How to Use a Sauna

Prospective Owners and First Time Buyers Can Benefit Greatly from these Tips on How to Use a Sauna

First, let your sauna warm up.

This does not take very long. Effective far infrared sauna therapy is not dependent on cabin air temperature. Tuned Radiant Heat uses a far infrared bandwidth of ‘sunlight’ energy to heat your body directly. This infrared frequency exactly matches the bio-frequency of the human body. Far Infrared Therapy specifically heats your body; subsequently cabin air temperature is of secondary importance in using an infrared sauna.

The ideal cabin air temperature range when using a sauna, for maximum effectiveness and health benefit, is between 115 – 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

We recommend that you begin your sauna session before the sauna actually reaches the desired temperature setting, when sauna cabin temp is 85 – 95 degrees, and let your body warm up along with the cabin air temperature.

Please remember to stay well hydrated on a daily basis and replace your electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium). Drinking plenty of fluids daily is absolutely necessary to achieve maximum health benefits and desired results.

37 Tips on How to Use a Sauna

  1. Wait at least 1 – 2 hours after eating before beginning a far infrared sauna session. This allows your body to attain the best overall results, since blood is not being diverted for digestion.
  2. Best Times for infrared sauna sessions are early in the morning or before bedtime in the evening, although anytime is good. 15 minute ‘warm up’ sauna sessions in the morning are a great cardiovascular starter to your day. After strenuous physical exercise and cool down, an infrared sauna session is excellent for preventing stiffness and sore muscles the following day.
  3. I hop in the sauna for 10 minutes at 100 -105 degrees F, to limber up my muscles before I play golf. Infrared Sauna sessions are very helpful in reducing jet lag.
  4. When you first begin to use your infrared sauna, start slowly. After you begin to break a sweat, a 20 – 30 minute session is recommended. For the first week to two weeks, schedule your far infrared sauna sessions every other day.
  5. After becoming acclimated to infrared heat, most users average 25-45 minute sessions. You can gradually work your way up to 45-60 minute sessions, if desired. Two sessions per day is permissible if you are working on a specific therapy goal like weight loss or detoxification.
  6. Stay Hydrated! Most people do not drink enough water to begin with, and now that you are using an infrared sauna and sweating, it is even more important to stay properly hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to divide your body weight by two and drink a minimum of that many ounces of water on a daily basis (160 lbs. divided by 2 = 80 ounces of water or eight 10 ounce glasses of water, daily).
  7. Always drink plenty of good water, fruit juice, iced tea, green tea before, during and after your sauna routine. Drinking water from the faucet in your house is not generally a good idea, in my view. Reverse osmosis water is fine. There are plenty of good water filters and purifiers on the market. Bottled spring water is my favorite.
  8. You may not sweat a lot during your first 2-3 sauna sessions. This is normal for many people, as they haven’t had a recent history of sweating, and it takes a few sessions to “retrain” the body and the lymphatic system to do what comes naturally.
  9. Take care not to overheat during your first few sessions. If you feel lightheaded, have a queasy stomach, or start to get a headache, terminate session immediately. As the body continues to adjust, sweating can increase dramatically and body temperature regulation becomes more effective.
  10. An increase in heart rate of up to 30% above the resting pulse is generally considered safe, unless a medical or heart condition requires keeping your pulse rate lower. Body temperature should not be allowed to rise above 102 degrees F. Over time, you will begin to sweat more quickly and at a lower temperature setting as your body adjusts to your regular sauna routine.
  11. Children over the age of 6 may use the sauna accompanied by an adult. Sessions should not exceed 20 minutes for youngsters under the age of 12 years. Children’s metabolism is more rapid than adults, so take precaution not to overheat. Childrens’ sweating capabilities are not fully developed, so monitor how children feel as they begin to sweat. Teens may use the sauna like adults, with the same caution not to become overheated.
  12. Elderly. “Moderate sauna use is safe for most older people, but diabetics and anyone being treated for heart or circulatory conditions should check with their doctor, particularly if taking medication” states Dr. J.H. Halperin, Professor of Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center.
  13. Healing Reactions are temporary symptoms associated with eliminating toxic substances, healing chronic infections or metabolic changes in the body. They are an important function of all deep healing methods. These short lived “flare-ups” are generally mild and are positive sign that deep healing is occurring. *
  14. Symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, odors, and fatigue. If you are experiencing a healing reaction, drink water and lie down and rest until the symptoms abate.
  15. Sauna Apparel. Lightweight shorts and tee shirt are ok. Swim suits are better. “Birthday Suit” is fine, too. More skin exposure is certainly preferable.
  16. Place 3 or 4 layers of towels on the bench seat to absorb perspiration during your session. This will keep you from having to clean the largest area of sweat collection, since the bench seat never gets wet. Place a towel over the floor heater to keep cleaning maintenance of the floor heater panel to a minimum. Sweat will not affect the safety or operation of the floor heater panel.
  17. Far Infrared will penetrate clothing and towels. If you feel you want more heat on your feet, swing around on the bench seat and place your feet up on the side panel. After a few minutes, your feet will tell you when they have had enough heat. Wipe off sweat regularly during your session to promote your body to sweat more.
  18. Set your sauna temperature to 115 -135 degrees F to begin infrared sauna warm up. When the sauna reaches 85-100 degrees F, you may go ahead and step inside to begin your session. Let your body warm up gradually, as the infrared sauna air temperature increases. Most people find that a cabin temperature setting between 115-135 degrees F is comfortable, and they are still sweating profusely.
  19. If sauna cabin temperature becomes too hot or stuffy, you may slide open the ceiling vent to allow some heat to escape. Or, just open the door for a minute or so, to let some fresh air inside. Your body is still receiving far infrared energy while the air inside the sauna is cooling.
  20. Drink at least 1 to 3 pints of water before, during and after your sauna session. Water In = Water Out. If we are going to flush our body of harmful waste, we need a full reservoir of water in our body to accomplish the task successfully. Alcohol consumption during a far infrared sauna session is a definite “No-No”!
  21. Watery fat and Cellulite deposits begin to break up into smaller water clusters as your core body temperature reaches approximately 100.5 degrees F. Watery fatty particles are actually purged through the pores of your skin!*
  22. Vigorous massage of fatty tissue areas (hips, buttocks, back of thighs, love handles, back of arms, etc.) during your infrared sauna session will accelerate the breakdown of fatty deposits and enhance the weight loss and body toning process.*
  23. By Stretching your arms, legs, neck, back area,etc. during your far infrared sauna session you can achieve increased body flexibility, range of motion, and reduce chronic stiffness and problem areas.*
  24. Massage congested and “knotty” muscle areas to help alleviate soreness, pain and tightness. Massage the area around old injuries to help bring more oxygen to the damaged area. This will assist in bringing improved healing to old injuries.*
  25. Do not use skin lotions or oils during your sauna session as this will inhibit sweating and clog up pores. You are actually hydrating your skin, naturally, from the inside to the outside during your far infrared sauna session. You will notice that your skin is softer and smoother beginning with the first few infrared sauna sessions. If you wish, you may apply lotion to your skin after your shower and skin cleansing routine.
  26. If you feel the beginning of cold or flu symptoms, use your infrared sauna 2-3 times per day for 20 – 30 minute sessions. By inducing hyperthermia, you can strengthen your immune system. Hyperthermia increases your white blood cell count and speeds up oxygen delivery throughout the body, which helps your body to fight viruses and bacterial infections.*
  27. Frequent infrared sauna sessions will lessen the effects and duration of “flu bugs”, colds, viral and bacterial infections. In many instances, frequent far infrared sauna sessions will eliminate your cold and flu symptoms completely in a day or so.*
  28. When you finish your sauna session, it is important to relax and cool down as your body continues to perspire. Find a quiet location and sit quietly, or recline with a towel or robe around you for about 10 minutes, or until you cease perspiring all together.
  29. Take a warm shower, scrubbing vigorously with a loofah, skin brush or exfoliating wash towel to thoroughly clean and remove sweat residue, old skin cells and toxins from your skin. (Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, etc. have a nice selection of effective exfoliating products. I like the Bass brand line of products). Scrub calloused areas on your feet, etc. with a short bristled fingernail brush or stiff scrub brush. Watch those sandpaper calluses soften and diminish.
  30. Regular sauna use gives you soft, supple skin over your entire body. I do not recommend using a cloth wash cloth! I believe that they do not have a proper exfoliating surface for effectively removing toxins, dead skin cells and oily residues from our skin after sweating. Soaps containing oils, creams and lotions are also not recommended, as many soap products contain chemicals/oils which can clog your pores. So… no Dove, Oil of Olay, soaps with coconut oil, etc.*
  31. At your local Natural Grocers, you may find a glycerin of vegetable based soap, which will do the proper job of cleaning your body. A bit more expensive, perhaps, but your health should be worth the upgrade. Once your body is thoroughly clean, you may complete your session with a cold shower to cool down your body completely and close the skin pores. *
  32. Replace Electrolytes. Make certain that you are replacing the calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium which are depleted during sweating. If you take these minerals with your regular vitamins and supplements, it is probably not necessary to increase their consumption.
  33. Turn your body fluid pH slightly alkaline. Most people today have an acidic blood and saliva Ph measurement, which prevents optimum body healing and proper immune function. Disease prospers in an acidic environment, but not in an alkaline environment. Creating an alkaline body pH is a major benefit in maintaining a strong immune system. Ph is a scale that measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 1 being extremely acidic, 7 neutral and 14 very alkaline. The Ideal pH level for your saliva is around 6.9 to 7.2. *
  34. You can purchase litmus strips at your local pharmacy to measure your body fluid pH. When you place the litmus strip on your tongue, it will turn different shades of green or blue. If the litmus strip is green, your body pH is acidic. When the litmus turns blue, your body pH is alkaline. Expensive supplements are not necessary to attain proper body pH.
  35. Calcium/Magnesium supplements, taken in a 2 to 1 ratio, calcium to magnesium, will help rebalance your body fluid pH. Example: 800mg Calcium, 400mg Magnesium in pill form is inexpensive and effective. *
  36. Sauna Maintenance. Vacuum your sauna once per week to keep it free of dust, dead skin particles and hair. Use a mild detergent soap or diluted white or cider vinegar & water with a damp sponge/cloth to clean the backrests, etc. (6 tablespoons of white vinegar to one pint of water). Vinegar will cleanse and disinfect wood where sweat has collected. Next use a clean, damp sponge/damp cloth to finish cleaning backrests, floor and bench seats . Try not to soak the wood with water as this can darken the color. No harsh chemical cleansers, please.
  37. DO NOT USE PLASTIC CONTAINERS DURING SAUNA SESSION! Please only use all glass, ceramic or stainless steel.

Editor’s Note: For questions regarding proper far infrared sauna use, protocol and operational procedure please email: or give us a call at 1-888-358-1270.

*Rocky Mountain Saunas and its associates do not provide medical guidance. Consult a licensed doctor for medical advice. All of the information contained in this website is for information purposes only. Results of using our products vary on an individual basis and no immediate permanent or guaranteed solutions can be provided. We reserve the right to change, without notice, anything contained within the article. Rocky Mountain Saunas shall not be held responsible for printing variations.

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Please visit our website: where you can see detailed inside and outside views of every far infrared sauna model and every feature. Rocky Mountain Saunas provides accurate, documented information on infrared technology, far infrared sauna benefits, including scientific and medical studies regarding specific health issues. You will find Everything you will need in a Far Infrared Sauna at:

Thank you for considering Rocky Mountain Saunas for your Commercial or Residential Infrared Sauna purchase.

Copyright 2013, by J. M Henson and Bulldog Publishing. All Rights Reserved. All material contained herein is the exclusive property of Rocky Mountain Saunas, Inc. Any unauthorized reproduction or use of materials is strictly forbidden.