Clearlight would like to remind users that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and you should always consult a licensed health practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or existing pain treatment regimen.
Almost no condition is so misunderstood nowadays as Lyme disease.
With that statement, I mean that tons of people are routinely misdiagnosed with Lyme disease, but also that many people with Lyme disease are misdiagnosed as having neurological problems, or a parasite infection, or fibromyalgia.
So, let's thus explore what the scientific literature currently says about Lyme:
The Science Of Lyme 101
Before digging into the topic of how an infrared sauna kills Lyme disease - or stated in a more nuanced way, can "support your health in case of Lyme" - let's consider what Lyme actually is:
(And because the science on Lyme disease is quickly evolving, as well as the assessment of clinical practitioners on the topic, I'm only going to include the scientific literature on Lyme from the last 5 years. In other words, I imply the understanding of Lyme from a scientific point of view is rapidly developing.)
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What Is Lyme Disease?
Here's the state of the current published science on the topic of Lyme:
"Lyme disease" - also called "Lyme borreliosis" - originates from an infection caused by ticks (1; 2; 3; 4; 5). Patients who think they've got the condition regularly complain their health condition isn't taken seriously, which is why there is a huge alternative healing community involved with Lyme - a topic I won't go into right now.
Both an antibody response and an "anamnesis" - "anamnesis" as the Medical term referring to digging deep into the patient's memory about a tick bit with symptoms on their skin - make up the main criteria for a Lyme diagnosis. In plain English, being bitten by a tick and developing a skin rash and health symptoms are the main signs you may have gotten Lyme.
And here's the unfortunate consequence:
If you've got chronic Lyme then you've probably symptoms of pain, fatigue, and neurological problems. These symptoms, unfortunately, overlap with many other health conditions. The Lyme condition is regularly defined as "an illness that affects many bodily systems and has a wide range of symptoms that last longer than 6 months, with periods where no symptoms are present". Many people heal automatically after a tick bite but not everyone does. I.e., some people develop Lyme, chronically...
I feel bad for people with Lyme! Fortunately, there is a potential way to lower the effect symptoms have on you, which include using an infrared sauna:
Does Infrared Sauna Help With Lyme Disease? 5 Simple Reasons Why Infrared Saunas Help With Lyme Disease
Many people find it hard to imagine the link between an infrared sauna and lyme disease. And yet, getting into an infrared sauna can contribute to your overall health in many different ways.
In this section, I'll consider some low-hanging fruits as to why spending time in an infrared sauna can help you if you've got Lyme disease:
Reason 1: Picking The Right Sauna Duration Greatly Boosts Lyme Health Outcomes
If you've got Lyme then your health is almost certainly already compromised. I don't want to be the bringer of bad news here, but just like you need to be very careful with very intense exercise with Lyme. Guess what, the same is true for sauna sessions!
Let me explain:
Every single person with Lyme needs to build up their sessions slowly. In the same way a 50-year old person cannot rush into running a marathon without training, if you've got Lyme, you gotta take things slowly first with your infrared sauna sessions.
My recommendation is to stay in an infrared sauna for 5 minutes and record how you feel. If you feel great, increase your time by 5 minutes. If your results go down and you feel worse the same or next day, lower your exposure by 5 minutes. Adapt your session length every single week, and after a month or so, you should know what you're capable of in this regard.
Reason 2: Your Ability To Detox Massively Improves With Heat And Infrared Light
Heat, from a physics perspective, is defined as movement between molecules. Infrared light, on the other hand, is one input into that dynamic. How does that perspective translate to your situation? Simple: you can expose your body to lots of infrared light without exposing it to extreme heat. Phrased differently, infrared saunas are generally found to be much more gentle than steam rooms or Finnish saunas!
And here's why that dynamic matters for Lyme:
Heat exposure mimics the body's response to a fever, in the same way it would respond to a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection (6; 7; 8; 9).
Put in plain English, once your body is infected by a pathogen of any kind, fever is one of the second lines of defence to regain health. Spending time in an infrared sauna - which increases your inner temperature the most - is one of the most perfect ways to achieve that feat. Your outer skin temperature stays low and a stress response is minimised.
Moreover, light, in its full spectrum, has even been described as an "overall antimicrobial" (I'm paraphrasing here).
There's more to heat than just creating an immune response though: you will also feel great, enhance your sleep quality, increase your odds of changing your behaviour for the better, etcetera.
I'll come back to these issues later on...
I will admit that a percentage of scientists is sceptical of the solutions I'm referring to though (10). Nonetheless, rigorously published science frequently has to catch up with clinical lessons.
Reason 3: Healing Depends On Energy & Vice Versa - Lyme Patients Benefit!
Let me take a detour:
Your body doesn't respond to "calories". Instead, at the cellular level, energy creation depends on electrons, protons, and different chemicals which all affect that dynamic.
You don't ingest enough magnesium, iron, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 or B3?
In that case, several steps of the energy-creation process in your cells won't function optimally (10; 11; 12; 13; 14)!
Another secret? Infrared light is a direct nutrient for cell function and energy production! In other words, not only has the food you eat has an effect on your body's energy creation but the light your body is exposed to as well!
How do I know? Simple: we know far infrared light has an effect on the "mitochondria" - powerhouses of your cells - as well as the immune system (15; 16).
The topic hasn't been studied for very long though but early results are promising.
More broadly, there is consensus that near-infrared light can make your cells perform more efficiently (17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22).
To be sure, I cannot quote any specific study regarding Lyme in this regard, but what I can tell is that the overall ability of the human body to heal itself goes up. For people with Lyme, that's a very good thing!
Saunas lower your blood pressure while increasing your heart rate at the same time. A related benefit is that circulation increases - especially through peripheral tissues (23; 24; 25).
Let's explore that dynamic:
With (infrared) sauna use, the size of the blood-circulation promotion effect is just as large as when you're taking a walk. Of course, when you're spending time in a sauna you're not doing anything, so you'll get these benefits even if you're 100% passive. Also, the boost in circulation ties in with the previous benefit I talked about: enhancing nutrient uptake and detoxification (26; 27; 28).
Your body will be better able to transfer glucose, oxygen, and other nutrients to your tissues - especially peripheral tissues like your hands and feet - and better remove waste products.
Let's consider one last reason why people with Lyme benefit from infrared saunas:
Reason 5: Other Benefits - Pain Reduction, Enhanced Mood & More
To keep this blog post simple, I haven't included the full range of benefits for Lyme disease. But, just to quickly consider some additional benefits, here's a shortlist - infrared saunas are:
Lowering the pain you're experiencing on a daily basis, by stimulating your opioid system and increasing the number of feel-good hormones
Countering depression - the better you're feeling in your daily life, the more adequately you can deal with Lyme. Depression is often tightly intertwined with chronic disease and Lyme is no different!
Enhanced sleep. While the research directly linking sauna use and sleep quality is limited, the near-infrared part found in full-spectrum saunas has evidence backing improved sleep quality
And more benefits that I won't go into right now...
So, in essence, you can and almost certainly will experience more benefits than I'm laying out in this blog post.
Hopefully, I got you curious. Let's therefore conclude and consider how you can choose the best infrared sauna for Lyme disease:
Your Solution: The Best Infrared Sauna For Lyme Disease
If you've got Lyme or suspect you got Lyme you have to be extra careful:
You don't have the leeway with your health a more healthy person has. So, if for some reason you increase your exposure to toxins - such as breathing in polluted air in a metropolitan city or get more Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) exposure - your health will notice. The same is true for breathing in toxins.
If you've got Lyme or suspect that you do, it's very important that an infrared sauna improves your health, and doesn't add insult to injury.
If your sauna increases your EMF exposure or releases toxic glues into the air while you're sitting inside there, the health gains you get will be sub-optimal. Heck, if you're really sick such sessions can even set your health back, although rare!
Lastly, if you wish to learn more about this topic, consider the page I created on infrared sauna benefits for the immune system. Many other sauna benefits are treated on that page as well, such as boosting weight loss, countering stress and anxiety, making your skin more beautiful and countering skin conditions, and much more.