From the sweat lodge rites of the Native Americans to the Diocletian baths of Ancient Rome, “hot air baths” and improvised saunas have been utilized by cultures worldwide for ages. Even if using a sauna is still a common practice, current technology has made it possible for an alternative known as infrared sauna therapy, which is reported to have an almost unlimited list of advantages.
Infrared sauna therapy produces heat in the body using infrared light waves instead of burning fire beneath a makeshift lodge. For those who cannot take the heat and humidity of conventional sauna rooms, these waves allow deeper tissue penetration without significantly raising the temperature.
Infrared sauna therapy is considered an inexpensive, secure, and incredibly powerful technique to lessen discomfort, raise detoxification, enhance the cardiovascular system, and more—even if long-term studies are ongoing.
How do Infrared Saunas Work?
The temperature of a conventional sauna typically ranges from 150 F to 195 F (65.55 C to 90.55 C). Light panels give infrared saunas more than just a distinctive glow. The primary distinction between this strategy and conventional saunas is how they heat the atmosphere.
Infrared sauna lamps emit a piercing warmth onto your skin to produce heat therapy results. Traditional methods are used to heat the air in a sauna.
The thermometer readings obtained using these two techniques are dramatically different. Temperatures in infrared saunas typically range from 43.33 to 57.22 degrees Celsius (110 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit).
Infrared saunas make people feel much more comfortable while providing the same advantages.
8 Benefits of Infrared Sauna for Health
So why would you decide to lay around in temperatures that are still comparable to the highest recorded Earth temperatures while exposed to infrared lights?
Here are a few justifications for sweating in front of the light.
1. Better Skin Tone
The blood vessels are widened by infrared sauna therapy, which successfully improves circulation all over the body. Along with aiding in waste removal, this improved circulation also assists in supplying the skin with more oxygen and nutrients.
The formation of collagen, which maintains skin tightness, depends on these nutrients for our skin; thus, using an infrared sauna can be an amazing way to even out skin tone and reduce wrinkles.
2. Flushes Toxins Out
Pesticides, poisonous metals, PCBs in plastics, environmental pollution, and even GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are just some toxins our immune systems must contend with today. Our predecessors could not have imagined such a toxic arsenal. Coupled with a terrible diet for the rest of one’s life, this produces the ideal environment for toxins to accumulate and weakens the immune system.
Fortunately, using an infrared sauna regularly can speed up your body’s removal of harmful poisons. In particular, this is achieved through sweating, shown in several studies to enhance detoxification and lower levels of toxins circulating in the body.
3. Loss of weight
Relaxing in an infrared sauna can help you lose weight. Researchers found that “body weight and body fat decreased significantly after 2 weeks of sauna therapy” in a trial of obese persons. According to researchers, this is brought on by an elevated heart rate and the body’s efforts to cool itself (by burning calories).
The same study found that normal weight and appetite loss patients had “increased caloric intake and improved feeding behavior.” This demonstrates that infrared sauna therapy may function as a type of appetite and weight “balancer” by raising ghrelin (known as the hunger hormone) in individuals with poor appetite while keeping ghrelin levels balanced in people with obesity.
4. Enhances cardiovascular performance
It has also been demonstrated that infrared sauna therapy is heart-healthy. Studies have linked infrared sauna use with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death, lethal coronary heart disease, deadly cardiovascular disease, and even death from all causes since the benefits have been so potent.
These effects result from patients undergoing infrared sauna therapy having higher heart rates, better blood flow, and lower blood pressure. Interestingly, researchers matched a brisk walk to the cardiac output that patients experience in the Sauna.
5. Relief from pain
Another outstanding feature of infrared sauna therapy is its ability to reduce chronic pain without the unfavorable side effects of various medicines. For instance, research from the Netherlands discovered that patients with ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis had decreased pain, stiffness, and weariness following four weeks of infrared sauna therapy.
Low levels of inflammation, which reduces the friction between the patient’s joints and leads to chronic pain, contribute to these benefits.
6. Combats chronic fatigue
According to a recent study, infrared sauna use significantly reduces the symptoms of Chronic Weariness Syndrome (CFS), which causes extreme weariness without a known cause. Patients with CFS participated in the trial by spending 15 minutes in a sauna heated to 60 °C (140 °F) and 30 minutes of bed rest in a separate room. For four weeks, this was carried out once per day, five days per week.
The outcomes? After therapy, levels of bad mood, anxiety, and depression dramatically decreased, and evaluations of exhaustion on a scale of 1 to 10 decreased from 6.7 to 4.8. The reason why infrared sauna therapy helps CFS patients is still being determined. Researchers theorize that it might be because it might lower oxidative stress and boost cardiac output, both of which have been associated with CFS.
It is significant to note that the researchers claim the patients did not experience the effects during the four weeks of treatment, but they did have decreased exhaustion after that. To fully experience the benefits of infrared sauna therapy for fatigue, you should complete a month’s sessions. But it sounds like a worthwhile treatment if it takes less than an hour each day for four weeks to relieve chronic fatigue!
7. Wound Recovery
The astonishing capacity to accelerate wound healing is another noteworthy benefit of infrared sauna therapy. Because our mitochondria readily take infrared light, research from NASA has demonstrated that infrared light dramatically stimulates tissue growth and cell regeneration.
8. Increases Circulation
Circulation has been reported to be improved by infrared sauna therapy. This can have numerous advantages, from improved skin tone (as previously described) to lower blood pressure. Infrared sauna therapy has significantly enhanced blood vessel function in people with diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking.
What are some risks of infrared saunas?
As using a sauna is seen as a safe pastime, saunas have been around for a very long time. But keep in mind that dehydration is a possibility. Immediately exit the Sauna if you suddenly feel queasy or dizzy.
Additionally, you might want to avoid using infrared saunas if any of the following apply:
Multiple sclerosis: MS sufferers frequently have heat intolerance, so they shouldn’t typically utilize saunas.
You are expecting: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warns that using a sauna during pregnancy, especially in the early stages, can harm the developing fetus and result in birth abnormalities.
You’re trying to get pregnant: Sperm health is not improved by heat.
You are ill: Delay your sweat workout till you feel better.
Infrared saunas use electromagnetic technology and infrared lamps to generate heat rather than using steam or flames to do so. This technique allows infrared saunas to operate at a lower temperature while providing therapeutic benefits.
Think of it as a more modernized form of how our ancestors exercised to enhance their wellness and health. If you are considering opting for an infrared sauna, consult a doctor first to know if your body is appropriate.