All cultures have learned that heat can have a powerful effect on restoring and improving health. From North American native sweat lodges to Scandinavian saunas, heat has long been used to strengthen and balance physical and emotional health. Yoga enthusiasts have found that doing postures in heated rooms allows for a greater range of physical dexterity and quicker results.
Recently I received a call from an acquaintance, Paul Hennessey, to try a new prototype sauna that he’s been developing. I brought along my friend Scott, who works in the film industry and has been doing hot yoga for years.
The obvious first impression was that this prototype sauna was designed with an open concept, with no clutter to interfere with movement, but allowing benches or chairs to be easily added if needed.
Paul explained that electric radiant infra-red heaters were not only in the floor, but in the ceiling and walls as well, allowing the user great control over rate of temperature change. Paul‘s research has shown that slowly raising the core temperature over a longer period of time gives the greatest healing results. The radiant heating system, combined with a cooling ventilation system, did allow us to control where the heat was coming from, and at what speed the temperature changed.
The big surprise of this sauna came when Paul turned on the lights. While there were lights in the ceiling like a regular sauna, there were also lights in the walls! However, these were not normal walls—they were made of beautiful pink Himalayan rock salt blocks. With the soft backlighting, it gave the entire room an enticing soft amber glow as the light flowed through the walls.
Paul Hennessy has added a whole new dimension to sauna technology by adding in the use of rock salt which has long been used in Salt Caves to detoxify the physical body and strengthen the immune system.
My first reaction was that making the walls out of salt bricks would dramatically raise the cost of building the sauna and perhaps weaken its structure. Paul quickly disproved those impressions. He can get these 150 million year old salt brick beauties at a lesser price than high end tiles. He’s also developed a system of interlocking the blocks together to the point they are virtually earthquake proof.
Scott and I had the opportunity to test the beautifully built sauna. As we warmed up, Scott led us through some basic yoga poses. It quickly became apparent that my neglect of yoga for the last 10 years or so had stiffened me drastically compared to Scott who practices hot yoga regularly; however, as the radiant heat softened up my neglected ligaments and tendons, it soon became easier even for me to do the stretches and poses.
The benefits of the salt vapours in the sauna from the salt bricks might be more difficult to ascertain than the obvious relaxing effect of the heat, though my previous experience in Salt Caves and using salt breathing devices would indicate that the ability to fight off acute and chronic diseases, especially of the respiratory tract, should be greatly improved.
The radiant heat coming off the hundreds of beautiful salt bricks definitely gives a deep felt sense of warmth and security which likely explains the emotional component of this type of healing.
So where can you go to reap the benefits of this new sauna technology breakthrough? Well, right now there is only one prototype designed and built by Paul Hennessey. However, he has a space in Vancouver to produce these breakthrough saunas to suit the buyer. To start production he needs buyers and financial backers. So this message is being sent mainly to those of an entrepreneurial nature who want to get into a well designed, breakthrough health product, at the beginning. There’s nowhere to go but up.
I was not paid for this statement. I just saw a great guy with a great product and I hope it goes well.