To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Body & Spa: Degrees of Healing—Hot and Cold Therapies to Relax, Relieve and Refresh,” , in the November 2010 issue. Article summary: In between boiling and freezing, there is a full range of temperatures, most of which could be deemed cold, cool, hot or warm. Massage therapists may choose to use temperature as a tool in the session room, because the varying degrees of hot and cold, when applied properly, can elicit beneficial responses from the body.

by Sam Rader, Ph.D.

Everyone knows it’s relaxing to sweat it out in a sauna, but not many know about the clinically proven health benefits of infrared saunas—benefits that include weight loss, detoxification, heart health, pain relief and muscle recovery.

Recently, infrared sauna companies have created the solo infrared sauna, a single-person, compact, mobile sauna unit that makes an ideal addition to any massage-therapy practice.

Massage therapists can boost their income by adding a solo infrared sauna session for clients to their massage ritual, and charging extra for this service. Some therapists charge up to $45 per session, and can increase their daily income by 50 percent.

The reason these solo infrared sauna sessions are so valuable for massage clients is they offer numerous clinically proven health benefits.

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports infrared sauna treatment significantly lowers blood pressure, increases circulation and induces weight loss. A 30-minute infrared sauna session can burn up to 600 calories.

Studies also show infrared saunas provide seven to 10 times greater detoxification benefits than a conventional sauna. Neurologist Dietrick Klinghardt reports that in a conventional sauna, the average person sweats out 3 percent toxins and 97 percent water, whereas in an infrared sauna the average person sweats out 20 percent toxins and 80 percent water.

Infrared heat treatment is also used by many professional athletes to promote muscle recovery and aid in pain relief.

Mobile massage therapists can easily incorporate these saunas into their practices because the solo infrared saunas are lightweight, compact and easy to carry.

Whether in a stationary or mobile massage practice, the infrared solo sauna fits perfectly on top of any professional massage table, plugs into a regular household outlet and runs on less electricity than the average hair dryer.

Solo infrared saunas offer a new, creative way to offer more health benefits to massage clients, while also collecting a generous passive income as a massage therapist.

Sam Rader is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles, California, who is also a certified yoga instructor and massage therapist. After healing herself from a severe case of mercury toxicity with an infrared sauna, Rader has become an advocate for infrared saunas and Sunlighten in particular (