Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Full Spectrum Saunas from Sunlighten - A Great Detox Experience for Anyone!

I am the president of the NY Metro Chapter of the National Autism Association.  Our National parent – The National Autism Association – recently welcomed Sunlighten as a sponsor and some lucky NYC-area NAA members – myself included – had the opportunity to try their fabulous, full spectrum saunas at the Beach Bum Tanning locations in Chelsea, Forest Hills (Queens), and Saddle Brook (NJ).  As many of you know, infrared saunas can be beneficial in helping individuals on the autism spectrum to detoxify, improve immune function and reduce inflammation.  But they are good for everyone and as a busy mom of a child on the spectrum, I appreciated the chance to relax and do something that was good for me too!

I had my Sunlighten experience at Beach Bum’s Chelsea location, 239 Seventh Ave. at 23rd St. Beach Bum has an 18+ policy, so my son couldn’t try the Sunlighten sauna with me this time.  However, it’s still great for us, as parents, to have a relaxing, detoxifying experience.   Plus, like many autism parents, I often “road test” new treatments on myself before sharing them with my son.

Many doctors and other practitioners working with children on the autism spectrum recommend infrared sauna use. In Dr. Kenneth Bock’s book, “Healing theNew Childhood Epidemics” he says, “Recent evidence indicates that infrared rays may be of some benefit in stimulating immunity and providing a mild anti-inflammatory effect. In addition to helping remove toxins through perspiration, there is a growing belief that saunas also help detoxify the body by increasing the breakdown of fat cells, where toxins tend to be stored. This enhances the removal of these toxins by the liver. Fat cells can also be broken down during exercise, or by any other factor that causes loss of adipose tissue.”  Again, these effects are important for our kids – but also for us as parents.  We need to stay well to help get our kids get well.

Of course, I have been in saunas before, and had even tried a far infrared sauna a few times.  However, this was my first time in a full-spectrum sauna, one that provides near, mid and far infrared rays.  Sunlighten is the only brand that makes full-spectrum infrared saunas.  I was excited to experience the difference – and it was different – and better – than any other sauna that I have tried.  This is the sauna I tried:

The first thing I noticed was the heat; even though the temperature is quite elevated (over 130°F!), it doesn’t feel stifling hot. Anyone who knows me knows that I usually complain when the outside temperature is over 75°F, so being overheated is something to which I am acutely sensitive.  Instead, the heat in the Sunlighten sauna was gentle, and I felt as though I were lounging outside a warm, sunny day. Surprisingly, it felt very comfortable and stayed that way throughout the session. Infrared heat works on a cellular level, heating our bodies directly vs. the surrounding air. This means we can sit comfortably while our body’s core temperature increases resulting in a deeper sweat.  And boy, do you sweat – but in a way that makes you feel like your body is getting rid of stuff it needs to, not in a cloying, overheated way.  The whole experience was quite relaxing.  Afterwards, I felt as if I had completed a workout or a massage; light, refreshed and just really good.  I even slept better that night – it was easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, something I really struggle with.  And my skin felt unusually soft too.  

As a mom of a child who is sensitive to environmental toxins (and sensitive myself), I was, of course, curious about the materials used and the safety of the saunas – especially since heat is involved.    The  Sunlighten rep. explained to me, Sunlighten saunas are the most effective and the safest saunas available. Their Solocarbon technology is 95-99% effective and virtually eliminates all EMF for ultimate safety. They are made with hypoallergenic basswood and assembled with a patented magnetic system; no glues or VOCs are used.     And since their heaters operate at a low surface temperature, they are completely safe to the touch.
One other feature I was not able to try at Beach Bum but am very curious about is Acoustic Resonance Therapy (A.R.T.).  A.R.T. is an additional therapy that Sunlighten offers in their saunas.  Acoustic Resonance Therapy (A.R.T.) creates an environment for the body to experience the benefits of sound and vibration healing in an integrative way. Feeling the music we hear brings our bodies into harmony physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and environmentally.  Autism requires a holistic lifestyle approach and combining infrared therapy and A.R.T. provides a natural, healing environment that can benefit the whole family.

Infrared Sauna Benefits:
- Reduces inflammation caused by viral exposure
- Increase blood flow to reduce the body’s hold on toxic metals
- Provides a non-invasive way to detoxify at the cellular level

A.R.T. Benefits:
- Balancing heart rate, blood pressure and increasing circulation
- Energizing and uplifting one’s mood and emotional well being
- Enhanced creativity, communication and problem solving capabilities
- Significant stress reduction, including relief from symptoms of Autism

Beach Bum Tanning is currently offering a special rate of 2 sessions for $50. I hope you’ll give it a try. NAA members get a special discount from Sunlighten for sauna purchases – there are many different models and price points from which to choose.  For us city dwellers, check out their apartment-friendly Solo: http://www.sunlighten.com/solo-system.html

Look for information about Sunlighten at the NAA national conference next week in St. Pete’s Beach to tell you more about their mission, their products and the benefits of full spectrum saunas for our kids and ourselves.  Their saunas provide a gentle and relaxing way to help us relax, detox, lower our blood pressure, reduce pain and even reduce waist circumference.  What’s not to like about that?