by ASHLEY MILLER
for the Sequim Gazette
Say goodbye to chronic pain.
Joy Castaneda did.
After years of constant discomfort — waking up in the morning feeling like she’d been badly beaten — Castaneda said she feels better than she ever has before.
Castaneda was diagnosed more than 25 years ago with fibromyalgia, a syndrome that affects the muscles and soft tissues and creates chronic pain in the muscles, fatigue, sleep problems and painful tender points or “triggers” at certain parts of the body.
Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans, according to WebMD, and can negatively impact a person’s overall quality of life.
Last year, medical expert Dr. Mehmet Oz introduced Americans to infrared saunas on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Intrigued, Castaneda gave the latest medical rave a try. It didn’t take long for her to reach a conclusion: She was going to have an infrared sauna installed in her home.
After some thought, Castaneda changed her mind. Instead, she decided to open an infrared sauna at her existing business — Full Moon Candle Co. — so the entire community can reap the benefits.
Not only does the sauna help with fibromyalgia symptoms, it’s an excellent tool for detoxification, arthritis, chronic fatigue, autism and relaxation, Castaneda said.
Dr. Oz quotes the “circulatory and blood pressure benefits” as “well-documented” and even goes as far as to say that incorporating infrared heat therapy into a health routine can extend longevity.
Infrared saunas work differently from regular saunas. Infrared saunas make the same rays that come from the sun but filter out UV radiation, leaving only infrared radiation, which is lightly absorbed into the skin. In effect, it heats up the body without heating the surrounding air.
Science behind the sauna
Some research shows that people who indulge in an infrared sauna a couple times of week may experience a decrease in blood pressure.
Another study showed that a 30-minute infrared sauna session can burn upward of 700 calories. How is that? During the sauna experience the body’s core temperature increases and the body works hard to cool itself. A substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate causes the body to burn calories.
Leading detoxification principles suggest that common illnesses are caused by the buildup of toxic substances in the body, Castaneda said. Ridding the body of such toxins through a natural sauna detox — which promotes sweating — may relieve symptoms, prevent future illnesses and increase overall health and vitality, she said.
Castaneda uses the sauna every other day. From her experience, she recommends sessions at least twice a week to experience results.
Clients are reminded to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after a session.
Towels and modesty gowns are provided at the store but clients are encouraged to bring their own loose-fitting clothes for the drive home and to shower afterward to prevent reabsorbing toxins.
Once inside the sauna, patrons have complete control of the reading light and music.
Temperatures can reach up to 150 degrees.
People with defibrillators, pacemakers or who are pregnant are advised not to use the sauna. Children under 18 years of age need a parent present.
Appointments are necessary.
Full Moon Candle, 161 W. Washington St., relocated from Cedar Street last November. The infrared sauna opened Jan. 1.
The “so-much-more-than-just-a-candle-store” offers more than 40 fragrances of locally made candles. Castaneda started making candles as a hobby in 1996, giving them away as gifts to her sister, niece and friends. What started as an after-hours passion soon turned into a full-blown business.
In addition to her own candles, Full Moon sells the works of American artists from all over the country and a few European artists. Almost everything in the store, however, is American-made.
“It’s been well-received,” Castaneda said. “People like buying products they know were made here in our beautiful country.”
Business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call 683-4450.