BY JESSICA COLLINS FOR HEAT HEALER
After giving birth to beautiful twin girls in 2016, Heat Healer Founder Lauren Dovey found herself in the grips of postnatal anxiety, with hormonal fluctuations exacerbated by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), topped off with several nasty rounds of mastitis. Not to mention that she was also caring for her newborn twins and a toddler!
Lauren says:“It was so tough. I had been able to manage my PCOS symptoms through regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and weekly trips to the ocean pool and sauna at Bondi’s Icebergs swim club. When the twins arrived - that all went out the window!”
Missing her weekly saunas the most (and their effect on her mood, skin and overall health) the initial concept of the original Heat Healerpersonal Infrared sauna blanket arrived in Lauren’s mind one sleep-deprived day.
“I was reading into research around the health benefits of Infrared heat therapy and I knew I absolutely needed this technology in my life! But I needed to be able to do it from the comfort of my home, taking advantage of the precious, tiny windows of opportunity I had to invest in my postpartum recovery and overall health.”
Infrared heat has been shown to improve many of the symptoms experienced by new moms (and sufferers of PCOS), including:
Hormone fluctuations: after giving birth the body quickly responds by dropping estrogen and progesterone, and increasing prolactin and oxytocin to support milk production. It generally takes around six months for levels to return to a pre-pregnancy baseline. Sweating in an Infrared sauna can help eliminate toxins and excess hormones from the body. It also helps regulate body temperature, which can help improve overall hormonal balance.
“PCOS is a complex hormonal condition which can be made worse by the rise and fall in various hormones in pregnancy and postpartum. Working up a good sweat in my Infrared sauna helped me feel like I was supporting my body’s natural processes to work more efficiently and it gave me a sense of control”.
Stress and anxiety: Infrared saunas have been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Infrared heat has also been linked toincreased serotonin (the happy chemical), andBeta-endorphins (a key reliever of pain and stress).
“These days I like to boost my relaxation by practice-stacking a sauna session with some guided meditation or breathwork - it sets me up for a calm, yet productive day. However, back when I was a new mom, I preferred to just play some gentle music and let my mind wander!”
Poor circulation and inflammation: Infrared saunas use heat to increase blood flow and promote circulation, which can in turnhelp reduce inflammation throughout the body. Increased blood supply and vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels that helps blood flow to the surface of the skin, including the breasts) can also support lactation and milk supply.
“As a suspected contributing factor of PCOS, reducing inflammation was another key goal of mine to help manage symptoms. I also recommend ourBody Beltas a great tool for targeting specific areas where you might experience inflammation, stiffness or pain”
So if you know a new mom (or if you are one yourself!) consider giving the ultimate gift - the ability to take control of their postpartum health journey and benefit from Infrared heat therapy from the comfort of their own home.
“Heat Healer was born out of a desire to take control of my own health and wellbeing and I’m happy to see so many others reaping the rewards. It wasn’t easy starting a business whilst juggling the demands of young children but six years on I’m so proud of what we have created (this applies to Heat Healerandmy three girls!)”