DALLAS – Tucked into a corner of Dallas' Design District, Balancing Energy Health & Yoga Studio is home to an infrared sauna, a unique tool used for healing.
"We start it out at about 100-120 degrees and go up to about 150," said studio owner Lisa Breitenwischer.
"I come every day to do this," said Paul Brown, 29, whose doctor suggested he use infrared technology to help treat high levels of lead and mercury in his body.
"Right now, it's a requirement," he said. Brown hadn't heard of infrared saunas before his first session seven weeks ago.
"This is to address an underlying root cause of a chain of problems that I have," he said. "I can't get rid of metals quick enough, so it builds up."
Infrared technology has been used to help increase metabolism, drop blood pressure, and increase blood circulation. Some experts claim you can burn up to 700 calories in an hour.
It's different from a normal sauna in that you receive the same rays that come from the sun. The UV radiation is filtered out. Without external heating, it heats the body from the inside, allowing you to sweat out toxins through your skin.
"Because it doesn't heat up the air, it's very comfortable," Breitenwischer said. "You will start sweating, but it's not like a steam or dry heat. You can breathe comfortably."
Infrared has been used to rinse out the liver and kidneys, and break down the body's trapped fat and waste.
"When you get mercury [...] loose from your bones — which is where it is in my system — if you don't remove it from your system in a timely fashion, you can reabsorb it," Brown said.
So, he literally sweats out the toxins his body can't release in the sauna.
Paul's physician, Dr. Amy Myers, elaborated on why she recommends infrared therapy.
"There are two components to detoxing: one is supporting your detox pathways, so that your body is able to flush out the toxins, and the other is repairing the damage done by the toxins," she said. "Traditional saunas cause your body to sweat out toxins, which helps with the first aspect, but infrared saunas not only flush out toxins more effectively, they also help your cells and tissues regenerate and support your immune system, which is why I recommend them to my patients."
The cost for a 30-minute infrared sauna session at Balancing Energy Health & Yoga studio is $15. Appointments are required.
"That's where the healing process can begin," Breitenwischer said.
Here's a look at how infrared saunas support your detox pathways and repair damage caused by toxins, provided by Dr. Myers:
Deeper Detoxification (Far Infrared)
- Traditional saunas warm the air around you, essentially heating you from the outside in. Far infrared light penetrates your skin and raises your core body temperature, heating you from the inside out. This means that you're not just sweating out toxins close to the surface, your deeper tissues are expelling toxins at the cellular level.
Circulation (Mid Infrared)
- Now that your tissues have expelled toxins at the cellular level, sauna therapy also stimulates your circulatory system (by causing your heart to beat faster), which results in the toxins flowing from the cellular level to your skin, where they are expelled in your sweat.
Cell Regeneration (Near Infrared)
- Studies have shown that near infrared light stimulates white blood cell production, promotes cell regeneration, restores enzyme activity, and reduces cell death. This helps your body repair cells and tissues that were damaged by heavy metals and toxins.