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How to Choose a Sauna

Last week we talked about some different ways you can use heat to help you detox.

If toxins have shown up on lab testing, they could be a trigger for mast cell activation. This has the potential to add more histamine for your body to handle!

Hi, it’s Tracey here. Years ago, I made a big decision to purchase an in-home sauna. At the time I hadn’t been diagnosed with MCAS yet, but I had been doing a lot of research on chemical sensitivities , which I was really struggling with at the time.

When scents and perfumes are a trigger

Research now supports that chemical intolerance can be part of MCAS (1), but back then no one was talking about mast cells. Regular saunas seemed like a possible solution to help reduce the severity of my reactions.

I was so sensitive to perfumes that I couldn’t go into most grocery stores because the laundry aisle was off-gassing too many fragrances. Even at my local health food store, I struggled because there would usually be someone in the store wearing perfume. It was a frustrating time.

I needed nourishing food but going out to get it could trigger a flare in symptoms. A simple trip to buy food could leave me feeling nauseated, with a headache, and exhausted. I was parenting 3 young children at the time, so needed to keep my energy up.

Advocating for yourself

Some triggers are easier to avoid than others. I love when clinics or businesses are fragrance free, but most people don’t even realize that they are wearing fragranced products like deodorant or lotions.

Even my own mom, who knows how I react, often insists she isn’t wearing anything fragranced, but I know she is because I instantly get symptoms from a quick hug with her. I’m sure some of you reading this can relate to my experience. Avoiding fragrances is challenging.

It's one of the reasons why we here at Histamine Haven will always be a supporter of fragrance-free environments. We challenge everyone reading this to advocate for their work and home environments, encouraging fragrance-free spaces.

How my infra-red sauna helped

Once I had decided to get a sauna, I had to figure out what the best option would be for me. Being so sensitive to smells and chemicals meant I was going to have to be very careful with my purchasing decision.

I ended up buying a SaunaRay. These infrared saunas are made by a Canadian company. I’ve had mine now for about 10 years and have never had any issues with it.

After being diagnosed with MCAS, I got serious about having regular saunas and started using it 4-5 times a week, and my toxic load decreased significantly. It was great to see measurable changes in test results.

The reasons I chose a SaunaRay will be applicable to any sauna you decide to purchase or trial in a clinic setting.

Things I looked for when purchasing my infra-red sauna:

  • Made from basswood, the least allergenic wood.

  • Low EMFs

  • Free of toxins – no glues, epoxy, fibreglass, formaldehyde, nylon, plastic, resins, fire retardants, or paint.

  • Quality – this particular product has a lifetime guarantee.

  • I wanted to be able to control the temperature.

I still react to perfumes and other chemicals, but my reactions are much less severe. I can hug my mom now without reacting to her lotion. (Hooray for hugs!) Regular saunas have been an important part of that transition for me.

I love getting in my sauna with a good book and some meditational music. I turn it on and while it’s heating up, I fill my water bottle, add unflavoured electrolytes (because flavours are another thing I react to), grab a book and a bunch of towels.

The sauna is heated within 15-20 minutes, and then I get in and enjoy some restorative time for 30-40 minutes. Other benefits I've seen: my heart rate variability (HRV) has improved. I must report too, I am sleeping better these days!


Finding this figuring out of histamine and/or mast cell business a bit overwhelming? Join our Online Community for free. Reliable information to get you started, including a Master Class on the Histamine Connection. Join us here!

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