Introducing HANA: New Zealand’s first infrared healing sanctuary

With the opening of HANA in Auckland, New Zealanders are now able to experience the benefits of infrared saunas and red light therapy pods, just in time for Winter.

Founder Sara Higgins aims to “create a calming and healing sanctuary that encourages people to relax and take time for self-care.”

The concept of a wellness space dedicated to an infrared sauna is entirely new to New Zealand. HANA also provides holistic practitioner pop-ups, including massage therapy and pilates.

Hugely popular in New York and London, use of infrared saunas provide many benefits to the body, including detoxification, relaxation, alleviation from pain, glowing skin, more energy, improved circulation and a strengthened immune system.


The discovery of the healing power of infrared saunas and light therapies came about through Sara’s wellness journey, after suffering from unexplained fatigue for over five years.

“I spent years seeking answers from multiple health practitioners, trying to get to the root cause. Through this process, I learnt a lot about alternative options to conventional treatments and came across the healing benefits of saunas and more recently red light therapy. I wanted to be able to make it easy for people to access these treatments.”

You may be wondering what the difference is between standard and infrared saunas. The latter heats the body directly so that only around 20 percent of the air is heated. As the infrared waves penetrate deep into the body, sweat glands are activated, and toxins are eliminated.

At HANA, guests also enjoy the experience of a private shower with filtered water after a visit to the sauna.

Also on HANA’s treatment menu is full-body Photobiomodulation (red light) therapy pods which use red and near-infrared light to help mitochondria (the powerhouse of our bodies cells) to function better.

Better functioning mitochondria means more energy and less risk for disease. Also, the treatment comes scientifically backed to repair sun damage, reduce wrinkles, speed muscle recovery, heal scarring and stretch marks, reduce inflammation, boost testosterone levels, and enhance collagen.

With a background as a pharmacist with nutritional and environmental medicine training, Sara’s passion is to guide people on their journeys to full wellness.

“Our bodies detoxify through our skin, and infrared saunas and light therapy help to activate and encourage the process. Sometimes we just need to give it some time, heat and space to heal”, says Sara.

In te reo, HANA means to shine, glow, or radiate.

Visit HANA’s website here to find out more

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