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Contrast Suite

My Journey to Contrast Therapy

Contrast SuiteDuring the summer of 2018, just over two years after opening Cadence, I had some heart and lung related issues due to poor stress management. Throughout my healing journey, I learned a lot about various holistic wellness tools, one of them being cold exposure! Turning the water to cold at the end of a shower, standing outside in the winter, using a homemade ice barrel all helped me gradually increase my cold exposure.

Along the way, a friend of mine shared her experience with an infrared sauna and I tried that as well. As I learned more about the reasons why both the infrared sauna and cold exposure (contrast therapy) is so beneficial, it felt like an amazing opportunity to utilize this big, beautiful office by adding a contrast suite! I look forward to sharing the benefits with you!

The Goal of Contrast Therapy

The primary goal of contrast therapy is to optimize the adaptability of the nervous system, just like chiropractic! Everything I do within chiropractic is to help the nervous system have the opportunity to function at its best, by removing any resistance to motion within the spine. Ensuring the nervous system is able to adapt to our ever-changing environment is essential to maintaining health.

Stress exists. Period. The goal is to find ways to minimize the negative “distress” and maximize the good “eustress.” Think of a tree within a biodome. Without wind, how does the tree grow strong roots? We need eustress to help us build a strong foundation that allows us to withstand the inevitable distress that comes with life. Contrast therapy is an opportunity to expose your mind and body to controlled stress in order to optimize adaptability!

Benefits: (all are for both except as noted)

  • Increased blood flow
  • Support immune system
  • Reduce chronic pain
  • Boost metabolism
  • Improved sleep
  • Boost energy
  • Elevate mood
  • Lower inflammation
  • Reduce muscle soreness
  • Performance boost
  • Increase resilience
  • Improved skin
  • Sauna: Detoxification, ease joint pain and stiffness
  • Plunge: Weight loss

What is Infrared?

woman in infrared saunaInfrared light is a form of radiant energy that is felt as heat. There are three ranges of IR that each penetrate to a different level within the body. The full spectrum results in the greatest impact within the body.

  • NEAR infrared: The NEAR infrared light stimulates healing and relieves pain by delivering energy to the deepest cells within the body, including soft tissue, muscles, joints and bone. Near infrared stimulates a metabolic process that results in an energy creation and increase in blood flow. This allows more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered throughout the body to improve cellular function and regeneration, and reduce inflammation and pain.
  • MID Infrared: Mid infrared wavelengths penetrate deep into the body and increase circulation through a passive cardiovascular workout by stimulating blood flow as the heart rate increases temporarily.
  • FAR infrared: Infrared light at the FAR wavelength will result in an increase of core body temperature that creates a deep, detoxifying sweat and muscle relaxation.

Infrared vs.
Steam Sauna:

Radiant heat from an infrared sauna will penetrate the skin more deeply than traditional saunas, which better aids in a variety of restorative body processes. The temperature of a typical infrared sauna is about 20-60 degrees cooler than a steam sauna, which makes the temperature easier to tolerate and more suitable for those needing to avoid high heat for medical reasons. At this lower temperature, “sticky” sweat is produced which helps to flush out toxins from the body and reduce its toxic load.

What about electromagnetic exposure?

Great question! The impact of electromagnetic exposure interfering with cellular communication within the body is becoming more known through further research and conversation. While EMF is put off by various things, including power lines, appliances, wireless routers, cell phones and towers, etc, the Clearlight sauna is created specifically to reduce EMF exposure to near zero by having all wiring housed within protective layers.

How many sessions are needed?

Through the first few sessions, relaxation is the primary benefit. Your body is just beginning to acclimate to the infrared light, so enjoy the refreshing feeling of warmth and knowing that you’ve started a great new routine! After you’ve experienced the infrared sauna about 4-5 times, your body really starts to detox. Surface level toxins are being released more efficiently and your core temperature will raise more quickly, which enhances your detox and burns more calories. Around the tenth session, your body has become acclimated to the heat, which is where you will start to experience the maximum benefits of the detox. A detox that penetrates deeper cells can increase circulation, release harmful heavy metals, and relieve aches and pains. Your skin may even show a healthy glow! As you cross the 20 session mark, you start to see and feel the results lasting well beyond your session. Your metabolism is increased and you continue detoxing at a deeper cellular level. Sleep is improved, effects of stress minimizing and you’re feeling overall healthier and happier.

What is PLUNGE Cold Bath?

Man in PLUNGE bath
A tub of cold water! Temperature can range between 60 – 39 degrees, with our typical setting between 50-45. The water within the PLUNGE is cycled constantly to keep it cool and clean.

The cleaning process includes:

  • Ozone treatment: to rid of bacteria, fungus, germs, odors and other contaminants at the molecular level.
  • UV (Ultraviolet) treatment: to disinfect by damaging genetic material (DNA/RNA) destroying the ability of bacterial or viral replication.
  • 5 micron filter: to remove any particles.
  • Sanitizer, pH, alkalinity readings and correction daily: to keep environment inhospitable for bacteria.

How often should I PLUNGE?

Benefits from PLUNGING can come from daily or weekly use.

  • For muscle recovery, shoot for 1 hour post-exercise.
  • For mental wellness, try for a few minutes daily OR a longer (5-10 minute) session weekly.
  • *Maximum recommended total of 11 minutes per week

How do you plunge?

  • Set your goal time prior (I highly recommend picking a song you enjoy that matches up with your goal time!)
  • Lower into the water – some people kneel, most sit down, many will lie back until the water is just above shoulder level
  • Focus on breathing through your nose, trying for 5-8 breaths per minutes of steady/controlled breathing
  • Expect your body to shiver
  • Once your time is up, try an extra 10 seconds ;)
  • Get out, dry off
  • Option: Spend some time in the sauna afterwards
  • Option: Allow the body to warm gradually afterwards, to allow maximum metabolic/brown fat stimulation

What Happens in a Session

After checking in and completing your waiver, you will be shown to the contrast suite and given an introduction to the Infrared Sauna and Plunge Ice Bath. You will have the duration of your appointment to use either/both as you would like!

During a sauna session, expect your heart rate to increase (up to 30% above your resting heart rate). LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Stop if you are lightheaded, queasy, or experience a headache. You may not sweat the first few times, this is why a shorter duration is recommended until your body begins to acclimate.
During a PLUNGE, expect your breathing to become shallow until you’ve learned to maintain a controlled, deep breathing process throughout the session. Shivering will occur as your body begins to attempt to warm you, this can happen at different time periods depending on your experience level.

Potential Contrast Protocols

  • 10-20 minute sauna; 2-5 minute ice bath; repeat for 2+ rounds
  • 30 minute sauna, 20 squats, plunge for 30 breaths (2-3 min), squat/lunge to warm body

Sauna Only Protocol Options:

  • Beginners: start with 20 minutes max.
  • Moderate experience: 20-40 minutes
  • Experienced: your choice! (Up to 60 minutes)

Temperature recommendation:

  • >130 will create more sweat and clean the skin/pores. This also creates more depletion of fluid and electrolytes, so plan accordingly.
  • ~110-120 will create a “stickier” sweat as the body releases a higher percentage of toxins at this temperature.

PLUNGE Only Protocol Options:

  • Get in, stay until you shiver for 60-120 seconds, get out and warm your body through gentle body movements, repeat
  • Dunk head then sit until mind stops screaming, dunk head then sit until you can control breathing again, stop (2-4 minutes total)

Contrast Suite Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 9am – 7pm
  • Thursday: 9am – 4pm
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10am – 3pm

Other times may be available upon request! Email/call to check.
See Contrast Suite Packages & Specials

Ready to Get Started?

Contact us today to make a contrast suite appointment!


  • Tsai SR, Hamblin MR. Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2017 May;170:197-207. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2017.04.014. Epub 2017 Apr 13. PMID: 28441605; PMCID: PMC5505738.
  • Sears ME, Kerr KJ, Bray RI. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:184745. doi: 10.1155/2012/184745. Epub 2012 Feb 22. PMID: 22505948; PMCID: PMC3312275.
  • Crinnion W. Components of practical clinical detox programs–sauna as a therapeutic tool. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Mar-Apr;13(2):S154-6. PMID: 17405694.
  • Vatansever F, Hamblin MR. Far infrared radiation (FIR): its biological effects and medical applications. Photonics Lasers Med. 2012 Nov 1;4:255-266. doi: 10.1515/plm-2012-0034. PMID: 23833705; PMCID: PMC3699878.

Contrast Suite | (952) 855-7656