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Posts from the ‘Far Infrared Saunas’ Category

Preparing to detox the ‘creep’ back out of my life.

IMG_6946Firstly, apologies to anyone who hoped this was going to be a juicy story about my love life and some guy whose been mucking me around – thankfully no such guy exists (no guy exists full stop, but I’ll certainly let you know when he does). However there is most definitely a different sort of a ‘creep’ that needs attention sooner rather than later, before the cracks start appearing in my (temporarily) unbalanced life. There, I said it.

As you would know I am this week launching A Nourishing Kitchen which almost didn’t see light of day after I lost the entire first draft in February. It’s taken a jam-packed 3 months to re-write, style, photograph and proof the new edition which combined with study and my therapy business has not allowed me any down time. Let me tell you, I am feeling it and I am the only person to blame for that. The ‘creep’ that I am referring to is the result of pushing myself hard, too hard, for many months now and is reflected in a softening of discipline which I am sure many of you can relate. That softening of discipline has been impacted on my skin, my weight, my energy, my overal sense of balance. Specifically my excessive working hours have resulted in the following: the ocasional addition of a second coffee in my strict 1/day routine; an increase in sugar (not of the refined kind) such as banana, pear, dates, dried fruit, honey etc; the inclusion of one glass of red wine more than a couple of nights a week; a recent softening around my strict no-gluten diet with the addition of YUM sourdough; a distinct lack of rest of any kind during the day (I have been eating lunch in 5 minutes and racing back to my desk); a softening of my strict 4 days/week strength work to 2-3. Do you get my drift? During my massively long days and weeks my ordinarily disciplined habits have been gradually changing and whilst I’m hardly binging on rubbish, combined all of these things impact on a sensitive system. It got to the point recently that every few days I’d get a sense of a cold coming along – so I continue to chug down the green juice and get to bed early. But enough is enough.

So, what to do?

A month ago I made the executive decision to prepare for a little detox phase that would kick start my vitality and get me back on the straight and narrow. Now I should preface this by saying my life is usually one big detoxification process these days. I own a Far Infra-Red Sauna (you can read about that here), I eat organic foods, I drink detoxifying green juices every day, as far as humanly possible I avoid toxic chemicals on my skin, in my hair, in my home. It’s not likely you’ll see me paying big bucks to go to a health retreat. However I know my body needs and deserves some extra attention so the current course of action commenced with a chat to Sunlighten.  Sunlighten have developed a fantastic detox program called detoxME which I have commenced (in fact almost finished).

What is it?

This is a three step detox program based on a protocol developed by a renowned toxicologist, Dr Dietrich Klinghardt, leader in the field of detoxification of environmental pollutants. It takes a more comprehensive approach to detoxification than the average overnight detox and is designed to be used in conjunction with infrared sauna treatments (Far-infrared heat starts the detox process; detoxME facilitates the removal of the released toxins from the body).

Significantly, the program uses natural, food-based ingredients to target environmental pollutants that are stored in our body. It isn’t just a laxative flush out, though regular bowel movements are expected when you achieve gut balance (confirmed).

Why the three steps?

  1. prepareMe, balances the gut, preparing the body to absorb the active nutritional components of the second step. This is also a popular stand-alone program used simply to improve gut function (reduce bloating, improve digestion etc).
  2. detoxME, contains the active nutritional ingredients that facilitate toxin removal
  3. maintainME maintains gut health to support the body’s natural detoxification pathways

So what stage am I doing right now?

prepareME. Every day I take a heaped teaspoon of balanceME, stirred into my green juice. It’s not particularly tasty but that’s irrelevant given it’s benefits. balanceMe is 100% certified organic and full of real foods. The ingredients are fermented (for maximum bioavailability) with organic, wild-strain lactobacillus (not a laboratory spliced bacteria) and are gluten, dairy and preservative free. I  take some protectME in a glass of water, an anti-inflammatory, broad-spectrum anti-microbial solution that is designed to assist in reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Finally, I take some relectrolyteME which is an electrolyte product high in sodium and magnesium, sugar free and hugely economical. That is also taken in a glass of water and I don’t enjoy it much, it’s quite salty or chalky, I can’t work it out. Needless to say it disappears fast. All pretty simple really. I’m almost done and will therefore move into the detoxME phase shortly.

How do I feel?

Different, really good different. For the first few of days I didn’t feel much at all. I guess that didn’t suprise me (given I spend my life detoxifying) so I didn’t think my body would get much of a ‘shock’. By about day four I realised I was simply a late bloomer. I felt noticeably lighter, less bloated and had a distinct increase in vitality. My digestion most definitely improved and with that…(sorry guys) regularity. I do feel that what’s most significant for me is the sheer output  I have managed over the last month. Massive hours with few breaks and no days off, yet my energy has never been better (until the latter end of this month where I knowingly pushed reasonable boundaries).

Why would I recommend it? 

It isn’t a hard core detox program. There is no fasting or 7 day juice only diet, in fact I am not making any real changes to my diet. It is recommended that you reduce alcohol and caffeine and of course I would highly recommend reducing or eliminating sugar if you have not done so already. Most importantly though, I feel great. Energised and ready for action. It’s no suprise that I support whole, real foods and that makes this product all the more attractive for me. It’s also terribly simple – you can combine all three ‘potions’ in the one glass and chug it down it you want to (whilst grimacing). It takes no extra time out of your day.

Where do you buy it?  Sunlighten-Vertical-300x227

The programs and standalone products are available only from the Sunlighten online store. The program ships Australia-wide and comes complete with instructions and nutritional guidelines. The prepareME part of the program which I have almost completed is $125 + shipping.

What’s next? 

detoxME! I’ll be sure to report back in a month and share my thoughts. Oh and with the launch of my eBook? Some down time, considerable more balance and a whole lot more stillness. I think I might even go and hug a tree.

Far-infrared Sauna, I heart you (there’s really no need to dread winter).

My Solo System Sauna

My Solo System Sauna

Here in Melbourne, Australia it’s getting chilly, and I’m feeling it. The fact I spend hours of my day in a stationary, desk-bound position doesn’t help my cause at all. Yet when that ‘chilled to the bone’ feeling sets in and doesn’t want to budge, I have just the answer – and let me tell you it’s a dream come true (there she is, to the left, spread-eagled across my floor). Buying a Far-infrared Sauna was one of the better purchasing decisions I have made  (ask me that on a 45 degree day when I’m sweating it out and I may question that for just a second) and was born out of a fundamental turning point in my recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I have introduced the FIR sauna previously in my blog and shared a number of its benefits. You can read that post here.

As part of my journey to wellness I spent countless hours researching, talking to experts and trialling different therapies. When all of your choices in life are taken away (and when you have the energy to do more than hover a mouse over a computer screen) you’ll give anything a crack. I was introduced to the FIR Sauna by one of my dearest friends Kylie, who had taken the time to read about and understand my illness. Kylie called me one day excitedly, telling me about a man (Mark) in Melbourne who’d had CFS for ten years. Mark had found out about the FIR sauna, sat in it every day twice a day for a couple of weeks and healed himself (note: not everyone with CFS will have the same immediate outcome). I needed to know more, so I tracked Mark down and as it turned out he was working with Sunlighten Saunas in Melbourne. So began a beneficial relationship with Sunlighten and the FIR sauna. It is because of the profound effect the FIR sauna had on my recovery (and continues to have on my health) that I have decided to share my experiences further and in collaboration with Sunlighten, hope to encourage others to consider it as part of their weekly routine.

The FIR sauna is not your typical sauna. Saunas as you know them have been around for many years, but often when we think about them we imagine an often unbearably high heat in a claustrophobic space. The Sunlighten sauna is perfect for people who struggle with the traditional sauna – rather than using an instantaneous high heat to make the body sweat, their sauna raises the core body temperature by heating the body directly. This means it is 100% safe, totally relaxing and full of health benefits (which I spoke about in the above linked post). For many of us, hiring or purchasing a FIR sauna may have been a decision born out of illness or a desire to improve our health. These saunas are built for wellness and have been researched, developed and designed in-house (and most importantly, independently tested). I certainly did my research before purchasing my FIR sauna and strongly recommend you do the same. Ask for studies, get the supplier to prove they have done their due-diligence. I know Sunlighten will be more than happy to supply relevant information. Knowing that these saunas are used and recommended by holistic practitioners was important to me – feel free to contact Sunlighten if you would like a referral to a professional who can share their insight.

So now that I am ‘well’ (hear me shout to the roof tops) you may ask why I continue to sit in my sauna. Here’s a few reasons:

1. My illness came about due to an off the richter scale toxicity reading. I am determined now to give my body every bit of help it needs to encourage the detoxification process. I eat organically. I also avoid chemicals and toxins at all cost. I can’t however avoid environmental pollution, so I use my sauna to help remove toxicity. The FIR sauna invokes extensive sweating and it’s such a great, cleansing feeling! Whenever I am flagging just a little, when I feel a cold coming on for example, the first thing I do is get into my sauna and sweat it out. I literally visualise my body being cleared of the toxicity. Viruses cannot survive in the heat of the FIR sauna so combined with a health promoting green juice I quickly nip them in the bud.

2. For me the sauna is an opportunity to be still, to be totally mindful. I am forever battling with an in-built ‘drive’ that pushes me, hard. The FIR sauna represents an opportunity to stop in silence for thirty minutes. There is no technology, no music, nothing. Just the opportunity to clear my mind and truly relax.

3. It’s warm. Oh it’s soooo warm! You jump in and the heat envelopes you gently (not like the traditional sauna where you can’t almost can’t physically breath). It heats you gradually from the inside out which means you can lie in the sauna for a good 30 minutes, at least. On a cold afternoon I jump out toasty and remain that way until bed time.

4. I love the way my skin glows. Do you know anyone who does a lot of Bikram Yoga? I bet their skin glows beautifully. The FIR is totally health promoting inside and out.

5. During the cooler months I have a little trouble with my circulation, mainly in a few fingers and toes. When you jump out of a sauna and into a cold shower (I know, not appealing but definitely beneficial) you feel the energy and blood flow throughout your body – you feel totally alive. That feeling represents the first experience I had with a FIR sauna, during the worst of my CFS journey. I remember saying to mum that I had this sense of vitality running through my viens, not a word often combined in the same sentence as CFS.

My FIR sauna routine is pretty relaxed. Typically I lie in it 2-3 times per week. For me it’s an end of day routine, generally post dog exercise and before dinner so that I can totally relax into my evening. This routine I am proud to say, was even upheld during the height of summer – regardless of temperature. Anything for tip top health.

For anyone considering trialling a sauna, Sunlighten have kindly offered the first 20 readers complementary use of  a sauna in South Melbourne (usually the session costs $40).  Call 03 9696 4602 for an appointment and mention my name or the blog. You can choose either a cabin or solo system sauna, as above. Sunlighten are fully self-contained with showers and towels in a spa-style environment so just take yourself. I promise it’ll be one of the most relaxing half hours you have had in a while.

Sweating it alllllll out. Introducing the Far infrared Sauna (FIR).

When ever I am asked what the turning points in my CFS recovery were, the FIR sauna was without doubt the very first (and probably the most significant). Now I should preface this post (in particular for any CFS sufferers following my blog) by saying not everyone seems to have the same immediate (and amazing) response and short term relief that I did. Irrespective anyone living on this planet who is exposed to some form of toxicity (read: all of you) will benefit from wiling away a few hours in one of these on a weekly, monthly or bi-monthly basis.

As a result of the immeasurable kindness of family friends who own this sauna, a 5 minute drive and a 35 minute sweat in 60 odd degrees became a 5-7 day/week outing for months. There were days when I would jump in this sauna without an iota of energy – pale and weak I would hold my body upright and ride it out. But it was the proceeding feeling for the next 24 or so hours that gave me hope and a little taste of what it was like to feel ‘normal’. ‘Vital’ became a regularly used word because this amazing invention seemed to inject me with surges of vitality like I had not experienced for years.

So what is a Far Infrared Sauna? 

Traditional saunas are super hot, raising the temperature of the air around us to warm our bodies. That is why we start sweating almost as soon as we jump in – it is an overwhelming heat that we find difficult to sit in for more than 10-15 mins. The FIR sauna on the other hand produces the same infrared energy we get from the sun – and they use their energy to convert heat onto and within our bodies. They use infrared wavelengths to warm the body from the inside out resulting in a deeper sweat and an amazing array of health benefits.

And what are the benefits you ask? Well here lies just a few:

  • Toxic removal – and this is the most important benefit of all. It creates a much deeper sweat. The sweat we produce from exercise or a normal sauna is approximately 97% water and 3% toxins (from what I understand). The sweat of those of us using a FIR sauna contains 80% water and 20% toxins including heavy metals (such as mercury, aluminium, arsenic – all of which I had in my system with off the richter scale readings), nicotine, ammonia, cholesterol and fat-soluble toxins.
  • Aids weight loss – burns 900 calories in one 30 minute session (why go for a run?!)
  • Strenghtens the immune system
  • Increases blood flow so speeds up healing processes in our body and improves circulation
  • Improves skin tone and skin conditions
  • Reduces stress and fatigue (oh YES IT DOES!)
  • Strenghtens the cardiovascular system

Where can I have a FIR sauna? 

As far as I understand there is a big difference between one FIR sauna and another and I dare say there are a few ‘dodgy brothers’ out there having crack at a progressively popular product. One FIR sauna is not the same as another. My first introduction to FIR saunas was through a business in Melbourne called Sunlighten. These guys sell their saunas into clinics, gyms and health related businesses all over Australia and have a good reputation in the market. A good place to start might be giving them a call and finding out where they have made sales in your area. They also rent them out at different sizes or you can visit their South Melbourne office and pay by the hour.