- 9 min read

Insights from SaunaSpace's Founder, Brian Richards

In-depth interview with Brian Richards, founder of Sauna Space, as he shares insights into his groundbreaking holistic health solutions.

Insights from SaunaSpace's Founder, Brian Richards
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I've been closely following SaunaSpace for some time now and have contemplated the idea of purchasing one of their products. After my interview with Brian Richards - the founder of the company - , it became evident that their solution could definitely have a positive impact on my - or everyone else's health.

In our interview with Brian, we delved into topics such as:

  1. The differentiation of SaunaSpace's products from other red light therapy devices.
  2. The effectiveness of combining heat and light therapy.
  3. The suitability of SaunaSpace products for a wide range of individuals.
  4. Brian's experience with light and heat therapy and his personal health protocol.
  5. Future developments, such as a swivel chair, towel system, and traveling case.

This conversation is a blend of science and philosophy, yet it maintains a friendly and engaging atmosphere. I hope you'll find it enjoyable.

Let's jump straight into it.

What SaunaSpace Does? How's Your Products Differ From Other Red Light Therapy Devices?

Brian Richards: At SaunaSpace, we aim to replicate how the sun heats the body. We've developed a special incandescent bulb with a filament tuned to run at a higher Kelvin temperature. This shift in the spectrum increases the emission of near-infrared and red wavelengths compared to a standard heat lamp.

Photon Infrared Therapy Light
Photon Infrared Therapy Light

The key distinction lies in the fact that incandescent bulbs differ from LED light therapy. It's not solely because we utilize near-infrared. Some LED panels also use near-infrared wavelengths. What sets us apart is that we're emulating the light of nature and the sun, providing full-spectrum light similar to the sun but without the harmful ultraviolet and blue wavelengths.

What Do You Exactly Mean By Full Spectrum?

Brian Richards: By "full spectrum," I mean all wavelengths in the red and near-infrared band, as well as the mid-infrared band. A typical near-infrared LED panel emits at 830 nm, producing a narrow spike of light about 1 to 10 nm wide at 830 nm.

In contrast, we offer a broader band, approximately 400 nm wide, covering the entire photobiomodulation range from 600 to 1000 nm. This distribution mimics the wavelength distribution of sunlight.

So, we provide the complete range of photobiomodulation wavelengths, rather than just 660 nm in red and 830 nm in infrared, as seen in most red light therapy panels.

Our approach aligns with the idea that nature offers the best solutions. In nature, we always received incandescent light, receiving the full spectrum of all wavelengths, photobiomodulation therapy and heat therapy from the infrared band above 1000 nm. Various body systems rely on both heat and light therapy for optimal function.

The anatomy of sunlight

SaunaSpace's ThermaLight Bulb Spectrum

One example is the heat-gated ion channel, where a water molecule, when exposed to sunlight becomes structured and serves as a photobiomodulation chromophore. When further exposed to near-infrared light, it upregulates the ion channel. This illustrates the complex interplay between heat and light therapy in our bodies, indicating the importance of simultaneous exposure.

Could You Further Explain Why Heat and Light Therapy in Combination Is So Effective?

The combination of heat and light therapy is effective because it mimics the natural conditions that have benefited us throughout evolution. It's not just about heat alone or light alone; it's the synergy of both elements working together.

As a consequence, at SaunaSpace, we believe in embracing the full range of photobiomodulation and infrared heating wavelengths, as found in nature. Whether it's our targeted therapy light or our sauna, our approach aligns with nature's practice, where these two therapies were always delivered together.

Near-infrared light is particularly beneficial because it penetrates deeply into tissues, including the brain, making it an ideal choice for certain therapeutic applications. Regarding heat therapy, when you use one of our products, the radiant heating begins immediately - not as it would do with normal saunas. Traditional sauna and far-infrared saunas require substantial preheating because they require the air to be hot to heat-shock the body. The SaunaSpace experience is similar to our ancestral experience with the sun and the firelight and it triggers a quick sweating response, detoxification and other health benefits.

Do You Recommend Your Solution to Everyone, or Are There Specific Health Conditions That Should Be Considered?

Brian Richards: Our product is designed to be suitable for a wide range of individuals, and it is generally safe for most people. We've taken several factors into account to ensure its compatibility with various health conditions and preferences.

As mentioned before, one notable advantage of our technology is that it operates like the sun, providing “always-on” light without noticeable flickering. This sets it apart from some other therapies that may use different technologies like LEDs. Additionally, our products are electromagnetically shielded, addressing concerns related to electromagnetic fields (EMF).

However, there are a few considerations for specific health conditions. For example, we do not recommend our product for pregnant women due to safety precautions. Additionally, we suggest supervision for children. However, I should mention that my own children have been using our products since they were very young.

Generally speaking, our product is suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds. It's not genetically specific; rather, it aligns with the idea that everyone can benefit from light therapy and heat therapy.

Yet, it's important to be mindful of individual health conditions and preferences. For instance, individuals with heat intolerance or conditions like hypo- and hyperthyroidism or autoimmune issues may need to approach our product with caution.

To accommodate these considerations, our sauna panels come equipped with three switches, allowing users to start with one, two, or three bulbs to control the intensity of their session. They can also limit duration initially to less than the standard 20-30 minute session.

What Was Your Personal Experience When You Began Using Light and Heat Therapy Together?

Brian Richards: My journey with this therapy began with some significant health challenges. I was struggling with insomnia, acne, a racing mind, lethargy, irritability, and mood swings. The turning point came when my mother, who is a naturopathic medical doctor, recommended sauna therapy for detoxification. After that, I started researching online and came across the incredible benefits associated with saunas, including their role in longevity and dementia reduction.

My breakthrough moment happened when I stumbled upon Dr. Kellogg's concept, which he extensively documented in his book "Light Therapeutics" published in 1910. Dr. Kellogg had tested this therapy on 50,000 patients over a century ago, and his findings fascinated me.

Inspired by this historical research, I decided to build my own version of the electric light bath, using it before bedtime. To my amazement, I slept soundly, and my insomnia seemed to have vanished after just two sessions. The therapy induced a state of relaxation in my nervous system, allowing me to enter the parasympathetic state conducive to restful sleep.

Encouraged by these initial results, I continued to use the therapy daily for about six months.

Over time, I noticed a profound transformation in my overall well-being.

My acne disappeared completely, and my energy levels surged. I also experienced improvements in mood, cognitive function, recall, focus, and attention span. Interestingly, I hadn't even realized I had brain fog before, but it had lifted, leaving me with a newfound mental clarity.

I felt a sense of ease, happiness, and positivity. I became more patient and found myself in a much-improved state of mind and body. Additionally, my skin looked healthier than ever, and my newfound ability to sleep soundly was a game-changer.

I Guess, All of This Experience Inspired You to Embark On Your Entrepreneurial Journey?

Brian Richards: Sure, these remarkable changes in my own life fueled my passion to share this therapy with others. I want to help others look and feel and be their best version of themselves.  I began obsessing over creating a product that could replicate the benefits I had experienced. Eleven years ago, I secured a business loan and embarked on this journey, overcoming several challenges along the way. Today, SaunaSpace is a reality, with handmade products produced in the US, and it's gratifying to see the positive impact it has had on numerous individuals worldwide.

"This journey has been immensely fulfilling, and I'm grateful to have found my calling in helping people improve their health and well-being through the power of light therapy and heat therapy."

What Could Be the Reason That Not Everyone Is Aware of and Using These Potent Products? What Factors Are at Play, and Is It Primarily Related to Marketing?

Brian Richards: It's a combination of factors, but marketing plays a significant role, of course. While we have a growing customer base, SaunaSpace operates in a niche market that blends light and heat therapy. Our technology differs from mainstream saunas and LED devices, which can make us less visible in the broader consumer market.

Additionally, our approach is unconventional. We aim to replicate the natural conditions that have benefited humans throughout history, using incandescent bulbs to provide full-spectrum light. This approach challenges the LED-based technologies prevalent in the market today.

While marketing is a factor, our primary focus is on creating beautiful products that align with our holistic, nature-inspired philosophy. We prioritize quality, effectiveness, and authenticity over aggressive marketing tactics.

We believe in educating individuals about our products and empowering them to make informed decisions regarding their health.

SaunaSpace caters to a community of people who share our vision of holistic well-being and embrace the idea that nature-inspired therapies can profoundly impact their lives.

"It's not about being the biggest or loudest in the market but about staying true to our values."

Would You Share Your Personal Protocol? What Else Do You Do To Improve Your Health?

Brian Richards: Sure, I'd be happy to share it. My routine evolves based on my experiences and new information I come across.

Currently, I use our sauna product four or five days a week in the morning. I use a seven-bulb system, which reduces session duration to just 15 minutes.

I may take liver sauce before the sauna session, followed by a binder afterward. There are various binders available, such as Chlorella or bentonite clay.

Learn more about Brian's morning routine below:

After the sauna, I shower with an exfoliating brush or glove. Following that, I engage in vibro-acoustic therapy using an Inharmony meditation cushion. This involves listening to a healing soundtrack while experiencing vibrations. While it's not direct vagus nerve stimulation like a product called the Pulsetto, it has a similar effect in terms of promoting mindfulness and relaxation.

I also work out with the X3 isometric band exercise system. My morning usually starts with something light to eat, like homemade matcha with macadamia milk. I've transitioned away from coffee. My diet is changing, and I've been incorporating more juices. Celery juice is a regular part of my routine for instance.

Grounding is also important to me, and I try to connect with the earth by going barefoot outside daily. This grounding effect is also present in our product. I manage my exposure to blue light, especially in the evening. I try not to eat late, and I've recently started intermittent fasting, usually fasting for at least 14 hours. This has numerous benefits, particularly for men.

Addressing EMFs (electromagnetic fields) is crucial, especially in the bedroom. I recommend not having your phone there or keeping it in airplane mode. Turn off your Wi-Fi at night, and consider using a grounding bedsheet and shielding paint on your walls or a Faraday canopy to protect yourself from EMF stress while sleeping. This can significantly improve sleep quality and overall health. There are products like Y-Shield, a German-based company, that offer excellent shielding paint options for those who own their homes.

Any News or Product Development That You’re Working On and Would Like to Share?

Brian Richards: We're constantly working on developments and improvements to our products. One exciting addition we're working on is a swivel chair with a backrest for those who prefer a seated experience. Additionally, we have a towel system coming out this year, featuring custom-made organic bamboo triple-layer towels for the floor and stool. We're also developing a traveling case system for users who want a hard road case for portability.

While I can't reveal all our plans, our core product continues to evolve, and we're committed to making it more accessible, valuable, and enjoyable to use. There's even more really exciting stuff on the horizon that we hope to release toward the end of 2024!

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