We’ve been talking about the benefits of infrared saunas on The Chalkboard ever since we launched about ten years ago. (Ten years ago!) It was around that time that more wellness spas in L.A. began offering infrared sauna therapy and the buzz among wellness devotees really started to take off.
In brief, infrared saunas use wavelengths just above the red end of the visible light spectrum to penetrate deep into the body. Each session lasts about 45 minutes as is designed to increase the body’s thermal energy, enhance relaxation and promote glowing skin. It’s one of our favorite detoxification protocols and one of the easiest forms of cardio you’ll ever try.
Fast-forward to the early 20’s and there seems to be a second wave of interest happening around infrared. Spas continue to open in new cities and at-home brands like HigherDOSE are gaining major popularity with the self-care crowd.
We’ve been fans of the HigherDOSE infrared sauna blanket for years now (see the review here), but are just now catching on to the brand’s other high-tech wellness offerings too, like the PEMF mat. At almost double the price of the sauna blanket and with tech that is still not as well known, the mat is a subtle, but powerful tool whose big “moment” may still be years away. After using it for just a month at home, I’ve becoming completely obsessed with mine and have since discovered that many practitioners I know use it everyday.
All that said, I interviewed the founders of HigherDOSE earlier this month and found the ladies to be — no big surprise — as obsessed with wellness and it’s future as our team and readership. We asked the founders, Lauren Berlingeri and Katie Kaps to unpack everything that inspired their launch and to share more with us about their cutting edge tech…
The Chalkboard: Tell us how you two first connected and what made you decide to launch HigherDOSE?
Lauren Berlingeri and Katie Kaps: We first met through a mutual friend and connected instantly over our shared passions and interests in the future of wellness.
Lauren discovered infrared technology through her own health journey and was working with experts to learn all that she could about the benefits. Through this, she discovered that the technology wasn’t as readily available as it should be. Katie, who has a background in investment banking and start-up strategy, saw the lack of availability as an entrepreneurial opportunity. HigherDOSE was launched with the vision of making infrared more accessible to the masses and an integral part of our wellness routines.
TCM: So many wellness pros I meet had health crises that led them to their business. Was that true for one or both of you?
LB and KK: Yes, this was true for both of us. Lauren was dealing with a hormone imbalance and, after trying Infrared Sauna she finally slept through the night and found that it reduced her cortisol levels. Katie struggled with adult acne and tried everything, including two rounds of Accutane. She was looking for a more holistic solution to her breakouts and stumbled on practices like colonics and acupuncture that helped address her skin concerns, but also led to a “natural high.”
TCM: Which came first — getting into ‘biohacking’ or launching HigherDOSE?
LB and KK: We were both already seekers of natural highs, which is what drew us to the benefits of Infrared Saunas and ultimately why we named the company HigherDOSE (DOSE stands for Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins—aka, those feel good chemicals in the body that deliver a natural boost).
In seeking ways to improve our health and wellbeing through natural remedies that ignite the body’s happy chemicals, we came across biohacking. We were very curious about the practices being used to optimize our health but found that the world of biohacking lacked female representation. We saw a white space here and used that as motivation to dive deeper and create our YouTube series, BIOHACKHERS.
TCM: We’re so into both the PEMF mat and the sauna blanket. What have you found are the most compelling facts, stories or anecdotes about infrared and PEMF when you’re talking with friends or press?
LB and KK: When it comes to infrared, some of the stories we have found most compelling about our Infrared products are how they have helped so many members of our community improve their sleep, recover after a workout, keep their immunity strong, and target common concerns like inflammation. What is really inspiring are the stories about how the products have supported some community members through some truly difficult health concerns, including Lyme disease and Fibromyalgia.
On PEMF, one of the stories we are inspired by is close to home for us. Katie’s mom thought she needed back surgery, but after using the PEMF mat for five consecutive days, her back totally healed.
PEMF grounds you in earth’s magnetic field which most of us find to be deeply relaxing. Our PEMF mat is designed in combination with infrared heat to ease chronic pain, support recovery from workouts, deepen your meditations, or experience total-body relaxation. Our mat also contains twenty pounds of healing crystals layered inside, which produce negative ions (think: antioxidants in the air) when heated.
Some of our community members have shared similar experiences with the mat and how it helped them relax stiffness in their backs and necks. We’re also inspired by the stories we see about how the mat has not just helped physically, but mentally, as people often share how the PEMF technology helps them manage anxiety and stress.
TCM: Can you share some of the science or studies around infrared and PEMF that you think are compelling?
LB and KK: On Infrared, we often refer people to this huge bank of studies that are condition-specific. Newsweek also ran this compelling story on infrared saunas for heart health.
On PEMF, we consistently pay attention to what Dr. Pawluk has to say on the topic of magnetic field therapy HERE. These insights from Dr. Jill Carnahan are also really interesting.
TCM: Let’s talk about the wellness/biohacking space right now in general. I know you two have begun co-hosting the podcast BIOHACKHERS on the topic?
LB and KK: We feel that it is just the beginning for female biohacking, as so much of the field has a male focus. Right now, we are excited to dive deeper into the research and technologies that women can benefit from and share those findings and experiences with our audience.
TCM: What else is happening in wellness, biohacking and technology that you think is exciting? How do you explore these innovations in your BIOHACKHERS series?
LB and KK: One of the things we think is most exciting about the wellness and biohacking space right now is that, the deeper we get into it, the more it all comes back to nature and what we can learn from concepts such as the Blue Zones.
We are also excited about the work of Joe Dispenza and Jamie Wheel, and better understanding and working with our own human design and using the knowledge of what makes us tick to get more out of life and step into our superpowers.
A big focus for BIOHACKHERS is exploring the past, present, and future of biohacking, plus exploring the natural world and how tuning deeper into nature can have profound impacts on our health.
TCM: What do you hope to accomplish with HigherDOSE next?
LB and KK: In the future, we hope to focus more on the quantification and personalization of our HigherDOSE community’s results as those technologies progress. The more understanding we have about what’s happening in our bodies during these therapies, the more likely we’ll be to stick with them and use them to our advantage in smarter and more specific ways.
Watch an episode of BioHACKHERS with the founders of HigherDOSE here.
Are adult acne and hormonal rebalancing actual health crises these days?
Hormone imbalances and loss of sleep definitely qualify as a health crises. Acne may not seem serious, but we’ve learned to have major compassion for those who suffer with this – it can be more impactful than you may realize.