In the badly polluted modern world we live in, it has become increasingly necessary for each one of us to help his or her body cope with the onslaught and commit to a regular program of detoxification. It is truly frightening to consider that we are exposed to tens of thousands of unregulated and untested chemicals every day in our air, food, water, and homes; in the products and materials we constantly come in contact with.

Our bodies have robust and wonderful capabilities to protect us from toxins by neutralizing harmful substances through the liver, kidneys, skin and lymphatic system, but given the mass of pollutants and chemicals we are bombarded with daily, a point can easily be reached where we carry a “total toxic load” that is beyond our innate ability to detoxify, and our health then begins to suffer.

Among the most effective components of a detoxification routine is encouraging the body to sweat on a regular basis, and taking a far infrared sauna is a very effective way of doing this. Far infrared refers to the length of the infrared ray, and it is this type of sauna that is most effective for detoxification purposes. Other types of infrared sauna are near-infrared and middle-infrared.

The benefits of infrared sauna overall are:

  • kills bacteria and viruses in the body
  • helps to oxygenate tissues
  • induces sweating
  • induces a state of relaxation
  • mobilizes solvents, heavy metals and xenobiotics out of tissues throughout the body
  • relieves aching muscles and joint pain
  • improves circulation throughout the body
  • improves skin tone and quality through eliminating toxins from pores


In order to get the maximum benefit from a far infrared sauna session, it’s important to prepare beforehand. A few days before taking your sauna, it is advisable to pay attention to your water consumption and make sure that you are well-hydrated, and that you feel rested and not fatigued. You can add some glutathione and Vitamin C to your supplement regime, as well as some additional nutrients that will support the adrenals. It is also a good idea to make sure that you are moving your bowels regularly and are not experiencing constipation. On the day of the sauna, you can take some additional adrenal support, as well as extra magnesium and D-ribose. You will want to avoid caffeine and heavy exercising as well.

For the first sauna session, the time should not exceed fifteen to twenty minutes; after acclimating over a number of sessions, the total time can be increased to forty-five to sixty minutes per session. It is necessary to pay attention to how you are feeling during the relaxing sauna session, and get out promptly when you feel you have had enough. Taking sauna should definitely not feel like a competition! When you are done with your session, shower promptly with a loofah to help remove as many toxins from the surface of the skin as possible. It’s best if you can time the sauna session for the evening hours, to coincide with the liver’s natural daily cycle of detoxification, and to relax fully afterwards and not jump right back into a lot of activity.

Though taking sauna is beneficial for almost everyone, it should be avoided during the following:

  • Pregnancy
  • Acute viral illness with a fever
  • When feeling exhausted or drained
  • When dehydrated
  • Menstruation
  • After acute injury


Please note: It is essential that you consult with your physician to make sure that having sauna sessions is right for you and your current health status.



Dr. Allen gives free lectures at the Library three to four times each year, on topics of interest from the cutting edge of integrative medicine.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list for these lectures and his other speaking engagements, please email