Far Infrared Sauna Detox: More Than Sweat.

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Infrared sauna to detox in Lyme disease treatment Image by Marty Ross MD

In this article I discuss how far infrared sauna works to detox. It is much more than sweat and involves the liver, diet, and intestines. I also describe how to do a far infrared sauna detox.

Heat Up to Move Toxins

It's about sweat and blood. Far infrared sauna detoxification removes toxins from the body in two ways. First far infrared light rays heat the body equally to a depth of 1.5 inches which causes sweating. In addition, the heat causes fat cells to release stored toxins into the blood stream. Approximately 20% of the toxins come out in sweat while the other 80% move into the blood.

It's also about the liver and intestines. From the blood toxins are cleaned out of the body by the liver. The liver transforms toxins from fat-based forms to water-based forms by tagging them with water-based chemical groups. In the intestines the tagged toxins are then moved out of our bodies through the stools. However, if a person does not have regular bowel movements, bacteria in the intestines can remove the water-based tag. If this happens, the now fat-based toxins can be reabsorbed into the blood. Fiber in the diet and water intake promote regular bowel movements. In addition fiber can bind the fat-based toxins so that they do not get reabsorbed.


  • Water: it is important to drink 1/2 of your ideal body weight in ounces daily (ie: a 150 pound person should drink 75 ounces of water a day). This helps to flush the kidneys and promotes regular bowel movements.
  • Fiber: To bind toxins in the intestines and to promote regular bowel movements you should also have 3 or more servings a day of fiber. Foods rich in fiber are beans, legumes, and whole grains. Apples are also a good source. To determine how much to have in a serving, I advise that a clenched fist is roughly equal to two serving sizes.

Liver Detoxification

Liver detoxification requires adequate micronutrients and glutathione the master detoxification agent found in all of our cells.

  • The building blocks. Proper nutrition alone is not enough to provide the essential nutrients necessary to support the organs responsible for detox. A well balanced  multi­vitamin with mixed amino acids taken daily is the foundation of detoxification. Active glutathione is made in cells with Alpha Lipoic Acid and N­-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). Glutathione is a very powerful antioxidant generated in all cells and used in the liver to detox fat soluble toxins. Unfortunately, oral glutathione is poorly absorbed. The best way to increase cellular glutathione levels is through intravenous administration or to give alpha lipoic acid and/or NAC.
  • MTHFR and Methylation. If a person has a MTHFR genetic defect they are unable to produce adequate levels of glutathione. (See our video article MTHFR and Detoxification.) MTHFR is an enzyme that converts inactive folate into the active form called 5­methyltetrahydrofolate (5-­MTHF). 5-­MTHF and methylcobalamin (a methylated form of vitamin B12) are used in a process called methylation. Methylation is required to produce glutathione. A MTHFR dna mutation analysis blood test shows if a person has this problem. Another clue is having sensitivities to many different prescriptions or supplements.

How To Do A Far Infrared Sauna Detox

  1. Drink plenty of water each day. To calculate how much use 1/2 of your ideal body weight in pounds and then change that to ounces (ie:150 pounds equals 75 ounces for water.)
  2. Eat 3 servings or more a day of fiber from apples, beans, legumes, or whole grains. To quickly calculate a servings size the size of one clenched fist equals 2 servings.
  3. Heat your body up 3 or more times a week to sweat and move toxins into the blood. (You can heat the body by doing hot baths, using a regular sauna or far infrared sauna. Far infrared sauna is best.) When using a far infrared sauna start at 15 min 3 times a week. If tolerated after one week then increase to 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.
  4. Support liver detox with a good multivitamin N-Acetyl Cysteine and Alpha Lipoic Acid. Take 5-MTHF and Methylcobalmin if you also have an MTHFR detoxification defect.

Multivitamin. Use a vitamin powder by Integrative Therapeutics of Thorne. Take one scoop daily.

Alpha Lipoic Acid 350mg. 1 pill 2 times a day.

N­-Acetyl Cysteine 500mg. 1 pill 3 times a day.

5-MTHF 400mg and Methylcobalamin 400mg combination product. Start at 1 pill and increase every 7 days as tolerated up to 3 pills. Go slowly because opening up blocked detoxification with this supplement could cause more fatigue, body pain, and cognitive dysfunction.

5-­MTHF. 5-­MTHF 1 mg or 5­-MTHF 5 mg. 1 pill daily. Add the 1 mg dose after your are stable on Methylguard. Only add the 5mg dose if advised by your physician.

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