What is an infrared sauna and what makes it so different from the steam or dry sauna you might have at your gym? Infrared saunas use light panels to heat the body from within, rather than traditional saunas that heat the air in the sauna to warm the body from the outside in. That said, infrared saunas are able to provide more benefits at a lower temperature than traditional saunas. Many people find the lower temperature of the infrared sauna to be more comfortable, and the best part? You still sweat! There are countless health benefits associated with infrared sauna therapy, but here are several of the reasons why we recommend infrared sauna therapy to our patients:
Detox – the amount of toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis outweighs our bodies natural ability to eliminate them. Supplementing with detoxification practices such as sauna therapy helps remove chemical and heavy metal toxins from the body.
Weight loss – When they are not removed from the body efficiently, the toxins explained above can cause us to gain unwanted weight and/or prevent us from losing the weight that we want. Eliminating toxins through sauna therapy can aid in weight loss journeys. Sauna sessions can also burn up to 600 calories due to increased heart rate in response to the sauna heat as the body attempts to cool itself down.
Heart health – Research shows that regular sauna use can be as beneficial for cardiovascular health as exercise is! How could this be true? When your body heats up, it tries to cool itself by sending blood from your internal organs to your extremities and skin which raises your heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate. For these reasons, we love recommending our sauna to clients who are injured and cannot exercise or are not exercising as much as they would like to be.
Pain relief – Due to the increase in core body heat and dilated blood vessels during a sauna session, your circulation also improves. For those who are injured, increased circulation can speed up the healing process and decrease pain. One study following 46 patients with chronic pain shows that 77% of those who incorporated infrared sauna therapy into their healing process were able to return to work, whereas only 50% of those who did not use sauna therapy returned to work.
Stress & Anxiety – How often do you get 30 uninterrupted minutes of quiet time to sweat and breathe deeply? We encourage sauna therapy for those who experience anxiety – not just because it forces you to take short breather from your hectic life, but because it also can help lower your body’s main stress hormone called cortisol.
Ready to get sweating and to experience all of these benefits (and more) of sauna therapy? Schedule online here or call our office to make an appointment.
*Who SHOULDN’T use it: Hemophiliacs and pregnant or nursing women should not use the sauna. People with advanced symptomatic heart disease, unstable angina, or severe adrenal suppression should use the sauna only under close medical supervision.
High Tech Health Far Infrared Saunas
Authored by Ellen Davenport