Dr. Nicole Vumbaco | DVM
Let's talk SAUNAS!
Updated: Mar 6, 2022
We all know that heat can feel like healing. There is a lot of reference and discussion of the benefits of sauna use in Chronic Illness, like Bartonellosis. It has been repeatedly emphasized in multiple books and online sources. WELL, I recently purchased a Far Infrared Sauna from Radiant Health Sauna’s located in Canada. This medical grade sauna has been integrated into my treatment protocol. I have been using it twice weekly for a few months now. IT IS, by far, THE most worthwhile investment for my recovery TO DATE! The company was founded by retired Firefighter, Randy Gomm, who also suffered from complex debilitating illness due to exposure during active duty. It is what prompted his decision to create a superior product for other patients. It does not get more genuine than that!
If you have ever researched Saunas, you know it is a daunting task. It took a tremendous amount of time, energy and caused overwhelming confusion on who to trust.
Word to the wise: The world of FAR Infrared Sauna’s are full of unethical companies looking to capitalize on someone suffering with complex illness. It was astounding how many false claims and deceptive marketing ploys were out there. It took about 9 months of research for me to understand the primary principles of FAR Infrared Therapy and how to relate that to each company researched. Then there was the onslaught of emails and verbal assaults via phone calls. Certain companies were relentless in their attempt to convert a commission, some were even combative. I am talking multiple calls/week for multiple weeks. Blocking them did no good. A couple spent the majority of their time tearing down a competitor rather than letting their brand speak for itself. I learned quickly to request the independent testing on EMF, VOC and product details prior to moving forward. Countless companies gave me the run around. If they do not share their independent testing promptly, that is NOT the company for you! The last thing I wanted was to purchase a product that would inadvertently expose me to more toxins than I was sweating out.
The other complicating factor was marketing. Some companies were even playing off the name of the reputable companies, a tactical scheme, offering a discounted and lesser product. For example, my sauna is from Radiant Health Saunas. There is another company called Radiant Sauna selling a product on Amazon that appears identical. When I called Radiant Health Sauna’s to confirm if this product was theirs (hoping to find a deal)… to my surprise, they informed me that this is not their company and they do not sell through Amazon. Right now, they are only direct to consumer! It all felt like such a waste of time. Some of you know what I’m talking about. Thankfully, I did not have to look any further with my doctor, Julie M Barter’s referral. It is the sauna she personally uses.
THE SAUNA: Look at this beautiful thing.
Mom took the video after we put together the sauna. The first 15 seconds are me learning the colors but it gives a nice over view of the quality and detail. Also, I was so distracted by my new toy that I forgot to say "AMEN" momma. So Amen to your prayer and thanks for being my best friend :)
The company prepped me that it may take 8-12 weeks for delivery. When it arrived it was on it's own wood crafted palate and was delivered by FedEx Freight, broken down into 3 individual boxes. I couldn't find a picture but it was solid. None of the boxes were damaged and all of the interior components were wrapped and tightly packed. There were zero signs of damage to the unit after unwrapping. It was a solid set up.
With the help of a friend, it was incredibly easy to put together. Took less than an hour. All electrical connections are labeled, and easy to connect. Directions were straightforward with detailed pictures.
Each session is relaxing and rejuvenating. It has an amazing sound system, smells crisp and clean, like Home Depot (which I love) and is aesthetically pleasing! It feels healing. You can tell it has been perfected by someone who understands complex illness and importance of safe product material. It is high-quality. Prior to owning this form of therapy, I had to take two-four Epson salt baths/week to help encourage blood flow, detoxification, lymphatic flow and nutrient delivery to cells. This was an exhausting process, while necessary, it just really took it out of me. Not to mention the mental and fiscal cost of water in a state suffering from severe drought.
In the initial phases of sauna use, I was able to mount good sweat. Sometimes it takes a few sessions before you really start showing enhanced perspiration. Luckily, I have felt tremendous benefits. With my illness (and for people with chronic disease), there is a very specific protocol to follow to ensure the best possible results. It requires a gradual build in temperature intensity, duration of session and frequency of use. Their customer service even reached out via email and phone to offer insight on how to get the most out of each session. They are incredibly invested in their clients and do genuinely care about your well-being. All of their advice paralleled that of my doctor’s which gave me even more confidence (outlined below).
What are they??
It is important to know that a “hangover effect” can happen with Bartonellosis and Vector Borne diseases. More is not better. Gradual building of tolerance is key. If the “hangover effect” occurs, it happens within 24 hours and is due to the reabsorption of toxins that were not able to be excreted in your sweat or that you were too aggressive in your temp and duration of session or you did not drink enough water to replace losses. The primary symptom is just as it sounds, like a terrible hangover…massive headache and feeling like crud. I was advised to start low-and-slow like most treatments with Bartonellosis. My initial sessions were at 120F for 15-20 minutes twice/week. We have sense worked up to 145F at 30 minutes twice weekly with approval to go to every other day! I stick with twice weekly, planned around my hair washing schedule.
There were a couple major non-negotiable requirements by my Doctor that is applicable across the board:
USE a Binder: Binders are essential for any detox protocol. They are used to bind toxins so that they can pass all the way through the digestive tract and be eliminated on the other side. When the liver processes a toxin, it is excreted through bile into the small intestinal tract. If the toxin does not bind to something, it will get reabsorbed in the gut. My binder of choice is Chlorella.
Increasing Water Intake: Sweating= loss of fluids=the need to increase water intake=rehydration= further promotion of detox
Drink electrolyte (Sodium, Potassium and Chloride) and trace mineral replacement (like Manganese, Molybdenum, Iron, Selenium, Chromium): Sweat contains electrolyte and trace minerals. During a sauna session I use 1 scoop of Thorne Catalyte Electrolyte replacement powder and L-glutamine in 1 liter of water. Ultima has an exceptionally delicious alternative.
Increase Magnesium Intake
Recommended using organic cotton towels only
If you are slow to break a sweat, Radiant Health Sauna’s also recommended soaking your feet in a hot water bath for 10 minutes prior to sauna session
After use, you should shower. That way your body does not re-absorb the components of the sweat back into the blood stream
By following those recommendations, I have avoided complications related to thermal therapy. I have also experienced multifaceted improvements in my symptomology. There is a notable, short lived improvement in my energy. The most obvious improvement is in my pain related symptoms (especially my long bones, bursa’s and joint pain). Long term, there has been an overall improvement in my sleep quality, skin tone, and general pain levels. It also seems to help with my shortness of breath and myofascial tightening. I currently use it twice weekly, about every 3-4 days. For the skeptics out there, If I do not stay on that schedule my body suffers, my symptoms worsen, and I feel even more ill. It is a definitive, clear change reminding me that it’s time for the sauna. It is really incredible. I know most aren’t afforded the opportunity to integrate FAR IR Sauna therapy into their treatment. It is an expense in an income limited situation but if you can find a way, it is worth the investment!
No! Not all Sauna’s are created equally! Any sauna is not better than none. The risk isn’t worth it.
So Why Radiant Health Sauna:
Pristine, non-toxic environment with ZERO VOC's: Pristine, non-toxic environment with ZERO VOC or plywood between the walls which off-gasses formaldehyde. Radiant Health Sauna’s are made from locally sourced Canadian Hemlock. It is kiln dry to 6-8% moisture content (furniture grade). You may see some made of Aspen and Cedarwood but keep in mind, those can warp over time. Ask for independent VOC testing. Measure is parts per million
EMR/EMF exposure extremely low: Want levels to be below Swedish standards of 2mG. Radiant Health Sauna’s independent testing showed EMF rates of 0.3-0.4 milligauss. Last thing you need is to subject yourself to a large EMF field when you are already compromised
Bench warmer + foot warmer to help expedite sweating
Built-in sound system with CD player and AUX
Lighting System with optional reading light, external lighting and a variety of colors for interior mood lighting
Uses Carbon-flow technology to avoid cold spots
Interior control panel with time/temp display
Radiant Health Sauna’s Unit is modular. That means it can be easily constructed and easily taken apart if it needs to be moved. It can be put together by 2 people and requires zero tools.
Easy plug and play: Radiant Health Sauna plugs into a normal 15 Amp circuit, just need a basic outlet
$500 dollar discount offered with code “nvoom12”
I absolutely love mine and hope you consider this company if you are in the market for a FAR IR Sauna. Radiant Health Sauna and their customer service is of exceptional quality. It's therapeutic benefits are evident with each use.
Upon purchasing, they offered me a $500 discount based on my referral from Dr. Barter.
pWhen I spoke with them recently, they gave me a discount code to offer other patients in a situation like mine who may not have a doctor referral to make it more affordable. That is pretty amazing if you ask me!
$500 off purchase price: Use code: “nvoom12”
......and no, I do not work for the company. I am a patient who owns their single person sauna. I will not assault you via email, text, mobile or any other means of communication. Just wanted to share my experience, hopefully it can help you too
Go to “An outline of the basics behind FAR IR Sauna” to learn more about the technology and it’s respective health benefits!