Infrared sauna comes with a range of incredible health benefits including – detoxification, pain relief, workout recovery, heart health, boosting mood, and treating many chronic illnesses. The health benefits of sauna have been enjoyed around the world for thousands of years.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF INFRARED SAUNA?
The therapeutic effects of elevating body temperature and working up a sweat are well established. And, saunas have been enjoyed around the world for thousands of years for their wide range of health benefits.
The great thing about an infrared sauna is it allows you to work up a sweat and enjoy all the health benefits without having to endure the oppressive heat of a traditional sauna.
This means you can enjoy longer sessions and benefit from a prolonged sweat session in a more comfortable environment, maximizing the health benefits of the sauna session.
HEALTH ADVANTAGES OF INFRARED SAUNA vs. TRADITIONAL SAUNA
An infrared sauna heats the body directly and does not heat the air around the body. This means the air temperature inside the sauna does not become excessively hot.
A traditional sauna heats the air inside the sauna to very high levels. Many people find this uncomfortable and often experience difficulty breathing. An infrared sauna uses infrared light energy to very gently heat the body.
Infrared light energy is safe and should not be confused with UV rays. Infrared saunas run at lower temperatures than traditional saunas. An infrared sauna typically operates between 100-150°F, while a traditional sauna will run up to 200°F.
This means you can achieve the same health benefits in a more comfortable environment and save on your energy bill.
HOW DOES INFRARED SAUNA BOOST HEALTH?
Infrared saunas are great for both the mind and the body. They have been used by our forefathers for thousands of years and are gaining popularity in recent years.
Below we take a look at the many health benefits of using an infrared sauna.
Detox is one of the greatest health benefits of an infrared sauna session. Saunas are great for flushing out toxins and cleansing the skin.
They quickly raise the core body temperature and generate a prolonged sweat.
The process of sweating is a great way to naturally detoxify the body. As the pores open and sweat droplets move across the skin barrier they take with them pollutants and toxins.
Lab analysis of this sweat shows the presence of industrial chemicals such as PCBs, BPAs, and dangerous heavy metal toxins.
Cleansing the body of these harmful toxins is one of the key health advantages of infrared sauna. For more on sauna detoxification, see here – infrared sauna and detox.
Skin cleansing is another popular health benefit of infrared sauna. Sweating is great for your skin and you will work up a great sweat in an infrared sauna.
Because they operate at lower temperatures than traditional saunas, you can stay in longer and increase the time spent sweating.
Once perspiration begins, the pores open and sweat droplets pass through the skin.
These droplets carry with them, not just water, but waste byproducts and toxins that have accumulated in the skin.
This flushing action cleanses the skin and rids it of harmful chemicals. The sweat droplets also protect the skin by forming an oily film that coats the surface and prevents it from drying out.
Infrared saunas are great for cardiovascular health. The heat session increases heart rate, stimulates the blood vessels, and increases blood flow throughout the body. Heart rate increases to levels matching moderate exercise.
The cardiovascular benefits have been studied and documented by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland.
Dr Tanjaniina Laukkanen found that sauna therapy resulted in a drop in blood pressure, a reduction of artery stiffness, and greater protection from heart disease.
They concluded that frequent sauna use helps protect against cardiovascular disease mortality. No wonder the people of Finland have been revelling in saunas for thousands of years.
Evidence shows that regular sauna sessions boost the immune system and increase white blood cell count – particularly in athletes who train and take regular physical exercise.
A study from the Academy of Physical Education in Cracow, Poland, investigated the effects of infrared sauna on the immune system. And, the results are pretty interesting.
They discovered positive indications that white blood cell and monocyte production was elevated in athletes that took part in the study.
Researchers concluded that “sauna bathing could be recommended for athletes as a means of enhancing immunological defense”.
RELAXATION & STRESS RELIEF
Anyone who has spent time in an infrared sauna will know just how relaxing and rejuvenating an experience they can be.
They are an excellent way to unwind after a long day and really help calm the mind.
Many people use them to relieve stress and anxiety. The calming effect of the heat gently moving through the body is a profound experience.
As the body temperature begins to rise and sweat begins to form, a deep relaxation descends across mind and body.
They help people ‘switch-off’ and forget their worries and promote a good nights sleep. Relaxation is one of the most popular infrared sauna health benefits. Infrared mats are a great option for stress relief.
BOOST MENTAL HEALTH
An infrared sauna just makes you feel much better! The warmth of the infrared light, the gentle heating of the body and the oasis of the sauna relax and calm the body and mind. You just feel so much better after a good sauna session – it’s a natural high!
Regular infrared sauna sessions really lift the mood. Research has shown short periods of elevated body temperature can act like a natural antidepressant.
A study performed by WebMD reports that infrared sauna treatment was successful in reducing feelings of depression in a sample group compared to a group that received a placebo treatment.
While it is clear further studies are needed before concrete claims can be made about treating depression – regular sauna users will testify infrared saunas are an excellent way of relaxing the mind and boosting the mood – an excellent health benefits of infrared sauna.
Using a sauna to relax at the end of the day is a great way to help deliver a good nights sleep. Many people use an infrared sauna to ensure they enjoy a deep and restful sleep later that night.
This is a natural way of encouraging the body to relax and calm the mind before lights out. During the session, the body heats up and the heart rate jumps to levels resembling moderate exercise.
And, when the session is complete the body naturally looks to rest and recover from the exertion of the sauna. This helps people drift off and enjoy a deep sleep throughout the night.
JOINT & MUSCLE PAIN RELIEF
Infrared saunas are a great source of natural pain relief. They offer an excellent alternative to pills for easing joint pain and relaxing muscle tightness.
The infrared light energy penetrates the skin and gently heats the body resulting in increased blood flow to the joints and muscle tissue.
This delivers increased levels of oxygen and nutrients to help restore and relieve fatigue and soreness.
This form of heat therapy helps the body heal itself naturally – without the need for pharmaceuticals.
Infrared saunas are a popular choice among people recovering from sports injuries, arthritis and other chronic pain conditions.
Research shows that sauna treatment can be a simple and effective way of treating chronic tension-type headache, (CTTH).
Researchers at the Wellington Pain & Headache Clinic at the Southern Cross Hospital in New Zealand found that headache intensity of CTTH patients was significantly reduced with using sauna treatment.
The study was carried out on a group of thirty-seven patients that were split into two groups.
It was found that the group that received sauna treatment over eight weeks had a reduction in subjective pain. The study was conducted using a traditional sauna.
It’s worth bearing in mind that we are at the early stages of understanding how sauna affects many health conditions, including headaches.
Anyone suffering an underlying health condition, such as headaches, should consult with a doctor before proceeding with infrared sauna therapy.
An infrared sauna is an excellent tool for speeding up recovery after a workout. As the body heats up, heart rate increases and blood vessels dilate.
This increases circulation throughout the body and speeds up the natural healing process.
Oxygen and nutrients are getting pumped through the body at a much higher rate – reducing recovery time. Muscle soreness and joint pain will be relieved more rapidly.
Speedy recovery means you have more time for training which can help you take your training regime to the next level. For more information on how sauna boosts your workout recovery, see – sauna & workout recovery.
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process and is triggered by infection or injury. Although it is part of the healing process it causes problems when it goes on for too long.
This results in inflammation – an uncomfortable and painful condition. Chronic inflammation is most commonly found in the joints and muscles. Infrared sauna helps relieve chronic inflammation and reduce pain.
It can also help reduce the immune response triggering the inflammation and increase the blood supply into the affected area. Treating inflammation is one of the most widely used infrared sauna health pros.
INFRARED SAUNA CAN TREAT MANY CONDITIONS
Infrared sauna is a powerful tool for the prevention and treatment of a number of chronic conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, lyme disease, arthritis, alzheimers, and parkinsons.
ECZEMA & PSORIASIS
Infrared sauna may provide some relief for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis but the full picture is not yet clear.
The data on how infrared sauna affects these skin conditions is still thin on the ground. However, there are reports that infrared treatment can provide relief to sufferers.
It is believed this may be due to the sweating process and a natural antibiotic that is found in sweat called dermcidin.
This natural antibiotic is released onto the skin during the sweating process and may ease the symptoms of skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis. The infrared light will not dry out your skin.
Instead, it gently penetrates the body and heats from the inside, triggering the sweating process and releasing the natural antibiotic on the surface of the skin. For more information, see – treating psoriasis and eczema with infrared sauna.
The treatment of lyme disease is another very promising infrared sauna health benefit. The condition is caused by a chronic bacterial infection that results in serious muscle pain, swelling, joint pain, and neurological symptoms.
It is believed that infrared sauna therapy can help treat the symptoms of Lyme disease by easing pain and flushing the system of toxins.
The increased heart rate and blood flow that occurs during an IR sauna session can reduce inflammation and pain by increasing the level of oxygen and nutrients reaching affected areas.
It is also believed that the sweating process helps flush out toxins that build up in the system as a result of the disease.
However, it is vital you consult with a doctor before engaging in infrared sauna therapy treatment for Lyme disease. For more information, see – Treating Lyme Disease with Infrared Sauna.
Arthritis is a swelling and tenderness in the joints that causes pain and stiffness.
The two main types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and they cause chronic pain in sufferers.
Infrared sauna therapy has been shown to reduce the levels of pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
A study by Dr Oosterveld at the Saxion University of Applied Sciences found that infrared sauna therapy resulted in significant short-term beneficial effects while no adverse effects were observed in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
On average, patients felt comfortable during the treatment and afterwards short term pain and stiffness relief were reported.
Relief from arthritis is a new and promising infrared sauna health advantage. For more information see – treating arthritis with infrared sauna.
ALZHEIMER’S & PARKINSON’S
Infrared light energy shows exciting promise for treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Recent research has found that when near-infrared light is applied at the early stages it can slow disease progression by protecting neurons from death.
Dr DM Johnstone of the Dept of Physiology at the University of Sydney has outlined in a paper how near-infrared therapy has the potential to develop into a safe and effective neuroprotective treatment for patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
This promising discovery is great news for patients of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. For more information on Dr Johnstone’s findings, click here.
A similar study from the University of Eastern Finland found that sauna bathing lowered the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in a group of middle-aged men.
The body will lose a substantial amount of water during a sauna session through sweat.
This will result in a short term weight loss, but this water should be quickly replaced to prevent dehydrating. But can infrared sauna help with long term weight loss?
There is no clear evidence to suggest this is the case. Whether heat therapy results in any significant weight loss is debatable at best.
Therefore, weight loss cannot be claimed to be one of the health pros of infrared sauna.
What about sauna for weight loss? If weight loss is your primary goal, an infrared sauna is probably not the best tool to help you achieve your goal. Changes to diet and exercise are better approach.
The health benefits of infrared sauna are wide-reaching and they are used across the world to treat many conditions.
They are an excellent addition to any home where their therapeutic effects can be availed of day or night.
THE BEST HOME SAUNA FOR YOU
Are you interested in discovering sauna and introducing its health benefits into your home? Check out our reviews of the best Sauna Blankets, Steam Saunas, and Infrared Tents. We will help you discover your dream sauna.