” I noticed that at first, as well. It was because I had hypothyroidism. I wasn’t sweating. Once my thyroid kind of regulated, now, in my sauna … oh my gosh. I sweat a lot. It’s pretty cool to watch how my healing has taken place over the last couple of years. In addition, like you said, it’s not just a one strategy to heal your entire body. Also being mindful of your breathing and the nutrition that you choose to nourish your body with can all have a pretty powerful effect. I firmly believe, and I know that you do, too, that near infrared holds a really strong place in that pool of things that can help your body.
Brian Richards: Yes. It’s something that people don’t consider. People know that the sun makes them feel good. It’s the near infrared part of the sun that makes you feel good. Really, it’s that mitochondrial stimulation that … Some of the effects of near infrared light mitochondrial stimulation are accelerated wound and muscle healing, a reduction of inflammation, cell regeneration, inflammatory mediation, epigenetic repair of the genes, and just all other kinds of stuff that’s, in short, helping the cell work better. Everybody benefits from that. Everybody should realize and respect that if we don’t get near infrared light from the sun or from the incandescent lamp, it has very deleterious effects on our health.
Some people know that nowadays with all this modern LED lighting. They’ve removed the infrared component for energy efficiency purposes, and so they’re producing light not by incandescence, but by chemical reaction. But it’s all just blue light. Blue light is very high energy. It’s stressful on the body. The UV and blue are very, very similar. They’re right next to each other on the spectrum. They’re so high energy that they’re basically killing us. It was that infrared, near infrared portion of the incandescent lamps that was so beneficial to our health. That nowadays, with fluorescent lighting and LED lighting, for the sake of energy efficiency, we are destroying our health. And yet good old incandescent, a 120-year-old technology, was not just the best light source back then, it is still the best light source today because it heals us.
It makes us feel good. It makes us happy. It makes people more attractive. It does all these things, and yet still today, we still have this movement of going to more energy efficiency when we actually know — it’s pretty public now — how damaging blue is. We know it, UV, but we increasingly understand that blue is very damaging to our health. I just wanted to say one more thing. The French occupational hazard governmental body, it’s called [Anties 00:30:04], issued a broad declaration back in 2015 saying basically that general LED lighting for the home and for the office should be banned. It is so deleterious to our health. It is so hazardous to our health that we should never use general LED lighting in the home and the office, that it should only be used for industrial applications.
Very few people have even heard of that, but that’s a government body proclamation saying that this stuff is really bad for us, and yet it’s a part of our lives. What do you do without your cell phone, without your computer? You have to work. You have to get stuff done. I say, well, you need near infrared light and heat in your home. If you can get into your Pocket Sauna and hide away in there, not only when you close that curtain does it cut off all blue light source, it also … You’re bathing the full body in this regenerative light, this nourishing light that reverses the damaging effects of all this bad light that we have nowadays.
Leanne Vogel: It’s so interesting you say that because there are pockets of days throughout the month where I have to shoot a bunch of videos for the business. We just installed LED panels on my ceiling in my office. I use LED lighting like for all my lights. I mean, when we shoot a video, the whole room is lit up. I’m in there for eight, sometimes 10 hours, three days in a row. After those three days, I am toast. It’s phenomenal. I didn’t put it together until you just said that. It’s totally all the light … Like, it’s just lit up. I guess that makes sense. Maybe I need to go into my sauna more when I am shooting videos.
Brian Richards: You do, you do. But it’s an exciting thing. If you have a near infrared lamp sauna at home, you don’t have to live in a bubble. You can go out there and deal with modern life and deal with these new LED light sources, the other blue light sources out there, and really brush it off and not worry about it because at home you’re reversing those effects with this restorative mitochondrial activation, and then this detoxification, so that it’s no big deal.
If you don’t have that and you’re just every day, all day long at the screen, the computer, and indoors, as well, and not sweating and not detoxing at all through heat therapy, it’s no wonder that we’re so sick and toxic nowadays in America and in the Western world. It really disturbing, actually. This is a way out of it, is near infrared light and heat, really, every day. I’m such a big believer in it now that I actually have my sauna now set up in my office. I sneak into there maybe for five minutes at a time here and there just to reenergize. I, really … I can’t live without that now.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, that’s so cool … More on my interview with Brian Richards after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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Leanne Vogel: Let’s switch gears a little bit and chat for those that are maybe interested in your product or just near infrared in general. How long should you be going into the sauna, and what’s the best time of day to do that?
Brian Richards: Since there’s no blue light, it doesn’t interfere with your chronobiology. You can really use it anytime you want. I would just suggest use it at a time of day that’s convenient for you to do it three or four or five times a week, if not every day. To answer your first question, this is … kind of address another question a lot of people have. Different sauna designs are out there. There’s two things that I like to say. One is: use the right light technology for your sauna — full spectrum incandescence that’s primarily near infrared. Number one, the right light technology. Number two, you need to create the right space in which to do sauna. That’s us. That’s SaunaSpace.
What are we doing that’s so different than everybody else? First of all, we’re recognizing that these half saunas and these sauna bags and these other things that heat shock you with far infrared, but they don’t do it in a full-body fashion, they’re not activating the skin as an organ of detoxification. If we do heat therapy and we heat shock the cell enough, we activate the cell detox systems and it starts pulling toxins out of the cells. If we don’t leverage the skin as the most powerful detox organ by passively sweating profusely, we’re still relying on our organ’s elimination — our adrenal glands, our liver and kidneys to process all of these toxins. It’s very important both for safety and for effectiveness and for having the most gentle, low-risk detoxification approach that we do a full-body sweat.
We want a systemic, full-body therapy, which means you need a full sauna that completely encloses you that produces a profuse sweat response. In our sauna, since we’re using radiant near infrared light that as soon as you sit in front of these incandescent near infrared heat lamps with your shirt off, the heat is penetrating all the way deep inside into your liver cells and your core vital organs. Contrast that with a far infrared sauna in which the far infrared wavelengths are 100% absorbed by water, they are more or less conductively heating you because they only penetrate one or two inches. As soon as they hit water, they stop. Whereas near infrared wavelengths, when they start at 1,100 nanometers …
It’s a little bit complicated, but at 1,100 nanometers the water begins to absorb light partially. It’s on a continuum whereby the time you get up to 6,000 nanometers in the far infrared region, it’s 100% absorption. In the sweet spot of the near infrared starting at 1,100 nanometers or so, the light gets in deeper before it’s partially absorbed by water. It’s a radiant heating effect. Because we’re using radiant heating, which is unique amongst all saunas, the air only needs to be above body temperature in the sauna so the air doesn’t cool us down, so the air doesn’t act as a cooling force. It’s another gentle, positive aspect of our Pocket Sauna of the near infrared sauna, is that the air only needs to be above 100 degrees. We preheat the Pocket Sauna for 10 minutes or so. The air reaches 100 degrees, then we get in.
We want to get in ideally and provoke a full-body sweat response, so profuse, full-body sweating for at least five minutes, or even more. That usually takes about 20 minutes or more. Once we do that, once we have this full-body sweat response, that means that our nervous system is relaxed into a parasympathetic nervous state — the ideal state in which to detoxify the cells … the effective state in which the body detoxes and we’re getting maximal detoxification. The whole time, we sit in there and we rotate a quarter turn every five minutes, so we also get maximal mitochondrial activation of all the mitochondria and all the cells of our body by bathing in this near infrared light. Practically speaking, we should use this near infrared sauna at least three times a week until we get a nice full-body sweat response.
Then afterward, usually it’s nice to get into the shower afterward, rinse off, and then scrub our bodies and exfoliate with like a dry-bristle brush or a loofah or something. It not only feels really good, it helps get the toxins off our skin. It leaves our skin really glowing and wonderful looking. Not to mention we feel great because, again, we’ve done all this light therapy during our detox, so it’s gentle. It’s effective. We’re energized. And we go on with the day.
Leanne Vogel: It sounds like people don’t really need to worry about how long after a workout, or, “What should I eat before?” Or, “What supplements should I not take before the sauna?” I think that’s maybe over-complicating it, would you say?
Brian Richards: Yeah, I would say. People really want to make things perfect all the time, when you can’t just think forever. You need to do. You need to go out there and do things. People ask that question a lot. I just say, “Get it into your life so you’re using it at least three times a week.” Technically, if you’re out vigorously exercising in the gym, you’re really putting your body far into sympathetic dominance. If you want to do near infrared sauna, or just sauna in general, but near infrared sauna after a vigorous exercise session, it does take longer for your body to get out of sympathetic dominance and get back into this healing rest-and-digest parasympathetic state.
Again, I think it’s a matter of practicality: when and how can you use it three times a week? And I would say do it whenever. I started out using it before bed because it was relaxing my nervous system and really helping me sleep better for the first time in a long time. Now, with being so busy with SaunaSpace and everything, my only chance to do it is actually right in the morning right before work. It’s also wonderful in the morning. It pumps you up and gets you energized and clear-headed and really clairvoyant so that you’re ready to take on the day.
Leanne Vogel: Cool. What about replenishing electrolytes? Because you’re talking a lot about having like a good sweat. Does somebody need to be concerned about just maybe adding some extra salt to their water or anything like that?
Brian Richards: Yes, that’s a great question, Leanne. Yes, you need to be fueling your body with good vitamins and minerals and good nutrients during this. Not only is it an electrolyte issue, basically, you should definitely drink spring water before and after a sauna session. Dr. Lawrence Wilson recommends highly taking of a quality kelp supplement for a good source of micro-minerals. Even more than that, step back and consider what you’re doing. You’re taking all these toxins of every type, toxins of all types from every cell of your body, and pulling them out and excreting them through detoxification. That’s not only using a lot of resources to do that at the cell level, at the tissue level, it also requires that you replace those co-factor sites and those other sites that the toxins were in with good vitamins and minerals.
It’s important to have good electrolytes before and after a sauna session. But more than that, you really need to look at what you’re eating and your diet. That’s what I love about you so much, Leanne. You got it figured out. This natural human diet, this keto, paleo concept, it’s so synergistic with near infrared sauna therapy. I kind of like to call our sauna the paleo sauna. It is the most natural sauna, not just because it’s a natural form of light that we’re getting here from these lamps, it’s also our design, I dare say. It’s kind of got a traveling, ancestral hut look to it. Yeah, back to the diet, yes, you need to pay attention to what you’re eating. Make sure you’re eating healthy. Pay attention to all of those dietary considerations.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Beautiful. The only thing we haven’t chatted about yet is: who shouldn’t use the sauna? Are there any times where you say, “Maybe chat with your healthcare professional before you jump in”?
Brian Richards: Yeah, of course. I always have to say, you know, I’m not a healthcare provider. I’m just a curious man and a sauna guy who’s … I healed my own problems. This was my tool, my solution for it. I’m a huge advocate for its use for really every person on earth, but there are a few considerations to be had. One, definitely consult your healthcare provider before you start using infrared sauna. And then I would reiterate Dr. Lawrence Wilson’s contraindications. He contraindicates for the use of near infrared sauna for pregnant women, and also for young children under the age of five, or under the age of eight depending on what articles you’re reading.
Children under the age of 18 certainly need to be supervised, as done anyone who has any sort of form of moderate to serious infirmities. Basically, in general, because these are cellular healing systems, cellular detox and cellular re-optimization, almost everybody can and will benefit from this if they’re doing it in the prescribed, safe, recommended fashion, so doing the rotation protocol, paying attention to their body’s response, being supervised if necessary. Otherwise, we have customers of all body types, of all health types using our sauna. Pretty much of all ages, all the way up to … I think we have a customer who’s 104 years old down in Arizona. She’s happily using it every day. My own son uses it under supervision. It really is the sauna for everybody. Almost everybody can use this thing.
Leanne Vogel: Very cool. Well, thanks so much for coming on the show today, Brian. Where can people find more from you?
Brian Richards: Everything about us is on saunaspace.com. You’ll find our products on our website there, our story of where we’ve come from. You can buy the product on there. We also have a wonderful resource and science section, where you can read some articles that I’ve written distilling the different aspects of heat and light therapy and how it affects our bodies and our health in many different ways. As well as, I guess, in person, too. If you happen to be in Columbia, Missouri, you can come see our manufacturing facility and our design facility and see the product in person, why this is such an awesome product.
It’s lifetime warrantied. We have some great guarantees nowadays. We give people a 100-day product trial, so they can try this out totally risk free with free shipping and free return pickup in the United States during that 100-day trial. We’re really confident that if you just get this into the people’s lives, into their homes, and they use it with some discipline, they’ll be really impressed on the positive impact it has on their health. They totally get addicted to it and love it and keep it.
Leanne Vogel: Yes, I couldn’t agree more. That’s been my experience. Yeah, I couldn’t live without it at this point. No way. Thank you again for coming on the show. The show notes for today’s episode, you can go to healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e32. Yeah, thanks so much for being on the show, Brian. I really appreciate it. You’re so knowledgeable and passionate. It’s just always a delight to speak with you.
Brian Richards: Well, thank you for having me, Leanne. I’m so glad that you’ve had such a great experience using it for the last couple years. That’s really phenomenal to hear.
Leanne Vogel: Totally.
Brian Richards: Thank you.
Leanne Vogel: That does it for another episode of The Keto Diet Podcast. Thanks for listening in. You can follow me on Instagram by searching Healthful Pursuit, where you’ll find daily keto eats and other fun things. And check out all of my keto supportive programs, bundles, guides, and other cool things over at healthfulpursuit.com/shop. I’ll see you next Sunday. Bye.