Ozone & Far Infrared Sauna Buyer's Guide
by Carolyn Bormann, N.D.
 
As the result of multiple phone conversations with customers and others who are novices when it comes to ozone therapies and buying ozone equipment and related items like saunas, I wanted to put together something to help people in their decision making. I will try to be as objective as I can since I have obvious prejudices having gotten into ozone sauna manufacture in the last 5 years out of sheer frustration.
 
What Qualifies Me to Speak on this Subject?
By way of background, I have worked in Medicine & Alternative Healthcare since 1974. My first field was as a Lab Tech right out of High School. I am a Naturopath and Hyperthermist, Phlebotomist, Enzyme Specialist. I have worked over 20 years with one of the N.American Pioneer's in Medical Hyperthermia, Dr.Jeff Freeman, M.D. who pioneered Medical Hyperthermia in Mexico and is the founder of Europa Institute of Integrated Medicine in Tijuana along with his wife Dr.Sonia Rodriguez, we have worked together specializing in Medical Hyperthermia.
 
I am a certified and board eligible in BioOxidative Medicine (IBOM) since 1994, and have been involved with ozone and ozone equipment manufacture since 1988 when I worked with a manufacturer who made medical ozone equipment in Oregon, now out of business. I have held oxidative trainings for physicians over the years for the clinical uses of ozone. I have also taught many people over the years both lay and professionals and helped them to assemble their own ozone systems for their particular applications and needs. Building an ozone far infrared sauna myself was a logical step in my progression toward optimal health.
 
There is a lot of history I could go into with regards to saunas and ozone and how I came to get involved as a Hyperthermist frustrated with marketplace options. I have had th privilege of working with one of the best Far Infrared Engineers and specialists in Heat Technology from Hyundai. As a result, I was the first to combine the benefits of dry Far Infrared Light Energy (heat) and ozone in the same unit 11 years ago. Recent market trends are causing confusion for many who are trying to benefit from these technologies which are crossing over from the therapists office into the home DIY market. I have been asked by several therapists to write something to help. This field of AltMed is growing and the volume of information is daunting for the novice. What I am putting here is by no means exhaustive and is not meant to "dis" anyone's particular products. Rather it is an attempt to help the potential customer wade through the products out there to help them determine what they feel is best for them.
What Are The Different Ozone Sauna Technologies & their Benefits or Drawbacks?
 
First of all, what is the benefit of using ozone together with Far Infrared Sauna?
Topical ozone therapy has been done for many years but combination with Far Infrared Light has only become more popular in the last 7-8 years after we started combining them. Since with FIR energy we're increasing circulation exponentially, adding oxygen and ozone is a natural combination since topical oxygen/ozone will work to increase tissue oxygenation and up-regulate antioxidant ROS body chemistry. Dr.Bocci in Italy has had ongoing reasearch in this field. See the link below for more information.
03hboex-Wholebody Hyperthermia + Ozone/Oxygen Therapy
 
DRY HEAT TECHNOLOGIES:
1. 100% Far Infrared heaters Penetrates deeper but requires sufficient power--these can made of ceramic heat elements, carbonized silica wire, carbon film, carbon fabrics embedded into epoxy, graphite, gemstones & mineral elements such as Jade, Germanium, Silica, etc. sewn or embedded into fabrics, etc. This is typically used in a Dry Heat setting.
2. Mixed Infrared (Far Infrared + Midwave) Heat (penetrates well but tends to get too hot on the surface and burn before heating deep inner cores--i.e.FlavorWave® Ovens, etc.)
These can include carbon panels, silica, ceramic, etc. but ceramic tends to crack over time and give out with cooling and heating process. This is usually dry heat.
3. Far Infrared combined with ozone/oxygen technologies. IT IS CRITICAL THAT THE SAUNA IS BUILT FROM THE BASE UP TO WITHSTAND THE HARSH CORROSIVE EFFECTS OF OZONE, OTHERWISE THE GAS WILL DESTROY THE SAUNA COMPONENTS AND VOID THE WARRANTY.
 
All ozone compliant saunas require the purchase of an ozone generator in addition to the sauna unless they're building the cost of the unit into the price. Education in ozone generator technologies is critical to insure the best product and technology for the application. Important Note: The law of ozone production is that it is directly dependent on the temperature & humidity levels in the room in which it is produced...the warmer and more moist it is, the faster it degrades back into oxygen. If there is moisture present like in a steam sauna, it is turning directly into hydrogen peroxide & water since the water molecule interacts with the ozone, becoming H202 so you're basically breathing peroxide steam and taking a peroxide bath. Ozone is highly interactive and will oxidize the skin turning back into 02. Dr.Bocci's ongoing clinical work in Italy confirm this on a daily basis and his published studies are available in print for anyone interested.
 
WET HEAT (No Far Infrared)
Steam Heat: Basically a electric boiler pot making the steam, either built in or standing outside the sauna on the floor separately with a vent into the sauna. This heat source has no far infrared at all (surface heat only; potentially risky for lung infections (Legionnaires) with long term use just like a steam bath does).
Limitations & Drawbacks: Most of these models are either tent style or fiberglass or polystyrene plastic. Tent styles are typically not designed for long term use since the ozone will destroy them over time but they are much cheaper and are considered disposable, although if it is combined with FIR heater panels, these are not typically designed to withstand ozone and the wiring and controllers can go out faster with ozone use. Hot molded plastic can burn you so be careful with kids around it. Also, hot plastics emit noxious toxic gases like Dioxin we don't recommend plastic tent style units just for that reason. Also, Ozone is temperature dependant...the cooler it is, the longer it stays in the 03 state. As it warms up, it disassociates back into H202 and then 02. You cannot put ozone into a hot cabinet and it stays ozone. You are basically taking a Hydrogen Peroxide Steam Bath. I'd prefer to avoid the hardening effects of excess hydrogen on the lungs.
The fiberglass or plastic models are heavy, requiring their own room for set up with an opening window and good ventilation. Mold can become an issue in any room which steam is constantly used. Also, shipping is expensive and they are usually not returnable or refundable. Check with the seller for their individual policies.
 
OZONE FACT: OZONE IS HEAT AND MOISTURE LIMITED. WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT THE WARMER IT IS, THE FASTER OZONE BREAKS BACK DOWN TO PEROXIDE THEN WATER AND OXYGE.. AT 40 DEGREES F, OZONE IN PURE DISTILLED WATER HAS A 2 HR.S 1/2 LIFE. WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT 1/2 OF THE OZONE IS GONE IN 2 HRS. THE COLDER THE TEMPERATURE, THE LONGER OZONE STAYS OZONE. THIS IS WHY IT CAN'T BE STORED BUT MUST BE MANUFACTURED ON SITE FOR IMMEDIATE USE. PUTTING OZONE INTO A HOT STEAM SAUNA MAKES NO SENSE BECAUSE YOU'RE JUST BREATHING PEROXIDE STEAM AND THEN OXYGEN AND WATER. YOU MAY AS WELL JUST BREATH PURE OXYGEN WHILE IN THE STEAM SAUNA SINCE IT WILL ACCOMPLISH THE SAME THING. NOT TO SAY YOU WON'T GET BENEFIT FROM IT, BUT THE IDEA THAT YOU'RE ABSORBING OZONE ITSELF FROM A STEAM SAUNA IS A TOTAL MISCONCEPTION AND FALLACY.
 
MODELS & STYLES:
 
1. HARD PLASTIC / FIBERGLASS STYLES:
Dry Heat FIR Molded Plastic Capsule Styles (2 piece) One Size Fits All from Asia (Toxic glues)
Plastic Steam Cabinets
Benefits:
Drawbacks:
 
2. FABRIC TENT STYLES Sitting or Lying. TYPICALLY PVC OR OTHER COATED FABRICS LIKE NYLON OR POLYESTER. "DISPOSABLE"
These tents are steam tents or convection heat bags which dehydrate your body rapidly blowing hot air. Heater units don't last long since they're sprayed with a carbon paing which burns off over time. They're usually originally from Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan and are typically made of non-heat-rated chemically treated fabrics which are not designed to withstand the high oxidative stress of ozone. They are for PERIODIC SHORT TERM USE. They consist of a inexpensive fabrics (nylons, polyesters) lined or unlined, sometimes bonded with rubber or plastics like PVC (Outdoor umbrella fabric, etc.) They're designed for use with steam heat or far infrared heater panels. Coatings and plastics oxidize away with ozone and heating them can produce noxious gases and carcinogenic byproducts like Dioxin. The tent is placed around a plastic or metal frame and a backless stool is set in the middle which the person sits on, zips it up and sweats. Most provide holes for the hands and arms to be out to allow movement, etc. Digital controllers are attached to the side on the top. FAR INFRARED PANELS ARE TOO FAR AWAY FROM THE BODY TO CREATE A DEEP ENOUGH SWEAT. Plancks Law States that the closer the source with FIR energy, the better the penetration of energy to vibrate the cells & create heat from the Inside >> Out.
Within this category, there are several designs out there currently:
1.Steam Heat Sitting: No far infrared. Available with or without ozone compatibility. (there dozens on the Internet...private labels of the same products all over the place !)
2.Far Infrared Convection Dry Heat Lying with or without convection blowers. Heat is very uneven and cold spots are everywhere. Convection style heaters dry out the skin rapidly and the thin mineral coating wears off, requiring replacement. FIR heater panels need to be within 2-4" of the skin surface to get good penetration. Many have heat panels too far away for deep sebaceous sweating.
3."Ozone Compatible" Far Infrared Dry Saunas: I have never seen a truly Ozone compatible tent style FIR unit despite claims to the contrary. Units need to be engineered specifically to withstand the corrosive effects of quality ozone. Some are selling fish tank and water purification UV ozone air fed generators or inexpensive corona units to go with their sauna tents claiming to give the same benefits as higher quality ozone devices designed to be oxygen fed which produces stronger ozone concentrations which is what all the studies have been done on. Because they are not using "dried" air for their source, the units will corrode in less than a year and require replacement. Moisture in the air will ruin them. Oxygen fed systems already have had the air/gas "dried" and there is no danger of corrosion and you get better quality ozone. ALL OZONE COMPLIANT SAUNAS REQUIRE THE SEPARATE PURCHASE OF AN OZONE GENERATOR. THEY ARE NOT BUILT INTO THE SAUNAS. We recommend that if getting an air-fed generator that has an air drier built in to avoid ruining the inner components from moisture collection and rusting from condensation. The other option is to use 100% pure oxygen gas as the source for ozone generation like welding 02.
Benefits:
Drawbacks:
Caution: several companies importing these tent style saunas from Asia have large orders to place and maintain inventories and usually are set up for the high % of exchanges, repairs and returns they will have to deal with just because of sheer volume due to lower price point. Check to find out return, exchange and refund policies. Many on-line stores don't stock themselves but call the fulfillment center and have it drop shipped without ever checking to make sure everything is working, etc. Get the return / repair policy in writing.
3. WOODEN BOX-STYLE SAUNA / FINNISH STYLE: Sitting inside rebreathing yoursor other's hot sweat which micronized as pores open with heat... Very Dangerous & Risky for Lung Infections.
 
 
Far Infrared or Mixed Infrared units (some just say "infrared"...be sure to define which kind of infrared...midwave gets too hot ! ). These multi person dry heat saunas typically are designed for use by more than one person. Design limitations make them impossible to make ozone compatible since the head is inside, creating potential for rebreathing sweat and getting a lung infection like Legionaires. These designs tend to culture mold and bacterium in the wood; treated woods use toxic chemicals which good manufacturers won't use. Wood is NOT disinfectable. These are appropriate for healthy individuals only who only use it within direct family members, never for a clinic where complex infectious diseases are treated. Can typically only do up to 20 min. before breathing is uncomfortable. CANNOT be used for Hyperthermia therapy. NEVER BUY A USED WOODEN SAUNA.
 
 
 
Benefits:
Drawbacks
4. SINGLE PERSON WOOD DOME STYLE DRY FAR INFRARED (SUPINE w/ Head Out Style) -- This is what our BioSpectra is...
 
Dry Far Infrared Supine Saunas (Lying down with head out...typically the outside is covered in vinyl or faux leather)
Originated in Korea over 30 years ago and spread to the rest of Asia. All models currently made in Asia and imported into the US. Multiple brands... (BioSpectra™ (ours) ; Smarty™, Solo™ to name a few)
BioSpectra FIR Ozone Compatible Sauna System

 

Benefits:

Drawbacks

NOTE: State and Federal health regulations prohibit the resale of used saunas (like mattresses) by manufacturers due to potential spread of infectious disease. Don't ever buy a "used" sauna, ESPECIALLY WOODEN BOX STYLE, since you don't know what kind of microbes have been inside which you or your loved ones could breathe in and get sick from (saunas with ozone ability reduces this potential hazzard since ozone is a premium disinfectant).

Important Notes on Plastics: Some research shows that when you heat plastics there is varying % of breakdown at various temperatures (although official industry sources will say you need to get to 700 degrees for "significant" danger to occur, some believe plastics have a continual of break down even at low temps...). These chemicals are what we're trying to detoxify the body from by doing a fat sweat...you don't want to be putting toxins in while trying to get them out...! While I believe that the plastics in food thing is over blown and internet myth to a degree, I think it can't hurt to be more judicious with the use of plastics in our world since we know these chemicals are pollutants in the air and water and some will never be removed! Just on principle, I'm against non heat-rated plastics used in bag & tent saunas, molded plastic saunas, etc. We know plastics breakdown even in water bottles sitting in the sun in an automobile and increase exposures to xenoextrogens and other toxins.
"PVC, is by far the most dangerous of plastic resins and has been widely connected to cancer and other health disorders resulting from dioxin poisoning: Dioxin is the common name for a class of 75 chemicals. Dioxin has no commercial use. It is a toxic waste product formed when waste containing chlorine is burnt (trash burning is a major source!) or when products containing chlorine are manufactured. PVC plastic is a major source of chlorine..."
Problemofplasticreport.html

 
Some Important Technolgy Notes: Far Infrared Light Energy penetratess more deeply into tissues, producing heat indirectly by vibration of water molecules around the cells . From a detoxification standpoint, the whole goal is to heat up the core temperature, liquefy the bodily fluids including fatty tissue (sebaceous), so that fat-soluble toxins can be excreted and neutralized. Steam saunas cannot accomplish this since they don't have far infrared energy to penetrate sufficiently. Far Infrared Energy is the best vehicle and the method most studied over the centuries...
 
So for our purposes, Here is our Criteria for a Good Ozone Far Infrared Sauna System
1. Supine Dome Style Far Infrared is Best. Lying down is the best position for taking a sauna since it is easiest on the heart and the body's natural way of heating up and limiting potential for clotting or edema from bending limbs. Bending your legs impedes circulation and blocks lymph fluid movement and can cause clots to form or break loose.
2. Must use 100% solid Carbon Far Infrared heaters which has a 3rd party lab certificate test from a reputable lab proving the wavelength emittance (not mixed mid-infrared wave which can burn the skin before the core heats up)
3. Must be able to get close to the heaters (within 2-3") (Plancks' Law states that Far Infrared Energy penetration is totally dependent on the distance from the source of the heat...the farther from the source, the lower the penetration). A sauna with true Far Infrared heaters on a wall which is too far from the body is not going to penetrate well. The closer the heat source the better penetration when using Far Infrared Light Energy. Lightwave Based FIR can penetrate much deeper...
3. Material that the heaters are made of and any fabric which covers them must be ozone resistant (silicon; carbon; fiberglass; quartz, etc.)
4. Fabric / Material which the ozone cabinet/tent/dome is made out of must be ozone resistant & heat rated materials. Fire resistant & UL Certified if possible.
5. No Glues or Adhesives if possible since ozone destroys it.
6. Ozone can be made by generators which use dried air (concentrator) or oxygen fed. I prefer oxygen fed to reduce potential for corrosion of internal components, excess nitrous oxide byproducts produced by non-dried air fed units. With ozone generator, If you get an dried airfed machine with a good corona discharge generator unit, it should never be more than $1000 if it is putting out less than 500 mg./hr. (air fed units have to only use Dried Air as opposed to just room air, to avoid rusting out the interior components from the moisture in the air). Good Oxygen Fed units for clinical use can cost up to $1800 and up.
7. Ozone generator technologies which are available:
UV light tubes (very low levels of ozone since the gas in the tubes age and therefore they aren't as strong and therefore the ozone output reduces over time with the strength of the UV tube...typically 1/10th or less what a corona unit will produce...)
Ceramic Plate Technology (primarily used in air purification, not water, since plates crack and limits to the amount of ozone production--air passes over an electrified ceramic plate producing ozone as a result...plates crack and ozone production is not designed for sauna application although it could be adapted if the unit was designed well...)
Cold Corona Discharge: Metal or glass tubes or dielectrics coils are used to pass air or oxygen through and contact of the oxygen with the electric field produces ozone. The amount and speed of the electrical pulsations also can determine the ozone strength.
Plasma Field Technology: These are plasma tubes filled with noble gases like Krypton (radioactive) and Xenon. The electrified glass interacts with the air or oxygen flowing across the field, turning it into ozone or ozone. Like UV tubes, plasma tubes strength diminishes over time and can be ruined by touching with the oils of the hands. It's fine technology as long as the customer is informed of this tendency and takes the cost of replacement tubes into the cost equasion. Plasma tubes can be very expsensive depending on the manufacturer. Ask what the hourly rating is guaranteed for.
 
I prefer cold corona discharge oxygen-fed for consistent production. It is reliable, stable and long lasting. I have cold corona discharge glass tubes working in ozone generators we manufactured back in the 1980s and early 1990s which our analysis equipment says is still putting out what they did when they were new. If you're going to buy an ozone generator, generally buying "up" is recommended if the unit is going to be used for multiple uses, such as having a 10-step frequency modulator in addition to the 02 flow regulator. You should also be able to get an output chart and have multiple strength selections if possible also.
 
This is just a general overview. I hope it is helpful for those trying to make decisions. Each individual's needs are different. This is just to help take some of the confusion out of the decision. I am coming from a medical professional perspective and so my criteria may not be what many needed but I thought it may be of some help.
 
Feel free to call my office to discuss questions. I'll be glad to help if I have the time or we can schedule a time if it won't work then. 909-338-3533.
 
God's Richest Blessings to all,
Carolyn Bormann, N.D.
Owner / Director
Arrowhead HealthWorks™
Arrowhead Quantum Wellness Center
Lake Arrowhead, CA
909-338-3533