Infrared Sauna Benefits – 2019 Update
Very little feels as refreshing as a quick half-hour sauna session, but how about if you can’t stand the heat?
The apparent solution comes in the form of infrared saunas.
Before we highlight the key benefits of infrared saunas, what exactly is this alternative to the traditional sweatbox?
What Is an Infrared Sauna?
Where a traditional sauna heats the air surrounding you, infrared saunas harness electromagnetic radiation from infrared lamps.
Far-infrared, near-infrared, and middle-infrared wavelengths are all on the healing wavelength spectrum.
Light from these wavelengths can penetrate your soft tissue by an inch and a half. Through a process called vasodilation, this warms your body while also opening up your blood vessels.
You’ve got no concerns on the safety front, either. Infrared is used to keep babies warm in hospitals, and scholars have been researching it for many decades.
Where a regular sauna operates at temperatures of 150 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, an infrared sauna only runs at 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Only 20% of this heat created warms the surrounding air with the remaining 80% directly working on your body. This process enables you to sweat more but at a lower temperature.
So, with this basic knowledge, what can you expect to gain from an infrared sauna?
Overview of Claimed Benefits of Saunas
The claimed benefits of an infrared sauna are much like those you’d expect to achieve using a traditional sauna.
- Blood pressure regulation
- Boosted circulation
- Clearer, tighter skin
- Help with joint pain and arthritis
- Improved sleep
- Jolt to the immune system
- Muscle pain relief
- Skin purification
- Stress and fatigue reduction
- Weight loss
Aside from the usual caution advised when using any sauna (don’t let yourself get overheated or dehydrated) no adverse effects have been reported with infrared saunas.
While there have not been a considerable number of studies directly focusing on infrared saunas, there are many reasonably well-established benefits. We’ll look at those now.
7 Infrared Sauna Benefits
- Chronic Pain Relief
- Improved Circulation
- Regulate Blood Pressure and Improve Heart Health
- Skin Purification
- Weight Loss
1) Chronic Pain Relief
Dutch researchers at the Saxion University of Applied Science determined that infrared saunas could help reverse some chronic pain with no adverse side effects.
Studies centered on patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Subjects were given 8 IR sauna treatments over four weeks. A statistically significant number of these patients reported decreased symptoms of both pain and stiffness. Fatigue also decreased.
As well as direct benefits for anyone experiencing chronic pain, just a short session in an infrared sauna can work wonders for reducing fatigue and stress.
2) Detoxification is one of the best Infrared Sauna Benefits
By increasing blood circulation and stimulating the sweat glands, an IR sauna can help your body rid itself of accumulated toxins.
Sweating in and of itself is an excellent method for eliminating chemicals stored in the body from nicotine and alcohol, as well as toxic metals and both organic and inorganic compounds.
Detoxification will prompt other general health benefits, too. You’ll feel more robust and in better shape while you will free your body of all those damaging contaminants.
3) Improved Circulation
The heat from an infrared sauna works to increase your core temperature. As this happens, your circulation will step up a gear.
Circulation is best improved with saunas operating on the middle-infrared level. Benefits include enhanced muscle recovery and decreased inflammation following vigorous exercise.
4) Regulate Blood Pressure and Improve Heart Health
The University of British Colombia’s Department of Family Practice unearthed evidence demonstrating infrared sauna therapy can normalize blood pressure and cholesterol.
Other studies have shown that saunas can improve overall heart function.
By balancing out levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, IR saunas promote a general sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
As muscles relax and tension is relieved throughout the body, you’ll feel like you’re floating on air with your worries carried away with those aches and pains.
6) Skin Purification
With a powerful ability to accelerate detoxification, using an infrared sauna can help your skin to look brighter, tighter, and clearer.
You’ll also find your skin feels softer to the touch after regular sessions of IR therapy.
7) Weight Loss
Thirty minutes in an IR sauna could burn as many as 600 calories according to one study.
When your core body temperature increases, your heart rate increases, too. Your body needs to work that much harder to lower your core temperature so you’ll end up torching calories and potentially losing weight.