7 Benefits of Infrared Saunas

Editor

Infrared saunas are becoming more and more popular. Sauna studios are popping up in cities worldwide, promising many health benefits from weight loss to impurity detoxification. Infrared saunas use infrared radiation to heat the body instead of traditional steam or hot air. They emit infrared rays that penetrate the body’s tissues, creating a warming effect that can provide various health benefits. Unlike conventional saunas, which typically operate at high temperatures and humidity levels, infrared saunas use lower temperatures and produce a dry heat that many people find more comfortable. Infrared saunas are found in various settings, including spas and gyms, and can be purchased for your home.

Infrared radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is invisible to the human eye but can be felt as heat. This is because it has longer wavelengths than visible light, which allows it to penetrate deeper into the body’s tissues. Infrared radiation is naturally emitted by the sun and is present in everyday life, but it can also be produced artificially through infrared lamps or heaters. For example, infrared saunas use this type of radiation to heat the body directly.

Unlike traditional saunas, which primarily produce a heating effect on the skin’s surface, infrared saunas penetrate deeper into the body’s tissues, leading to greater relaxation, detoxification, pain relief, improved skin health, stress reduction, and improved cardiovascular health. Additionally, using an infrared sauna is often considered a safe and effective way to achieve these benefits without other therapies’ potential adverse side effects. By providing a natural and holistic way to improve overall health and well-being, infrared saunas have become an increasingly popular choice for those looking to improve their health in a non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical way.

 

How the body responds to infrared radiation 

Infrared saunas produce heat through infrared radiation emitted by infrared lamps or heaters inside the sauna. When infrared radiation comes into contact with the body, it is absorbed and causes its temperature to rise. This results in sweating and releasing toxins and impurities from the body. Infrared saunas typically operate at lower temperatures than traditional saunas but can still produce significant heat due to how infrared radiation works. The heat produced by infrared saunas is gentle, soothing warmth that penetrates deep into the body’s tissues and provides various health benefits.

History of infrared saunas

The use of infrared radiation for therapeutic purposes dates back to ancient times, but the first modern infrared sauna was developed in the 1960s by a Japanese doctor named Tadashi Ishikawa. These saunas were only available in medical settings but became more widely open to the general public. Today, infrared saunas are used for various purposes, including relaxation, pain relief, detoxification, and more. Their popularity continues growing as more people discover their unique benefits.

Types of Infrared Saunas 

Far-infrared saunas

Far-infrared saunas are infrared sauna that uses far-infrared radiation to heat the body. This type of radiation has longer wavelengths than other types of infrared radiation, which allows it to penetrate deeper into the body’s tissues. Far-infrared saunas typically operate at lower temperatures than traditional saunas but can still produce significant heat due to how far-infrared radiation works. Therefore, they are often preferred by those who find traditional saunas too hot or uncomfortable, and they are also considered more efficient at promoting detoxification and other health benefits.

Near-infrared saunas

Near-infrared saunas are infrared sauna that uses near-infrared radiation to heat the body. This type of radiation has shorter wavelengths than far-infrared radiation, which means it does not penetrate as deeply into the body’s tissues. Near-infrared saunas typically operate at higher temperatures than far-infrared saunas and can produce a more intense heating effect on the skin’s surface. Therefore, they are often preferred by those who want a more traditional sauna experience with the added benefits of infrared radiation. Near-infrared saunas are also popular in the medical community for their potential therapeutic uses, such as wound healing and pain relief. While they are less common than far-infrared saunas, they are found in some spas and wellness centers.

Full-spectrum saunas 

Full-spectrum saunas are infrared sauna that combines near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared radiation to heat the body. This type of sauna is sometimes called a “three-in-one” sauna because it provides the benefits of all three types of infrared radiation. Near-infrared radiation is believed to have therapeutic benefits for the skin and tissues, mid-infrared radiation is thought to help with pain relief and improved circulation, and far-infrared radiation is known for its detoxification benefits. Full-spectrum saunas typically operate at lower temperatures than traditional saunas but can still provide significant heat and a range of health benefits. They are often considered the most comprehensive type of infrared sauna and are becoming increasingly popular in spas and wellness centers.

 

Health Benefits  

1. Detoxification  

Infrared saunas promote detoxification in the body as radiation penetrates deep into the skin, causing an increase in body temperature and resulting in sweating. Sweating is one of the body’s natural ways of eliminating toxins and other harmful substances, such as heavy metals and environmental pollutants. Studies have shown those infrared saunas can help the body eliminate up to seven times more toxins than traditional saunas. This can improve overall health and reduce toxic overload symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, and brain fog.

2. Pain Relief

Infrared saunas can also provide pain relief for various conditions. The deep heat infrared radiation produces can help increase circulation and reduce inflammation. This can be particularly beneficial for chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and back pain. Infrared saunas have also effectively reduced muscle soreness and improved recovery time after exercise. Additionally, the relaxation and stress reduction provided by infrared saunas can contribute to pain relief by reducing tension and promoting healing in the body.

3. Improved Skin Health 

Infrared saunas can provide a range of benefits for the skin. For example, the deep heat produced by infrared radiation can help increase blood flow and improve collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Infrared saunas can also help improve skin tone and texture by increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin’s surface. Furthermore, the detoxification benefits of infrared saunas can help eliminate toxins and impurities from the skin, leading to clearer, healthier-looking skin. Regularly using an infrared sauna can improve skin health and a youthful appearance.

4. Stress Reduction

Infrared saunas can be an effective tool for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. The deep heat from infrared radiation can help relax muscles and reduce body tension, leading to calm feelings and energy. Additionally, infrared saunas can help increase the production of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals, which can further enhance feelings of relaxation and happiness. Regularly using an infrared sauna can also help promote better sleep, further reducing stress and improving overall health.

5. Improved Cardiovascular Health 

Infrared saunas provide a range of benefits for cardiovascular health. The deep heat from infrared radiation can help increase blood flow and improve circulation, reducing the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. Additionally, using an infrared sauna can help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, two key risk factors for heart disease. Infrared saunas’ relaxation and stress reduction can also improve cardiovascular health by reducing tension and promoting a healthier overall lifestyle. Overall, regular use of an infrared sauna can effectively enhance cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

6. Weight Loss 

Infrared saunas may contribute to weight loss through several mechanisms. The deep heat from infrared radiation can help increase metabolism and promote fat burning, leading to weight loss over time. Additionally, the sweating induced by infrared saunas can help eliminate excess water weight and reduce bloating. Regularly using an infrared sauna can also help reduce stress, a common cause of overeating and weight gain. While infrared saunas alone are not a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise, they can be a valuable tool for those looking to lose weight and improve their overall health.

7. Improved Immune System

Infrared saunas can also improve the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells responsible for fighting infections and diseases. The deep heat produced by infrared radiation can also help increase circulation and promote the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the body’s tissues, supporting immune function. Additionally, the detoxification benefits of infrared saunas can help eliminate harmful toxins and substances from the body, contributing to overall health and immune system function. Regularly using an infrared sauna can effectively improve immune system function by promoting a healthier body and reducing the risk of illness and disease.

Precautions to take before using an infrared sauna 

Before using an infrared sauna, several precautions must be taken to ensure safety and maximize the benefits. Drinking plenty of water before and after using the sauna is essential to stay hydrated and avoid dehydration. It is also recommended to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the time spent in the sauna to allow the body to adjust to the heat. Those with medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes, should consult a healthcare provider before using an infrared sauna. It is also essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using the sauna if you feel unwell or have a fever. Finally, ensuring that the sauna is clean and free of any potential hazards, such as exposed wiring or broken components, is essential. By taking these precautions, you can safely enjoy the many benefits of using an infrared sauna.

Common side effects of using an infrared sauna

While infrared saunas are generally considered safe, there are some common side effects that users may experience. These side effects can include dehydration, dizziness, and lightheadedness, especially if the user is not adequately hydrated before or during the sauna session. Some users may also experience skin irritation or sensitivity, particularly if they have sensitive skin or use the sauna for extended periods. Additionally, the high temperatures in the sauna can sometimes lead to fatigue or exhaustion, particularly for those who are not accustomed to the heat. However, these side effects are generally mild and can be avoided by following proper precautions and listening to your body’s signals. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, it is essential to seek medical attention.

Who should not use an infrared sauna 

While infrared saunas are generally considered safe for most people, some individuals should avoid using them. For example, those who are pregnant, have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or other cardiovascular conditions, or have certain skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis should consult with a healthcare provider before using an infrared sauna. Additionally, those taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or antibiotics, should consult a healthcare provider before using an infrared sauna. Finally, avoiding using the sauna if you are feeling unwell, have a fever, or are experiencing severe or persistent side effects is also essential. Knowing these factors, you can decide whether an infrared sauna is proper.

Takeaway

Whether you want to detoxify, reduce pain, improve skin health, or relax and reduce stress, an infrared sauna may be a valuable addition to your health and wellness routine. However, choosing the type of sauna that best fits your needs is essential, and following proper precautions ensures the safety and maximizes the benefits. By incorporating regular use of an infrared sauna into your lifestyle, you can promote better health and well-being naturally and holistically.

 

Editor
Makayla is a medical expert and editor @ WholeYum.

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