I find self-care to be a non-negotiable while healing from Lyme Disease, or any chronic illness. While it’s easy to feel like you don’t have control over your body or symptoms, incorporating self-care practices brings some semblance of control back into your life.
I used to go to a yoga studio in my neighborhood to use their infrared sauna, but I found it was much easier and more cost-efficient to have my own. I have an older and smaller version of this one.
I started using an infrared sauna months before I was diagnosed with Lyme (but was having symptoms.) I found it helped with:
- Fatigue- I would feel more energetic after a session
- Pain- it immediately helped my headaches and muscle pain
- Mood- I felt happy and uplifted after each session, and it helped my anxiety
Infrared saunas are different from regular saunas because they warm your body directly instead of warming the air around you. Studies have shown that infrared saunas help with: cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, depression, poor digestion, and muscle and joint pain.
During my first sessions, I was very sensitive to heat and would only be able to stay in there a few minutes at a time before I needed a break. It also took me a LONG time to sweat. But as I used it consistently, I was able to tolerate longer sessions at a higher temperature, and now I sweat more quickly. When my symptoms were really intense, I used it every day. Now I use it a few times a week.
My sauna comes with a chair you can sit in so your head is out of the sauna, but I actually prefer sitting inside of it without the chair so it helps my headaches. There is a temperature control- I started with 130, but now I can tolerate 140. I put a towel down on the bottom before each session to catch the sweat.
Important note: Make sure to drink lots of water before and after the sauna session! I find it’s easy to become dehydrated from sweating so much. I like to drink coconut water. And don’t push yourself! If you feel sick, get out immediately. There were days I went in and got nauseous and lightheaded and couldn’t tolerate it at that time.
**I am not a doctor. The remedies and information I share on this website have worked for me, but everyone is different and I would recommend checking with a doctor and doing your own research before trying anything.