Following endorsements from health-conscious celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston, a great deal has been written recently about the health benefits of infrared saunas. If you’re interested in infrared treatment you might be feeling overwhelmed by all the information available.
The aim of this article is to discuss the top 10 health benefits of infrared saunas to give you all the information you need to decide if this therapy is right for you.
You can jump straight through to specific sections of this article from here:
What is an infrared sauna?
Before we discuss the health benefits of infrared saunas, it’s important you understand what an infrared sauna is and how it works.
An infrared sauna uses bioactive light to generate heat. Bioactive light influences the function of cells in your body. There are five different kinds of bioactive light – blue light, UV light, red light, infrared light and near-infrared light. Each bioactive light has its own health benefits.
Infrared saunas are a safe and effective way of exposing your body to infrared light. Many infrared saunas also have a near-infrared panel, and colour therapy lighting which enables you to also benefit from red and near-infrared light.
Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas are a type of dry sauna and use radiant heat. This means they warm your body directly rather than heating the air around you. Because of this, the heat from infrared saunas penetrates your muscles, joints, and tissues more deeply. In addition, they can be used at lower temperatures (110º-120º instead of 160º) which many people find more comfortable.
Top 10 health benefits of infrared saunas:
So now you know what an infrared sauna is, but what are the health benefits?
One of the best known infrared sauna benefits is detoxification. Many health issues are caused by the presence of toxins in our bodies such as the heavy metals mercury and lead, and environmental chemicals such as nicotine, alcohol, and sodium.
When you use an infrared sauna your body’s core temperature rises. This causes your heart rate to increase and the water molecules in your body to vibrate and break down into sweat. Sweating enables the toxins to literally be washed out of your body.
Because sweating also washes away healthy nutrients, it’s important to follow up your sauna treatment with an electrolyte drink or a smoothie containing ingredients such as kale which will replenish levels of the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
#2 Reduction of inflammation and pain
Infrared saunas are also often used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain by improving circulation. Red and near-infrared light therapy can have a similar effect to many over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs.
This is not only useful for people who are recovering from injuries but may also help those who have diseases where inflammation is a key factor such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
#3 Optimises muscle performance and recovery
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of infrared saunas not only promote speedy recovery from muscle injuries, but also enhance performance by boosting strength and endurance, enhancing muscle growth, and reducing muscle fatigue.
Increased circulation also enhances the flow of nutrients to muscles and tissues and enables the efficient removal of lactic acid. This may help to ease the muscle aches and pains that come from illness as well as exercise.
#4 Helps treat chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
The benefits of an infrared sauna also include the therapeutic treatment of specific chronic diseases. They are often used by people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia as they are known to enhance energy levels, decrease muscle spasms, reduce pain, and help with the stiffness of joints and muscles.
#5 Helps you relax
Saunas have long been used to promote relaxation by balancing levels of the stress hormone cortisol and stimulating the production of the mood-boosting neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine.
Infrared saunas can penetrate deeper into muscles and tissues helping to ease tension, fight fatigue, and promote deep sleep. Choosing an infrared sauna with chromotherapy (or colour therapy) lighting can help you to relax even more and boost your emotional and mental wellbeing.
#6 Boosts brain health
Near-infrared stimulation of the brain can enhance cognitive function particularly improving memory and focus by promoting cell growth. Raising the body’s core temperature also stimulates the production of myelin in the nervous system which helps your brain to work faster.
Red and near-infrared light may inhibit the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and are often used to treat depression and anxiety.
#7 Improves heart function and metabolism
Using infrared saunas regularly can help boost your metabolism and aid weight loss by raising your heart rate in a similar way to exercise and helping you burn calories faster. By optimising your cardiac health infrared saunas may also help to normalise your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
When combined with exercise, infrared saunas are an effective way of reducing fat.
#8 Promote wound healing
Infrared saunas promote wound healing in a number of ways. Enhanced blood flow results in more nutrients and oxygen reaching the wound which supports the growth of new skin cells and tissue repair.
#9 Boosts immune system
Infrared light can boost your immune system by creating an artificial fever which increases your white blood cell count and gets rid of many infections by killing off heat-sensitive microorganisms. Increasing core body temperature in an infrared sauna also promotes the production of heat shock proteins which stimulate your immune system.
#10 Promotes clear skin
Infrared saunas are often used to combat the signs of aging and are known to help improve skin tone and texture by promoting the production of collagen and elastin.
Eliminating impurities through detoxification promotes skin cleansing and gets rid of dead skin cells which can help maintain clearer skin and treat conditions such as acne.
Infrared saunas can also help reduce cellulite, particularly when combined with massage treatment.
In summary, the benefits of using an infrared sauna are wide-ranging, from promoting wellness through detoxification and relaxation to specific health rewards such as improving circulation, reducing pain and inflammation, boosting your immune system and improving the function of your brain and heart.
The great news is, developments in technology mean that equipment is much more affordable and can be used at home.
Why not try it out and experience the health benefits of infrared saunas for yourself?
If you are ready to chose the best model for your needs take a look at our reviews below:
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Infrared Sauna World or its staff.