“When faced with serious health challenges in the past, including muscle soreness that limited my daily activities and prevented me from working, I did extensive research on detoxification. Throughout my healing process, I incorporated a number of treatments to aid in my recovery, but the infrared sauna therapy was by far the most effective in lowering my toxic load and reducing my muscle soreness.
I have designed and sold infrared saunas since 1997 to a wide diversity of people for home and professional use. Medical doctors, naturopaths, massage therapists, herbalists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, personal trainers and other specialists have all found that Radiant Health Saunas® provide excellent results in detoxification, stress relief, increased relaxation and overall energy levels. Receiving feedback from these practitioners has allowed us to design an infrared sauna that meets the needs of their patients and clients.
As more people learn about the benefits of infrared saunas, more products become available on the market, with various claims of safety and efficacy. Radiant Health Saunas® have been independently tested for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to ensure non-toxicity, and have extremely low Electromagnetic Field (EMF) levels, for a proven safe and effective infrared sauna experience.”
– Randy Gomm, B.Sc
Personal Recovery Story, by Randy Gomm, B. Sc.
Using far infrared sauna therapy was the most important method I used when I was suffering from muscle soreness and fatigue, but I also incorporated a number of other factors. Having to limit so many of one’s physical activities had a huge impact on me. All you want is your life back as you knew it before you developed this unexplained muscle soreness and fatigue. I had been asked to write an article about my recovery for a magazine. I hope that by posting my story, it will help others regain the lives that they knew before.
My Recovery From Chronic Health Problems
I knew I was in trouble when I couldn’t hold onto a coffee mug or turn a doorknob with one hand because it would cause me such severe joint pain. My story began in 1990. I considered myself a healthy and active 37 year old male who had been employed as a firefighter for eleven years. I admit, I was a bit of an adrenaline junkie and enjoyed participating in a variety of outdoor pursuits. I was on the Whistler Mountain volunteer ski patrol, mountain rescue team, and was an avid white water kayaker.
It started off with a bilateral knee problem. I had been pushing my body too much on a few rescues and was overdoing my racquet sports, but the usual rest and rehab did little to relieve it. Just when I thought I was at the bottom of the barrel, I discovered there was still plenty of space beneath me. After six months, I also developed a problem with my wrists, ankles, thumbs, tailbone, etc. It seemed that any body part I overused would have discomfort in that area the next day. I soon learned that if I ignored it and carried on, my symptoms just seemed to get worse.
I finally reached the stage where I could barely walk a city block and couldn’t hold onto the telephone or write in my journal. Fortunately, I had very supportive friends and family. At one point, my resourceful and patient mother was even pulling research journals from the university libraries and reading them to me over the phone, which I had propped up against my head, lying down in my bed. I don’t know how I could have coped without all the support.
In my search for answers, I had numerous lab tests and went to a number of specialists. Since nothing showed up in these tests, one doctor even suggested that it must be all in my head. I thought that was the easy out. I was fortunate enough to have a very kind doctor who knew me from the rescue team days and believed my symptoms were real.
About eight months after I had been off work, another firefighter in my four man crew came down with similar symptoms of fatigue and muscle soreness and was unable to work. The light bulb came on: perhaps we were exposed to some toxins at work and this initiated the downward spiral of debilitating symptoms. I started to extensively research toxin exposure and discovered many of my symptoms correlated with the research; I thought I was an exception, until I attended the International Symposium on Functional Medicine in 1996.
During the three day conference, many leading researchers stated that most of their patients had problems with their phase one and phase two detoxification pathways. Their toxic loads were high and if they worked at reducing this load, their symptoms often dramatically improved.
Don’t believe some of those in the mainstream, that will tell you that you have to learn to live with it and you will have this for the rest of your life. I don’t pretend to have all the answers and everybody is different, but you may find some of the suggestions here will work for you as well.
Improve Your Sleep
Most people with muscle aches and fatigue have a problem with their deep sleep (Stage 3 and 4) as Alpha waves intrude on the slower Delta waves. Unfortunately, most growth hormones are produced in this deep sleep, which explains the trouble recovering from injuries. I started out with a low dosage tricyclic medication (nortriptyline) and then switched to St. John’s Wort which is a serotonin precursor. I also went in the infrared sauna a couple of hours before I went to sleep, which totally relaxed my muscles. Other serotonin precursors are SAM-E and 5 HTP … experiment to find out what works best for you.
Lower your Toxic Load
- Remove toxic cleaners from the home.
- Minimize exposure to perfumes and colognes (petroleum based products) and new items that seem to seriously off-gas. If a manufactured product has a strong odor, chances are it’s releasing some chemicals into the air.
- Make your bedroom as healthy an environment as you can. Remove anything that might off-gas and minimize the exposure to EMF (electromagnetic fields) by placing your alarm clock away from your body when you sleep. You can place zeolite bags (volcanic ash) at the opposite end of the bedroom to where your head lays. It has a negative ion charge that attracts mold. I set up some Petri dishes and sent the samples to a Mycologist and was quite surprised how much these inexpensive bags reduced the mold count in the room. They worked much more effectively than an expensive Hepa air filter I had purchased. You can also buy smaller zeolite bags to put in the fridge to keep your produce fresher much longer. A good source for the volcanic ash is www.leevalley.com (Item # KD401).
Today we’re exposed to chemicals and heavy metals in our air, water, and food in unprecedented amounts. The EPA estimates there are more than 20,000 chemicals that our bodies can’t metabolize. PCB’s, dioxins, furans, heavy metals, herbicides, insecticides, xylene, ethyl benzene, and phthalates are just some of the toxins that are accumulating in our bodies.
Studies show that most of us have between 400 and 800 chemical residues stored in our fat cells. These chemicals and heavy metals add to our “toxic load,” often reaching a point where this bioaccumulation seriously compromises our health and leads to chronic disease. I had my ‘silver’ amalgams removed (actually 50% mercury content) from my teeth by a dentist that specialized in that process. Be very careful if you go this route – having them removed incorrectly can increase the mercury levels in other parts of your body. Taking 5 grams of activated charcoal 30 minutes before your dental work and 5 grams right after will minimize your uptake of any mercury that is released.
Sweating in an infrared sauna is very effective in reducing toxins and heavy metals. Far infrared saunas have a comfortable temperature … usually in the 115–140°F range (versus 180–210°F in a conventional sauna) but you sweat two to three times as much. The far infrared heat also penetrates 1.5 inches below the skin, mobilizing deep seated toxins and easing muscle soreness. Sweating through your skin will allow you to reduce your toxic load while taking the stress off your liver and kidneys.
“As the first generation of man exposed to such an unprecedented plethora of daily chemicals, we have learned that stored or undetoxified chemicals can mimic any disease. “Incurable” chronic diseases that were thought to have no known cause often disappear once toxic chemicals are gone. Since the far infrared sauna is the safest, most efficacious and economical way of depurating stored toxins, this makes it a household necessity.”
Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., Northeast Center for Environmental Medicine: Author of Detoxify or Die, and Wellness Against All Odds
- Slowly increase the intensity and duration of any exercise you introduce, being careful to minimize the number of eccentric contractions, which means extending a muscle under load. For example, having something heavy in your hands and reaching to place it on a top shelf would be an eccentric contraction.
- Walk. I faithfully walked at a rubberized track and very slowly increased my distance and speed over many months.
- Stretch gently. I found a good book on stretching called “The Stark Reality of Stretching” by Dr. Steven D. Stark.
Although I had a lot of difficulty at first, I found Herbert Benson’s book, “The Relaxation Response” a good place to start.
Enhance your Diet
- Eat organic whenever possible.
- Avoid processed food and increase vegetable consumption.
- Add sea vegetables to soups and stews to make your diet more alkaline and to add more of those important trace minerals.
- Sip a small glass of water with apple cider vinegar during meals to help digestion.
- Avoid sugars so as not to feed the fungi and other critters that thrive in the body. Parasites and fungi produce endotoxins which add to your toxic load. Stevia is a great substitute.
- Kefir can assist in re-establishing friendly bacteria.
- Most researchers have found that many of their patients have malabsorption problems, often because of intestinal dysbiosis (those critters again), so they are low in many vital nutrients.
- When you introduce something new, start off with a small dose and wait a few days before increasing. Don’t make the mistake of introducing too many things at once. Then if you react and your pain levels increase too much, you won’t know the cause.
- Grapeseed extract was very beneficial.
- Take minerals daily, especially trace minerals and magnesium. Molybdenum will help to support the acetyl aldehyde pathway and may reduce one’s chemical sensitivity.
- Rotate different herbs and supplements to help an overtaxed adrenal gland and/or liver.
- The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates
- The Stark Reality of Stretching by Dr. Steven D. Stark
- The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson
- Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford
I wish you all the best in your recovery.
Bio: Randy Gomm B.Sc. is an independent researcher investigating various detoxification protocols.