The Benefits Of Light & Sauna Therapy For Autoimmune And Chronic Conditions
Many Wahls Warriors with autoimmune conditions have heat intolerance and miss out on the benefits of light and sauna therapy.
This interview with Wahls Protocol® Virtual Seminar Sponsor, SaunaSpace explains how you may be able to overcome heat intolerance and expand your healing capacity with the incandesce of a natural thermal light spectrum of red, near-infrared and thermal infrared light wavelengths.
In this interview, you’ll learn about
- Mastering heat intolerance
- Light Therapy for Autoimmune and neurological conditions
- Mitochondrial support and detox
- Heat shock proteins
- Inflammatory cytokines and the inflammation process
I do want to let you know that the team at terrywahls.com does receive a small affiliate commission for any product ordered through Sauna Space. This is part of how my team is able to produce so many informational resources at no cost to you. If you’re not comfortable with an affiliate link—no worries, I hope that you do find the information shared to be beneficial!
Read the transcript:
Well, I am so excited today to talk about Brian. Now Brian is the founder of SaunaSpace. And he has a really interesting healing journey that perhaps Brian’s going to share with us. So back in 2008, Brian was having some significant health challenges with insomnia, adrenal fatigue, and skin problems with acne. Now, he could go down the conventional medicine road, but one of his health practitioners suggested near-infrared sauna. However, Brian had some challenges in that there were no near-infrared saunas that were available. So being the creative guy that he is and the entrepreneur, he started this search to find first near-infrared sauna, and then ultimately, to create a near-infrared sauna. And that led to his remarkable healing and restoration, transforming his personal health.
And along the way, he ended up creating this wonderful company SaunaSpace. Which now has grown because of his success and his entrepreneurial spirit. I believe he has 35 members of his team now that manufacture these units. Which by the way, I’ve been using now I think, for a couple of years, I really enjoy my sauna. It’s part of my daily ritual. I do it every morning. And sometimes I even indulge in a sauna in the evening as well. So near-infrared sauna has been remarkable for Brian, and I find it to be a very useful tool in my life as well. So again, let me welcome you Brian, we’d love to talk more about near-infrared. And its impact on physiology, its impact on our immune health. And what kind of reactions are you seeing in the people who would like to try the SaunaSpace?
Brian: Yes, absolutely. Let’s dive all into that. Thank you for the wonderful introduction. I would remind our viewers if you want to see Terry using her sauna, Doctor Wahls using her sauna. I believe you can still see that on Instagram.
Dr. Wahls: Oh, yes. We have a lot of sessions on Instagram.
Brian: Honestly, modestly videoed? Of course.
Dr. Wahls: Yes. So I’m singing and humming and talking. And then Jackie says, “Hold that towel higher.” We have to keep things socially appropriate when on our Instagram channel.
Brian: But that’s definitely what happened to me. I kind of stumbled into this. Had my own health problems, discovered the solution. Used it for myself had a really amazing healing journey without the use of drugs or pharmaceutical remedies. And that really astonished me and got me excited. And being as there was no commercially available near-infrared sauna. So it’s an incandescent type of sauna very unique to what we do. I decided to start my own company to develop my own. And it was just kind of a quirk of karma that I am here today, because this is not where I intended to be necessarily at that point. But I feel I’m channeling something in the universe, because in spite of a lot of challenges and adversities we’re growing, we’re succeeding, we’re helping more people, I think we’re providing more access to sauna therapy, to more people than ever in terms of our solution and how widely usable it is. But it’s been a long development.
In the beginning, it was a very pre collage design. Now, it’s a lot more sophisticated in many ways. And there’s more. There’s EMF mitigation design stuff, and the rest but the journey continues, I am on an obsessive mission to make this concept perfect and make it just better for everybody. And I think we’re really succeeding. It’s really interesting. What we do here, it’s using broad spectrum infrared light. So most people are familiar with infrared saunas, or if they’re talking about light therapy, they’re familiar with LED light therapy. And so we’re like, “We span both of those arenas.” We’re doing sauna therapy here. And even if it’s localized with our targeted photon product, it’s still a heat therapy.
In essence, but it’s also a light therapy. It’s also this triggering the mitochondria to do healing. And so there’s a synergy between the two that I really think puts us over the top. You definitely have to try for yourself to feel the difference. But most of our customers are reporting, “This is a gentler sauna, it’s more tolerable allows me to sweat more easily at a lower air temperature, at the same time, I get my sweating response faster, and I get my session done faster.” And then…
Dr. Wahls: Let me interject just one.
Brian: Go ahead.
Dr. Wahls: So many people with multiple sclerosis or a neurologic disorder have heat intolerance. And that’s a big part of our disease process. I had severe heat intolerance. And then as I recovered, my tolerance for heat improved. Now, what I’m hearing from my tribe Brian, is that, because we encourage people to get the single bulb unit, and slowly add exposure to the sort of therapy, and you can adjust the time, and the closeness proximity of the red light to you. And so we’ve seen people very slowly, gently increase their exposure in thereby reduce their heat intolerance. So it’s been quite remarkable in terms of their healing journey. Brian, can you comment a little bit more about the single bulb unit? And how people who are…
Brian: Yes, absolutely Terry. It’s all about titration. We’d love for people to get into the SaunaSpace sauna and have all four lights on and do a full 20 or 30 minutes session. That’s not possible for many people in your community right now. So what they do is they start out with this, and they use this outside of the sauna. And this is used on the head for five or 10 minutes at a time or on the gut for a little bit longer period. You adjust for 20 or 30 minutes a session, but very gently, one light. And again, you can control the intensity by moving it farther away, or just doing in a short duration.
Slowly but surely what we’ve seen from the Wahls Warrior community, but also in more generally, our customers that are dealing with autoimmune stuff is that they can slowly work from this one bulb, up to eventually doing two bulbs in the sauna. With an enclosure, maybe the curtain remains open. And the sessions are short. And they’re slowly but surely increasing the number of lights. They’re using the duration, they’re using until perhaps maybe a year later, maybe even 18 months later, they’re able to actually sit in the sauna and tolerate it. And in many cases, for the first time ever for them since they’ve been dealing with their autoimmune symptoms.
And we’ve seen that again and again. And it’s such a safe approach. It’s such a low risk approach to get you into the sauna, because the fact of the matter is the sauna. I mean, that’s why you use the sauna every day. That’s why I use the sauna every day. It’s such a crucial corrective force and a restorative force for our bodies. And it’s solving so many problems, it has so much relevance to immunity, what’s going on right now to mental health. So just overall general health.
And so we want to get everybody into the sauna. But how did they get to that point? And so I feel this is a very pragmatic path to build up, to doing a regular sauna like everybody else can kind of handle. So we’ve heard that a lot. And that’s also a way to try out this concept. This is a 10th of the cost of the sauna. And all of our stuff comes with a free trial. So especially if you’re one of those folks that has heat intolerant, or your physician has told you, “Do not heat your head up.” We contraindicate that. This is a way to really gently try stuff out with no risk, and you’ll find that it actually… I think you’ll find if you use it that you’ll feel the results that other people are feeling and… Go ahead.
Dr. Wahls: So two things I’d like you to help us out with Brian, could you explain some of the other conditions and symptoms that people are reporting favorable response with your sauna?
Brian: In the neuro psychiatric realm, or just in general?
Dr. Wahls: Oh, just in general. But tell us about everything in the neurology and mental health [inaudible 00:09:15].
Brian: Yes, I’d like to focus on that. But it’s just everything. I have customers who use the photon once and their migraine goes away. There’s a couple MMA fighters that are using our product right now. I just had them on our Instagram Live and…
Dr. Wahls: Ooh, the sounds fun.
Brian: … they’re amazing people. The wife who’s her own MMA fighter said that she couldn’t believe how quickly your hair is growing. How much more vibrant and healthier hair looks and feels and how much more vibrant and healthy her skin looks and feels. The male MMA fighter, the husband reported that it actually improves his responsiveness in his fights sort of a kind of a flow state. He had improved cognition. So you have those improved cognition things as well but in a neuropsychiatric realm, people are using this to deal with their mood issues, depression, anxiety, stress, people are manic, and are really anxious or maybe apathetic.
In that whole realm of symptoms, our customers are using both the photon and the sauna really effectively for… And that has to do with what the light therapy does to the neurons and in the mitochondria response, but also the sauna. Where people focus on not too much. But people focus primarily on the detoxification aspect of sauna but the heat shock proteins also cause corrective effects in the proteins. They refold and fix proteins and restore functioning into the cell through the heat Shock protein response. So both of these things are helping make the neurons work better.
Dr. Wahls: Right.
And the overall function, I actually wanted to bring up one study that’s fairly recent. It basically, when you shine near-infrared light on the neuron, it causes regenerative and restorative effects in the neuron. But it also has been shown to improve the networking ability of that neuron with other neurons. And so that’s presumably one of the reasons why you see improvement in Alzheimer’s patients and Parkinson’s patients. We’re not just going in and fixing one cell. It seems to be improving overall functioning at the tissue level, at the organ level.
And that’s what Wahls Protocol is all about. That’s what I try to teach folks is, we want to work at the cellular level, we want to work at improving the micro environment for ourselves. Hormesis, the gentle stress of ourselves that’s provided through the photon, through the sauna is a very helpful, gradual, gentle way to get into that hormetic stress. And what Brian’s teaching us is some of the chemical pathways that science is figuring out that are impacted by this gentle hormesis. So heat shock protein is one. Brian, can you talk a little bit about what happens with the inflammatory cytokines?
Brian: Yes, that’s really fascinating. And that ties into some of the immune topics. We want to speak to for example, with CV*russ, with C*VID. It’s presumed that one of the really big issues with it is the cytokine storm, which also folks in the autoimmune community. Are they’re aware of that? They know what that is.
Dr. Wahls: Know what that’s all about.
Brian: Yes, that’s not good. So the immune system response becomes overwhelmed and causes too much inflammation in the area can cause damage to the cells and the tissues and lead to organ failure.
Dr. Wahls: And the problem is it comes up, it’s too fast, and we have difficulty turning it back down and resolving that excessive inflammation. People are at much more risk of going on to what’s called fibrosis or scarring. So what are you observing in your tribe? Because we know there are many more people with persisting symptoms after getting the CV*rus. Things aren’t going away. They still have cough, they’re short of breath, they have fatigue. Some of these folks with long haulers have mental health issues with more anxiety, more depression, more problems with attention memory and brain fog. So do you have any of your folks with your clients who are in the long haulers that are using near-infrared saunas?
Brian: Yes, it’s pretty. I feel grateful that we’re already out in the community had some product out there before this hit. Just in the sense that we have the opportunity to see what would happen with customers who ended up getting C*VID positive or contracting the CV*rus infection.
Dr. Wahls: Cool.
Brian: So we have many customers now have reported. They already have our products, got C*VID. One guy described his feeling of loss of breathe, inability to breath while he described because he felt he was drowning. Just sitting there, standing there and that’s apparently one of the more common effects people feel they have difficulty breathing and so he started immediately using a photon really aggressively on his chest. And he reported, he just felt it really helped him manage the symptoms and he didn’t have those lingering effects and there’s actually another guy …who’s a big gym fitness guy in Austin, who also had our SaunaSpace sauna, and also came down with C*VID early.
He came down with C*VID in April and he had a whole journey that he discusses about it on his Instagram. But essentially, he said that he didn’t have any of those lingering effects after the seven or eight day point of loss of sense of taste and smell that a lot of people reporting is really just remaining for a long time. And so the anecdotal reports from our customers are amazing. It seems to be making this really manageable. The question is, why? How does the near-infrared light help? How does the sauna help?
Well, there’s a couple things. We started here with inflammation. One of the primary mitochondrial responses to the near-infrared light exposure is inflammation reduction at the cell level and at the tissue level. And that’s usually by the way, why people usually feel an immediate relief of some kind, whether it’s joint pain or chronic pain or something else, if you just can immediately reduce a little bit of inflammation. That cell, that tissue will obviously be able to function better. And so we see that with anecdotal reports in terms of inflammation in general. But in terms of C*VID, and CV*rus, and pulmonary inflammation, I think that’s where it’s contributing big time. It’s helping reduce inflammation in this area of the body helping the body breath better. But there’s also a tissue, oxygen saturation effect, apparently. And so this year, they’re five or six studies now using near-infrared light to treat CV*rus.
Dr. Wahls: Oh.
Brian: And there’s one really interesting one. It was just one study with this guy who had advanced C*VID in the hospital, and severe pneumonia. And all they did was treat him with near-infrared light for 20 minutes a day for four days. And the results of that was his pneumonia index improved so dramatically, and his inflammation went down so dramatically that he walked out of the hospital.
Dr. Wahls: Very impressive.
Brian: And never needed a ventilator. It’s very impressive. It’s just one person, it’s one study, but it indicates the potential for light therapy as being this really high benefit, low risk way to deal with this stuff at home, and not have to get into a point where you have to go to the hospital as a preventative measure. And so there’s definitely more research to be done. But we know in terms of light therapy, and using near-infrared light, to trigger mitochondrial systems and to do healing, there’s over 5,000. There’s even 7,000 studies in the literature now, really studying almost every kind of disease, every kind of tissue. But it’s really been known for quite some time that… Let me just read this out to you.
Near-infrared lights have been useful for quite some time now to reduce lung inflammation, lung fibrosis, pneumonia, the acute respiratory disorders, and now more recently, complication to the CV*rus. So there’s the inflammation reduction and that was one of the other things that was shown on this guy that walked out of the hospital. His hypoxia of his tissues went down. The ability of the cells to receive and be delivered oxygen, which is a big component of CV*rus was improved with Coronavirus—I’m not an expert or anything for sure, but my understanding is that the CV*rus can take the side of the heme and the hemoglobin and reduces the ability of the blood cells to carry oxygen.
Dr. Wahls: Correct it[inaudible 00:18:44].
Brian: And so even if we breath in, go ahead.
Dr. Wahls: With carrying the oxygen and releasing the oxygen. It can damage the lung air sacs, so they fill up with fluid and it can damage the brain as well. So it has the potential to damage many different organs in the body. So this is a huge public health issue.
Dr. Wahls: I spend a lot of time talking about what we could do with our self cares that can improve our resilience to this organism and make it more likely when you’re exposed that you’ll have a very mild disease course. Vitamin D, a proper diet, lots of sauerkraut and kimchi. And I think you are getting outside, are you getting fresh air?
Brian: Proper relationship with light.
Dr. Wahls: And if you have access… I certainly think a near-infrared sauna can be a very helpful part of making it more likely that you’ll have a mild disease course. And if you do develop the disease, that your immune response is appropriate to the organism. Because we need the immune cells to fight the organism. So it’s not that Brian and I are telling you that you want turn your immune cells off, you want them to be effective, fighting the organism, and then promptly resolving that resolution phase, the kimchi, sauerkraut are really helpful, a good appropriate diet really helpful. And the light.
Brian: And the light in reducing that.
Dr. Wahls: Turns out to be a very helpful adjunct to prevention and to improving your resolution.
Brian: And I would also bring up that research that I mentioned, I think last year or two years ago, when we spoke last and did a recording where in… These are still preliminary studies. But there’s indication that the heat shock proteins that are produced when you heat the cell up, that they actually have a tolerizing effect on the immune system. They are helping calm down that response by helping detox inflammatory proteins, but also providing some kind of check and balance to the immune system. So it’s like you said, we want it to work, but we don’t want an exaggerated response.
Dr. Wahls: Correct.
Brian: And like the cytokine storm that seems to be associated with Coronavirus infection. Think one of…
Dr. Wahls: No, to my tribe, what Brian and I are talking about is this phase called resolution.
Dr. Wahls: So the immune cells come in, they do their job of attacking the organisms of recognizing what parts of our bodies have been damaged by cold stress, by heat stress, by chemical stress or infection stress. We have to go in, dissolve that damage, call in the cells that are going to do the rebuilding, and then resolve the inflammation. And what happens with cytokine storm. We’re not as effective at calling in the rebuilding part. And we’re not as effective as calming all those inflammatory signals so that resolution phase declines, diminishes. And instead, we continue to call in the cells that do the dissolving work. So they’re very inflammatory.
And then we end up with a scar as opposed to correctly built structures. So the resolution phase is critical. We of course need to have the attacking phase that can kill the microbes and dissolve the severely damaged cells. That’s critical. That’s not what’s being turned off with the photon and the sauna. What those parts are doing is the resolution phase. It is signaling to the immune cells that we’re in the phase now to repair the structures, and do the rebuilding then calm down those parts immune cells that are dissolving our structures and dissolving the infecting microbe. So this doesn’t interfere with the attack of the microbes. But it does calm down and redirect immune cells to the rebuilding, repairing and then complete resolution. [inaudible 00:23:53].
Brian: You hit the nail on the head. The heat therapy response and the light therapy response are working in concert to both. There is some stuff with the immune response, but also just making that immune response optimal. And this is something that we’ve had for a long time. There’s something I actually learned just recently, there’s a 3,000 year old Egyptian hieroglyphics showing Egyptian husband and wife holding their three children under the sun as heliotherapy, sun therapy to heal something. And then I kept looking into some other historical anecdotes are really interesting. There’s this guy named [Fincen 00:24:34] in the early 1900s, that was reporting that his patients that were exposed to red light exhibited significantly better recovery from smallpox infection. This is in 1906. And so what we’re doing here is we’re trying to… With SaunaSpace, with our custom made thermal light bulb is that we’re trying to mimic as closely as possible that spectrum from the sun.
There is no ultraviolet or blue from our bulbs because the film is attuned to not do that and the red glass filters out the blue light. But we’re still keeping that really broad spectrum component that has been used for a long time to treat infectious disease as it were. And all that historical information just informs a little bit what we’re doing now. But the current problem we have, the big health public health issue we have with Coronavirus right now, it’s definitely not going away. And what can we do at home to gently deal with it? I say it’s this but also this just supports so many other aspects of your health in general.
I’ve loved your community for a long time, I’ve been a huge supporter of what you’ve done. Really what I love most about you, Terry, is you never had a past theory in approach to things. You’ve had this focus on strengthening the host. And let’s strengthen the host. And if we do that, we can probably have a more sensible, more measured approach to managing our health, a less risky approach than using petroleum based chemicals to achieve these things.
Dr. Wahls: When I think back to my own personal healing journey, I certainly am a professor of medicine, I believe in the latest science said I absolutely tried the most aggressive approach to treat my MS. And I was clearly on the verge of becoming bedridden demented, I have trigeminal neuralgia. Those episodes are more frequent, more severe, much more difficult to turn off. And I was assigned to a new job that have to take in six months. It was a job that I knew I couldn’t possibly do physically. And so I made the decision. And the question in my mind was, was I doing everything that I possibly could to stabilize and slow my decline? And so I had to up my game, I focused much more intensely on the quality of my diet, I focused much more intensely on my meditative practices, my exercise, and so by shifting my focus towards, was I doing everything under my control to improve how my cells could do the chemistry of life? And of course, we all know that the results were stunning to my physicians, to my family, to my colleagues. And of course, to me.
And the other thing that’s really interesting, Brian is, as part of having a progressive disorder in my physicians had always told me that functions, once lost are going to be gone forever. That they’re not going to come back. So I was remarkably better, my pain was gone, my fatigue was gone. I was sitting up again, at the table having supper, which I hadn’t done in years, I was walking in the neighborhood with my walking sticks but I had accepted that I had a progressive disease, I’d let go with the future. And I had taken each day one day at a time. So even though it’s remarkably better, I didn’t know what any of that meant. So I still hadn’t latched on to the future. And so the day rode my bike, my kids are crying, my wife’s crying, I’m crying.
And that’s when I really understood that the current understanding of MS in autoimmunity was incomplete. It fundamentally changed how I thought about disease and health. And I began talking to my patients about what they’re eating what they were doing. And I was remarkably effective at convincing them to focus on what they’re eating, what they were doing, and their self care. And I discovered and my residence discovered that people could make huge changes in their diet and self care, and that they too experienced remarkable transformations in terms of their blood pressure, their blood sugars. And then I discovered that I could tolerate size.
And so that was another whole new level of my healing journey. And so I began talking about heat and cold and saunas. And that added more tools to everyone’s toolkit for what they could do to create the most optimal environment for yourselves. So my question to all of you who are listening is. What’s in your toolkit that you are doing to create the most optimal environment for yourselves? What are you doing for your diet? What are you doing for your meditative practice? What are you doing for your movement? And what are you doing about light?
Brian: What are you do about light? And what are you doing about modern artificial stressors? Whether it’s man made, electromagnetism, or it’s artificial blue light, that’s in a natural spectrum, or dietary stressors, but also how we conduct ourselves in the day. How do we respond to stress? And when we do a meditative practice, or just some kind of mental calming exercise, which by the way, is an amazing to do in the sauna. It’s a perfect place to be doing that. That has real effects there that you start to temper your mind. And it helps you cope with stress in an efficient way instead of a bad way. It’s rescue way.
Dr. Wahls: And I do want to remind everyone, that stress in itself is not evil. If we go to bed in bed rest, that is an incredibly destructive process, my bones begin dissolving, becoming weaker, having less calcium, magnesium in the bones, my muscles are less effective. And they began to atrophy. My brain, if I’m not using my brain, that begins to atrophy as well. So I need stress, it’s really helpful for me to stress my muscles with some exercise. But I have to have enough of a recovery period. So stress is not evil, continuous stress, incredibly evil. Stress, a little bit of stress, mild to moderate stress, followed by a recovery period is transformative for your health. That’s what our DNA expects. It expects us to intermittently have to run like hell away from the predators or people who want to harm us. But they also, our DNA expects us to rest, to eat, and have some play time, to have some recreation time with the people or person that you love.
Brian: And the sleep cycle.
Dr. Wahls: And the sleep…
Brian: We need blue light in the day, but we don’t want blue light in the evening. Yes, it is such a crucial point too. Sometimes I get lost with the stress thing. The good stress and bad stress. What I call bad stress is anything that’s a manmade environmental, nervous stressor that we didn’t have, prior to modern technology electromagnetics, the things I’ve mentioned so far, those are bad stressors. Because we haven’t evolved to deal with those really, especially the electromagnetic stress. It’s a very micro stress, it’s a tiny thing, but it’s very pervasive, and it’s 24 hours a day. And your body is interpreting that as an environmental stressor. But it’s almost like a cognitive dissonance because your eyes don’t see a bear or a tiger that you had to run away from. And it’s just it’s like you say it, it’s a constant stress that never goes away.
Dr. Wahls: The constant stresses are harmful. So if as long as we can have a period where ourselves can rest, recover, rebuild from that stress, it appears to be much less harmful and potentially, in that hormetic way, beneficial. The key is a time for yourselves to repair and rebuild. So we want a little bit of stress, followed by that rest and recovery period. That’s how our ancestors evolved over literally millions of generations. And so as I spent a lot of time thinking about the interventions that I’ve created for my protocol that I’ve used in my clinics, my clinical trials, I put it through that evolutionary biology lens Brian.
Brian: Beautiful .
Dr. Wahls: I think about what were the environments that our ancestors lived in? Is there a way in modern technologies to imitate that? And then I also look because it’s fun, I want to see what has science evaluated any of these interventions or tools that we’re talking about. So like therapy and it was a great one, getting outside early in the day so I can get some full spectrum light. So the ultraviolet light into my eyes, very helpful. And then certainly in the afternoon in the evening, have an exposure to red light very helpful. Having heat stress. I also happen to like cold stress. So one of the things I do Brian, is I do my morning sauna. And I generally do mine for 40 to 45 minutes, I do my meditations in the sauna. Then I come out and I do a five-minute cold shower.
Brian: Oh, [inaudible 00:35:21] that?
Dr. Wahls: That’s really wonderful. So I’ve got the heat stress, I’ve got the cold stress, then I do another meditation. And then I launch into my workday. That hormetic stress, heat stress, incredibly helpful for me, followed by cold stress, also incredibly helpful and wonderfully invigorating. But of course, you don’t have to do the cold shower if you don’t feel like it. But if you want to really supercharge your sauna experience, our finished friends are very good at doing heat saunas then going out rolling around in the snow. So there’s been a long tradition of heat stress, followed by some cold stress, followed by that rest and recovery period where your body can fully reset.
Brian: Absolutely. That’s just… And that’s the perfect scenario right there. So that’s really what we’re all about at SaunaSpace is we would like you to consider our near-infrared light therapy sauna as an essential tool to hit many of these things at the same time in the same 20 minutes. Near-infrared light therapy, sauna therapy, meditative practice, actual measurable break from the electromagnetic stress that’s out there. And apparently, a lot of general health improvement things and immune related things, and also mental health things. So what I love about what I do, and what we do here is that’s all rolled into 120-minute session, where you can sit on your lazy butt in there. And if you need to read a book or whatever, I find it to be very accessible. What we’re doing.
I wanted follow up kind of at the end here with one connection, because we talked a lot about mental health and immunity. And it’s still not really well understood. Well, there’s definitely mitochondria in the nerves and in the brain, of course, where all the nerves are. But when you do light therapy and near-infrared light on the brain, why does that seem to help with depression? Why does it seem to make you feel better. It seems to make you feel happier. It also reduces anxiety at the same time that appears to be really helpful for so many other mental health related things. I found this recent study where there’s an interesting effect of the mitochondrial stimulation by near-infrared light that results in monoamine neurotransmitter production. Which is serotonin dopamine.
Dr. Wahls: Oh.
Brian: [inaudible 00:38:03]brain. This is 2018, transcranial low-level laser therapy for depression and Alzheimer’s. So there appears to be an interesting cellular mechanism in the brain and in the nerve tissue that results in a little bit of a happiness release. As a more of immediate effect. And I think that’s part of why it just feels good, whether it’s…
…the SaunaSpace bulb, or it’s the sun. Really too or even that fireplace. Experienced that bonfire experience at night? It’s not just the heat and the warmth of the heat that makes it feel good. There is some happiness-inducing effects of the light therapy like the excuse me at the organism level, that we still need to research more and study more, but it’s definitely there. It makes you feel good. When you don’t have this daily stress from the sun, this good stress of this light or at something you don’t you’re not going to feel as good. And when you’re sick, and you’re in ill health. And things are not working well in your brain. You don’t feel good. And usually you don’t have a good mood.
Dr. Wahls: That’s part of sickness behavior. We now have much better insight and understanding. That’s a reflection of microglia activation in the Brain. Brain inflammation, which leads to these alterations in mood, desires for inactivity, depression state, and as the inflammation levels decline in the bloodstream, and then there’s less activation of the microglia in the brain. That sickness behavior dissipates. Mood elevates and the desire for being up and around increases. So absolutely know what Brian’s talking about, we have a much better appreciation on the molecular basis, what’s going on?
Brian: And then just at a high level, just the way I feel about it. When I do my sauna in the morning, I get out and it’s absolutely a calibrating effect on the day. I’m just a little bit better at all of the things I’m doing. Whether it’s focus or patience or reading or whatever, or honestly sometimes I’m irritable. Sometimes I’m irascible, I’m known to be…
Dr. Wahls: Oh, no.
Brian: Just a part of my passion. And my excitement for life in general. Sometimes I get worked up. When I do sauna in the morning, I have a lot more tolerance for everything. And whatever it is, and I and it’s just this calming, again calibrating, optimizing effect that really is immediate for me. I think it’s immediate for a lot of people too. Once you start to use sauna therapy a lot. Once you begin to shift the homeostasis of your body get in, and you start using this more with discipline. It becomes really an essential aspect of the day. And in a good way, it really… After I do sauna morning, I have more desire to eat well, follow more of a Whals protocol type [inaudible 00:41:16]…
Dr. Wahls: All right.
Brian:… and so forth. And all the things it just makes the day a lot better.
Dr. Wahls: Well, we certainly want you eating well. We want you and your family to thrive so that we can continue our collaborations. Do you have any fun, interesting projects you want to tell us about? Other coming up for next year?
Brian: Yes, cool. I’ve got a couple quick product updates. So we just came out with this is the… We improved the light guard to be basically have a child lock and be safer or more functional. Instead of the one that you have next to you where there’s no stainless steel mesh, this now has basically this stainless steel mesh cage, and this is locked in here. See I’m putting my hands on everything I just had the light on for an hour, and my hands are at all this and I’m safe and fine. And if the glass breaks, if the bulb breaks or something like that, all that stuff is kept in safe inside. Plus, you can’t get little hands in here. That was also an improvement in the design for children or supervising people who have less bodily awareness, have more brain fog. So really hard to develop. But we finally got that rolling out. And we actually have a retrofit upgrade that we’re offering free to all of our existing customers that have the unit that you have.
Dr. Wahls: Oh, great.
Brian: That’ll be marketed pretty soon on the website. And we’re offering that free to everybody that has basically from 2016 to just a few months ago type model of sauna. So great safety improvement. Really happy with that. We’ve had our thermal light bulb which is inside of this, which I have apparently because your photon doesn’t have it. In the window there you have a regular heat lamp, we have basically a redesigned light bulb that delivers more light therapy, and more heat therapy.
Dr. Wahls: Excellent. So if people were wanting to reach out to you, where do they find you Brian?
Brian: They find us on sauna.space. We’re at SaunaSpace on Facebook, Instagram. I mean every handle we’re always SaunaSpace or you just Google SaunaSpace but sauna.space is our website. We have so much resources on there. The biggest resources are customer reviews, you can search those. So if you care about fibromyalgia, you care about skin, you can search that see what other people are experiencing. And there’s so much more. Of course on top of that we have daily phone support, we provide a lifetime of phone customer success support here at SaunaSpace, because that’s a huge important aspect for me. I want you to be happy, I want you to be successful. It’s not just about the service, it’s about the success afterwards. So we’re here for you to reach out to us, we have a lot of resources to get you what you need or help you just with answers and help you in your own research and deciding what’s the best product for you. And I do have one more little eye candy thing. This is more of a fun aesthetic thing but the sauna is now available in five different colors.
Dr. Wahls: Oh.
Brian: They’re super pretty. So naturals. Well we’ve always had. It’s all organic of course. But now we have some sexy new colors. So we have indigo blue. This is kind of the executive color. We have a very muted Stone Gray for people want very minimalist. They just want that to blend into their surroundings. We have dark chocolate.
Dr. Wahls: Oh, that’s fun.
Brian: Which we already using the [inaudible 00:44:47] but that’s just fun. And then finally, we have our super special artists in hand dyed turmeric canvas.
Dr. Wahls: Oh, that sounds fun.
Brian: This stuff is hand dyed in the ancient [inaudible 00:44:59] fashion. Which is Ayurvedic medicinal science of India. So Ayurvedic medicine as it applies to the medicinal dyeing of fabrics for health benefit. So you dye a T shirt with turmeric and you wear that. That’s the concept and gets to…
Dr. Wahls: Oh, it sounds interesting.
Brian: Turmeric has anti inflammatory benefits. So we figured out a way to yarn dye it and it just looks really gorgeous. It has striations. And so you can sit and surround yourself with the anti inflammatory powers of turmeric while you’re inside of it. Very beautiful, very fun. And that’s now on the website right now.
Dr. Wahls: That’ll be fun.
Brian: That’s it for today. But there’s a lot more things going on. I’m always coming out with new stuff, and we’ll definitely have some new stuff next year. So we’re really excited. It’s been a crazy year for everybody. And my best wishes to everybody out there who’s dealing with adversity right now, but we’re going to get through this. We’re going to through this together.
Dr. Wahls: We’ll all get through this. We have to learn how to be sure that we’re doing everything that we can, so that we can be resilient and we can thrive in this current environment. And so Brian wants to help you with that. I want to help you with that. We want you to be fully engaged with doing all you can for you and your family.
Dr. Wahls: Brian, I always love our chats. And I look forward to continuing to collaborate with you. Much love to you and your family.
Brian: Thank you so much, Terry. The same for you and the rest. Say hi to Jackie for me.
Dr. Wahls: Okay.
Brian: I will say hi for you to everybody else. Everybody out there. I hope you have a wonderful year.
Dr. Wahls: Thank you much.
Brian: Take care.
In 2008 SaunaSpace founder Brian needed to make a decision: fill prescriptions for acne, insomnia, and adrenal fatigue, or take a chance with Near Infrared (NIr) Sauna Therapy, as recommended by an alternative medicine doctor. For Brian, it was a no brainer. But there was a problem, at the time you couldn’t find an near-infrared sauna. So, he began his journey to change that.
Over the following years, Brian became consumed with creating the perfect product, fueled by the healing transformation of his personal experience with NIr Sauna Therapy. At the beginning, SaunaSpace was one big DIY project, where Brian did everything from designing his logo and website to building every sauna himself.
Today, Brian heads a 35-person team that operates 18,000 square feet of workshop space that is the sauna space headquarters.
Learn more and shop at https://go.sauna.space/wahlswarrior