Infrared Saunas Are IN For Summer

Temperatures are rising and the water is calling! It’s summer – time to get outside and enjoy the weather along with beaches, lakes, rivers, and pools. This is also the time when many dedicated sauna-goers abandon their infrared sessions for cooler activities. It seems reasonable, given that many of us use the infrared heat for relaxation, and now that weather has warmed you can do the same away from home.

But wait! Before you write off your infrared sauna in summer, there are a few things to consider.

Better Heat Tolerance

Whether or not you believe climate change is a reality, it’s evident that our summer temperatures seem to be rising every year. You may be a warm-weather person, but even the most heat-tolerant among us will reach a point where temps are beyond comfortable. Escaping to air-conditioned indoors becomes inevitable. For some people the AC goes on the minute the weather turns humid, and for others, it’s the last resort when ice water, ceiling fans, and tank tops have failed to provide enough relief.

Enter the infrared sauna!

Each of us has a varying level of heat tolerance and depending on where you live that can vary. Once you use an infrared sauna on a regular basis, you’ll notice improved endurance in warm weather or heated situations. A 20-30 minute session offers the most robust benefits. Whether it means being able to sit in the sun longer or acclimating well to indoor climates above 75 or 80 degrees Fahrenheit, infrared sessions can aid you in the long run.

A recent U.S. study done in 2021 confirmed, “Repeated sauna use acclimates the body to heat and optimizes the body’s response to future exposures, likely due to a biological phenomenon known as hormesis.” Hormesis at its most basic is cells adapting to a stressor, which in this case is high heat.

If you’re an athlete or if you exercise often, you’ll experience results differently. Being able to endure heat at higher levels will help increase performance as your body will feel less fatigued and you’ll sustain energy levels longer. You’ll also recover faster.

Infrared Saunas Help With Summer Exercise

One thing is essential when experiencing heat exposure, and that is proper hydration. Read on…

H-2-O For Hydration

Everyone, from doctors to nutritionists to fitness coaches, agrees that any sauna experience should include proper hydration. This means having fluids before and even during an infrared session. Since saunas are designed for high heat penetration, the first thing your body will do is sweat, which means a loss of fluids. It’s important that you’re properly hydrated and replace these fluids so you don’t get heat stroke and faint. It also helps aid your kidney function as it eliminates toxins.

Just like you would hydrate before or during a workout, you’ll want to prep before entering the sauna. Water is best, but sports drinks will work as well.

Hydration Is Key For Sauna

When choosing a sports drink, be sure it has a proper amount of potassium and sodium. Drinks with electrolytes are good because they help replenish mineral loss when you sweat while also helping you absorb fluids.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol drinks, as those can actually dehydrate you and will tax your liver and kidneys further. Stick to water and you’ll feel rejuvenated and refreshed once your sauna session is complete.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol drinks, as those can actually dehydrate you and will tax your liver and kidneys further. Stick to water and you’ll feel rejuvenated and refreshed once your sauna session is complete.

When your sauna session is over and you’ve dried off, you should definitely reach for some water if you didn’t have any during your session. While you might not feel thirsty immediately, your body will definitely thank you.

So, you’ve built your heat tolerance, stayed hydrated and you’re feeling much more energetic? Great! Let’s talk about another way setting regular sauna visits can help during summer.

Boost Immunity Before Winter

As soon as the summer ends and the weather starts to cool off again, you’ll start to see flyers for flu shots and commercials for cough medicine. Winter seems to hail the onset of viruses as if it’s just part of the cycle of life. But it doesn’t have to be!

Build Heat Tolerance And Stay Fit

What infrared can help with, and science has confirmed, is building our immune defenses. But why wait until fall or winter to start enhancing your health? By taking time to use your sauna every week during summer, you can ensure a hardier immune system. Imagine sailing through winter with nary a sniffle. Wouldn’t that be great?

The way that infrared saunas can help is fairly simple. As your core temperature heats up, your cells, like when you have a fever, start to have an immune response. Of course, you also want to maintain a good diet and incorporate exercise into your lifestyle, but an infrared sauna is a great tool to jumpstart and maintain good health.

Take advantage of summer downtime and don’t let your sauna gather dust—get in and stay healthy.

Sauna Best Practices

Do drink water before, during, and even after a sauna session, since you’ll deplete fluids via sweat
Do try to spend an average of 20 minutes per session to get the most benefits from infrared heat penetration
Do rinse or towel off after a sauna session, since salts produced via sweat can clog pores
Do follow any medical guidelines if you have health conditions, before using the sauna
Do use the sauna after exercise or sports participation as a way to recover quicker and to relax muscles
Do enjoy the sauna as a way to build heat tolerance, especially during warmer weather months

white drinking tumbler to help with hydrationAnd…

Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine drinks before or during your sauna session as they’ll dehydrate you
Don’t eat an hour or two before a sauna session as food will require energy for digestion and your heart will already be working harder from the intense heat
Don’t start off with long sessions if you’re new to saunas, rather limit sessions to 5-10 minutes or lower the temperature in your sauna as you get started

Health Mate offers a variety of saunas, some that are portable and use a smaller footprint, others that can offer the comfort of cabin space. Make sauna sessions social by inviting a friend with a larger, two- or three-person model. There’s an affordable sauna for every lifestyle.

7 Key Questions About Owning an Infrared Sauna

Saunas are elevating the ways in which we invest in our everyday well-being. Finding the right one for your health needs and lifestyle can be challenging, though. 

At Health Mate Sauna, we use infrared technology that offers a rejuvenating and revitalizing sauna experience, providing plenty of mental and physical benefits along the way.

To help you navigate the research process in choosing a home infrared sauna, we’ve answered the most common questions so you can make an informed decision.

7 Key Questions About Owning an Infrared Sauna

how much does a sauna cost health mate sauna blog article

1) How much does a sauna cost?

When you invest in an infrared sauna you are investing in so much more than just a piece of equipment. A sauna is also an investment in your health and well-being. Health Mate saunas can range in price from $2k to $10k+ with many options available among the models. Our premium, handcrafted saunas are designed to fit a variety of budgets. Plus, you have the option of financing, so you can own the sauna that’s right for you and pay it off over time.

sauna health benefits health mate sauna blog article

2) What are the health benefits?

From relaxation and pain relief to immune support and weight loss, the multitude of benefits a sauna provides is extensive. Saunas are most commonly known to help relieve tired, aching muscles after a long day, in addition to easing stress and tension. They can also help rid your body of toxins, ease joint pain, and aid in optimal blood circulation.

Is owning a sauna safe - Health Mate Sauna blog article

3) Is it safe to use?

Yes! Infrared saunas naturally warm the body from within, penetrating your muscles and nerves. Our saunas have all been tested for ultra-low EMF, which means your radiation exposure is at a safe level. Since infrared saunas heat the body instead of just heating the air in the room, it’s a more relaxing experience. Follow directions, along with any recommended medical advice, to ensure the best outcome.

How much electricity does a sauna use - Health Mate Sauna blog article

4) How much electricity does it use?

Infrared saunas do not warm the air or generate steam as a traditional sauna does. In that way, infrared heat emits at a lower temperature and requires less electricity. Health Mate saunas typically require 120V and can use a standard outlet in any room. However, larger saunas sometimes require additional voltage. See our models for more details and specifications. 

How much space does a sauna need - Health Mate Sauna blog article

5) How much space is required?

Health Mate saunas are designed as small as a portable dome sauna and as large as a therapy lounge. They don’t require additional plumbing or refurbishing. Also, saunas can be placed on wood, tile, concrete, or carpet, basically, anywhere you have a corner or free spot in your living area. Even better, they are simple to assemble!

Sauna Detox Benefits - Health Mate Sauna blog article

6) Does an infrared sauna help you detox?

Your infrared sauna will inevitably cause your body to sweat. Sweating is the body’s natural process for regulating temperature and allows for a level of detox which takes some load off your liver function. Infrared sauna technology heats the body directly by using infrared heat and light. This raises the body’s temperature deep inside the tissues and organs and promotes a deeper level of detox, while also boosting your immune levels.

Can you use essential oils in a sauna - Health Mate Sauna blog article

7) Can I use essential oils in the sauna?

Absolutely! We encourage you to incorporate essential oils into your sauna sessions to enhance the normal infrared sauna experience. With accessories like the Aroma Mate aromatherapy cup you can transform your sauna into a spa-like, calming oasis.

 

When you choose to elevate your health and well-being with a home sauna, you want to choose the best sauna possible. Now that you have all that you need to know about owning an infrared sauna, choose to invest in yourself. Read up on the selection of our award-winning Health Mate saunas or check out our FAQ for more info on our saunas and care.

Do Saunas Help You Lose Weight?

There are many reasons to purchase a sauna, with one of the most sought-after benefits being weight loss. Eating healthy and being active is great for weight loss, however, over time it can become increasingly difficult to continue making progress. While weight loss is one of the more challenging health goals people face, there is an easy and doable solution that can assist you in your pursuit of better health through weight loss, purchasing an infrared sauna.

 

does an infrared sauna help you lose weight health mate

An infrared sauna is a great tool to use when it comes to your health. But does a sauna burn calories and really aid in weight loss? It’s estimated that there are anywhere from 200-600 calories burned in a sauna session that lasts 30 minutes or longer. Burning that many calories is equivalent to jogging or swimming for an hour. While jogging and swimming can be taxing on the body, sitting in an infrared sauna can be performed by anyone. To answer the question, do saunas help you lose weight? Absolutely, an infrared sauna is a great tool to incorporate into your weight loss plan.

 

“It’s estimated that there are anywhere from 200-600 calories burned in a sauna session that lasts 30 minutes or longer.”

 

One of the main reasons infrared sauna weight loss works is due to the mid and far-infrared light. As they are able to penetrate the skin and reach a deeper level of body tissue compared to a traditional sauna. A common misconception is that weight loss caused by an infrared sauna is temporary. However, what is really being observed is the quick loss and gain of “water weight”. Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity medicine physician with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital states, “the magic number is 5% of your total body weight; that’s when we see clinically significant physiological changes.”

When searching for a sauna to aid in your weight loss journey, it’s important to factor in the quality of the materials, the heater, and who the company is. Many sauna companies use materials that contain toxins in the wood, heaters, and other components such as glue that your body will then absorb. While this sounds scary, it’s easy to navigate away from bad materials through simple and quick research on the brand. Health Mate, in particular, has been producing infrared saunas the longest out of all their competitors. Has a five-stage quality control system to ensure your sauna is up to Health Mate standards, and they only use the best materials that are toxic-free. Since 1979, Health Mate has been producing saunas and aiding in its customer’s pursuit of better health through weight loss as you can see here.

 

The magic number is 5% of your total body weight; that’s when we see clinically significant physiological changes.” ~ Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford

 

Another key topic to research when choosing an infrared sauna is the financing options they offer. As this will show how far your dollar can really go. Some infrared sauna brands offer little to no financing options and also don’t offer different sizing options of their saunas. This is another area where Health Mate is superior. With multiple sizing options and financing available, purchasing their infrared sauna is less of a towering financial commitment. You can also purchase exactly what you’d like, in the size that best suits your needs.

Overall, utilizing an infrared sauna on top of your daily health habits can certainly help you lose weight. Through increasing your metabolism, increasing your heart rate, and regulating your body’s stress and cortisol levels, an infrared sauna (Health Mate in particular) is an extremely wise investment.

10 Tips to Care for Your Infrared Sauna

Congratulations! You’ve invested in your health with an infrared sauna. This is a purchase that can last you over a decade when you shop with Health Mate, especially if you make the effort to keep it in good condition. Here are our tips for keeping your in-home, wooden infrared sauna in great working order:

  1. Shower before using your sauna

    pexels karolina grabowska The easiest way to keep your sauna clean is to clean yourself before using it. When you avoid bringing in dirt, dust, and oils in the first place, you can stay one step ahead in maintenance.

  2. Lightly Clean Your Sauna After Each Use

    its easy for backrests, benches, and surfaces you touch to get damagedAfter every session, simply wipe down the surfaces with a damp cloth. Make sure to hit the areas you touch like the control panel, the door handle, and the seating. Don’t forget the backrest if you use one.

  3. Dust The Interior and Exterior

    Dust can easily collect in places where you can’t see—like the top of the unit or in crevices. Take some time while cleaning the rest of your home to dust the inside of your sauna. If you have an Inspire model, don’t forget to check around the recessed lighting.

    inspire f Try to dust the top, sides, and back of your unit once a month. This will help keep the electrics in good working order too.

  4. Watch Your Heater

    If your sauna has carbon flat panels, like the Renew series, these can be dusted to maintain the fabric. Our Tecoloy Heaters are designed to provide maximum heat at maximum efficiency. Because of this, their shape is a little harder to clean. Compressed air can be used to clean dust and dirt out of the heater casing.

  5. Keep the floor clean

    You’re likely using the sauna barefoot. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that the floor is clean. Sweep or vacuum the floor once every few sessions. It can also be cleaned with a damp cloth like the rest of the unit. It’s not recommended to use shoes in your sauna, as they can scuff the wood and track in more dirt.

  6. Use a towel to protect your sauna

    Putting a towel down before sitting in your sauna will help keep perspiration off the wood surfaces, reducing the risk of staining. If you have a bench cushion, putting a towel down can help increase the longevity of the cushion.

  7. Care for the wood

    health mate infrared sauna wood close upDon’t use any treatments on the interior of your sauna. However, if you’d like the sauna exterior to look shiny and new, you can use wood polish or oil (NOT paint or varnish) to keep the wood healthy. This is especially helpful if your unit is exposed to a lot of sunlight via window or glass door. It will also help protect the wood from warping or buckling over time.

  8. Sweat stains? Sand them out

    Sanding down the stained area removes it from your saunaIf your sauna gets stained from sweat or some other substance, you can lightly sand them away. Be sure to use a high grit sandpaper and work in a small inconspicuous are first. A wood oil can be used after you’re done revitalize the wood. Make sure not to use toxic substances on your sauna’s interior, since heat can release oils and substances in the wood.

  9. Keep Your Sauna Dry

    Moisture can lead to mold, mildew, and stains. Try to leave the door open while it cools down so that the humidity can escape. Then close the door to keep excess moisture and dust out. Luckily infrared saunas use dry heat, so you there isn’t a lot of moisture, but sweat is a concern and if you live somewhere humid the air can shorten the lifespan of your sauna’s wood.

  10. Stay away from the rays!

    infrared sauna for saleUV light can bleach and damage wood. Avoid placing your sauna in a spot where it gets a lot of direct light during the day. This can eventually lead to buckling and warping in addition to bleached spots on the wood. If prolonged sun exposure is unavoidable, try rotating or moving your sauna every 6 months.

Now you’re prepared to take care of your sauna for years to come while it takes care of you. Read up on the benefits of infrared sauna or checkout our FAQ for more info on our saunas and care.

The Best Solo Infrared Sauna: Health Mate Essential Comfort

For over 40 years, Health Mate has distinguished itself by prioritizing quality and excellence in the production of infrared saunas. We were the first to embrace infrared technology in the industry and we have remained dedicated to excellence. After years of development, we’re proud to introduce a one person dome sauna that meets the high Health Mate Standard of all our saunas: The Health Mate Essential Comfort.  

The Essential Comfort is Health Mate’s debut solo sauna. It uses the same Low EMF carbon heaters from our best-selling Renew series—7 total heaters in two separately controlled arrays for 360 degrees of soothing infrared heat. The model is completely collapsible, allowing for easy out-of-the-way storage, making it suitable for small spaces. 

The Essential Comfort is perfect for at home gyms

Why We Created the Essential Comfort 

As more people discover the amazing benefits of sauna, the demand has grown for new ways of providing infrared sauna benefits at home. The truth is not everyone has the space in their home for a large wooden box. And for massage therapists or physical therapists who must bring their equipment with them, a sauna has to be mobile and have an easy set-up to be a practical therapy.  

The Essential Comfort answers those needs while still being a durable, high-quality product. Unlike sauna bags or tents, our solo sauna is roomy and prioritizes comfort and durability. We know it will last you years to come, which is why we provide a 2-year warranty.   

Key Features of the Essential Comfort Personal Sauna  

  • Ultra-Low EMF Heaters  
  • Anti-microbial bamboo pad and headrest  
  • Ergonomic memory foam mat for gentle support  
  • Collapsible mat and dome for easy storage  
  • 80% more efficient than other infrared saunas  

Layback, relax, and detox is the Essential Comfort from Health Mate

If you are interested in getting more information about the Essential Comfort or purchasing a model, call or check out the product page. 

What makes the Essential Comfort a different infrared sauna 

Compact and Convenient 

The Essential Comfort is designed to be easy to move, store, and set up for use. It can be laid out on the floor, on a massage table, or even outside on a deck or patio. Because the pad and headrest anti-microbial, it’s easy to keep clean and sanitary. 

The Essential Comfort is easy to fold and store

Superior Design and Materials 

Health Mate was the first to produce infrared saunas in the US and we take pride in the superior production of our saunas. The Essential Comfort is no exception.   

The mat and headrest are made of supportive memory foam and covered in natural bamboo fabric. The dome itself is water-resistant and breathable, making it comfortable for the user and easy to keep clean. The frame’s sturdy construction makes it more durable than your standard solo sauna, which we back up with a two-year warranty. 

Low EMF 

In response to consumer concerns, Health Mate has taken the extra steps to ensure that our heaters and saunas are Low EMF. Our heaters are certified low EMF by a third-party company and our 5 levels of quality assurance guarantee excellence.   

Efficient 

The Essential Comfort uses carbon heaters that produce far-infrared radiation. This is 80% more efficient than other forms of radiant heat. FIR from the Essential Comfort can penetrate an inch deep into the body, meaning you are warmed from within and not just at the skin’s surface. 

What are the health benefits of the Essential Comfort sauna? 

The benefits of the Essential Comfort are the same as that of any Health Mate sauna: 

  • Pain Relief: Infrared saunas promote circulation, which helps reduce inflammation around injuries.  
  • Skin Health: saunas encourage sweating, which helps clear pores of toxins and dead skin cells. In addition, increased circulation in the skin helps to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery.  
  • Cardiovascular Health: saunas can make blood vessels dilate, making blood flow more easily. Multiple studies have suggested that regular sauna use can have benefits for cardiovascular health (always speak a doctor before using a sauna if you have any ongoing health issues).
  • Weight Loss: saunas raise your heart rate and promote sweating, which helps burn calories and lose weight.
    Infrared saunas may assist with improved health outcomes

How To Use The Essential Comfort Sauna 

Set up is simple for this solo sauna system: 

  1. Layout the pad and headrest on the ground.   
  2. Place the smaller half of the dome over the foot of the pad and the larger half over the upper half, just below the headrest.  
  3. Attach the fabric curtain to the inside of the upper dome.   
  4. Attach the power source to the dome and plug it into the wall.  
  5. Set the sauna to your desired heat setting, get in, and start soaking in the heat.

To get your own Essential Comfort solo sauna, call or checkout the product page. 

 

Why Do I Feel Worse After Using An Infrared Sauna?

While taking part in a sauna session, one can expect to leave the unit with the feeling of rejuvenation, relaxation, and a sense of well being.

However, in some cases, we may end up feeling the complete opposite.

How could this be?

Feeling worse is not due to the sauna itself, but rather from what we’re not doing for ourselves to prepare for the sauna, and our body is suffering because of it.

 

How The Sauna Affects Our Bodies

One question that gets asked around the sauna community is “why do I feel worse after an infrared sauna session?”

There may be a number of reasons why one might not feel 100%. This could be that a new sauna user stays in the sauna far past their limitations, someone has just eaten a large meal and then immediately enters the sauna, or the temperature setting is too high.

Additionally, there are a number of infrared sauna contraindications that may be present for someone with certain medical conditions. 

However, the main reason why someone might feel worse after being in the sauna is that they are dehydrated. 

 

Maintaining Balance

When it comes to regulating heat, our body works hard at achieving it. 

Even though an infrared sauna uses lower temperatures of 110-140°F compared to other saunas that exceed 200°F, our average body temperature is only 97-99°F. 

The 13° difference may not seem like much but it can make a big difference when our body is working to adjust to higher temperatures.

The human body is constantly regulating in order to maintain homeostasis. With any type of deviation, including body temperature, the body works quickly in order to get things to where they need to be. 

When things are out of balance for too long, that’s when adverse reactions and complications can occur. 

This is especially the case for someone who is dehydrated. When a sauna is being used, dehydration is amped up to a higher level because one is already sweating due to the increased heat. Incorporating a lack of water in the body to boot is a recipe for disaster. 

Here’s how heat affects our bodies, and what we can do about it.

 

Effects of Heat on the Body

 

1. Heat Makes Us Sweat

 

Sweating is our natural cooling system. When our average body temperature rises, it sweats to help keep our internal temperature around 98.6 °F. Sweat is mostly water but it also contains sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. We are not only losing water from our bodies but also essential nutrients. 

When our bodies lose the necessary amount of nutrients it can lead to a variety of health problems:

  • digestion problems
  • skin disorders
  • bone growth

Additionally, heat exhaustion may occur when our bodies can’t get cool enough and sweat out too much water and sodium. This can lead to: 

  • Paleness 
  • Clamminess 
  • Fatigue
  • Weak 
  • Lightheaded
  • Nauseated 
  • Headaches

 

Prevention

These problems can be concerning, yet easily prevented by intake of adequate vitamins and maintaining a nutritious diet. Also, if you feel any symptoms of heat exhaustion, try lying down and drink something with salt and sugar to replenish your body. 

 

2. Heat Makes Us Dehydrated

 

Depending on how long your sauna session is, you can shed up to 4.5-5 cups of sweat. Seeing that our bodies are made of up to 60% water, that’s a lot of liquid!

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences and Medicine determined that an adequate daily water intake is:

  • Men: about 15.5 cups of water a day
  • Women: about 11.5 cups of water a day

So if you started your sauna session early in the morning (have had only 1-2 cups of water), you may be in a water deficit after your session (have lost up to 4 cups of water) making you feel dehydrated.

Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more water than you take in.

 

Symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizzy
  • Confused

Our heart and brain are 73% water, our lungs are 83% water, our skin contains 64% water, our muscles and kidneys are 79% water, and our bones are 31% water. 

When our vital organs don’t have enough water to carry out its normal functions, it can lead to serious problems.

 

Complications of Dehydration:

  • Heat Injury
  • Urinary and Kidney Problems
  • Seizures
  • Low blood volume shock or Hypovolemic shock

 

Prevention

Dehydration can be prevented by drinking plenty of water and eating foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables. 

Additionally, plan out your water intake around the time you will partake in a sauna session. For example, if you are a woman your average water intake is 11 cups, if you are going to use the sauna at 4 pm for 15 minutes you are expected to lose about 4 cups of water. From 12 pm-4 pm drink 1 cup of water per hour. 

Stay on top of your hydration goals by investing in a genuine, high quality insulated water bottle.

 

 

3. Heat Increases Our Heart Rate

 

Our heart beats faster to pump more blood to our skin and alleviate extra heat. As this is happening, other parts of our body may not get enough blood.

As a result, this could make you feel tired.

 

Prevention 

If you notice your body can’t handle longer increments of heat, set shorter time limits for your sauna session. Start with 3-5 minutes, to 5-7 minutes, to 7-10 minutes, and so on. This may help build your heat tolerance. 

 

 

4. Heat Lowers Blood Pressure

 

Heat not only makes us sweat but it makes our blood vessels dilate to increase sweating. Also, we know that we lose a lot of water by sweating which leads to dehydration. Increases in sweat and dehydration can drop our blood pressure which is why we may feel dizzy or, in severe cases, some may even faint.

 

Prevention:

Drink adequate amounts of water.

 

 

Final Takeaways

Typically, individuals feel worse after an infrared sauna session due to being dehydrated. When the body is dehydrated, one issue when using the sauna is a lack of proper sweat production. 

Being dehydrated can cause many problems in general, and incorporating additional heat can only expedite things. It’s important to take personal accountability and be mindful of how one feels before taking part in sauna sessions, so it can be enjoyed, and not something to dread.

When taking part in an infrared sauna, the importance of staying hydrated is paramount. Additionally, eating a well-balanced diet of vegetables and fruit that are rich in water content can further keep you hydrated and avoid feeling worse after a sauna session.

 

Health Mate Saunas is the leading manufacturer of infrared saunas for the home for over 40 years. For more information on our line of infrared saunas for sale, contact us today to see how you can improve your health and your life. 

Infrared Sauna Benefits – The Complete Guide

What is an Infrared Sauna?

An infrared sauna is a small room or lodge that is designed to use light as heat, by way of infrared lamps, instead of hot air. Infrared saunas are generally constructed using wood planks and can fit between 1-4 people, or more, depending on the size of the unit.

The infrared lamps do not heat up the room, much like a traditional sauna would.

Instead, the infrared lamps emit electromagnetic radiation in order to heat up your body. 

Physical therapist Vivian Eisenstadt, MAPT, CPT, MASP explains that: 

 

“These saunas use infrared panels instead of conventional heat to easily penetrate human tissue, heating up your body before heating up the air.”

 

The light penetrates the skin at different depths using various wavelengths including far, mid, and near-infrared. These wavelengths are located on the light spectrum and carry various qualities and characteristics.

Unlike a traditional sauna where the temperature is usually hovering around 180-200 degrees, infrared saunas operate at a lower temperature around the area of 100 to 130 degrees. 

It’s been said that around 80% of the energy from the infrared lamps goes directly into the skin, while around 20% heats the air. This kind of penetration, as opposed to just being in a hot room, allows for a deeper sweat and a cascade of enhanced health benefits.

Although the temperature in the infrared sauna is not as hot as a traditional sauna, people can tolerate the environment for a longer period of time while they experience a higher level of penetration. 

 

What are the benefits of using an infrared sauna?

When it comes to comparing the benefits of an infrared sauna to a traditional sauna, the two share many similarities. 

Some of the health benefits include:

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Helps relieve joint pain and muscle stiffness
  • Increased circulation
  • Detoxification
  • Collagen stimulation for clearer and tighter skin
  • Improves mood
  • Reduction in stress and fatigue
  • Heals the body

 

Infrared saunas have also been around for a lot longer than you may think. 

Before the sauna, was the use of the sun! Well, in a sense. 

Sunlight is actually one form of infrared light that has many health benefits on the human body, similar in some aspects to that of a sauna. 

Infrared saunas, as a unit, however, have been around for nearly 60 years. The first infrared sauna was invented back in 1965 in Japan.

 

Infrared Sauna Research

Research conducted on traditional saunas are widely available, but the availability of studies conducted on infrared sauna usage are fewer. Some of the impactful studies are as follows

 

 

 

  • One Russian study, in proving that heat acts as a precursor for antioxidant protection, showcased that “the effect of high temperatures promotes the oxidative stress that is followed by the formation of adaptive reactions in the form of activation and antioxidant protection, enhancement of non-specific responses of the cells, increase of stability and restoration of structural homeostasis of erythrocyte membranes.” 

 

The available studies focus mostly on the various kinds of infrared light, and how temperatures can help the body adapt to stressors and become more resilient. This information is key to help people make informed decisions when deciding whether or not to invest in an infrared sauna.

Contrastingly, there have been no studies presenting any evidence of adverse effects.

One 2017 study titled ‘Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation’ goes on to explain that “previous clinical studies have shown that LLLT (low-level light therapy) has a wide range of benefits on various patient populations, different medical indications and conditions without any serious risk of adverse effects.”

However, there are some possible short term effects noted when the infrared sauna is used incorrectly, or if someone has any prior conditions.

 Some adverse effects when using an infrared sauna may include:

  • Faster dehydration due to sweating more
  • May promote light-headedness
  • Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  • An adverse effect of medication due to increased blood circulation
  • Persons with chemical sensitivities

 

William Rea MD, author of Chemical Sensitivity: Tools, Diagnosis, and Method of Treatment, Volume IV, explains that “uncontrolled, too-rapid mobilization can have devastating effects on chemically sensitive patients.”

Although infrared sauna use is generally very safe, it’s important to have a good understanding of your body, be aware of any medications you take, and use the treatment with moderation. 

 

Tips To Get The Most out of Your Sauna Session

Although you technically won’t be operating this unit, the sauna is like any other piece of heavy equipment or machinery. It needs to be taken seriously, so you, and the unit itself, won’t get damaged. 

Before getting into the sauna, make sure you are physically in good condition to use it. 

Also make sure that everything looks good including cable, wires, and plugs. Don’t operate the machine if something is broken.

Some tips to get the most out of your sauna session include:

  • Using the Sauna When Sick. If you are feeling sick or have a fever, it’s not recommended to use the sauna. There have been some studies suggesting that using a sauna may be beneficial by acting as an expectorant of sorts, but other studies have shown that mixing a high temperature with a fever taxes the body to higher than normal levels and can cause some unwanted issues.

 

  • Under the Influence. Don’t use the sauna if you are under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, or anything that may impair your body and judgement. The last thing that someone would need is to fall asleep or become impaired, and not be able to exit the sauna in the recommended time.

 

  • Essential Oils Usage. Incorporate essential oils into your sauna sessions. Alongside the relaxing properties of a sauna by itself, adding in an additional element of natural calming remedies can combat anxiety, stress, nervousness, and help relax. Using an aromatherapy cup lets you enjoy the scents and benefits of these oils while you relax. Some of the popular essential oil scents for relaxing and helping with anxiety include:

 

    • Lavender oil
    • Bergamot Orange oil
    • Lemon oil
    • Sweet Marjoram oil
    • Ylang Ylang oil
    • Sandalwood oil
    • Chamomile oil
    • Clary Sage oil
    • Geranium oil

 

  • Stretch Your Body. One great way to get the most out of your sauna session is to stretch out your body or perform some kind of mini yoga session. It’s very similar to Bikram yoga since you are in a heated room.

 

 

  • Incorporate Skincare. Before even entering the sauna, use some kind of moisturizer or cream including coconut oil to maintain hydration. The heat from the sauna also opens the pores on your body, so anything that you may use may have an added effect on the skin as it enters the pores. After your sauna session, make sure to reapply the moisturizer or other skin care products as your skin may have dried out since the first application.

 

How To Use an Infrared Sauna

Using an infrared sauna can be one of the best decisions you ever make when looking to better your health and enjoy the array of benefits.

The popularity of infrared saunas is continually increasing, and you can find them at many places including doctor’s offices, practices, health clubs, and more.

The most convenient way to enjoy an infrared sauna session is, of course, in the comfort of your own home. If you do own an infrared sauna, and although you are in a more private setting, it’s important to maintain the same best practices and guidelines of sauna use when using one.

 

  • Set Your Temperature. Set the temperature of your sauna to your desired level. Since infrared saunas don’t need to be as hot as traditional saunas, a good rule of thumb is to set the temperature at around 120 to 140 degrees.

 

  • Hydration is Key. Make sure you are hydrated before you enter the sauna to prevent early dehydration and other adverse effects.

 

  • Clothes & Towels. Have a bathrobe and/or towels ready for when you sweat and perspire. Line the ground with towels to absorb even more sweat. One other option is to go in completely naked, but make sure you are alone and/or respect others who may be in your presence.

 

 

  • Spending Your Time. Depending on how you want to enjoy your infrared sauna session, make sure you have everything you need so you don’t have to constantly walk in and out of the sauna. This can include any reading material, listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. You can also just opt to do nothing and relax or meditate, to help melt some of the stress of the day and get in the right mindset.

 

 

 

  • Time Spent in the Sauna. Be mindful of the total time spent in your infrared sauna. 20-30 minutes is around the average range, while more or less may be beneficial depending on your needs and your tolerance. While infrared saunas are a lesser temperature than a traditional sauna allowing you to be able to spend more time in them, that doesn’t always mean that more is better. 

 

 

 

  • After Your Session. After your session is complete, it’s recommended to initiate in a cool-down period for a few minutes before you do anything else. This helps get your body temperature back to homeostasis and you’re not putting any additional stress on the body. After your body is cooled down, take a bath or shower and resume your normal daily activities. 

 

 

 

  • How Often to Use the Sauna. How much time you want to spend using the sauna per week comes down to your needs and your tolerance. Using the sauna every day may be beneficial for some, while using it only 2 or 3 days may be optimal. If you’re unsure of how long you should be using the sauna and you have medical conditions, consult your physician. 

 

 

 

  • Cleaning the Sauna. Making sure your sauna is in tip-top shape will ensure that you get the most life out of your unit for a long time. After each sauna session, wipe down the areas where sweat has accumulated and then perform a quick check to see if any debris has collected.

 

 

 

  • Checking the Electronics. Once in a while, make sure to check out the components inside and outside of the sauna to make sure that everything is plugged in correctly and nothing looks damaged. The longer you wait to fix something, the more it may cost you to fix in the future and can cause other unwanted problems. 

 

 

Takeaways

Infrared saunas come with a laundry list of benefits. From improving physical and mental health, it’s no wonder that many people are opting for purchasing them from companies such as Health Mate.

How you enjoy your sauna session is completely up to you, so be sure to add your own personal touch and make the experience one of a kind.

 

 

 

If you’re looking to boost your immunity and help fight off and kill viruses, look to Health Mate. We’re the leading manufacturer of infrared saunas for the home for over 40 years. Our infrared saunas are made with 100% natural, whole wood that is naturally anti-bacterial and sustainably sourced. For more information on our line of infrared saunas for sale, contact us today to see how you can improve your health.

Using Essential Oils to Maximize Your Sauna Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy, or essential oil therapy, is a specialized kind of treatment that uses naturally occurring plant extracts in order to improve overall health and wellness of the body and the mind. 

Although the term ‘essential oil’ was coined around the last century or so, this type of homeopathic healing has been around for thousands of years and continues to increase in popularity due to its numerous effects and benefits.

You may have heard of essential oils before, and maybe you have used them, either on your body, in a diffuser, or in a sauna, but do you know what they really are?

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are concentrated liquids containing different compounds, or phytochemicals, which are derived from plants. A compound is a whole, made up of two or more parts. These oils are essenced by the plant itself.

Essential oils have been around for millennia. 

There is evidence that dates back to around 20,000 B.C.E., where there were cave paintings in France that suggested that plants were used for medicinal purposes in general. Whether oils were extracted from these plants for the purposes of oil is unknown, but it can be speculated that it might be the case.

When moving forward a few years to the era of the Ancient Egyptians in 4500 BC, a 2017 study explains that:

“they used to make a mixture of different sources of herbal preparations such as aniseed, cedar, onion, myrrh, and grapes in perfume or medicine” 

This study goes on to explain further:

“On the other hand, the use of aromatic oils was first recorded in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine between 3000 and 2000 BC [7]. In particular, the recorded history about China and India listed more than 700 substances including cinnamon, ginger, myrrh, and sandalwood as being effective for healing.”

There were even historical records of Ancient Greeks using essential oils, around 500 and 400 BC.

While using essential oils is nothing new, they have definitely risen in popularity in modern culture within the last century.

There is a vast selection of oils available on the market but many of the spices and plants that were used to concoct these oils centuries ago are still popular today.

How To Use Essential Oils?

You can enjoy the benefits of essential oils in a few different ways, and they include:

  • Aromatically, via a diffuser, or use in a sauna.
  • Topically, where you apply the essential oil onto the skin
  • Internally, where you can ingest them. 

There is a difference between essential oils that you can inject versus oils that are only suited for aromatics and using topically. It’s important to understand this distinction because ingestion of an oil that’s not made to be, can result in internal problems.

It’s also important to not confuse essential oils with fragrance oils, which are synthetic, made with artificial scents instead of naturally made. 

Fragrance oils, although some may have natural ingredients added to them, are designed only for the purpose of smelling good. They are devoid of health benefits and should not be a substitute for essential oils.

How to Use Essential Oils for Sauna Aromatherapy?

Essential oils have proven themselves to be a great addition in promoting an environment of greater health and wellbeing due to their homeopathic medicinal properties.

Incorporating essential oils in your sauna sessions is a great way to enhance your aromatherapy experience and enjoy the benefits that each oil offers.

You simply need to add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to a small container or an aromatherapy cup. The aroma of the oil will quickly fill the heated room for you to enjoy. 

Be mindful not to add too much, as it may be overbearing. Also, if the oil is too strong for you, it may need to be diluted.

The Best Essential Oils for Sauna Aromatherapy

There are many essential oils out there on the market, and each of them have their own beneficial properties.

For instance, when looking at Eucalyptus essential oil, this oil promotes a feeling of relaxation. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Peppermint, which promotes an energetic feeling. 

It all depends on what kind of property you’re looking to experience.

Here are some of the best oils to use for your sauna aromatherapy.

  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil – This is one of the most popular essential oils on the market today due to it’s recognizable, enjoyable smell and laundry list of benefits. You’ll enjoy a feeling of rejuvenation, improved energy, and can also help with mental fatigue. Some of the other benefits of this oil include helping with respiratory issues, having antimicrobial effects against bacteria, and can loosen mucus in your chest, for those that have a cough. 

 

  • Lavender Essential Oil – Lavender has a sweet, floral smell and has been widely used as a homeopathic remedy to help relieve stress and anxiety due to it’s calming and relaxing properties. There are also evidence to suggest that Lavender, according to Medical News Today:

“is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to heal minor burns and bug bites.”

When looking for a way to relax at the end of a long and stressful day, or you just need some help with calming the nerves, adding some Lavender essential oil to your sauna session is the way to go.

 

  • Frankincense Essential Oil – Frankincense is widely considered the ‘king of oils’, because of its long standing use throughout history. There’s a sweet, woody smell with subtle notes of lemon which helps to promote a calming and relaxing effect. While research on its biological activities in human skin cells is scarce, this oil is suggested to support a healthy immune system, improve the look of the skin, and assist with digestive function.

 

  • Grapefruit Essential Oil – This citrusy oil promotes a calming environment, by assisting with mood balancing, anxiety relief, and even weight loss. Although there is more research that needs to be conducted on Grapefruit essential oil, one available study indicates that:

 

The fragrance of grapefruit EO (essential oil) causes activation of the sympathetic nerve activity innervating the WAT, which facilitates lipolysis, then results in a suppression of body weight gain.”

Another study also mentions:

“ Grapefruit EO (essential oil) promotes body cleansing and removal of toxins and excess fluids.” 

 

  • Cinnamon Essential Oil – Cinnamon is one of the most popular essential oils for not just promoting a cozy and comfortable environment, but for its anti-inflammatory properties and other amazing benefits. Cinnamon is well known to improve cognitive abilities, boosting the immune system, helping to relieve achy joints and muscles and enhancing bacteria resistance. In looking at combining Cinnamon with antibiotics, one recent study concluded that:

 

“the combinations between cinnamon EO and some classical antibiotics had synergistic and additive interactions against multidrug-resistant bacteria. These combinations can be used as an alternative therapeutic application, which could decrease the minimum effective dose of the drugs, thus reducing their possible adverse effects and the costs of treatment.”

Adding a few drops of cinnamon essential oil to your sauna session can improve your health and wellness in more ways than one.

 

  • Tea Tree Essential Oil Tea Tree is another popular essential oil because of its numerous health benefits and refreshing feel on your skin. It’s also used in many over the counter products at your local store due to its versatility. Tea Tree oil is jam packed with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, including athlete’s foot and nail fungus. 

 

According to a 2006 study, it goes on to conclude that:

“A wealth of in vitro data now supports the long-held beliefs that TTO has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.”

  • Lemon Essential Oil – Lemon is one of the most classic of essential oils. This citrusy oil combines a great smell of freshness and cleanliness with many benefits including skin healing, enhancing the immune system, improving overall energy and clarity, and much more. 

One study, when researching the effects of lemon essential oil, amongst other oils, showcases that:

“The present results suggest that some forms of colloid or micelle suspension of whole essential oils may assist in antimicrobial fight, especially those that contain high amounts of terpenes and terpenoids (such as oregano, thyme or lemon oil) which are active against many bacterial species, including highly resistant and adaptable ones such as MRSA or Pseudomonas spp.

Lemon essential oil is a popular choice when looking to improve health, wellness, and anti-inflammatory properties.

When looking to use essential oils in your sauna sessions, you can also use a combination of different oils to create different scents and experience. Some popular combinations of oils include:

Calming: Lavender & Bergamot, Orange & Frankincense, Marjoram & Chamomile

Energy: Peppermint & Orange, Cinnamon & Lemon, Orange & Peppermint

Improving Focus: Cinnamon & French Basil, Juniper Berry & Wild Orange, Lime & Eucalyptus

There is no wrong way to combine these oils together. It all comes down to what kind of outcome you want. Go ahead and experiment with your favorites and create your own!

Final Takeaways

It’s well known that regular sauna use has many numerous benefits on the mind and on the body. The incorporation of essential oils to regular sauna sessions can help to enhance the experience, depending on what the specific and individual needs of the sauna user are. 

If you’re looking to boost your immunity and help fight off and kill viruses, look to Health Mate. We’re the leading manufacturer of infrared saunas for the home for over 40 years. Our infrared saunas are made with 100% natural, whole wood that is naturally anti-bacterial and sustainably sourced. For more information on our line of infrared saunas for sale, contact us today to see how you can improve your health.

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