217: Do Saunas Work? Understanding the Benefits With Sunlighten Founder Connie Zack 217: Do Saunas Work? Understanding the Benefits With Sunlighten Founder Connie Zack

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

This episode is brought to you by Organifi and I’m so excited to finally tell you about them! Because, here’s a confession… I have known about Organifi for a really long time and even though so many of my friends and experts I trust rave about them, I never tried their stuff until recently because I thought… first of all, how can it actually be that good? Well, I tried it and it turns out that it is not only that good, it’s better than I expected! Organifi has green juice, red juice (which is an antioxidant red drink and it’s delicious) and a golden milk turmeric drink, along with a plant-based protein. Everything they have is completely organic and they all actually taste good, unlike a lot of other green drinks and protein powders. I’ve especially been loving their red juice lately… especially at this time of year for immunity. It tastes amazing and it has a blend of antioxidants from strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, pomegranates and they also add in beets, cordycepts, reishi, rhodiola and a lot more. So, this particular blend is formulated to increase energy, boost metabolism and reduce factors that lead to aging. Their green juice is minty and delicious, and I noticed it has almost 800 5-star reviews. You can check out those two products, along with their whole suite of products and save 20% just by being a listener of the Wellness Mama podcast. Go to https://organifi.com/wellnessmama/ and use the code: WELLNESS20 for 20% off.

This podcast is brought to you by Genexa- a company pioneering over-the-counter medicine with a full line of homeopathic and regular medicines that work ..without the harmful dyes, additives and sweeteners that are in many medicines. Founded by two dads on a mission to find better products for their kids, Genexa uses a patented system to create their formulas without harmful additives or preservatives, while maintaining the same active ingredients. Plus, their formula are all free of common allergens, which is really important in todays world. One example is their heartburn fix…. It works like many over-the-counter products to provide fast relief for heartburn and indigestion but without the dyes and preservatives that some other products contain. I wish I’d had this when I was pregnant with my first child, but I’m so glad products like this are finally available! They also have other products from everything from sleep to colds to leg cramps and everything in between. To shop their full line of organic and non-GMO medicines, go to Genexa.com/Wellnessmama and use code WELLNESS for 20% off your order!

Katie: Hello and welcome to the “Wellness Mama” podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com, and I’m here with my friend Connie Zack, who is the founder of Sunlighten to answer all of your questions. I get a lot of questions from you guys about sauna use, and the differences between types of saunas, and what are the actual benefits that are backed by science. Connie and her husband started Sunlighten in their basement in 2002 and today they have some of the best saunas in the entire world. They develop, design, and retail Infrared Saunas. And the company is unique patented for infrared technology and more recently, there are 3-in-1 infrared light therapies, which we’ll talk about both of those. They’re really revolutionizing the sauna market. And in this episode, like I said, we’re gonna delve into the benefits of sauna therapy, what things like heat shock proteins are, and how we can all maximize the benefits of Sauna use. So Connie, welcome and thanks for being here.

Connie: Thank you so much, Katie. I’m happy to be here.

Katie: I’m so excited to jump in and to talk to you about this. I know that you are really an expert on this topic and you have many years of experience. And sauna use is something that’s been happening around the world for many, many years. There’s a long historical history of use and of benefits, so I’d love if you could start there kind of explaining the history of saunas, and then also the difference between the traditional saunas and now the infrared saunas that we have access to.

Connie: I’d love to. Yeah, there has been around for many, many years. And I was introduced to infrared technology from my brother who was chronically ill, and he suffered greatly from mercury toxicity, and just heavy toxic burden. And it was his dentist who had done some research, this is 20 years ago, on infrared and said, you know, there’s the big huge difference between just regular heat and infrared. And a lot of the early research, this was 20 years ago, has been shown that if you can penetrate the body, you can purify it naturally and get some of its mercury and toxins out of your body. And so that’s when I was introduced. I saw my brother go from being on his deathbed to being healthy as a result of infrared technology. And that’s when our company was born.

Katie: Wow. Well, first of all, let’s establish what is infrared? I think it’s actually technically light, right? But also heat. Can you kind of explain what infrared is and how it’s kind of interacting with the body?

Connie: Correct. And I’ll also explain your first question a little bit better as far as the difference between traditional heat and the infrared heat. And why don’t we start there?

So traditional heat is hot air and has a little bit of infrared, but most of it is convectional heat that you can feel in the air. And so you’re getting hot because the air is hot and so you’ll still sweat, but it’s surface sweat and the heat is not really going into the body, it’s just heating the air. Infrared is a spectrum and you can go in as deep as you want into the spectrum, because that’s my space, but I’ll just touch on it lightly here. And you know, as deep as you wanna go I can take the audience.

But in the infrared spectrum, there’s three different wavelengths of light. There is a far-infrared, mid-infrared and near-infrared. And all three operate differently and all three have different tipping points for effectiveness, which we can talk about later. But specifically, let’s talk about the far infrared piece because that’s what my brother was introduced to, and that was our first exposure to this spectrum of light and the magical healing properties.

And the far-infrared part of the spectrum is the one that goes the deepest into the body. And how it works is you bypass all of the convectional heat. This is what Sunlighten specializes in. And it’s taking out the non-healing heat, the UV rays and all of that extra stuff that the sun gives, and just focusing on almost 100% of the tipping point far-infrared. And when I say tipping point, it’s a wavelength, right? And so any level of energy has a tipping point where it becomes transformational versus just far-infrared. And that’s what we have done in all of our products. And then, of course, we patented it to protect ourselves and our customers.

And the far infrared specifically is what increases the core temperature. It gives the body a natural fever without disease. That fever, that increase of core temperature is what leads to the healing benefits and leads to the transformation. Leads to, for my brother to specifically, the removal of the toxin, and specifically mercury that was trapped in his body for so long that was leading him to be so ill.

Katie: That’s super fascinating. It reminds me, last year, I had the chance to study in Switzerland at a biological medicine clinic, and they have a procedure called a full body hyperthermia where they’re doing sauna but to an extreme degree and they’re having someone’s head removed. So similar to like your Solo on a unit so that the brain doesn’t get too hot. And they had, actually, people under supervision with a rectal thermometer and an IV for hydration. And these are people with blood infections or severe heavy metals. And the purpose is to raise the core body temperature or both or inducing sweat, which like you mentioned is helping remove those things from the body as well, but they’re finding that that increasing the core body temperature to a high degree in getting the person to have a fever of 103 or 104 can actually go a long way toward killing some of these infections in the blood.

And it seems like adults have harder times actually getting a high fever. Kids can get them pretty easily, which is wonderful. Actually, there’s a lot of evidence we should not be bringing down fevers because they serve such a beneficial purpose. Have you, like, seen that in your research as well about the benefits of the body actually being that hot?

Connie: Absolutely. So two things on that. To touch on Switzerland, that biological clinic, I would believe is the same one that we’re working with, Sunlighten is working with and in many different ways. They use our cell lower sunlight and cell lower that has the head out, right? So the head is not in, but then they’re also adding on the other two wavelengths, the 3-in-1 product as well that has the mid-infrared around you as well as near-infrared LEDs. They’re doing that as well because there’s benefits of those two wavelengths adding to the synergies of the form predding increase in the core.

So, that’s a different topic but when you said that, I was just thinking about, I was just recently in Belgium, and we were working with that clinic in Switzerland and they’re having terrific results with our products.

So, the second as far as the hyperthermia. Absolutely, we did with our Sunlighten Solo product. Let’s see. That was probably, we’re looking at probably 15, 16, maybe even 17 years ago. We did that exact study with a rectal thermometer with our heating technology, and measured the core temperature over 30 minutes with the Solo. That was before we introduced our heated pad that goes underneath. And I know that you would probably even get a greater increase with that, but we had that at the time, so we just did it with the Sunlighten Solo and we showed an increase in 3 degrees in less than 30 minutes. And then what’s great, Katie, is even when they were taken out, the core temperature stayed elevated. And so you can see the benefit of how the wavelength stays with you, and it continues to provide that healing benefit after you get out.

So Dr. Rachel West, again, about 13, 14 years ago, introduced Sunlighten to some research that she was doing on using our products specifically with kids with autism. And so showing that when you increase that core temperature, and you keep it elevated and, and like you said, you let that happen naturally and you don’t try and fight to bring it down too quickly, then you can see a removal in harmful toxins. And there’s, you know, a lot of research showing that kids with autism have mercury and different types of things inside their body. And if you can remove that then, you know, you can potentially notice a benefit. And she has really done a lot of research on the core temperature and the hyperthermia benefits specifically with kids.

And when I had my children, I completely subscribed to that philosophy of, you know, as painful as it is as a mom to watch your kid have a fever. It’s so painful. But knowing that if they can fight it on their own, that’s the best thing for them. And then ourselves as adults, if we can change our body and consistently provide healing heat that’s going to increase our core temperature and keep it elevated, then we can keep ourselves from getting harmful diseases as well as transform if we’re having any adverse conditions as we sit here today.

Katie: Absolutely. And I think there’s so many fun things to unpack there. But I think if moms that’s such helpful perspective. You’re so right. It’s so hard to see your child suffer with a fever, and it’s so easy to wanna just bring the fever down and give them Tylenol. But the data we’re seeing right now is super fascinating and I’m sure you’ve seen it too, about how high fevers in childhood are actually correlated with lower risk of certain diseases and adulthood. And it seems that there’s almost like an immune forming or strengthening effect, which makes sense when we look at a fever as one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms and not just something that we need to make go away.

And so to make sure I’m understanding. So the far, near, and mid-infrared, they all are able to penetrate the body, but they affect cells in different ways. So, is that correct? And how deeply can they penetrate the body?

Connie: Yeah. So, each wavelength penetrates differently. And so as a result, it’s affecting the body in different parts and it has different benefits. So the far that we were just talking about the deepest in gets that increasing core temperature we just talked about. So the results of Hyperthermia we just discussed, you know, are extensive and they really, really can help the body restore itself to you know, it’s healthy state by removing the toxic elements. And so many people have conditions that really are related to toxic overload. And if they would just remove those elements, then they would, you know, purify the body.

So that’s the beautiful part of the Sunlighten and the far infrared. And what we patented is giving almost 100% of the perfect amount as well as frequency of that wavelength. Because each wavelength, Katie has a spectrum. So there’s a spectrum of infrared. And then with far, mid, and near there’s a spectrum of that category too. And if you’re not in the right part of the spectrum, you’re not getting the benefits. Does that make sense?

Katie: Yeah, it does.

Connie: Okay. So, well that’s the far. So then there’s the mid. Same story. Has to be within a particular frequency. And that wavelength is hotter than the far. The far is the coolest of the three. The mid is a little bit hotter in temperature and does not go as deep. And the benefits specifically is for the joints and the tissues. And my personal favorite benefit that it provides is reducing inflammation and leaving the body in a better state of recovery, specifically for people who want to exercise or people who’ve had bad, you know, knee pain or joint pain or back pain, you know, that type of inflammation. The far isn’t going to help with that as much as the mid because of the way it concentrates on the body.

Then the near is the hottest of the three. So hot that really, you can’t receive the transformational near, which is around 880 nanometers. You can’t receive that by heat, it would burn you. So what we have done is we’ve taken that and we have converted it to invisible LEDs. And they are extremely effective at reducing pain at the very surface. So for like your feet and like the back of your neck, your spine, like that part of the body. That is very, very effective. And I have lots of personal stories on myself, where I’ve used our LEDs.

And the other thing that is very effective with the near infrared is the skin and the repair of the skin. There’s lots of studies on wound healing as well as, you know, transformation with the cells as far as accelerating the cell turnover, and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It’s excellent at restoring the skin and repairing the skin. When I talk about the skin I also like to mention that the far is really great for making the skin glow because you’re removing the impurities in your body. So it’s nice because when you combine the different wavelengths together, you get all of the benefits, you get like this glow from the inside out as well as on the surface.

Katie: That makes sense. And also, I found it fascinating when I was researching this. Infrared light obviously occurs in nature. These are things that we get from the sun. Is that correct?

Connie: Correct. Correct. Everybody needs infrared to exist. The difference is how the quantity within each wavelength is, where the magic starts to happen. So, you know, just general infrared comes from the sun but then when you break it down on the different wavelengths, and then you filter out all the noise of the non-healing stuff, and you just give the beautiful healing properties, and you give the maximum amount of each wavelength. That’s where the beauty and the transformation happens. And that’s what Sunlighten is known for and that’s what I’m most passionate about, is bringing efficient healing properties to the market and leaving the world a healthier place.

Katie: Absolutely. And I know that’s one thing I’ve researched quite a bit recently is just obviously we’re all are aware of the rise and all these modern diseases and chronic diseases. And there’s a lot of factors that come into play there. Of course, with increased toxicity in our diets have changed, but we’re also not spending as much time outside. A lot of us can’t with jobs and school and we’re not getting that natural light that we need, and we’re not getting exposure to all those spectrum. So I feel like in today’s world we do have to be more proactive to face all these things that we’re constantly being bombarded with. And so things like sauna use are an easy way to kind of rebound and get some of those benefits without having to spend hours and hours outside or you know, things that would be difficult with our schedule.

And when it comes to saunas, obviously they typically induce sweat, which people think of as a byproduct. But in my research at least I found there’s a tremendous amount of benefits to sweating as well. Have you found that as well?

Connie: Yes, sweating is something that, it seems a lot of times people are like, “Ooh, gross,” you know, and then they tend to shy away from it. When it is really critical for the body to be healthy and you know, if you’re not actively doing something to sweat, you know, you’ll notice that you will have, you know, less energy and feel fatigued and you know, as a result, not be as healthy. I will say though, you know, any sweat is good, but there is a big difference between, you know, sweating in a Sunlighten sauna versus sweating, you know, after exercise and it’s extra healthy and extra beneficial for you to get that deep cellular increase of core temperature, sweat.

And you’ll actually notice, Katie, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this on your own body, but I notice on mine, the sweat beads… Like I ran this morning for example, and my sweat is totally different in the morning when I go for a run than in the evening when I use my Sunlighten sauna. It is oilier, it’s larger, I accumulate more sweat in certain parts of my body when I’m using my Sunlighten unit versus when I’m just sweating, you know because the air is hot. And both are good but removing toxins comes from the Sunlighten Infrared versus sweating, you know, from going outside.

Katie: Yeah, for sure. I think there’s so many benefits that get overlooked. Like you said, because I think we think of sweat as just a byproduct of exercise or of heat. But the recent research is seeming to show that, like you mentioned the oiliness, that both, like, oil-based compounds and water-based compounds and minerals can all come out of the skin through sweat. And because of that, they’re finding we can actually push out things like BPA, and you mentioned heavy metals, all kinds of things leave our body through sweat.

Connie: Right, right. And there’s some great research, recent ones that I’ve seen on mercury being removed or we know that from all of ours, from our Sunlighten research, but there’s additional on some of the harmful like oxycodone and aluminum, arsenic. I know that there’s BPA that’s being excreted in sweat and that when BPA is excreted in sweat, it’s in higher concentrations via sweat than it is via urine. So that’s a really important finding. And as well as just the overall feeling of the body after having that experience, you feel lighter, more energy. And yes, you know, it’s nice to go to the doctor and get the results that you know you have less of the toxins but really, it’s all about how you feel, you know, and having that restorative effect of, “Wow, I just feel great and I have so much energy and I felt lighter and my head is clear.” I mean, that’s one of the things I notice is just that removal of the fog or the mind chatter, just that, you know, overwhelming effect that just like general life can have. You know, when you consistently use the Sunlighten unit, you find that your head is clear and you have more energy and you feel, you know, like you can go tackle anything.

Katie: Absolutely. And I’ve heard from some people, maybe you can solve this mystery for me, who after starting sauna use their skin itches for a while. And I wondered if it’s a byproduct of these things leaving the skin or if there’s something that people can do who are experiencing that when they start with a sauna. Any idea why that’s happening?

Connie: You know, everybody is different. I mean, our advice always… What we find that is people don’t adequately hydrate themselves, and so a lot of times like their skin may get like blotchy and you know, they may find that they get, you know, some kind of gross stuff removed. But the real way to help that process is through adequate hydration. So that would be my one tip. But I know that, you know, I’ve worked with so many doctors over the years that have told me stories about like smokers who stopped smoking and they used Sunlighten product, and their skin for a while, you know, has that kind of yellowish-brownish hue to it until they kind of get everything out of their body. I’ve heard stories from a local doctor here about firefighters who come in and they were using our product, because she has it in her clinic, and then noticing like the smell in the air just from the removal of all the harmful impurities that they’ve had ingested into their body.

So all of those things can cause, you know, itchiness and rash and everything to the skin because they’re coming out of the body. And that’s just part of the process. Like I said, my tip is really making sure that you’re adequately hydrating before and after because this is therapy, this is a healing process and you wanna make sure that you drink enough water to aid in the process.

Katie: Got It. That seems like a such a great point. And I know anecdotally, some people say that things like chlorophyll might help a little bit or vitamin C. Maybe there’s probably a personal experimentation aspect, but that makes sense. If the body has a larger toxic load, it may take a while to equalize from that.

And we’ve kind of now gone into how these different types of the wavelengths can penetrate the body. I’d love to now go deep on the scientifically-backed benefits of sauna use because I know I’ve seen studies that support it for cardiovascular health for, you mentioned joint health, but there’s a lot of different studies. So can you take us through some of the documented benefits of sauna use?

Connie: Yes, of course. So the first one which is like one of the oldest studies out there is the one we did on the core temperature, so that’s significant where we show with our product to increase the core temperature in only 30 minutes by 3 degrees, and then we kept it elevated. So that’s a significant result. And we talked about why that’s beneficial. And then at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, they did a study with the Sunlighten Solo. Again, this was before the pad, so it’s even… I only mentioned that because it’s extra impressive, because the pad has four additional heating heaters and this was without that. So with only five of our heaters, they showed a statistical significant reduction in blood pressure, which is still… Every time I say that, I’m shocked because I, before we started Sunlighten, I was over at Procter & Gamble and I was specializing in the cardiovascular products on the pharmaceutical side, and I know that those companies spend millions and millions and billions of dollars trying to come up with medicine to control blood pressure. And here, you know, we are able to do it in an easy way just by sitting in our product for 30 minutes, which it’s just fascinating to me even after all these years, that we’re able to help the heart that much.

And we also know through studies that it helps with a decrease in the lining, so it helps to increase blood flow and increase oxygenation to the tissues. There’s also a study that was done in Canada on weight loss and waist circumference reduction. So showing that we’re able to reduce that belly fat, and there’s a lot of benefits separately on when you can reduce the belly fat, you know, that changes the hormone levels, and that makes you have more energy and helps also with getting your body back to normal.

There was also a study done at Auburn University with our three in one technology several years ago. And that was specifically relating to the agility and flexibility in the joint and tissues, looking at using our programs with the three different wavelengths on “How do I recover the body as fast as possible?” and if I’m not able to move well or if I’m not as flexible or if my body hurts, you know, what can I do? And so they showed very quickly after using our 3-in-1 that they could get the body back to its normal state and increased flexibility and decrease pain and increase agility.

So those are some of the studies that have been done with our product and shown a significant, you know, result. Weight loss, lowering blood pressure, muscle recovery, removing toxins.

Katie: Nice. And I know something else that I’ve seen in the medical news recently, is a little bit more research about heat shock proteins, and how they’re beneficial. And they’re slightly misnamed because they aren’t just caused by heat, at least from my research. So heat shock proteins, basically, they chaperone other types of proteins and kind of guarded those proteins from misassembling or mutating or folding improperly. Or in simpler terms, basically, they protect cellular proteins from damage and mutation.

And it seems that, from my research at least, things like exercise and sauna use, and ironically even cold therapy can help optimize heat shock proteins. And I’m curious if you’ve come across any of this in the work you guys have done with Sunlighten.

Connie: Well, that’s a great question. And I know that when we came out with the 3-in-1, when we originally met Dr. Oz when he had us on the Oprah Winfrey show, as a result of the data with lowering blood pressure and increasing caloric burn. And he was really fascinated with the research that we had done on how we can help to boost the immune system specifically with the mid-infrared wavelength and the mid-infrared and far-infrared working together. And so I do feel like there’s a connection between the heat shock proteins and the immune system and helping the body fight disease, because he was talking about a cold and flu, like, in January to you know, know what are some ways to naturally and safely fight the cold and flu season?

And I do feel that people, I mean, we work with a lot of corporations that put our products in, and they, one of the reasons they put our products in is to keep their associates, you know, at work and to keep them healthy. And so they’re definitely anecdotal. We haven’t done a study specifically, but I feel like there’s definitely a connection with boosting the immune system and Sunlighten’s products and staying healthy. I know I myself just on personal, as well as my kids because they come in, you know, too when I’m taking a session, and as well as my husband, I mean everybody. We all use it and we all have a strong immune system.

Katie: Yeah. I think that’s a benefit that definitely cannot be overstated, especially with the dawn of cold and flu season upon us right now. Especially in families like, I have six kids and once somebody gets sick, if it spreads, the whole family is kind of down for the count.

This podcast is brought to you by Genexa- a company pioneering over-the-counter medicine with a full line of homeopathic and regular medicines that work ..without the harmful dyes, additives and sweeteners that are in many medicines. Founded by two dads on a mission to find better products for their kids, Genexa uses a patented system to create their formulas without harmful additives or preservatives, while maintaining the same active ingredients. Plus, their formula are all free of common allergens, which is really important in today’s world. One example is their heartburn fix…. It works like many over-the-counter products to provide fast relief for heartburn and indigestion but without the dyes and preservatives that some other products contain. I wish I’d had this when I was pregnant with my first child, but I’m so glad products like this are finally available! They also have other products from everything from sleep to colds to leg cramps and everything in between. To shop their full line of organic and non-GMO medicines, go to Genexa.com/Wellnessmama and use code WELLNESS for 20% off your order!”

This episode is brought to you by Organifi and I’m so excited to finally tell you about them! Because, here’s a confession… I have known about Organifi for a really long time and even though so many of my friends and experts I trust rave about them, I never tried their stuff until recently because I thought… first of all, how can it actually be that good? Well, I tried it and it turns out that it is not only that good, it’s better than I expected! Organifi has green juice, red juice (which is an antioxidant red drink and it’s delicious) and a golden milk turmeric drink, along with a plant-based protein. Everything they have is completely organic and they all actually taste good, unlike a lot of other green drinks and protein powders. I’ve especially been loving their red juice lately… especially at this time of year for immunity. It tastes amazing and it has a blend of antioxidants from strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, pomegranates and they also add in beets, cordycepts, reishi, rhodiola and a lot more. So, this particular blend is formulated to increase energy, boost metabolism and reduce factors that lead to aging. Their green juice is minty and delicious, and I noticed it has almost 800 5-star reviews. You can check out those two products, along with their whole suite of products and save 20% just by being a listener of the Wellness Mama podcast. Go to https://organifi.com/wellnessmama/ and use the code: WELLNESS20 for 20% off.

Katie: I guess it’s somewhat complimentary to sauna use, and it may not be something you’re as familiar with, but I’m curious if you’ve come across any of the research of cold therapy. Can it be complimentary with heat therapy? I know there’s a lot of people interested in that right now. People like Wim Hoff, talking about the benefits of cold. Is that something that can be used complementarily with a sauna? I think it’s called contrast therapy when they’re used together. Have you guys tried that or do you have any insights?

Connie: I don’t have any insight. It is something that I have heard, and I’ve heard him specifically speak at a Bulletproof Conference a couple of years ago. It is not something that I am intimately familiar with so I can’t share, you know, any insights. Our insights are really all around the science behind the three different infrared wavelengths and how they can specifically work with the body.

Katie: Got It. Okay. And I know another question that I get often related to sauna use, especially talking about the infrared spectrums is related to the EMF applications. That’s something I’ve done research on, especially just in the home side and the all the ambient EMFs that we’re exposed to daily. I’m curious how the infrared spectrums fit into that, and I know you guys have done some testing on this, so I’d love to hear the insights you have on the EMF issue when it comes to Saunas.

Connie: Yes. This is something that’s very important to us. And I know when I met you, you were talking about your commitments to EMF research, and doing everything you can to make sure you minimize that in your household, and I just have so much respect for that. And how you do that I think it’s fantastic. And that’s also the same vision that we have at Sunlighten, even when we started like way back in our basement, we were building these units with just only the safest materials, and just taking every single step to minimize that output. And now we’ve taken as far as, you know, we send our heaters away, they get tested to make sure that there is minimal output. The way we do our wiring, every single part, all of our materials and everything is natural. And we’re a full service committed wellness company, and we live by our mission to leave, you know, the world, a healthier place and we don’t want to emit, you know, anything that’s harmful.

So, all of our products have the lowest available on the market. And to ensure that they do, you know, we’ve, we test them and take every step. And we’re always looking. I mean, our Signature and our Solo there’s no level of…I mean, it’s almost nonexistent, .005. And so those are done. But any other products that we have, the ones that are the three different wavelengths, we’re always finding little tweaks to bring it down. Even like the smallest amount it’s worth doing it. And so we’re constantly making those minor adjustments to make it nonexistent.

Katie: Awesome. And I think that’s gonna be an increasingly important issue, I feel like, as the research goes on. And I’m glad that you guys are already tackling that. So for people who are new to saunas. Like we mentioned there can be some skin reactions if you’re not used to it and your body is getting rid of a lot of stuff. I’m curious if there are some good guidelines for people who are just beginning with saunas to maximize the benefits and to like work up to it slowly. I’m guessing like exercise, it’s maybe not something you jump into starting with an hour a day or anything.

Connie: Right? Yeah. Then that’s a really good point and I’m so close to it. Sometimes I forget. But when I hear you say that, it brings me back to one of my first experiences when I was doing my Sunlighten Solo. I did it immediately following a run and I was like a little light headed. And so, you know, my tip is don’t overdo it. You know, I mean there’s a lot of people that just want you know, a little bit is good so a lot is great, but when you’re starting, you know, you need to… It’s intense. I mean it is therapy, right? It’s a healing wavelength that’s going to transform your body. It’s officially, like how it works in the body is passive cardiovascular conditioning. So similar to active cardiovascular conditioning, you can overdo it.

And so I would always advise people to start off, you know, with 15 minutes and then work up to 40 minutes. And you can do it 40 minutes a day, every day. If you are doing active cardiovascular conditioning, if you’re, you know, doing exercise, then I would just be aware of how your body feels if you’re doing both on the same day. And then if you get lightheaded, obviously, like don’t do it. That’s the only risk is just, you know, overdoing it. And also the other thing to always, always do is hydrate. And I can’t emphasize that enough. The more people I meet, the more I travel. I am just continually surprised actually by just the little amount of water that people drink. And then they get in you know, and they start to feel like their head starts to get dizzy. And you need to take care of, of your body and hydrate.

And when you’re doing this, because this is intense. And remember, we’re, we’re going deep and we’re pulling out stuff, you know, from the body. So you need to make sure that you’re adequately hydrating to make, to make sure you feel great.

Katie: Got It. And you mentioned working up to 40 minutes. Is there kind of any indication in the research on the optimal amount of time? Is that kind of the gold standard eventually working up to the 40 minutes?

Connie: Yes, the gold standard would be 40 minutes. For the first 10 years of our company, 30 minutes was the gold standard. And the more research we did, Katie, and this is all anecdotally, but we also have a business here. In addition to Sunlighten, we have a brick and mortar healing spa called Sunlighten Day Spa, where it’s focused on natural ways of healing. And of course, we have our Sunlighten units.

And so it’s been 10 years. We have a lot, a lot of experience with customer feedback. And what we were noticing was after that first 20 minutes, it was kind of like that zone, you know, that you get in, and so you wanna stay in that zone for longer than 10 minutes, which it would be the 30 minutes. And so if you can stay in that and double it from 20 to 40, you’re getting exponential benefits. No different than exercise when you start to work up to, you know, if you’re walking or if you’re running or if you’re lifting, you know, anything. You know, you wanna start to increase, especially when you get in that zone of effectiveness. And so, 40 minutes is perfect.

Katie: Is it something that can be safely incorporated daily? Can it be a common daily practice for people who have a sauna?

Connie: Yes. Yes.

Katie: Awesome. So you’ve mentioned in passing several of your different units and how they’re different. Can you kind of take us through the different types that you have? I know I have your Solo in my house, which I love because it’s compact, but take us through the different ones and what they do, which spectrums they include.

Connie: Yeah. So the Sunlighten Solo is one of my all time favorites. And I love it for so many reasons. One is exactly what you said. It’s portable, it’s easy, it’s compact. You can put it away if you want to. It’s so effective and efficient, which is one of my favorite things. And I know yours from talking to you about your scheduling and how you manage your home schedule and business schedule, which I love. So I love the efficiency part. You get more bang for your buck with the Sunlighten Solo system. So it’s two parts. So you have the Solo doms, which is what all of the… Like any study you see that’s out there on the Internet was done with the Sunlighten Solo. And it was done with only five of our patented far-infrared heaters. And then several years after that, we added the pad that you have that has four additional ones. So that entire unit has nine heaters and again, you’re getting like 99% effectiveness in a compact space.

So it’s very intense and extremely efficient and in my opinion, more efficient than some of the modular boxes. Even our own like Signature one, for example, because you’re so close and you’re surrounding you, right, all the way around you and have the heaters at the feet, and the heaters underneath you, and the heaters over you. Your head is out and you’re breathing fresh oxygen, and then you’re sweating out all of the toxins and you feel restored afterwards. I just love that product.

So that’s the Sunlighten Solo system. And then we have the Signature series, which has the highest amount of far-infrared on the market. Same as the Solo, both have the most amount of far-infrared available today, and that’s patented so that you’re protected for that claim. And I’d like to say something, you know, unless it’s patented and protected. And the Signature is you know, in our modular unit we have five different sizes and lots of different options. I love the Solo system myself, just, you know, but if you wanna take it and experience it with somebody else, a Signature is a great option for that.

We also have acoustic resonance therapy, which is a sound vibration therapy that you can add to the Signature, and that helps with the brain waves and it helps to expedite your detoxification experience. That’s new, you don’t have it in the Solo system today, you know, we’re still working on that part for the future.

And then the next product is our, 3-in-1 mPulse. And that has all three of the infrared spectrum. That wavelengths that we talked about, it has the most amount of far, it has the most amount of near in a separate heater. And then it has a separate near-infrared LEDs that we worked with some really smart scientists to develop which wavelength and the quantity of jewels, and made sure that we produced the most effective near-infrared on the market.

So you get all three of those labelings, and then we have a control panel that is a smart control panel, and it’s worked well to deliver six different programs so that, that way when you’re in there and you say, “Gosh, I really wanna focus on my joint pain,” we’ve put together a program that maximizes reduction of inflammation based on science. So you just press “Pain Relief” and it pulls up the different wavelengths. You have pulses in at different levels. You receive different quantities and that pulls it back and then pulses it again all to focus on inflammation. Same thing. We have a cardio program, we have a relaxation program, we have a weight loss and an anti-ageing program. And then, of course, the pain relief. And that’s all in the mPulse 3-in-1 series. So there’s three different options.

And then for commercial use, we have this beautiful community unit that’s huge, and we use it with a lot of fire stations because it’s really large and you can have multiple people or businesses. But that’s the landscape of all of the different units. So really, you know, there’s a choice for everyone.

And even for some people I know they just wanna get started, you know, and they don’t wanna, you know, spend a lot of money. We had the Solo pad, you can just buy that and we have some carbonized bamboo towels that also emit infrared, and you can lie on the pad and you can like roll yourself up in our carbonized bamboo towels, and put those over you and get started, you know, receiving at least four different heaters, you know, getting the wavelength into your body. And that’s better than like buying one of those, you know, aluminium tents you see out there or you know, there’s just some products that just you know, market themselves as, as infrared but you’re not receiving the quantity of far infrared that you need to transform the body. So it’s better just to buy the Solo pad and some carbonized bamboo towels, than to spend on, you know, something that’s not going to detoxify you.

Katie: That’s a good point. I know that you guys talk about your EMF testing on the website, but that’s one thing I’ve realized in the past. I’ve tested a lot of saunas and a lot of the like tent ones that you mentioned, they actually test really, really high for EMFs. And then you’re also sitting in like an aluminum BPA box, which isn’t probably the best thing if you’re trying to get rid of those compounds in your body. So I think that’s a good point.

And what I love about the mission and what you guys do, especially with catering to home use, is that this is something that some cultures have known for a really long time. I know in Finland, sauna use is built into the culture. And I think like three fifths or more of the entire population they have Saunas at their house. And probably it’s one of the many reasons that Finland, typically, tests better than us in health metrics. And even, like their schools, they test better at education as well. But I love that you guys are trying to make this available in the U.S. as well.

So can you talk about the ways that you guys are seeing people be able to incorporate saunas into their home in different types of situations?

Connie: Yes. I mean, so we’re doing everything we can. Part of our, you know, mission is to connect, you know, customers of Sunlighten for life and do whatever it takes to make sure that our customers are living a healthy life. And one of the ways to do that is, you know, by adding, any of our products into their home. All of our products, we have easy assembly. And it can be really intimidating especially, you know, if you look at our website and you see some of the models that looks like, “Oh my gosh, first of all, I don’t have the space, and then where would I put it, and then how am I gonna put it together? And you know, I live by myself,” or whatever the situation is. But all of our products, we have a patent on the assembly process. It’s easy, it’s magnetic and it goes together like, I call it adult legos. You need just like put the base down and then the walls are magnetized and put together real strong with reinforced clips on the top and then a real strong roof. And then we also have videos to help you put them together.

And then, of course, we talked about the Sunlighten Solo system that each dome alone weighs about 30 pounds. So it’s lightweight. It’s a much better, you know, better option, like you said, than some of those portable things you see on the Internet that are out there.

And then on that note, I do wanna mention when we talked about EMF, the other thing that’s really important is the materials that we use. And you know, when you talk about you’re heating up an environment, even though the level of heat we’re using specifically is in the far infrared. And so the air isn’t gonna be as hot as it would be, you’re still heating, you know, the air. And so you really wanna make sure you’re heating the materials, right?

And there are so many. In fact, the majority of products that are out there are imported. And we do import stuff too, but we own all of ours and so we control everything. So a lot of the materials have plastics. There’s a lot of off-gassing it when you turn it on you can just smell, you know, the synthetic part of the materials. And then you heat it and I just can’t even imagine how that is gonna impact your body. I mean, it’s gonna go into your body and then it’s totally doing the reverse effect of what you’re trying to accomplish.

So our materials, it’s really important. I mean, our intentions behind every single element of our product is wellness. And so our carbonized bamboo fibers that we use to cover the heaters protect to make sure it’s a natural material. You know, our wood is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Just everything we do is focused with wellness intentions. And so it’s just really important that I expressed that and your listeners know that. And if they ever have any questions about any of that, they can obviously feel free to contact me directly.

Katie: Awesome. And of course, links will be in the show notes as well as links to different things that we’ve talked about, but where can people go to find out more about Sunlighten? And is there any kind of special… I’ll make sure to link to the show notes, but special offer or anything for Wellness Mama listeners?

Connie: there is. So, as far as where they can go, they can call us. That’s usually the easiest because a lot of times people want, you know, we wanna know what you’re going through. Right. And we’re in this for the big picture and we’re in this to make a difference. That’s what drives us. So that’s our why, okay? So we are just not like that transactional site where it’s like, “Okay, just, you know, buy your product and be on your way.” We really wanna know what’s going on in your life. How are you doing, how are you feeling? Because we have so many different options, Katie, we wanna make sure that, you know, a lot of people don’t mean all three wavelengths, right? It’s great that we have them, but a lot of people don’t need that. So if you don’t need that, we don’t want you to, you know, it costs more because you’re getting two additional, you know, wavelengths and you’re getting a lot of them. So if you don’t need it, let’s not do it. You know, if we can just get you the pad and some bamboo carbon towels, we’re gonna save you a lot of money and we’re happy to do that.

So my point of all of that is sometimes it’s best to just talk over the phone versus, you know, an email because then you can get the tone and you can really understand somebody, and we can guide you on what’s best for you. And so that our phone number here is 877-292-0020. And then it should prompt you when you dial that to talk to a specialist what that extension is. I believe off the top of my head it’s either 5 or 6. And so you would call or the email is… You can write to me directly, which would be [email protected] I’m happy to answer your emails. I can direct you to one of our specialists as well.

As far as for your listeners, for Wellness Mama advocates, we want to reward you for following Katie. She’s one of my favorites. And so we wanna give you $200 additional savings off any of our products. And our goal is for you to be able to have them and use them. And anything we can do to help you along that way, we’re happy to do.

Katie: Awesome. I love that. Thank you so much. And a final question I’d love to ask toward the end is somewhat selfish because I am an avid reader. I’m curious if there is a book or books that have really impacted your life. They don’t necessarily have to be about what we’ve talked about today, but I just always love new book recommendations,

Connie: You know, my books of choice right now are cookbooks. And one of the biggest cookbook that has impacted my life, and it does happen to be in a wellness way is Ina Garten, do you know who she is? She wrote “The Barefoot Contessa” cookbook. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that cookbook.

Katie: Yeah.

Connie: Yeah. Okay. So that. I mean, since then, I’ve collected all of her cookbooks but really changed my approach completely. I used to think that, you know, you had to be gourmet and you know, a recipe had to be complicated and there had to be all these ingredients. And you know, it’s actually the exact reverse, right? I mean, it’s like the fewer ingredients, the better because then you really get to taste what you’re eating, you know. And it’s really changed… I found “The Barefoot Contessa” cookbook before I had my kids, but then it has changed my passion towards cooking and my involvement of my kids and cooking and, and having them in the kitchen and showing them that, you know, when you’re using fresh ingredients and you’re buying, you know, the freshest things. It makes such a difference in how they taste. And you know, that now my kids are kind of going up, they notice if we go someplace like, “Mom, this doesn’t taste like it’s fresh.” Like, well.

So it’s kind of having a little bit of you know, just a adverse effect, but, you know, they’re becoming a little bit more particular, let’s just say. And I love cookbooks in general, so I have a little bunch more that I love. But when you use the word, impact, and when I talk about impact, for me, that made a huge impact in my approach, how I shop, you know, everything I choose to use in the kitchen. So you know, you already know, so it’s not something that’s new but I love healthy eating. And healthy eating, you know, it shouldn’t taste bad, right? Like a lot of times you think of healthy eating like, oh, you know, it doesn’t have any flavor or it’s just like raw vegetables or whatever.

You know, in reality, it should taste good. And I think that’s something I’m very passionate about is food in general, and really good healthy food that tastes like food.

Katie: I love that. Like you I think that really high-quality food has the power to be so transformative both for our body, from a nutritional perspective, but also that time spent and the care taken in preparing it and especially with those we love can be so transformative for us in community with other people and just psychologically, so I think beneficial. And I love that you brought that up. I don’t usually hear cookbooks on that recommendation. I love that. Such a good one.

Connie: Oh, thanks. Do you feel like when you’re tasting somebody’s food? I started to notice the difference when you feel like somebody put a lot of love into it, or you feel like it was made to make it. Does that make sense? Like, I really feel like I notice a difference now. And when somebody is making a dinner and then my kids will say this. I mean, part of it is I’ve raised them, you know, like I kiss the food and you know, like I’m a little over the top and like, “Oh, I’m putting a hug in here,” you know? But I really feel like literally, when I taste people’s food, there’s some dishes where I feel it has more love than others. How do you feel about that?

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. I think it does make a huge difference and you can actually like taste that care and that time. And like in wine, I talk about that, like you can taste the vineyard, and you can taste the winemaker and like all those different aspects, and I think it applies to food as well. You can really get a lot from the food from the atmosphere. And I have a few friends who are actual chefs too, and I can taste that like passion and love they have for their craft in their food, and how much different it is than like you said, something just kind of hastily thrown together with packaged food. It’s a big difference for sure.

Connie: Yeah. I love that. I love that you can taste that too. That makes me happy.

Katie: Awesome. Well, Connie, I cannot believe our hour has already gone but I really appreciate you.

Connie: Oh my goodness, it has gone so fast.

Katie: It did. But I’m so appreciative of you and your time and being here. This is super fun and I know that I get a lot of questions about saunas, and I love that you I think tackled all of them today. So thank you so much for your time.

Connie: Thank you so much for having me on and I look forward to seeing you sometime soon. And one of these days, you know, for your listeners, I am gonna reach out and interview Katie. So stay tuned so then you can listen, you know, to that interview because I just think she is, or you are phenomenal and an inspiration not only to moms but just to people in general. And I love the work that you’re doing. I wanna share as much about your mission and vision as I can.

Katie: Thank you so much and thanks to all of you for listening, and I hope you’ll join me on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama” podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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