Sunlighten Saunas and Lyme Disease

If it’s May, it must be Lyme Disease Awareness Month! Many Sunlighten sauna owners are very aware – first-hand – of the devastating effects that Lyme disease has on so many. We work very regularly with “Lymies”, helping them add infrared sauna therapy to their treatment regimen.

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Each year, more than 30,000 Americans contract Lyme disease, an illness that can have lifelong debilitating effects such as arthritis, fatigue and even neurological deficits. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged or deer ticks.

In general, the current therapy for Lyme Disease consists of IV or oral antibiotics, often combined with an anti-protozoal medication. Because pharmaceutical therapy is often not entirely effective and/or not covered by insurance, many Lyme sufferers seek out alternative treatments as well. These include supplements, probiotics and infrared sauna therapy.

Lyme Disease Cheat Sheet


Sweating in the infrared sauna flushes fat-soluble toxins (including heavy metals) out of the body via the skin. This detoxification which occurs at the lower heat available in an infrared sauna assists the immune system and the healing process while increasing circulation, invigorating the body and allowing the meds to reach all parts of the body in a more efficient manner. Infrared sauna therapy also relaxes the muscles and joints, giving the patient some relief from their pain.

Our friend Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD of the Klinghardt Academy is considered an authority on the subject of metal toxicity and its connection with chronic infections, illness and pain. He conducted a study to find just how dramatic the difference in detoxification is between conventional and infrared saunas. Lab results showed that the sweat of people using a conventional sauna was 95-97 percent water while the sweat of those using an infrared thermal system was 80-85 percent water, the non-water portion being cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, toxic heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia and uric acid.

Assist Antibiotics

Researchers believe that increasing body temperature may be beneficial, helping prescribed antibiotics do their work in fighting Borrelia burgdorferi – the bacterium which causes Lyme disease.

In 1996, Austrian scientists published a study* which suggests that heat may help antibiotics in their tough battle against Bb bacterium.  They cultured Borrelia burgdorferi at different temperatures, alone and in combination with antibiotics. Their data demonstrated that growth of two strains was impaired at 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and inhibited at 39 degrees (102.2 degrees F) and 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees F). Another strain grew well up to 39 degrees but did not multiply at all at 40 degrees. Two strains died at 41 degrees (105.8 degrees F); all tested strains died at 42 degrees (107.6).

Now, we’re not suggesting that you increase your core body temperature that high! But we were interested to read the scientists’ conclusions about the effect of the elevated temperature on antibiotics.

They concluded the susceptibility of all strains to antibiotics penicillin and ceftriaxone was increased up to 16-fold by an elevation of temperature from 36 degrees C to 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees F). These tests were done in vitro and not in humans or animals. But the scientists were confident that their data suggested that elevated body temperature “may be beneficial during antimicrobial treatment of Lyme disease. This may be particularly important in tissues where high concentrations of antibiotics are difficult to achieve.”

Some researchers and health care providers feel that near infrared heat is better suited to treat Lyme disease symptoms; others prefer the effects of far infrared heat. With Sunlighten’s exclusive custom full spectrum infrared sauna, the mPulse, Lyme disease sufferers can set up a regimen to take advantage of BOTH near infrared AND far infrared in the same unit. Call one of our representatives to learn more about the benefits of our full spectrum offering.

It is important to have the guidance of a doctor who is familiar with Lyme Disease. To find a doctor in your area that is “Lyme literate,” call the Lyme Disease Association’s toll free information line at 888-366-6611 or check out their website at Another good site for Lyme info is the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society at

See Also These Great Posts on Lyme Disease and Infrared Saunas:

* Antibiotics and increased temperature against Borrelia burgdorferi in vitro. Reisinger E, Wendelin I, Gasser R, Halwachs G, Wilders-Truschnig M, Krejs G. Department of Medicine, Karl Franzens University, Graz, Austria. Scand J Infect Dis. 1996; 28 (2): 155-7

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