Many of us have tried using a sauna before. They have them at lots of spas and gyms. You get in, determined to stick it out a full 30 minutes and sweat out the other night’s less than perfect decisions you made-or drank- until that inevitable voice in your head starts talking. “Am I baking in here?”, “Should I feel this hot?”, “If I pass out, I wonder how long until someone finds me”…… Sounds fun, right?!
It wasn’t until I discovered an infrared sauna that I realized I did not have to have these conversations in my head and didn’t have to wonder if I’d survive the 30 minutes I set out to “relax” in the sauna for. And not to mention, I found out infrared saunas not only were way more comfortable, but they had a slue of health benefits to go along with it. Yes please!
What is an Infrared Sauna?
Infrared light is felt as heat. An infrared sauna uses this light to heat the body from the inside. Most basic saunas actually heat the air around you as opposed to heating your actual core temperature. This is why an infrared sauna does not have to get nearly as hot as the often 200 degree temperatures other saunas maintain.
Infrared light comes in three different wavelengths, each with their own health benefits. To get the most out of an infrared sauna session, you want to look for one that offers near, mid and far infrared throughout your session.
These wavelengths will benefit your skin. Whether it be wound healing, skin purification or anti-aging, near infrared heat is what you are looking for here.
These will help with muscle relaxation and increasing circulation and blood flow.
This wavelength is the most often referred to when people talk about infrared saunas. That is because these wavelengths are able to penetrate deeply into the body and actually heat the body’s core temperature. This increases your ability to detox at a cellular level as well as boosts your caloric output while in the sauna.
Health Benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy
Aside from being incredibly relaxing and a great way to find some “me” time during a busy week, there are tons of added benefits to using an infrared sauna. From sweating out last night’s drinks or detoxing from heavy metal exposure to weight loss and general cell health. Below are some of the most common uses of infrared sauna therapy.
Sweating is the body’s natural way to rid the itself of unwanted, dangerous toxins. Far infrared heats the core temperature of your body, resulting in a detoxifying sweat. The increase in circulation also helps to get toxins moving, so you can sweat them out.
The near infrared wavelength helps to heal the skin. It also stimulates collagen production, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and improving the overall tone of your skin.
By heating up the core temperature of your body, it’s natural response it to work to cool itself back down. This process results in a greater caloric output, all while just sitting and relaxing. Thirty minutes in an infrared sauna can burn roughly 400 calories.
From increasing your muscle recovery time to relieving chronic pain, infrared heat is able to penetrate muscle, tissue and joints, which can help to relieve pain from an acute injury or a chronic condition, like arthritis.
Improved Circulation and Cell Health
While in an infrared sauna, you are stimulating your circulatory system and increasing your blood flow. This helps to strengthen your immune system and improve your cell health.
The Take Away:
There are many benefits to infrared sauna therapy, but to get the most out of it, try to find a sauna that offers the benefits of near, mid and far infrared heat all together.
If you have access to a basic sauna that does not offer any infrared heat, that’s okay. You will still be able to experience some of the benefits of detoxification, just at a lower level.