We have spent years trying to help my son with autism detox heavy metals and other toxins. Unfortunately, we haven’t had a lot of success with this because his body is just too sensitive. This is why I am very excited to be adding an infrared sauna for autism treatment.
In this post, I’ll share with you:
- How an infrared sauna helps with detoxification
- How detoxification can help kids with autism
- Why I think using an infrared sauna for autism will be a game changer for my son
**Always work with your doctor when attempting to detoxify or treat your child**
Our Previous Failed Attempt At Detox
Our current autism detoxification protocol is very good. (read more on that here).
Many families are using something very similar and seeing incredible results. I wish this was true for us, but we inevitably have to stop our detox efforts because my son just can’t handle it.
We have tried boosting his diet and nutrition to support natural detoxification processes, which proved to weak. We’ve also tried EDTA/DMSA chelation, Andy Cutler chelation, various supplements, and the Ion Cleanse foot bath, which proved to be too powerful.
Why Detox Is Not Working For My Son
I need to be clear. All of these methods to support detoxification for autism do work, and they improve the lives of numerous kids and their families. However, even the supposed gentler methods of detoxification (ACC chelation and Ion Cleanse) are proving to be too intense for my son.
This is probably because his natural detox pathways are blocked by toxins, inflammation, or chronic infections. It may also be due to genetic mutations that block or slow the biochemical pathways for proper detoxification.
Unfortunately, lab testing has confirmed that my son has each and every one of these. It’s no wonder he is having trouble detoxing.
What Does Detoxification Have To Do With Treating Autism Anyway?
Now, you probably have already learned about the benefits of detoxing a child on the spectrum. However, for those who haven’t and for those skeptics reading this, let’s briefly review how removing toxins from these kids can improve their life.
Lab testing has confirmed that my son has elevated levels of several heavy metals and other environmental pollutants (mercury, lead, & arsenic as well as antimony, tin, barium, and uranium). Many children with autism have a high toxic burden as well.
Several of these are well-known neurotoxins, which basically means they interfere with proper brain & nerve function. We all know the importance of the brain and nervous system, so common sense tells us that if the body/brain is full of toxins, then the child will not function optimally.
These toxins are also detrimental to gut health, which of course is linked to brain health as well.
Essentially, poor gut health leads to poor brain function.
Because the child’s brain is rapidly developing, this high toxic burden can have compounding effects as the child ages. This may be one reason why some children appear to get worse as they get older.
“Poor detoxification overloads the system leading to further toxicity-toxins cause direct damage and inflammation to the brain, damage digestion, damage biochemical pathways, and can influence genetic expression.” Julie Matthews-Nourishing Hope For Autism
Along that same line, removing toxins from the body and providing a healing diet can reduce inflammation in the brain and allow the body’s to restart its natural biochemical pathways. This helps our children with autism feel much better, improve their cognitive function, and enhance their quality of life.
How An Infrared Sauna Helps With Detoxification
According to various doctors and medical professionals, an infrared sauna is one of the best tools we can use for detoxification. Sweating is a well-known elimination pathway the body uses to get rid of toxins.
Of course, infrared saunas cause the body to sweat- a lot. Not only that, saunas raise the core temperature of the body allowing for even more toxins to be pulled out of storage sites in the body and released in the sweat.
Infrared Sauna For Autism & Detoxification
A big advantage of using an infrared sauna for autism is that sweating does not require any additional burden to be placed on the liver & kidney. These two organs are often not working efficiently as it is, so avoiding this pathway can also lighten the load and help them function better.
Infrared Sauna For Autism & Chronic Infections
Like my son, many kids on the spectrum have chronic infections like Lyme, Candida, Epstein Barr, etc. Infrared saunas raises the core temperature of the body creating a “false fever”.
Fevers are one of the tools your immune system uses to fight infections. As the body temperature rises, more immune cells are activated and these cells can then go after the harmful microbes that are invading your child. Furthermore, many microbes may even die off unable to cope with the heat.
Near Infrared Sauna For Autism & The Brain
The detoxification and immune health benefits are derived largely from Far Infrared light. But, near infrared light can have benefits for our kids with autism too. Near infrared light does not cause the body to heat up and we actually do not feel any heat from this wavelength of light.
What near infrared light can do is activate anti-inflammatory processes and accelerate healing. Researchers are even using near infrared light to treat the brain after stroke or trauma. To me, using a near infrared sauna for autism will allow the damaged and inflamed brains of our kids on the spectrum to experience the same healing benefits.
Choosing the right Infrared Sauna For Autism
In order to experience the full range of benefits, we have to expose our kids to the full spectrum of infrared light, but many of the most popular saunas out there are far infrared only.
Thankfully, the sauna we will be using from Therasage does offer the full spectrum of infrared light.
Be Careful With Radiation
If you decide to try an infrared sauna for yourself, make sure you find one that is low in electromagnetic radiation. (aka: EMFs or EMR) EMFs is a hotly debated topic in the health world, but research is demonstrating there is a real risk with too much EMF exposure. Our kids on the spectrum are especially sensitive to EMFs, so use caution when using an infrared sauna for autism.
The Therasage sauna we’ll be using produces no EMFs!
For more on EMFs and autism, listen to episode 14 of The Happy Healthy Family Podcast.
Before We Start Using An Infrared Sauna For Autism
As we anxiously await the arrival of our new Thera360 infrared sauna, we are laying the foundation to prepare my son’s body to handle the detoxification impact.
I believe we missed several key pieces in the past because I did not take the foundational steps seriously enough. We did not make sure he was ready to detox first starting.
If there is one last advice I can give you it is this:
You must make sure the body is ready to deal with the toxins before starting your detoxification protocol!
Laying The Foundation
After talking with several doctors on my podcast and reading their books/blogs/research, I have learned so much more on detoxification. Through this, I realized there are 10 steps to laying a proper foundation for detox.
10 Things You Have To Do Before Starting A Detoxification Protocol
- Find a Doctor
- Clean Water
- Support Drainage Pathways
- Balance Immune System
Thankfully we have almost all of them covered, but we are paying special attention to step 5: Supporting and Opening the drainage pathways of the body (colon, liver, kidneys, lymph, & skin)
Because this was a big piece of the puzzle that I missed with my son, I created a free mini Ebook “10 Things You Have To Do Before Starting A Detoxification Protocol”. It gives you a brief overview of these critical steps. Enter your email below, and I’ll send you a copy (and some other free stuff too)
Special Thanks To Therasage
While the high-quality, portable saunas offered by Therasage cost a fraction of the price of larger saunas, our family would still not be able to afford this important tool for our son. Therasage is generously sending us one of their portable saunas. In exchange, I will be sharing our family’s experience using it.
As you’ve come to expect from I’m Simply a Dad, I will always be honest and transparent when talking about our experience. I should mention that I contacted Therasage and suggested this partnership after Dr Scott Richmond recommend it to me during our podcast interview.
I’ve always wanted to use an infrared sauna for autism, and I’m so pleased to be partnering with this wonderful organization!
We got our sauna a couple weeks ago. Ethan is in the midst of a pretty serious PANS flare, so we were planning on waiting to implement the sauna. However, he saw us using it and wanted to get in himself. He was remarkably at peace while sitting in his new sauna! 🙂
Do you have plans to try an infrared sauna or is it not something you’re interested in right now.
I’d love to hear your experiences or thoughts on using an infrared sauna for our kids on the spectrum. Drop a comment below!
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22505948 (metal detox)
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4870908/ (TBI & Near)
- Genuis SK, Birkholz D, Genuis SJ. Human Excretion of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Flame Retardants: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:3676089.
Adewole OO, Erhabor GE, Adewole TO, et al. Proteomic profiling of eccrine sweat reveals its potential as a diagnostic biofluid for active tuberculosis. Proteomics Clin Appl. 2016;10(5):547-53.
- Robyn Peterson et al. Sweating the Small Stuff. Glycobiology, Volume 26, Issue 3, 1 March 2016, Pages 218-229, https://doi.org/10.1093/glycob/cwv102
Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Birkholz D. Biomonitoring and Elimination of Perfluorinated Compounds and Polychlorinated Biphenyls through Perspiration: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. ISRN Toxicol. 2013;2013:483832.