Does Sauna Kill Head Lice?

does sauna kill head lice?

No, you cannot kill head lice using a sauna. To kill head lice they must be exposed to a consistent temperature of 130°F or higher. It is not safe to raise the temperature of your skin to this temperature. Using a sauna to kill head lice is neither safe nor effective.

Can You Use a Sauna to Kill Lice & Nits?

Do not use a sauna to try to kill head lice. It is not a safe or effective method. Furthermore, if it is a shared sauna you risk passing the infection on to another person.

The temperature required to kill a head lice infection is 130°F. You should never try and raise your skin temperature to 130 °F – it’s just not safe.

While infrared saunas operate at a temperature between 110-130°F – you will not be raising your temperature to the level required to kill the lice. It is just not safe!

What Are Head Lice?

smiling happy lady

Head lice are small parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They measure just 3mm in size and can be difficult to spot because they are so small.

Lice spread from head to head contact and are most commonly found in young children. They are not a sign of dirty hair – and can live in both clean and dirty hair.

The main symptom caused by head lice is an itchy feeling on the scalp. They can also make you feel like something is moving in your hair.

What Do They Look Like?

Head lice are tiny six-legged insects that nest in human hair. They are roughly the same size as a sesame seed and their small size makes them difficult to see.

Despite their small size, they can be seen by the human eye if you look carefully. They are white, brown, or dark gray and usually nest in the hair on the back of the head or behind the ears.

Their eggs, called nits, are oval-shaped and sit on the hair nest to the scalp. The nit eggs can be yellow, brown, or white.

Can An Infrared Sauna Kill Head Lice?

inside an infrared sauna

No, do not use an infrared sauna to try to kill head lice. The temperatures required to kill the head lice would result in injury or burning of your skin.

Don’t use an infrared sauna or any other type of sauna to try and kill head lice. Instead, seek professional medical advice on how to deal with the little critters.

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WHAT’S THE BEST TEMP FOR SAUNA?

How Does Sauna Kill Lice & Nits?

A sauna does not kill head lice. Although heat treatment will kill the parasite, the level of heat required cannot be safely sustained by a human.

Even if you crank up the heat in the sauna to 130°F, your body will regulate the temperature of your scalp. Your natural skin cooling mechanism, sweating, will kick in to reduce and stabilize your scalp temperature.

And, if you did raise your temperature to 130°F, the lice will be the least of your concerns. You run the risk of serious injury or sickness.

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What Temperature Kills Lice?

definition of temperature

To kill head lice they must be exposed to a temperature of 130°F or greater. This temperature will kill the lice and the nits. For our European cousins, 130°F is equal to 55° Celsius.

Should Pets Be Treated For Head Lice?

No, pets cannot get head lice so there is no need for them to be treated. Head lice only live on human heads, and feed on human blood.

Other Popular Lice Remedies – Do They Work?

home remdies

First up, if you or someone you know has hair lice you should seek the professional advice of a doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider. That said, let’s take a look at some of the alternative treatments proving popular online.

Hair Dryer

Not sure it works, but it sounds like a lot of fun. Just blast the little devils with hot air. While you may not generate enough heat to kill the lice you might just blast a few of them around the room for good measure.

Hot Water

Exposing lice to hot water is a good way to sterilize your clothes and bedclothes. Washing in hot water at a temperature of 130°F or higher for 5 minutes will kill the lice and their eggs.

Shower

While a shower might feel great and leave you feeling cleansed and refreshed, it’s not going to resolve your lice infection. The water is just not hot enough to kill the lice. Try adding some anti-lice shampoo for better results.

Apple Cider Vinegar

While anecdotal evidence suggests apple cider vinegar is an effective treatment for head lice the results are not good. In fact, apple cider vinegar is one of the least effective home remedies.

Liquid Paraffin & Gasoline

The magical healing effects of liquid paraffin and even gasoline crop up regularly on online discussion groups. Are they great nit remedies? No, not only do they not work, they are a pretty unpleasant experience. These are definitely best avoided.

Onions

Seriously, does anyone really think rubbing onions in your hair is going to clear up a head lice infestation? Not only will you look silly, but you’ll also be stinking of onions and could lose some friends. Leave the onions in the kitchen.

Butter, Mayonnaise, Olive Oil, & Vaseline

The jury is out on this one. Anecdotal evidence suggests you can smother the insects by smearing them in butter, mayonnaise, olive oil, or Vaseline and depriving them of oxygen.

The CDC state there is no clear scientific evidence to determine if suffocation of head lice with home remedies is an effective form of treatment. You can add this one to the ‘maybe’ column.

What Should I Do?

lady pointing and smiling

If you spot head lice you should avoid the sauna and begin treating right away. The best treatment methods are wet combing and the application of medicated sprays and lotions.  For further information you should speak to a healthcare professional.

 

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What’s The Best Temperature For An Infrared Sauna?

definition of temperature


The Best Temperature for an Infrared Sauna is 120°F. This is the best temperature to maximize the health benefits of your sauna session. Most infrared saunas operate within a temperature range of 110-130°F. 

To get the most out of your infrared sauna session aim for a temperature of 120° Fahrenheit or 49° Celsius. This temperature will maximize the relaxation and health benefits of your time spent in the sauna.

Infrared Sauna Best Temperature – 120°F

woman relaxing in an infrared sauna

Infrared saunas operate at a temperature of 110-130°F. For best results, you should aim for a temperature of 120° Fahrenheit.

This is the best temperature to optimize the health benefits of your sauna session. At 120° F, you will hit a sweet spot between working up a sweat, detoxing your body, and deep relaxation.

At lower temperatures, closer to 110°F you will experience increased detoxification. And, at higher temperatures, close to 130°F you will experience a greater level of sweating.

For best results and to strike the perfect balance between the two – set your dial to 120°F and sit back and relax. This way you will get the best of both worlds.

Best Temperature For Deep Relaxation

legs in a sauna

The relaxing effects of a 120° session will be both mental and physical. The infrared energy will ease tired tense muscles and soothe and relax the mind.

It is a great way to boost your muscle recovery after working out in the gym and an ideal way to de-stress after a long and stressful day.

For more information on the Health Benefits of Infrared Sauna – see here.

Do You Need To Preheat An Infrared Sauna?

woman entering an infrared sauna

Yes, you will need to preheat the sauna before you get in. The best way to do this is to switch it on while you are getting ready.

That way it will be ready to use when you are changed and ready to go. The amount of time it takes to heat up will vary depending on the sauna model, but in general, you should allow about 15 minutes.

How Long Should You Stay In?

You should aim to spend at least 10 minutes in the sauna. This is the minimum amount of time needed to work up a sweat. If you are a beginner you can start with shorter times and work your way up.

Experienced sauna users will often stay in for 15 minutes, sometimes even longer. Never stay in longer than you feel comfortable and remember to stay hydrated and drink water.

For more information on How Much Water Should I Drink In The Sauna – see here.

How Hot Is An Infrared Sauna?

inside an infrared sauna

An infrared sauna operates at between 110° to 130° Fahrenheit or 43° to 54° Celsius. This is much lower than a traditional sauna or steam room.

Infrared saunas achieve the same beneficial results as traditional saunas, operating at much lower temperatures because they heat the body directly.

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SAUNA FOR HEAD LICE?

When Should I Go Hotter?

If you want to work up a sweat quickly and spend less time in the sauna you should turn the dial up to 130° F.

However, you should only crank up the heat if you are an experienced infrared sauna user. New users should always start low and work their way up to slowly stay safe.

For more information on Infrared Sauna Safety – see here.

Beginners – Start Low

smiling happy lady

If you are new to infrared sauna and have little to no experience it’s best to start low and slowly work your way up to a higher temperature.

This way you allow your body to gradually become used to the infrared heat as it penetrates your skin and heats your core.

Beginners should aim for the lower end of the 110-130°F range, somewhere between 110-120°F, and slowly work your way up to the optimum temperature of 120°F.

Experienced Users – Can Go Higher

If you are an experienced user and feel comfortable using an infrared sauna, you can aim for higher temperatures if you want to work up a sweat quickly.

This is a good approach if your body is used to infrared sauna and you have a limited amount of time you have available for your session.

If this is the case you can reach for the higher end of the 110-130°F temperature range, anywhere between 120-130°F.

However, if time is not an issue you should stick to the 120°F and spend a little more time working up a sweat. This approach allows the infrared light energy to heat your core slowly and gently over a longer period, avoiding a short sharp burst of heat.

Infrared Sauna Temperature vs. Traditional Sauna Temperature

Infrared saunas operate at much lower temperatures compared to traditional saunas. This is because an infrared sauna heats the body directly, while a traditional sauna heats the air inside the sauna.

This means you get all the same health benefits with infrared sauna at a lower temperature and without the uncomfortable oppressive heat of a traditional sauna.

While infrared saunas operate in a range of 110-130°F, traditional saunas have to be heated right up to 150-180˚F. This consumes more energy, takes longer to heat up, and creates a super hot environment that many people find unpleasant.

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advantages of infrared sauna

What Are The Advantages Of Infrared Sauna?

Infrared saunas achieve all the same health benefits as a traditional sauna and come with a number of advantages.

• More Comfort
The lower temperatures of an infrared sauna are much more comfortable than the intense heat of a traditional sauna or steam room.

• Longer Sauna Sessions
You can spend longer sessions in an infrared sauna because it is a more comfortable environment. This means more sweating and better results!

• Energy Efficient
Because they run at lower temperatures they consume less energy – meaning they are more efficient and cheaper to run.

• Better Price
Infrared saunas are much more affordable, coming with a much lower price tag compared to a traditional sauna.

• Compact & Portable
The majority of infrared home saunas are small and lightweight. Many are portable and can be rolled up or packed away when not in use.

 

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Top 5 Tips – How To Save Money When Building A Sauna

how to save money when building a sauna

The top five money saving tips when building a sauna are to optimize your dimensions, choose the right type of timber for your build, use recycled timber if available, source a good quality second-hand stove, and go for an infrared sauna. These tips will slash the cost of your sauna build.

How To Save Money When Building a Sauna

Building a home sauna is a great idea and can be done well on a small budget if you follow these tips. Discover how you can save money when you build your own sauna by following these simple steps.

1: DIMENSIONS

Size is critical when it comes to a sauna build. If you want to save some money make sure you get your dimensions right.

Do not build the sauna any bigger than you need it. If it is only going to be used by one or two people – build a one or two-person sauna. No bigger. A bigger sauna will cost more to heat and cost more in building materials.

Ceiling height is key – make sure you get the height of the sauna right. Aim for one inch higher than the tallest person who will be using it. For example, if you are 6 feet 2 inches, design a 6 feet 3-inch ceiling.

You don’t want any extra height space above your head as heat rises and accumulates in the ceiling area. If the sauna is too high you will struggle to heat the whole cabin and spend unnecessary money trying to achieve a satisfactory temperature.

Also, when you’re designing your sauna make sure you factor in some good quality insulation. Spending some money upfront to make sure your sauna is properly insulated will save you money many times over when you start using it.

2: CHOICE OF TIMBER

legs in a sauna

The choice of timber used for your sauna build will have a big impact on your overall costs. There are many different types of timber out there and the quality and prices of each vary greatly.

Check to see what your local timber supplier has on offer and ask them if they supply sauna cladding – as this will make your job a whole lot easier.

Depending on where you live the types of timber available to you will vary. The most popular timber choices for building a sauna are spruce, hemlock, western cedar, pine, basswood, and abachi.

Some timbers are a lot more expensive than others, especially the most popular choices and the fabricated cladding options. For example, hemlock wood is up to three times the price of spruce.

The price of timber varies greatly by region but to give you a rough idea – you can expect to pay about $60 for six lengths of spruce sauna wood cladding, (95x9x1895mm). The same amount of sauna cladding in hemlock will set you back in the region of $150. 

If you want to save some money, shop around and take a look at the different types of timber available to you. Use good quality timber for the walls, ceiling, and benches. Then use something more affordable below the benches.

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3: RECYCLED TIMBER

Out of all the money saving tips for a sauna build – the best is probably to use recycled timber. The savings are significant and you’ll be helping the environment by repurposing some previously loved timber.

The rate at which premium-grade wood is being torn out of old houses and tossed in dumpsters is astonishing. May homeowners and builders are more concerned with getting rid of old floorboards and beams than selling them.

Still, take a look online for recycled timber. You’ll be amazed at the amount of premium second-hand timber out there. Cedar is particularly popular and is a great choice for building a home sauna.

Check out your local resale sites, Facebook groups, and even craigslist. There are some excellent opportunities to save money using recycled timber. Salvaged cedar can be picked up for as little as $300 for 400 square feet. 

4: SECOND-HAND STOVE

One of the most expensive parts of any sauna build is going to be the heating unit. Prices range from $300 for basic units to $1,500 for more advanced heaters.

The type of stove ranges from convection heaters such as electric, gas, and wood-burning stoves to radiation units used in infrared saunas. Either way, it’s going to be a significant investment and eat up a chunk of your budget.

Our tip is to go second hand. By buying a second-hand sauna stove you can save a bundle of cash with units routinely listed for $100 and below. There are some great deals out there. Check out your local listings,eBay, craigslist and even contact your local gyms and spas.

When it comes to money saving tips for building a sauna – choosing to go with a second-hand stove will save you a lot of money. Just do some due diligence and make sure the unit is in good working order before you commit to a purchase.

5: GO INFRARED 

One of the best decisions you can make when it comes to building a home sauna is to go for an infrared sauna. It will save you a ton of money over the lifetime of the sauna and it comes with a whole range of added benefits.

Infrared saunas are much cheaper to run compared to traditional saunas. They are highly efficient when it comes to energy consumption and will save you a lot of money over the years. Especially if you plan to use it frequently.

An infrared sauna heats the body directly using an infrared light source. It does not heat the air around the body. A traditional sauna heats the air inside the sauna cabin which in turn heats your body.

As infrared saunas heat the body directly they run at much lower temperatures and achieve the same effect as traditional saunas. Infrared saunas run at 120°F, while traditional saunas run at 190°F. 

This all means lower running costs when it comes to heating your sauna, enhanced relaxation and therapeutic effect, and a more comfortable sauna session. Not to mention, saving you lots of money!

 

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Red Cedar Wood for a Sauna Build

red cedar for a sauna build

Red cedar is an excellent choice of wood for building a home sauna. The timber is strong, doesn’t shrink or warp when exposed to sauna heat, and has outstanding heat distribution properties – meaning it doesn’t get too hot to touch. Its pleasant aroma and attractive reddish color help make it a very popular choice for a sauna build.

Red cedar, and especially western red cedar, is the most popular choice of wood for a sauna build. It has many qualities that make it the first choice of timber for home sauna cabins in North America.

 

Is Red Cedar Wood A Good Choice For Building A Sauna?

legs in a western redcedar sauna

Yes, red cedar is an excellent choice for building a sauna. It is the most popular type of wood in North America for both traditional and infrared saunas. Here’s why…

Strong & Light Weight

Red cedar is a lightweight and strong wood. Properly maintained it will last for decades. Native Americans treasured it for its strength and durability and used it for most of their construction needs. 

With a bending strength of 7,500 psi, cedarwood saunas are built to last. It is easy to work with and will provide solid structural strength for your cabin. 

Timber Stability

Red cedar timber has excellent shrinkage and warp resistance when exposed to heat. This makes it an ideal choice for use in a sauna. It holds its shape and integrity. 

The timber boasts better shrinking and swelling resistance compared to other types of wood. And it is resistant to fluctuations in moisture content – a great quality for a wood being used in a sauna.

Thermal Insulation

It is an excellent thermal insulator. This means it will help keep the heat inside your sauna and prevent it from escaping. 

Good insulation means your sauna will heat up more quickly and retain the heat for longer. Red cedar is the best thermal insulator among the commercially available softwoods and even outperforms concrete, brick, and steel.

Excellent Heat Distribution 

It has excellent heat distribution. This means it won’t get too hot when the sauna heats up. Red cedar won’t overheat, it will be comfortable to touch and sit on at all times.

Great To Work With

Redcedar timber is a great wood to work with. It contains no resin and is naturally straight-grained. It’s easy to work with using both hand and machine tools, and it glues and finishes well.

Microbe & Moisture Resistance

Red cedar is microbe and moisture resistant. It contains natural compounds that are toxic to fungi, bacteria, and termites. It is renowned for its high decay-resistance and is classed in the highest category of decay resistance for any softwood.

Appearance & Aroma

Cedar has an attractive reddish-brown, rich tone. This warm color is aesthetically pleasing and ideal for sauna construction.

Cedar is also noted for its pleasant aroma. It has a very distinctive scent that’s popular amongst sauna and furniture makers. To protect its natural aroma it should be left untreated.

is red cedar good for sauna benches?

Is It Good For Sauna Benches?

Yes, it is an excellent choice for sauna benches. Due to its thermal properties and low-density profile, it does not become too hot when the sauna heats up. This means it’s comfortable to touch and sit on.

Where Does Red Cedar Come From?

Red cedar is a tree native to North America. Although there are two types, western and eastern red cedar, western red cedar is the type used for a sauna. They are completely different species and should not be confused. 

The western red cedar tree comes from western North America, especially British Columbia and the surrounding areas. It is a large, slow-growing, softwood tree. It can also be found in western Europe and Australia.

Eastern red cedar is a species of juniper and is found in eastern North America stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a dense, slow-growing coniferous evergreen tree and no relation to the western redcedar.

What Does It Look Like?

The heartwood of western cedar timber has a warm reddish-brown color, while the narrow sapwood has a pale yellow and sometimes white tone. 

It is an evergreen coniferous tree that grows up to 70 meters tall and has a trunk diameter of 7 meters. It’s a big tree!

Its foliage is green with faint white bands on the underside. The cones are slender and quite short, growing to just 0.7 inches in length. The tree has a life expectancy of over 1,000 years.

 

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Red Cedar Physical Properties

Appearance  

Cedar has a crisp reddish-brown color which can sometimes have streaks of darker red. Narrow sapwood cedar is pale yellow and almost white. Its appearance works well for many different styles of furniture and décor.

Texture 

Cedar is an evergreen coniferous tree with a straight grain and a uniform medium to fine-grain texture. This makes it a good timber for working with – easy to cut and saw with common tools.  Red cedar wood for a sauna build is a good choice given its texture.

Density 

Cedar is a lightweight softwood. It is one of the lightest commercially available softwoods in North America. It has a density of 21 pounds per cubic foot when oven-dried. And it has a specific gravity, (also known as relative density), of 0.32. Its low density makes it an excellent insulator.

Durability 

Maintained correctly, western redcedar will last for decades. It has long been a highly valued construction timber by Native Americans. It is prized for long-lasting build qualities and is a popular choice for construction needs. Red cedar has a crushing strength of 4,560 lbf/in2 and a Janka hardness rating of 350 lbf (1,560 N).

Stability 

Red cedar has excellent stability qualities. It displays very low shrinkage values and outperforms all other coniferous timbers in resistance to warping and twisting. It is resistant to moisture and therefore suffers virtually no change to its original dimensions, making it a great choice for dimensional stability.

Workability

Western red cedar is a great timber to work with. It is a straight-grained wood that contains no resins and is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. The timber dents and scratches easily due to its soft nature, so care should be taken to avoid handling errors.

Odor

Red cedar has a pleasant and distinctive aroma. Many people choose redcedar for a sauna build because of its unique scent. Sealing should be avoided if you intend to keep its odor. And sealing should always be avoided for a sauna build to prevent the release of volatile gases when the heat builds up.

Flame Safety

Red cedar flame safety and flame spread ratings compare well against other similar softwoods. This makes it a popular choice for interior finishing and general building applications. And its good fire prevention score is a very favorable quality for sauna construction.

Microbe & Insect Resistance 

Red cedar has a natural resistance to microbes and insects such as fungi, bacteria, and termites, It produces chemicals that are toxic to these organisms and protects the timber from them. This protects the wood making it more durable and increasing lifespan.

Red Cedar Wood for a Sauna Build?  Yes, great choice!

 

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What Is Sauna Chromotherapy?

pink graphic of sauna chromotherapy

Sauna chromotherapy is the use of colored light to enhance the therapeutic effect of a sauna. Each color has a unique benefit and healing impact on the body and mind. Also known as color therapy – it is a popular way of complementing the benefits of sauna, improving over-all health, and boosting mood.

Guide to Sauna Chromotherapy

Sauna chromotherapy is the practice of adding different colors of light inside a sauna to boost health and restore harmony. Each color is believed to trigger a specific response and encourage certain health benefits.

Chromotherapy uses different colors to treat different conditions – physical and mental. This means you can change the color of light in the sauna to match the type of therapeutic effect you need.

Every color of light has a unique frequency, vibration, and electromagnetic energy that triggers a specific response in the body. This means each color has a role to play in healing the body and calming the mind.

The key to chromotherapy is understanding the effect of each individual color and knowing when to use them.

Chromotherapy Color Guide

sauna chromotherapy colors

The seven primary colors used in sauna chromotherapy are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. When these seven colors are combined they create natural white light. Each one has its own unique vibrations, frequency, and electromagnetic energy.

The colors used in chromotherapy are closely aligned to the seven colors of the chakras in ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic is the world’s oldest holistic medicine and originated in India over 3,000 years ago.

Chakras are believed to be centers of energy in our bodies and each one has its own color. Advocates of color therapy believe colored light stimulates our chakras and restores balance between mind and body. 

red light chromotherapy

Red Light – Energising

Red light is invigorating and used to stimulate blood flow. It is associated with the root chakra at the base of the spine. It is believed red light promotes good health in the kidneys, spine, bladder, and endocrine gland.

orange light chromotherapy

Orange Light – Fertility

Orange light is believed to promote reproduction, kidney, and adrenal gland health. It is associated with the sacral chakra which is located in the lower abdomen. It is used in color therapy to treat the testes and ovary endocrine glands.

yellow light chromotherapy

Yellow Light – Lymphatic System

Yellow light nurtures empowerment and well-being. It is used to stimulate the lymphatic system. Yellow is the color of the solar plexus chakra located between the navel and sternum. This light is used to treat the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and digestive system.

green light chromotherapy

Green Light – Cleansing

Green light is used to purify and cleanse the body. It is the color of the heart chakra – located in our chest. It is a powerful healing color and is used to treat the heart, lungs, nervous system, and immune system. It is related to the thymus gland and can help boost mental focus and compassion for others

Blue Light – Calming

Blue light can cool the body, calm the mind, and alleviate inflammation. It is associated with the throat chakra and is used to stimulate the thyroid gland. It is the color of choice for treating the throat, ears, hands, and mouth.

indigo light chromotherapy

Indigo Light – Clarity & Self-Esteem

Indigo light is used to promote improved sleep, clarity, self-esteem, and intuition. It is associated with the third eye chakra, also known as the brow chakra. It is located in the middle of the forehead, just above the eyebrows. Indigo is used in chromotherapy to stimulate the pituitary and pineal glands.

violet light chromotherapy

Violet Light – Central Nervous System

Violet light stimulates the central nervous system. It is linked to the crown chakra located on the top of the head. Violet is the color for promoting clarity, spirituality, dreams, and sleep cycles. It stimulates the pituitary gland and brain.

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How Does Color Therapy Work?

smiling happy lady

So, how does sauna chromotherapy work? The treatment uses colored light to help trigger biochemical processes in the brain while you sit in the sauna. Each color has a unique vibration and wavelength that enhances mood and boosts health in a specific way. 

It is believed the colored light triggers a biochemical process in our brains as we visualize the color. This in turn stimulates the release of hormones that have a calming and healing effect on the mind and body.

Sauna chromotherapy uses a wide range of colors – but the most popular are – Blue for its calming and anti-inflammatory effect, Green for cleansing and purifying, Yellow for boosting the lymphatic system, and Red for stimulating and boosting energy levels.

Does It Really Work?

Chromotherapy has been used for thousands of years and dates right back to the ancient Egyptian civilization. It plays a key role in both traditional Chinese medicine and Indian holistic ayurvedic healing.

But there has been very little research done on it by Western medicine. In fact, some researchers have been met with resistance when proposing to design a study of its effects.

Advocates of chromotherapy swear by its healing effects, while others will highlight there is no scientific data to back up these claims. The truth is, there has been very little scientific research done in the area. 

What To Expect When You Use Sauna Chromotherapy?

legs in a sauna

The only difference will be the introduction of colored light. So, you can expect the sauna to be flooded with colored light of your choosing. 

Chromotherapy involves the introduction of colored light in the sauna and this will be the only difference compared to a regular sauna session. The colored light will not affect the sauna in any other way. 

Your body will heat up in the same way as it would in a regular sauna and you can expect all the regular health and relaxation benefits of a normal sauna session – complemented by the chromotherapy.

The History of Color Therapy 

pink color banner

Color therapy has a rich history and has been used for thousands of years dating back to the ancient Egyptian civilization. Its healing powers feature prominently in traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda holistic healing.

Historical records show that color therapy was popular amongst the ancient Egyptians. Color played a central role in their society – the floors of their temples were green to represent fertile land and the ceilings often blue to represent the clear skies.

In more recent times it has become understood that people can suffer a condition known as Seasonal Effective Disorder if deprived of regular sunlight. Light therapy is now a recommended approach to help relieve the symptoms of SAD.

Another interesting use of color is in buildings such as hospitals, offices, and locker rooms in stadiums. Colors are being carefully chosen in many environments affect the mood of people inside rooms and buildings. 

For example, home teams often paint the walls of their locker room red to boost energy levels and excitement. And a shade of pink called Baker-Miller Pink is used to paint prison walls as it has been observed to reduce hostility among the prisoners.

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chromotherapy faq

What Are the Benefits of Sauna Chromotherapy?

Sauna chromotherapy comes with a wide range of health benefits – both physical and mental. The results of the chromotherapy session will depend on the color of light you choose to use. Each color comes with its own specific benefits. 

Among the most popular benefits of sauna chromotherapy are – relief from stress and anxiety, boosting energy levels, detox the body, stimulate blood flow, improve sleep and mental focus, and treat specific areas of the body such as the central nervous system, digestive system, and immune system.

What Colors Does It Use?

The colors used for sauna chromotherapy are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. These are the seven primary colors that when combined form natural white light. 

They are also the colors of the seven chakras – your spiritual energy cores. See the color guide above to learn when each color should be used and the health benefits it can stimulate.

How Do You Do Sauna Chromotherapy?

The only difference between a regular sauna and a sauna with chromotherapy is the addition of colored light. So, you don’t have to do anything different at all. 

Just sit inside the chromotherapy sauna the same as you would in a regular sauna. Lie back, relax, and let your body absorb the colored light and sauna heat.

What Are the Benefits of Combining Chromotherapy with Infrared Sauna?

Combining chromotherapy with infrared sauna will complement the healing and relaxation effects of your time spent in the sauna. By carefully choosing the color of light for your chromotherapy session you can tailor the benefits to your needs. 

Some of the most popular light colors for sauna chromotherapy are blue for its calming effects, red light for stimulation and your energy levels, green light for system detox, and yellow light for your lymphatic system.

What is Chromotherapy Used to Treat?

Chromotherapy is used to treat a wide range of physical and mental conditions. By carefully choosing the right color of light you can tailor the chromotherapy session to your needs. Each color light treats a number of specific conditions.

Chromotherapy can be used to boost health, calm the mind, and treat many conditions, including – boost energy levels, stimulate blood flow, stimulate the lymphatic system, system detox, calm the mind, relieve anxiety and stress, improve sleep, boost mental focus, and to treat the kidneys, spine, bladder, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, digestive system, heart, lungs, nervous system, immune system, and central nervous system. See above for a full guide to the colors needed to target specific treatments and ailments.

What Are Chromotherapy Lights?

Chromotherapy lights are a special type of light that emits a specific color for use in color light therapy. The most popular colored lights used in chromotherapy are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each color is believed to have its own set of healing and treatment benefits.

What is a Chromotherapy Bath?

A chromotherapy bath is a bath that uses colored lights for color therapy effect. They use underwater LED lights to create a constant light color or to generate a continually changing color sequence. They are popular among people who like to relax while bathing.

What’s the Difference Between Chromotherapy & Red Light Therapy?

Chromotherapy is the use of regular colored light for therapeutic effect. Red light therapy uses red or near-infrared light to gently heat the body. 

The key difference is that red light therapy is heating the body for therapeutic effect. It uses very low levels of heat and doesn’t hurt or burn the skin. It is used to help heal damaged skin and muscle tissue.

Is There Any Evidence Chromotherapy Works?

Chromotherapy has been used for thousands of years and dates right back to the ancient Egyptian civilization. Advocates of chromotherapy swear by its healing powers and it plays a key role in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine.

There has been very little scientific research done to investigate its effects, so there is little to no data available to back up these claims.

Does Chromotherapy Work for Weight Loss?

There is no evidence to show that chromotherapy can be used to help with weight loss. While there may be a lot of anecdotal stories linking color therapy to weight loss – there is no concrete scientific evidence to back up these claims. 

Does Chromotherapy Improve Sleep?

Indigo and violet light are used in chromotherapy to improve sleep quality and sleep cycles. Indigo light is associated with the third eye chakra and is believed to stimulate the pituitary and pineal glands. Violet light is used to stimulate the central nervous system and is associated with the crown chakra.

Does Chromotherapy Work for Depression?

Chromotherapy enthusiasts use blue light to calm the mind and red light to boost energy levels. It is also believed that indigo light can improve sleep and clarity of thought. On the other hand, there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims that chromotherapy can treat depression.

Are There Online Chromotherapy Courses?

Yes, the internet is awash with online chromotherapy and color therapy courses. You can take your pick from professional chromotherapy courses, diplomas in color therapy, and introductory courses. A quick google search should return many potential online courses.

 

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Is Sauna Good for a Hangover?

lady entering a sauna with a hangover

While many people swear a sauna is good for a hangover, the medical advice is – it’s not a good idea. A good sauna session will detox the body, increase heart rate, and boost the immune system. But it could also trigger some serious complications when hungover.  Therefore, it’s best to avoid one if you’re hungover. 

Can You Sweat Out a Hangover in a Sauna?

Sauna fans around the world have been using sauna to ease their hangovers for years. They claim a sauna will help you sweat out the worst of the effects, relax the body, and boost the immune system.

Can sauna cure a hangover?  While the health benefits of sauna are well documented, is not considered a good idea to sauna when you are hungover.

The intense heat of a sauna places stress on the body – and this can cause problems when the body is already trying to cope with the effects of a hangover. Hydration levels, blood pressure, and heart rate can be negatively affected.

Is It Safe to Sauna While Hungover?

man and woman in a sauna

The professional medical advice is to avoid sauna if you are hungover. Your body is already under stress trying to cope with the ill effects of the hangover and you shouldn’t stress it further by jumping into a sauna.

Although a sauna may ease some of the symptoms of a hangover there are also several health concerns. Some of these concerns are potentially dangerous and therefore the professional medical consensus is to avoid sauna when hungover.

What Can Go Wrong?

 

Cardiac Arrhythmia

The toxins present in your body during a hangover can affect the way the heart works. They can disrupt the normal rhythm the heart should beat at.

A cardiac arrhythmia occurs when there is a problem with the electrical signals controlling the heart. When you couple this with the heat of a sauna it increases the strain on the cardiovascular system. Anyone with experience of cardiac arrhythmia should avoid the sauna when hungover.

Blood Pressure

A good sauna heat session will stimulate the heart to work harder and increase blood flow throughout the body. This can cause a rise in blood pressure. An increase in blood pressure is best avoided if you are suffering a hangover.

Dehydration

Alcohol dehydrates the body. And spending time in a sauna will dehydrate you further. When you put the two of these together you could really suffer some serious dehydration. You should only sauna when you are properly hydrated.

Fainting

Fainting is a real risk if you take a sauna when you are hungover. Changes in blood pressure, dehydration, cardiac arrhythmia, and intense heat can all combine to increase your chances of fainting.

Minor Accidents

The chances of having a minor accident in a sauna increase when you are hungover. Research from Finland has shown that accidents such as sprains, burns, head contusions, and heat stroke occur more frequently when alcohol has been consumed.

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What is a Hangover?

Let’s take a look at what a hangover is and how it affects the body. What exactly happens to us during a hangover?

A hangover is a range of unpleasant symptoms that develop when someone consumes too much alcohol. They begin to kick in when the blood alcohol levels begin to drop significantly.

They usually arrive in the morning, an unwelcome visitor, following a night of alcohol consumption. Although they can be a very unpleasant experience they typically fade away in about 24 hours.

Symptoms of a Hangover

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Poor Sleep
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Poor Concentration
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability

What Causes a Hangover?

Hangovers are caused as a direct result of drinking too much alcohol. The amount of alcohol needed to trigger a hangover varies greatly from one person to the next.

A hangover is caused when any of the following takes place as a result of drinking alcohol – dehydration, immune response and inflammation, irritation of the stomach lining, lowered blood sugar levels, disrupted sleep, dilated blood vessels, and heart arrhythmia.

girl drinking water

Dehydration

Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body as it increases urine production. This triggers thirst, dizziness, and fatigue. You should never sauna when you’re dehydrated.

Inflammation

Alcohol stimulates an immune response that causes inflammation in the body. This leads to an inability to concentrate, memory problems, and a decreased appetite.

Stomach Lining

The production of stomach acid increases when alcohol is consumed. This can cause nausea, stomach pains, and even vomiting.

Blood Sugar Levels

Alcohol consumption can lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels. This can lead to fatigue, weakness, and irritability.

Disrupted Sleep

Sleep patterns and quality of sleep are affected by alcohol. It severely limits your ability to get deep restful sleep. This can cause fatigue and difficulty concentrating.

Dilated Blood Vessels

Alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand. One of the common side effects of this is the all too familiar hangover headache.

Heart Arrhythmia

Alcohol and hangovers can lead to cardiac arrhythmia. This is a problem with heart rhythm and happens when the electrical impulses to the heart don’t work properly. Taking a sauna when hungover can further complicate this symptom.

Why Is It So Popular?


inside an infrared sauna

Okay, now that we know taking a sauna is a good idea when hungover – let’s look at why so many people say it is a great way to cure a hangover.

Detox

Sauna is a great way to detox the body. As you begin to heat up and sweat, the body flushes out toxins. This may help rid the body of toxins that have accumulated as a result of the hangover.

Relaxation & Stress Relief

A hangover can be s stressful experience. Not only do you feel terrible but it can trigger anxiety and depression in some. Sauna is a great way to relax the body and calm the mind.

Improved Sleep

Not only does a sauna session relax the mind and body – it can lead to a better night’s sleep. Disrupted sleep is a common complaint of hangover sufferers.

Headache Relief

A relaxing sauna session can help relieve headaches. Research from New Zealand has shown that headache intensity can be reduced with regular sauna therapy.

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Popular Hangover Cures

Okay, so you’ve decided to give the sauna a skip. So, what else can you try to get some relief from your nightmare hangover? Here are some of the most popular hangover remedies…

Comfort Food

Most of us reach for some comfort food when feeling under the weather – and this is no different for a hangover. Many like to try a greasy breakfast or maybe something sweet. But replacing lost salt and sugars can help.

Fizzy Drinks 

Fizzy drinks like Gatorade can help quench the thirst and get the blood sugar levels back up again. A few sips can have you feeling better and but some bounce back in your step.

Painkillers

Aspirin and paracetamol are popular choices for those feeling a bit rough after a night of heavy drinking.

Prairie Oyster

This one is not for the faint-hearted. The prairie oyster is a cocktail of tomato juice, tabasco sauce, worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, and a raw egg.

FAQs

Can You Go in a Sauna after Drinking Alcohol?

You should avoid a sauna if you have recently drunk alcohol, are drinking alcohol, or are suffering a hangover from alcohol. The combination of the heat from the sauna and the effects of alcohol on the body can cause serious health complications.

How Does Infrared Sauna Affect a Hangover?

An infrared sauna will affect a hangover and your body in the same way as a traditional sauna. It will heat the body, raise core body temperature and trigger a range of physiological events including sweating and increased heart rate. An infrared sauna should be avoided if you are hungover.

Can I Sweat out a Hangover?

No, a sauna should be avoided during a hangover. It will place unnecessary strain on the body while it is already trying to cope with the ill effects of a hangover. You should avoid the sauna until you have fully recovered from your hangover. Sauna is not advised for alcohol detox.

How Can I Avoid a Hangover?

The medical advice on this one is to avoid alcohol completely. That’s the best way to avoid a hangover. However, if you are determined to have a drink – make sure you eat something beforehand and limit your drinks to what you know you can handle.

What About Sauna Post Hangover?

Sauna post hangover is fine. Once you have recovered from your hangover you can return to your sauna routine as normal. Most hangovers pass in 24 hours.

 

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What is a Sauna Hat?

sauna hat protects head when in a sauna

A sauna hat is a type of hat worn in a sauna to protect your head from intense heat. It keeps the head cool and allows you to remain in the sauna longer. Longer sessions mean increased sweating, greater health benefits, and deeper heat penetration into the body.

Yes, they might look a little bit silly but sauna hats really do have a purpose. They are used to shield the head and prevent it from over-heating. This allows you to remain inside the sauna for longer.

Why Wear a Sauna Hat?

When you’re inside a sauna, your head is the part of the body that begins to heat up fastest. If your head begins to overheat you will begin to feel unwell. It can cause feelings of nausea and dizziness.

So, why wear a hat in a sauna? Because it will protect your head, prevent it from overheating and allow you to stay in the sauna for longer. If you have experienced nausea and dizziness in the sauna before – a sauna hat might just be for you!

Another benefit of a sauna hat is that it protects the hair. This is of particular interest to people with long or delicate hair. The intense heat of a sauna can dry-out and damage hair. Wearing a sauna hat will add a layer of protection to your crowning glory.

how does it work?

How Does a Sauna Hat Work?

A sauna hat works by providing a protective insulating layer between your head and the heat of a sauna. It creates a physical barrier that slows down the heating process and keeps your head cool.

Most sauna hats are made from a material called felt. Felt is a natural insulator, made from wool, that works by trapping small pockets of air. This slows down the transfer of heat from the sauna to your head.

Think of it like wearing a winter coat on a cold January morning. The sauna hat works in a similar way. But instead of keeping cold air out like a coat, it is keeping hot air out in a sauna. They work equally well in infrared saunas and traditional saunas.

Some people like to soak them in water before entering the sauna for better cooling. See below –

Soaking In Water

glass of cold water

A sauna hat can be soaked in water to increase its cooling effect. As the water evaporates from the hat it creates a cooling action on the head. This is known as evaporative cooling.

It is the same process the body uses during sweating to cool itself down and maintain body temperature. Soaking sauna hats in water is a popular custom in many parts of Finland to prolong the sauna session.

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But It Looks A Bit Funny

Yes, they do look a bit funny and may not be to everyone’s taste. But it is definitely a case of function over style. Sauna hats are designed to block out heat and protect the head – not as a fashion accessory. And they do a great job.

Fashion tip – don’t wear one when you are popping out for a coffee or calling over to a friend’s house. You will get some funny looks. Keep it for use in the sauna. Unless you’re going to a fancy dress party. Then it takes on a whole new lease of life outside your infrared sauna.

Keeping It Clean!

Let’s face it, your sauna hat is going to be put through its paces. From the very first day you wear it, it is going to be soaking up large amounts of sweat. So, you need to make sure you keep the thing clean.

Cleaning is easy. While each hat is different and you should check individual washing requirements – here are some general rules of thumb. As felt is made from wool the best approach is to hand wash.

Give it a quick rinse out in the sink with lukewarm water. You can use some hand soap or gentle detergent. Then rinse out the suds and wring to remove most of the moisture.

When done, make sure you shape it back into its original shape before drying. Wool is a delicate material and can lose shape if not treated properly. Always handle with care.

Secret Storage Compartment

One of the great things about a sauna hat is the unusual cone shape it has at the top. This makes it ideal for hiding small items. No one needs to know what’s under there. You can pop in your locker key, aromatic oils, or even a small beer. It’s like a secret sauna pocket.

 

Do Sauna Hats Increase Sweating?

lady entering a sauna

Sauna hats protect the head and prevent it from overheating allowing you to stay in the sauna for longer. And when you spend a longer period of time in a sauna you will sweat more. So, yes – you will increase your overall level of sweating by wearing a sauna hat.

The sauna hat will protect your head and make you feel more comfortable. This will reduce the level of sweat coming from your head, but because you will spend a longer period inside the sauna your overall sweat levels will increase.

Which Is Better – Wool or Felt?

The best type of sauna hat is a felt hat. Felt is made from wool that is pressed and rolled. The fibers compress and mat together to create a smooth surface and durable material.

Felt is an excellent insulator and provides amazing protection from the stifling heat of a sauna. A woolen hat is a good option. Wool is a natural fiber that comes from the fleece of an animal. But felt is your best option as it provides a better level of protection.

What Is a Traditional Finnish Sauna Hat?

A traditional Finnish sauna hat is made from wool or felt. It sits comfortably on the top of the head and helps keep it cool. The head tends to heat up more quickly than the rest of the body.

A traditional Finnish sauna hat will help you stay in the sauna for longer. If the head becomes too hot, too quickly you can begin to feel light-headed and unwell. Traditional sauna hats have also been popular in Russia and throughout the Baltic region for many years where they’re known as banya hats.

woman with long blonde hair in a sauna

Will a Sauna Hat Keep Your Hair Dry?

The heat inside a traditional or infrared sauna is dry. Therefore there will be no moisture to wet your hair. Steam rooms on the other hand are high humidity environments.

If using a sauna hat in a steam room it will help protect your hair from the moisture of the steam but will not protect it from sweat.

Whether you are in a dry sauna, infrared sauna, or steam room – you are going to sweat from your head.

This sweat will inevitably come into contact with your hair. However, if you wear a sauna hat – you will generate less head sweat and therefore less sweat will wet your hair.

What Is the Best Sauna Hat?

The best sauna hats are made from 100% natural wool felt. They should fit your head comfortably and provide excellent protection for sauna heat.

The best sauna hats will allow you to get the best out of your sauna session. You will enjoy longer sessions, increased sweating across the body, and increased health and relaxation benefits.

What Is a Viking Sauna Hat?

A Viking sauna hat is a sauna hat that has two big horns on either side. It is a novelty feature for a bit of fun. The shape of the hat looks like a helmet a Viking would wear into battle. But you can wear it into a sauna – and feel fearsome!

How to Make a Sauna Hat

If you’re feeling a bit creative and know your way around a sewing machine – you can make your own sauna hat. You’re going to need a sewing machine, some woolen felt material, a steady hand, and nerves of steel.

There are some great tutorial videos available online that take you through the process. So, if you fancy a personalized home-made sauna hat why not give it a go.

 

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Basswood For Sauna Build

basswood for a sauna build

Basswood is an excellent choice of wood for building a sauna. It is affordable, has a beautiful appearance, is heat resistant, and has a very soft grain giving it a gentle, smooth touch. It is also hypoallergenic – which means it is great for people with sensitive skin.

When choosing a type of wood for building a sauna you will need a timber that doesn’t overheat, stands the test of time, looks great, and is soft to touch. Many hardwoods will overheat in a sauna so these must be avoided.

You’ll also need a wood that will stand the test of time and won’t warp or bend when exposed to sauna temperatures. Basswood can absorb the intense heat of a sauna without suffering any deterioration in shape or strength.

Is Basswood A Good Choice For Building A Sauna?

legs in a basswood sauna

Yes, basswood is an excellent choice for building a sauna. It is a suitable wood for both infrared saunas and traditional saunas. Several qualities make basswood an ideal wood for use, see below.

Excellent Heat Distribution

Basswood is a soft hardwood and does not overheat when exposed to the high temperatures of a sauna for prolonged periods. It performs well in heat absorption without becoming too hot to touch. Hardwoods like oak and teak tend to overheat in saunas making them an unsuitable choice.

Great For Sensitive Skin

For people with sensitive skin, basswood is the best wood for sauna construction. Its hypoallergenic qualities mean it won’t irritate your skin and it has a gentle texture giving it a gentle touch. Basswood for a sauna build is great for people who are sensitive to allergic reactions.

Light Color & Gentle Texture

Basswood lumber has a beautiful light color making it an ideal option for sauna construction. Its vibrant bright color is complemented by the fact that it contains very few grains. It has a very clean and uniform appearance throughout the timber.

Fragrance-Free

Basswood does not have a fragrance. This makes it the preferred wood choice for many. It does not emit any scent or toxins. The heat of a traditional or infrared sauna can lead to other woods emitting strong fragrances.

Affordability

It is a great choice commercially as it is a more affordable wood compared to the alternatives. Its low cost will help you keep your construction costs down. It is one of the cheapest sauna woods available.  Basswood for a sauna build will save you money.

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smiling happy lady

Basswood vs Cedar

Cedar is also a very popular choice of wood for building saunas. Structurally they are very similar woods. The main difference between the two are fragrance and appearance.

Basswood is fragrance-free while cedar emits a fragrance – especially when heated. Many people prefer the fragrance free sauna while some like the scent of cedar.

They also differ in appearance. Basswood has a light, bright appearance and the color is uniform with very little grain. Cedar has a noticeable light honey color and contains bands of a red like hue.

What Kind of Wood Is Used For Sauna Benches?

Basswood is a good choice of wood for sauna benches. Its ability to absorb heat without becoming too hot to touch makes it a suitable type of wood for sauna benches. Other popular woods used in sauna construction are hemlock, spruce, and pine wood. 

Where does Basswood Come From?

Basswood is a tree from the Malvaceae tree family. The tree is commonly found across North America in southern, south-eastern states of the United States and across many parts of Mexico. There are three commercially available types – Carolina, American, and White basswood. 

What Does It Look Like?

It is a deciduous tree that can reach a height of 37m. It has a grayish-brown bark, reddish-green twigs, and deep large roots. Its leaves are green, asymmetrical, and ovate. It has a life expectancy of 200 years. 

Basswood Physical Properties

Strength

The MOR strength of basswood is 8,700 psi and it has a stiffness score of 1.46 million psi. This is in the expected range of a lightweight soft hardwood and makes it suitable for sauna construction. It has good resistance to bending and warping over time.

Density Rating

It has a density rating of approximately 25 pounds per cubic foot. A planed piece of 3/4-inch thick basswood at 7% moisture content will weigh less than 1.5 pounds per board foot.

Drying

Basswood is a rapidly drying wood and low risk for defects. Shrinkage of 7% is expected during drying. The wood must be properly dried before being used to build a sauna – or it could develop staining.

Color & Texture

Basswood has a light and bright creamy color giving it a fresh and vibrant appearance. It has a very fine texture and an indistinct grain. Basswood for a sauna build is a popular choice for its aesthetic appeal.

Handling

Basswood is a very forgiving timber making it great to work with. It machines very well once it has been properly dried. And it glues well too – just make sure you apply pressure as soon as possible once the glue has been applied – to avoid a starved joint.

 

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Does Sauna Help Cure A Cold Or Flu?

treating a cold or flu with sauna

Sauna is great for relieving the symptoms of cold and flu – congestion, muscle aches, and fatigue. It boosts the immune system and makes us feel much better.  Does sauna help get rid of the cold and flu?  Maybe, it’s open to debate.

There is no doubt that sauna heat therapy provides much needed relief to those of us suffering the symptoms of colds and flu.  However, it is unclear if sauna can shorten the duration of these illnesses.

Many people claim saunas cure colds and flu by ‘sweating out the virus’.  While it is possible, the scientific evidence to back up the claims is thin on the ground.  It’s open to debate.

However, there is no doubt that sauna therapy relieves the nasty symptoms of colds and flu, boosts the immune system, makes us feel better, and improves overall health.

Can You Sweat Out the Cold & Flu in the Sauna?

A good sweat session in a sauna helps relieve the symptoms of a cold or flu.  As core body temperature rises the brain triggers the sweat glands to begin the sweating process.

This has a cooling effect on the body.  Water and waste products are flushed from the system creating a cleansing effect.  People feel an improvement in their symptoms and mood during this process.

Although sauna helps alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu – it is unlikely it will shorten the duration of the illness.  A cold or flu will run its course and most likely take the same length of time to recover from – regardless of sauna activity.

The internet is awash with claims that a sauna can ‘sweat out’ and cure a cold or flu.  However, there is no solid scientific evidence to support these claims.

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woman resting inside a sauna

How Sauna Relieves Symptoms

There are a number of ways sauna relieves the symptoms of cold and flu and makes us feel better.  Chief amongst these are – improved cardiovascular activity, boosting the immune system, weakening of the virus, system detoxification, and increased drainage due to the effects of sweating.

Increases Cardiovascular Activity
As body temperature rises cardiovascular activity is stimulated.  Heart rate increases and this results in an increase in blood flow throughout the body.

This means there is a greater supply of vital nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.  This oxygen and nutrient-rich blood helps the body heal, boosts the immune system and combats the infection.

System Detox
Sauna is an excellent way to detox the body and flush out harmful toxins.  This helps cleanse the system of harmful chemicals that have accumulated while it has been busy battling the infection.

So, although a sauna may not cure a common cold or flu, it will make you feel a whole lot better.  For more info on sauna detox – see here.

Improves Drainage
The New York Times has reported that sauna heat sessions improve drainage in people suffering from cold or flu.  This helps alleviate congestion and the debilitating symptoms of the illnesses.  A welcome relief when you are feeling under the weather.

Boosts Mood
There is a lot more to sauna than just the physical benefits.  A good sauna session is great for relaxation, boosting mood, and generally uplifting someone’s spirits.

This little pick-me-up is just what someone needs when feeling miserable with a cold or flu.  The improved mood felt after a sauna is thanks to increased levels of serotonin circulating through the brain.

How Sauna Fights Cold & Flu

Boosts Immune System
Sauna sessions, and particularly infrared sauna, boosts the immune system and increases white blood cell count.

Researchers from Poland discovered white blood cell and monocyte production was increased by regular infrared sauna sessions.

Weakens the Virus
Claims have been made that the intense heat inside a sauna weakens the viruses that cause colds and flu.  Traditional saunas run at temperatures of between 150-190°F and infrared saunas at 110-120°F.

It is believed these high temperatures weaken the virus and hamper its ability to replicate and cause damage.  The cold and flu viruses thrive at much lower temperatures in the region of 90°F.

what is a cold and flu

What Is A Cold?

The common cold is a viral infection that affects the nose and throat.  Although it is usually harmless it can make you feel miserable and typically lasts for between 7 to 10 days.

It is caused by several different viruses and symptoms will appear 1-3 days after the initial infection.  A cold usually begins with a sore throat and develops with symptoms of sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and congestion.

The common cold appears gradually, affects mostly the nose and throat, and will make you feel moderately unwell.  Most people will be able to carry on as normal.  It will not make you as sick as a flu.

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What Is A Flu?

Flu, short for influenza, is a highly infectious illness caused by a virus.  It causes a sudden spike in temperature, headache, weakness, and aches and pains.

Healthy people can expect to recover from a flu in 7 days.  But it can cause serious illness and even death in older people and people with underlying health conditions.

It is largely a seasonal illness – appearing most frequently in the winter months and early spring.  People carrying the virus spread it through coughing and sneezing.

Flu appears quickly and the symptoms set in, in just a few hours.  They are a more serious infection than a cold and affect more than just the throat and nose.

Symptoms of flu include sore throat, muscle aches, blocked or runny nose, cough, and sneezing.  A flu will really wipe you out and make it difficult to carry on as normal.

Does Sauna Help Get Rid Of The Cold And Flu

Can You Sauna With a Fever?

No, if you have a fever you should not take a sauna.  Doing so could endanger your health and place further stress on your body while it is busy fighting an infection.

A fever is a rise in body temperature and a sign that you have an infection. During this time your body is under strain.  You should rest and avoid taking a sauna.

Normal body temperature is approximately 98.6 F.  A fever occurs when your oral temperature rises above 100 F.  You should rest up and allow your body time to deal with the infection.

If you have a fever you should drink plenty of fluids to stay well hydrated and wear lightweight clothing. Contact a doctor if your condition deteriorates. And, do not take a sauna.

For more information on Sauna Safety – read here.

is sauna good for chest infections and sore throats

Is Sauna Good For a Chest Infection

A sauna can relieve the symptoms of a chest infection and help you feel more comfortable.  However, there is no evidence to suggest it will speed up your recovery.

A chest infection is an infection of the lungs and surrounding airways.  If your illness is mild to moderate a sauna might just help you feel better.  But remember, you should avoid sauna if you are running a fever.

Saunas can ease the symptoms of chest infections by improving drainage, boosting the immune system, increasing cardiovascular activity, and weakening the virus.

Chest infections commonly follow a cold or flu and the main symptoms include a chesty cough, chest pain, and a high temperature.  In most cases, you can expect to recover within 7 to 10 days.

Is Sauna Good for a Sore Throat

Sore throats are usually the sign of a viral infection.  Symptoms include throat pain, redness in the back of the mouth, and swollen neck glands.

Like with chest infections, colds, and flu there is no hard scientific evidence to say sauna will help you recover more quickly from a sore throat.  Most people will recover in seven days.

Some sore throats are caused by a bacterial infection.  This is known as ‘strep throat’.  Bacterial throat infections can take longer to recover from and make you feel sicker compared to a viral infection.

sauna heat versus a virus

Does Sauna Kill Viruses?

This is the big question.  It’s right up there with does sauna help get rid of the cold and flu?  And the answer is we simply have no concrete evidence to say it does.  The jury is out.

The World Health Organisation has said that most viruses die off at temperatures above 104 F.  An infrared sauna or traditional sauna will run at temperatures much higher than this.

But a viral infection resides inside the body.  And a sauna will not heat the body to 104 F – as this would be dangerous.  The cold and flu viruses thrive at temperatures just below normal body temperature.

The heat of a sauna is an abrasive and difficult environment for viruses.  While we cannot say with certainty that it will help kill the virus – it just might speed up your recovery.

Can You Sweat Out a Virus?

This question creeps up almost as mush as – Does Sauna Help Get Rid Of The Cold And Flu?

A good sweat session in the sauna will work wonders for your health.  It will improve cardiovascular activity, detoxify the body, cleanse the skin, stimulate the immune system, and relax the mind.

But can you sweat out a virus – it’s unlikely.  Cold and flu viruses reside deep inside the body and not close to the skin.  The sweat released by the body during a sauna is not going to flush out a viral infection.

While you may not ‘sweat out the virus’ – a sauna session will help you feel much better.  It will ease the symptoms of cold and flu and provide some much welcome relief.

In summary – does sauna help get rid of the cold and flu?  Maybe, but the answer is unclear.  Many people claim to have been cured of a cold or flu using sauna.  Clear scientific evidence to back up these claims is yet to emerge.

 

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How Much Water Should I Drink In A Sauna?

How Much Water Should I Drink In Sauna

You should drink three pints of water over the course of a sauna session.  The best way to stay hydrated is to begin drinking the water before the session begins, continue while in the sauna, and drink more water once you get out.

As a general rule sauna users should drink three pints of water over a sauna session.  The amount of water needed varies from person-to-person and is dependant on the amount of fluid lost due to sweating.

A number of factors influence how much you sweat while in a sauna.  These include the length of the session, the temperature of the sauna, and individual physiological characteristics – some people just sweat more than others.

The most important thing to remember is to avoid becoming dehydrated.  This happens when more fluids leave the body than enter it and even low levels of dehydration triggers headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion.

Should I Drink Water During Sauna?

Yes, it is important you stay hydrated during a sauna session.  This means you should be sipping water throughout the session to avoid becoming dehydrated.

As your core temperature rises your body will begin to sweat to try and cool down.  Fluids lost as sweat must be replaced to prevent you from becoming dehydrated.

Dehydration is the most common problem encountered by people using saunas.  The condition is particularly serious for young children and older adults.  So make sure you drink plenty of fluids to stay safely hydrated.

lady drinking water

What Should I Drink Before a Sauna?

You should drink at least one full glass of water before entering the sauna.  Consider this as part of the three pints you need to drink over the course of the session.

If you have just completed a workout you will need to drink more.  If you plan to enter the sauna after exercising you should drink up to 32 oz of water before you begin your session.

You must be well hydrated before entering the sauna so your body can safely generate sweat.  It is during the sweating process that your body experiences the greatest health benefits of a sauna session.

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When Should I Drink More?

The three-pint rule is a good guideline and will be the best amount for most people.  There are several factors that could mean you need to drink some extra water.

Sauna Temperature
Most traditional saunas run at temperatures of 150-190°F, while  infrared saunas run at between 110-120°F.  The hotter the sauna, the more you are going to sweat.

Therefore if the temperatures are at the higher end of these scales you need to drink more water.

Duration of Session
Longer sessions mean more sweating.  If you are spending long periods of time in the sauna you are going to have to drink more water.

Most sessions last somewhere between 10-30 minutes.  If you are closer to the 30-minute end, then you should get more fluids on board.

Biological Make-Up
Some people just sweat more than others.  If you are one of these people you will lose more fluids during a sauna session compared to the average person.

If  you are in this group – drink more water.  You can check your hydration levels by assessing the color of your urine – see below.

Hydration Levels Before Entering Sauna
Were you properly hydrated before you entered the sauna?  If you were not properly hydrated, to begin with, then you will need to take on some extra fluids.

inside a sauna woman's legs

Is Water The Best Drink For Rehydration?

Drinking water is the best and easiest way to rehydrate after a good sauna session.  It’s cheap, effective, contains zero calories, and gets to work quickly.

Other options include skimmed milk, rehydration solutions, fruit juice, and tea.  A recent study by St. Andrews University in Scotland found that skimmed milk and rehydration solutions are great alternatives.

When we sweat we lose nutrients as well as water.  In particular, we excrete high levels of sodium during a sauna session.

However, this sodium is easily replaced as part of a balanced diet and rarely requires any specialist rehydration solution.

Although fluids that contain nutrients such as sodium, sugar, and electrolytes can speed up the recovery process, water is the best option for replacing the fluid lost in a sauna. Just remember to drink water in sauna.

How Do You Hydrate After a Sauna?

Keep drinking fluids.  You shouldn’t stop drinking water when you step out of the sauna.  You need to continue taking on fluids to make sure you stay hydrated.

All fluids lost during a sweat session need to be replaced and this means you need to continue to hydrate after stepping out of the sauna.

In general, you should aim to drink a pint of water after your sauna session.  But if you continue to feel thirsty, or have generated a lot of sweat, you should keep hydrating until you feel fully recovered.

You should avoid alcohol before and after a sauna.  Alcohol is a diuretic – meaning it removes fluids from your body.

This can cause dehydration problems when combined with a sauna.  Other diuretic drinks include coffee and tea – and they should be avoided while trying to hydrate.

Check out our guide to the Health Benefits of Sauna – Click Here.

Staying Hydrated

The best way to stay hydrated is to drink water before you feel thirsty.  Once you begin to feel thirsty your body is already experiencing dehydration.  Even mild levels of dehydration cause tiredness and loss of energy.

Our bodies are made up of about 70% water and they need to stay well hydrated to survive.  Every cell in the body needs water to function as it is designed to do.

Dehydration happens when you don’t have enough water in your body for it to function properly.

A simple way to check if you are dehydrated is to look at the color of your urine.  If it is clear with no color in it you are fine.

A hint of yellow means you are a little dehydrated and should drink some water.  And, if it’s a darker shade of yellow you are more seriously dehydrated.

 

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