Using Essential Oils As Sauna Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy, or essential oil therapy, is a specialized kind of treatment. It uses naturally occurring plant extracts in order to improve the overall health and wellness of both body and mind. While the term ‘essential oil’ was coined in more recent years, this type of homeopathic healing has been around for centuries. Today they are more popular than ever, mostly due to the healing properties.

You may have already used them on your body, in a diffuser, or in a sauna. But what exactly are they?

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are concentrated liquids containing different compounds, or phytochemicals, derived from plants. A compound is made up of two or more parts. They are then used in various applications, either internal or external, for health and healing.

As long ago as 20,000 B.C.E. evidence was found in cave paintings in France that suggested that plants were used for medicinal purposes. How the plants were used exactly is unknown. It has been speculated that the oils were key. A 2017 study revealed:

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

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

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

Many of the spices and plants that were used to concoct these oils centuries ago are still popular today. So, what’s the best way to use them?

How To Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils work several ways, including:

  • 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. 

Some essential oils you can safely ingest, while others are only suited for aromatics and topical use. Be sure to understand this distinction, otherwise, you could get sick or ill.

It’s also important to not confuse essential oils with fragrance oils. Fragrance oils are made with artificial scents instead rather than natural ones. They’re designed solely for the purpose of smelling good. Generally, they are devoid of health benefits and should not be substituted for essential oils.

Incorporating essential oils in your sauna sessions is a great way to enhance your aromatherapy experience and enjoy the benefits that each oil offers. 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. Just be careful to start with a few drops. If the oil scent is too strong you can also dilute it.

Best Essential Oils for Sauna Aromatherapy

There are many essential oils on the market, and each has its own beneficial properties. It all depends on what kind of feeling you’re looking to experience. More energy or relaxation, reducing inflammation or speeding healing?

Here are some suggested essential oils to use for your sauna aromatherapy.

  • Eucalyptus – This popular essential oil is often used at spas and can make you feel rejuvenated, energized, and mentally sharp. It also helps with respiratory issues and can loosen mucus in your chest or help with coughs. Studies show it provides antimicrobial effects against bacteria.
  • Lavender – Lavender has a sweet, floral smell and has been widely used as a homeopathic remedy to help relieve stress and anxiety  What some people don’t realize is that it can also heal minor burns and bug bites
  • Frankincense – Frankincense has a history of being considered the ‘king’ of oils. It’s sweet, woody smell has subtle notes of lemon that helps promote calm while also supporting a healthy immune system, improving skin appearance, and supporting digestion.
  • Grapefruit – This citrusy oil helps balance moods, provides anxiety relief, and even helps with weight loss.
  • CinnamonIt might make you think of apple pie or cozy days at home. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties, can improve cognitive abilities, and help boost the immune system in conjunction with antibiotics. It can even relieve achy joints and muscles. 
  • Tea Tree Tea Tree oil is used in many skin care products due to its refreshing, invigorating feel. It’s jam-packed with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, including athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
  • Lemon – This classic, citrusy oil is associated with freshness and cleanliness. It imparts many benefits including skin healing, enhanced immune function, bacterial fighting, improved energy and clarity, and much more. 

What About Combining Oils?

Once you experiment with different oils, you may find enjoy more than one or two. Consider using your favorites together. Some popular combinations 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 combination. It all comes down to personal preference, so experiment and create your own! Aromatherapy is a very beneficial practice and can enhance your sauna therapy 

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.

Can Using The Sauna Relieve Your Cold Symptoms?

Sauna & Colds

 

Taking part in sauna sessions on a regular basis has numerous health benefits, both for the body and for the mind. 

 

From helping sore muscles to relax, speeding up recovery time, assisting with joint pain relief, helping skin look younger and more vibrant, and many other benefits, sauna use has established itself as a jack of all trades when it comes to improving overall health and improving overall mood.

 

But what about when you’re feeling sick? Is getting into a sauna a good idea when you’re feeling under the weather? What about if you have a fever?

 

You’ve probably heard from others that using a sauna to when you’re sick is a great option in order to ‘sweat it out’.

 

But how can you be sure that ‘sweating it out’ is beneficial when you’re under the weather? 

 

Do toxins really get purged from your body when sweating?

 

How about preventing colds, to begin with?

 

Preventing the Common Cold with Sauna Use

 

Prevention is the best medicine, as some say. Having a strong immune system, to begin with, is key to preventing sickness and ill health. 

 

While the evidence of sauna use when sick is constantly being researched, one Austrian study aimed to understand the correlation between sauna use and acquiring the common cold. The study states:

 

Twenty-five volunteers were submitted to sauna bathing, with 25 controls abstaining from this or comparable procedures. In both groups, the frequency, duration, and severity of common colds were recorded for six months. There were significantly fewer episodes of the common cold in the sauna group.”

 

The study also goes on to explain:

 

“This was found particularly during the last three months of the study period when the incidence was roughly halved compared to controls. The mean duration and average severity of common colds did not differ significantly between the groups. It is concluded that regular sauna bathing probably reduces the incidence of common colds, but further studies are needed to prove this.”

 

Understanding the reason why sauna use helps prevent colds is still up for debate. Some scientists and researchers claim that the sweating from the sauna session can help facilitate better drainage, while the heat may act as a weapon in order to weaken and reduce the severity and the virus.

 

When looking to help potentially minimize the occurrence of the common cold and strengthen the immune system, sauna use is beneficial.

 

Does Sauna Use Help When You Have a Cold?

 

If you were unfortunate enough to catch the flu, the common cold, or whatever it was that made you sick, you may look to the sauna to help you sweat out the toxins in your body.

 

This, in fact, is not necessarily true.

 

“You can’t sweat out a cold” Michele Olson, Ph.D., CSCS, senior clinical professor of Sports Science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

Olson goes on to say that ‘there are few if any, toxins in your sweat”.

 

However, when looking at a study by J Environ Public Health that determines whether or not sweating helps the body detox from toxic elements, there is some evidence. The study goes on to explain:

 

“Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury exposures are ubiquitous. These toxic elements have no physiological benefits, engendering interest in minimizing body burden. The physiological process of sweating has long been regarded as “cleansing” and of low risk…sweating deserves consideration for toxic element detoxification.”

 

Comparing the common cold to toxic elements isn’t quite comparing apples to apples. What this shows is that sweating does in fact have a detox effect on the body with certain elements, just not when it comes to the common cold. 

 

If part of your sickness consists of having a fever, then taking part in a sauna session is not recommended whatsoever. 

 

When you have a fever, your body’s temperature is already raised a few degrees higher due to trying to fight infection. Introducing more heat from the sauna puts added stress on your body, including added stress to the heart. This may cause unwanted effects including increasing the risk of myocarditis and arrhythmias.

 

Is Sauna Use While Having A Cold Even Worth it?

 

While the evidence suggests that you can’t sweat out sickly toxins in a sauna, there are various other benefits that are introduced when you take part in sauna sessions when you’re under the weather.

 

Some of those benefits include:

 

  • Opening up airways for those that are congested, making breathing easier.
  • Dilation of blood vessels, which promotes greater amounts of oxygen-rich blood to flow in the body, helping to bring in more white blood cells and combat the virus.
  • May help speed the recovery process.

 

The Bottom Line

 

Although using the sauna doesn’t help to detox your body when sick, there are various other benefits including helping to strengthen your body’s immune system, and even helping you reduce the likelihood of getting sick in the first place. 

 

Be sure to consult your doctor before taking part in any sauna session, especially if you’re sick and have any prior medical conditions. 

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.

7 Amazing Skin Benefits from Sauna Bathing

Our skin is the largest organ of our body, so of course, we want to take good care of it. When considering adding another element to your skincare routine, the endless number of products or services can be overwhelming. Plus, as seasons change your skin needs and requirements also change. One option that benefits skin year-round might be something you haven’t even considered. Infrared sauna therapy! Yes, you can experience amazing skin benefits from sauna bathing.

Sauna bathing has been around for thousands of years, and we’re still continuing to discover the health benefits it provides. Added to your skincare routine, it can enhance not just how you look but how you feel. Part of that is because it can help heal, detox, cleanse, restore and so much more.

Let’s find out why a sauna is a wise option by exploring how it can improve the health of your skin, safely and non-invasively.

Sweating

When taking part in a sauna session, one of the first things that you’ll notice is the beads of sweat that form all over your body. The longer you stay in the sauna, the more you sweat. This is a normal occurrence, of course, because sweating is the way for your skin to regulate your body temperature. Your healthy body temperature is 98.6 degrees, and recommended sauna temperatures range around 120-140 degrees.

One great way to detox is by sweating. Seen recently in a 2019 Healthline article, “Sweating helps the skin remove heavy metals, in chemical elimination including BPA’s (bisphenol A), and with PBA’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) and bacterial cleansing.”

Too many toxins within the body that aren’t being properly eliminated cause long-term problems. Infrared sauna sessions promote detoxification and support liver function, especially when your body becomes overloaded.

Acne Reduction

As infrared and the sweating that results helps you detox, it also helps rid skin of acne and acne-related issues. Bacteria, clogged pores, and blocked sweat glands contribute to acne growth and can leave unsightly scars and blemishes. When the body is detoxing through sweating, it targets those acne and acne-related issues.

teen in mirror

Taking part in regular sauna sessions can help with achieving skin that’s clean, clear, and free of acne and can help prevent future acne breakouts. Just be sure to towel off or wash up right afterward to remove the cocktail of bacteria on the skin.

As Marina Peredo, M.D. of Skinfluence NYC explains that “Sweating releases a high amount of salt, which needs to be washed away immediately after sweating…the combination of salt, sebum, and bacteria contributes to breakouts.”

Weight Loss

When the body is in an environment that’s hotter than its normal regulated temperature, it works harder to maintain a level of homeostasis. Spending time in an infrared sauna helps burn calories by way of thermogenesis, defined as “the dissipation of energy through the production of heat.”

From a recent article in Fitness Blender, “A healthy male of 185 pounds burns 42 calories in 30 minutes of sitting. To find the number of calories this same individual burns while sitting in a sauna, multiply those calories by 1.5 to 2 in order to get an estimate. In this case, he would burn roughly 63 to 84 calories.” 

While a sauna certainly shouldn’t be a replacement for regular physical exercise, it can have a beneficial effect on our weight and our metabolism. By raising our heartbeat through increased temperature, our body is naturally increasing its energy output. Combined with eating healthier and exercising you can potentially achieve a healthier weight. Remember, some weight loss in the sauna is through water loss and sweating, so it’s important to stay hydrated.

Better Circulation

You might wonder what blood flow has to do with better skin. As a matter of fact, it has a LOT!

Infrared heat causes the blood vessels in the body to dilate. More dilated blood vessels promote increased circulation, expediting the process of healing the skin. If you have skin trauma including cuts, bruises, and scarring, the increased blood flow helps heal injury sites more efficiently.

blood circulation

As published in News Medical Life Sciences in 2019, Since infrared therapy enhances and improves circulation in the skin and other parts of the body, it can bring oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues, promoting healing. It helps ease pain, relieve inflammation, and protect against oxidative stress.”

On the same note, people with cardiac or heart issues, high blood pressure included, should consult a medical professional before using a sauna.

Collagen Production

Collagen products have been flooding the market in the past few years, a fairly new option for slowing the aging process. One of the most plentiful proteins in the human body, collagen is a building block of our skin made up of amino acids. It’s what makes us look nice and healthy. So, it makes complete sense to want to keep your collagen production going strong!

face glow

As we age, collagen production does decrease, but you can use a sauna to help reverse or slow the aging process. Sauna bathing helps promote collagen growth, improving its elasticity and health. Check out this information from a 2006 study by Yonsei Medical Journal

The content of collagen and elastin produced by the fibroblasts increased after infrared radiation was proportional to the duration of irradiation exposure. Following 6 months of treatment, all patients reported good (51-75%) improvements in skin texture and roughness.”

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise paired with sauna sessions can result in younger, more collagen-producing skin.

Sounder Sleep

What does sleep have to do with the skin? You’ve probably slept poorly and noticed your appearance the next day being somewhat drab, pale, or drawn. Healthline reports, During sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases. The organ rebuilds its collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots.” The better you sleep, the better your skin will look and feel.

When taking part in infrared sauna sessions, not only will you relax, but it helps balance hormones in the body, including melatonin which helps with sleep. Another 2015 study shows that infrared sauna therapy helped to minimize symptoms in individuals that experience chronic fatigue. The result shows that:

“Perceived fatigue significantly decreased after therapy, although no significant reductions were observed during therapy. In addition, a negative mood, including anxiety, depression, and fatigue, and the performance status significantly improved after therapy.

So, a sauna session before bedtime can be the perfect solution when having bouts of insomnia in addition to ensuring a sounder night between the sheets.

Healthier Scalp And Hair

We’ve already talked about infrared helping increase collagen production. Collagen and improved elastin production don’t just help with your face, arms, and legs, it also affects your scalp. Saunas carry more blood to the hair follicles, in addition to the other parts of the body. This encourages cell regeneration which directly promotes hair growth.

Some studies encourage the use of red light, or near-infrared, to help reduce hair loss along with stimulating hair growth post-chemo treatment or hair transplant. For this reason, chromotherapy is a great option for your sauna.

Man enjoying chromotherapy in Inspire 3 sauna

It’s important to keep in mind that as the sauna causes sweating you’ll also get build-up on your scalp of excess bacteria and sebum, or oil. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you rinse off your hair and scalp after a sauna session.

Takeaways

Is sauna use good for the skin? The answer is yes, for a multitude of reasons.

From helping with acne issues,  hair growth,  blood circulation, better sleep, and more, the benefits of regular infrared sauna use for the skin are tried and true. Sauna sessions can be a positive addition to your skincare routine while improving your overall health.

An infrared sauna should not be seen as a substitute for certain skincare routines or conditions, but rather as a supplement. It’s important to discuss sauna use with a doctor or dermatologist before taking part in sessions.

Health Mate is the leading manufacturer of infrared saunas for the home. 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!

The Difference Between Red Light & Infrared Light Therapy

Light therapy is an umbrella term that’s been batted around for a while, not always clearly defined. You’ve probably heard of it due to its booming popularity either from watching videos, word of mouth, or from advertisements for a variety of holistic and wellness products that have flooded the market. Under that umbrella fall various kinds of light therapy, including red light and infrared light therapy. In general, light therapy is ususally a type of healing modality.

Infrared saunas are one of those modalities. And before you buy one, you’ll want to have a clear idea of what to look for and what type of therapy each provides. First, let’s define what the terms mean and what each type of light provides.

What Is Light Therapy?

Light therapy, also called bright light therapy or phototherapy, is a natural healing method for certain conditions and issues within the human body. One type of light therapy is sun exposure or something that mimics that light, like a sun lamp. The second type is more controlled and comes from a fabricated heat source. This includes light panels, light wands, and more.

Much like plants that use the sun’s energy for photosynthesis, humans use the energy of sunlight, or similar types of light to create energy and use it as a sort of ‘healing fuel’. When skin is exposed to certain light it kickstarts chemical interactions within the body and causes positive changes including boosting circulation, healing wounds, and changing our overall mood.

Even though we can’t see what’s happening, there are many internal interactions occurring that are working hard to help heal and repair. Lack of sunlight in particular can cause a host of cognitive issues, cancers, and bone development issues to name a few.

So, let’s compare and contrast red light therapy and infrared light therapy.

Red Light Therapy vs Infrared Light Therapy

Red light therapy, often referred to as low-power laser therapy (LPLT), photobiomodulation (PBM), or low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can be explained, according to Cleveland Medical Clinic asa treatment that uses low wavelength red light to improve your skin’s appearance, such as reducing wrinklesscars, redness and acne. It’s also used to treat other medical conditions.” When it comes to red light therapy, one of the questions that people ask most is whether tanning booths are considered red light. Rest assured, it is not the same. Tanning booths emit UV rays that could damage the skin and the cells, while red light does not.

Medical professionals frequently offer red light therapy as a more homeopathic, less invasive, skin treatment at certain clinics. However, there are many products you can purchase that are easy and safe to use at home. Red light therapy is also referred to as near-infrared light. If your sauna comes with chromotherapy, you can benefit from red light, or near-infrared, in addition to mid- and far-infrared.

Infrared light waves, unlike red light, are invisible to the naked eye, but you can feel it. Infrared light therapy’s most natural source is the sun. However, you can gain the benefits of infrared  without risking sunburn or damage from UV rays. Health Mate saunas feature low-emf, nonharmful infrared.

Infrared light therapy is especially helpful if you experience acute or chronic pain, muscle issues and circulation problems. Because it penetrates deep below the skin layers, it provides a greater range of healing from the inside. The penetration ultimately increases blood flow, which helps to repair injuries or bodily trauma.

Let’s learn more about the benefits.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Each?

Although there is some overlap on what kinds of conditions and issues these two kinds of therapies treat, the differences are there, and depending on what your specific needs are, you can choose accordingly. If you’re unsure about what kind is best for you, consult a medical professional.

According to this graphic, we can see the differences of how red light therapy vs infrared sauna light affects the body, and how deep they go inside subcutaneously.

Infrared light levels
Image credit: It’s Now You

Both red light therapy and infrared light therapy offer their fair share of health aids. While studies and clinical research are ongoing, evidence suggests the following benefits.

Red light benefits:

  • Decrease wrinkles
  • Help heal scars and wounds
  • Increase melatonin production
  • Enhance eye health
  • Reduce anxiety
  • And much more

Infrared light benefits:

The great news? Health Mate offers saunas that provide both red light and infrared, through its full-spectrum saunas. These offer the benefit of red light or chromotherapy via LED panels along with high-quality, lasting heaters that provide a dual-wave mid- and far-infrared.

But, what about safety?

Are There Risks Or Side Effects?

As with any type of procedure or treatment, complications can occur with overexposure or misuse. This applies to both red and infrared light therapy, even with regular use. Ultimately, you should always follow any medical or product guidelines to ensure you are exposing yourself within proper timelines, at safe temperatures, and are not prone to any particular medical reactions based on your existing health condition.

Since studies and findings are still being reported, we are continually updating any supportive claims and negative outcomes in order to ensure the safety of our customers and potential customers.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, light therapy is a safe, effective way to improve your health. If you make sure to follow the advice of your medical practitioner, health professional, or product guidelines, you should reap the many benefits it can provide.

Check out our large selection of saunas and take the next step to improve your health with infrared sauna therapy. Health Mate has been the industry leader in manufacturing award-winning saunas for over 40 years. Contact us today for information regarding our saunas, quotes, and how to order.

Why Sauna After A Workout?

One of the best feelings after you complete a workout is that sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Whether you worked out in the morning and are ready to tackle the day, or you worked out in the evening and are ready to wind down, knowing you knocked out your workout just makes the day feel more complete.

You then hit the shower, put on fresh clothes, and then go on about your day, right?

Well, if that’s been your routine for a long time, we can tell you there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your workout and enhance many areas of your health at the same time, we recommend putting aside a few minutes right between the end of your workout and when you hit the shower, for a sauna session.

Keep reading as we go in-depth into why your post-workout routine should always include some time in the sauna.

Let’s dive in.

How to use a sauna after a workout

There can be many benefits to using a sauna after working out, however, it’s important to correctly use the sauna to your advantage post-workout.
Keep your sauna sessions short, no longer than about 20 to 30 minutes. If you are new to using the sauna, try shorter intervals in the 10 to 15 minute range.

Your body is already worn down from your workout, so staying in the sauna for more than the recommended time can cause dehydration and overheating. Those who regularly use saunas can tolerate longer times, but the most important thing is to listen to your body.

If you start feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or have a headache coming on, it’s time to immediately exit the sauna and get some fresh air.

After exiting the sauna, be sure to drink two to four glasses of water to stay hydrated. This will also help flush out the remaining toxins in your body. Saunas cause a lot of sweating and you will need to replenish your fluids afterward.

We also recommend bringing a water bottle inside the sauna so you can stay on top of your hydration. By the time you feel that you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.

After you leave the gym, keep your activity light, however, mild exercise like walking will increase blood flow and help aid the recovery of your muscles.

If you are using a sauna at a gym be sure to follow proper gym sauna etiquette. This includes:

  • Showering before entering the sauna
  • Not entering the sauna nude
  • Respecting others in the sauna
  • Not exercising while in the sauna.

Should you use a sauna before a workout?

No, you should not use a sauna before a workout. It may sound like an easy way to “warm-up” for your workout, but it can be dangerous.

Saunas increase your chances of dehydration. The heat in the sauna will cause unnecessary sweating before you start exercising and you run the risk of overheating and feeling light headed during your workout.

Saunas relax your muscles, which is a benefit after your workout but becomes detrimental before a workout. If your muscles are too relaxed for your workout, you run the risk of damaging your muscles or injuring yourself with vigorous exercise.

What are the benefits of a sauna after your workout?

If done correctly, a short 20 to 30-minute sauna session post-workout can have a dramatic positive effect on your health.

Cardiovascular improvements

The heat from saunas increases your heart rate and blood flow. This means more blood is passed through the heart with less resistance by the arteries and veins, thus lowering blood pressure for increased cardiovascular health.

Many people exercise to improve their cardiovascular health, however finishing a workout in a sauna will prolong the increased heart rate, which further improves cardiovascular benefits.

Detoxification

A sign of a good workout can be how sweaty you are. Sweating helps cool you down during your workout, but it can also help your body release toxins. You can prolong the benefits and even increase your sweating in a sauna post-workout.

The rays from infrared saunas penetrate deep into the skin and help break up water molecule clusters which promotes detoxification or the release of harmful toxins in your body. These harmful elements can include alcohol, nicotine, toxic metals, and more. By removing these harmful elements from your body you are more likely to feel better after your workout.

Muscle Recovery

Working out causes microscopic damage to your muscle fibers which is why you may feel sore after your workouts. This is sometimes referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS and a little soreness is normal.

Have you heard the popular saying, “no pain no gain” before? The damage from working out eventually heals and your muscles get stronger and bigger. However, the soreness after working out can be very uncomfortable and may last days depending on how severe.

Using a sauna after your workout can help reduce the recovery time of your muscles. Saunas help increase blood circulation which carries oxygen-rich blood cells to oxygen-depleted muscles to enhance their recovery. The sauna also helps relieve muscle tension helping your body make the most of its healing abilities.

Lowers Stress Levels

Working out puts your body in a “fight or flight” mode that may last for some time after you get done exercising. By getting into the sauna after your workout, you relieve your body by coaxing it into a parasympathetic state, allowing for your body to de-stress, rest, and heal.

Reducing The Risk of Strokes

Alongside helping alleviate muscle soreness, body detoxification, and many other positive factors, a cohort study published by the Journal of Neurology in 2018 showcases that “middle-aged to elderly men and women who take frequent sauna baths have a substantially reduced risk of new-onset stroke.”

Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Another benefit of sauna use is the improvement of insulin sensitivity. According to a study conducted in 2009 by Mark F McCarty Jorge Barroso-Aranda and Francisco Contreras:

“Regular thermal therapy, using saunas or hot baths, has the potential to improve impaired insulin sensitivity and boost endothelial expression of the “constitutive” isoform of nitric oxide synthase–effects, analogous to those of aerobic training that should promote vascular health.”

What this tells us next improving insulin sensitivity is that sauna use is comparable in certain effects to actually partaking in aerobic activity. Unfortunately you can’t replace working out with a sauna session, but using both in conjunction with each other can produce some great effects on the body.

Increases Hormone Production

For those wondering if sauna use has any effect on your hormone production, you’re in luck.

According to a study by the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology:

“Eight healthy young men were studied during three periods of heat exposure in a Finnish sauna bath…Plasma noradrenaline increased about 100% at 80 D, 160% at 100 D and 310% at 80 DH. Adrenaline did not change. Plasma prolactin increased 2-fold at 80 D, 7-fold at 100 D and 10-fold at 80 DH. Blood concentrations of the beta-endorphin immunoreactivity at 100 D, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) at 100 D and 80 DH, growth hormone at 100 D and testosterone at 80 DH also increased, but cortisol at 80 D and 100 D decreased.”

What this is ultimately saying is that growth hormone levels within the body were increased, in part due to time in the sauna, how hot the sauna was, and the frequency of sauna use.

Conclusion

Saunas have been around for thousands of years and we understand many benefits that come with using them. However, that does not mean we know everything yet. Researchers still continue to conduct studies to this day to widen our understanding of how it affects the body and its internal systems.

For what we know now based on research and studies, when it comes to using a sauna after a workout, the benefits are clear.

Taking the time to incorporate a short 20 to 30-minute session after each workout can have a positive effect on one’s health, from muscle recovery to cardiovascular improvements.

 

Health Mate Saunas is the leading manufacturer of infrared saunas for the home for over 40 years. Our high-quality infrared saunas are made with 100% natural, whole wood that is naturally anti-bacterial and sustainably sourced. For more information on our line of premium infrared saunas, contact us today to see how you can improve your skin, your health, and your life.

How to Use an Infrared Sauna

There are few better feelings than the experience of a great infrared sauna session. From the time you step in to the time you step out, one is seemingly transformed into a world of relaxation and improved health benefits. Best of all, this can be achieved in the comfort of your own home.

What Is An Infrared Sauna?

An infrared sauna is a unique type of sauna that uses lower temperatures (within the average range of 100-140 degrees) infrared light lamps to heat up the body instead of a higher temperature convection style (with average ranges of 180-200 degrees), much like the traditional sauna does. 

Infrared saunas are usually made up of 3 different types of lighting known as near, mid, and far-infrared.

  • Near-infrared lighting is made up of short wavelengths that penetrate the body on the topical level, assisting with skin health.
  • Mid-infrared lighting goes deeper into the skin than near-infrared with longer wavelengths, targeting muscles and joints.
  • Far-infrared lighting is the farthest level of infrared. This style of lighting heats the body from within, promoting sweating and other healthy detox functions.

When it comes to overall health and getting in a quicker sauna session, hotter does not always mean better. The infrared style sauna is suggested to be more comfortable and healthier than a traditional hot air sauna because the lower temperature allows people to tolerate the effects for a longer period of time.

Full Spectrum Saunas from Health Mate use a combination of all 3 types of lighting to target each area of your body and provide the maximum number of benefits.   

What are the Benefits of An Infrared Sauna?

Some of the benefits that come with infrared sauna sessions can include:

  • Improves overall quality of sleep
  • Weight loss. There is evidence that in a 30 min infrared sauna session, up to 600 calories can be burned.
  • Helps promote relaxation
  • Increases circulation
  • Alleviates joint pain
  • Increased range of motion
  • Treatment of chronic health problems
  • Helps to purify the skin

While there needs to be continued use of the sauna to maximize your overall health benefits, the great thing is that there are benefits that can be noticeable even right after your first sauna session. These can include toxin detoxification through sweat, a better range of motion, and having an overall more positive mood. 

Sweating usually occurs after the first 10-15 minutes of entering the sauna. Some individuals may notice that it takes more time to sweat, as a result of your body adapting to the environment or other factors including your overall hydration levels. That’s why it’s extremely important to stay hydrated in order to facilitate healthy sweat levels and have your body working optimally. 

How to Use an Infrared Sauna?

While infrared saunas provide a vast number of benefits to the human body, there are important things to know before getting into one. Please read our list of medical contraindications and then consider the following tips to make the most of your sauna session. 

 

1. Warm Up The Sauna to your Desired Temperature

Many people ask – “Do I need to let the sauna warm-up before I get in?”

The answer is simply based on your personal preference. Many people enjoy feeling the increasing warmth as the sauna heats, while others prefer the sauna to already be hot inside when they step into it.

 

2. Stay Hydrated

 

While infrared saunas produce less heat than traditional saunas, your body still sweats at a significant rate during a session which causes the body to lose fluids quickly. It’s important to always drink water before you enter the sauna, and even bring in a durable water bottle or tumbler to continually replenish your fluid loss. Drinking coconut water is also a great choice due to the benefits of hydration and additional vitamins.

 

3. Keep a Towel Handy

The last thing that you want to worry about when enjoying your infrared sauna session is not having a towel to absorb your sweat, especially in the presence of others. Wearing an absorbent robe is also a great choice, which helps to prevent the need to wipe down more often. Having a towel and a robe is also beneficial to help extend the life & cleanliness of the sauna, preventing the wood from absorbing too much sweat over an extended period of time.

 

4. Length of Time

Like anything that involves any external forces acting upon the body, such as weightlifting, it’s important to start slow when starting your infrared sauna experience. The external force acting upon the body is infrared light. It’s invisible, but there are still things happening to your body. Taking your time to have your body adjust allows you to get an accurate understanding of how your body reacts and you can either increase or decrease your time spent.

How often you should use an infrared sauna comes down to how you feel, and what your body is capable of. Roughly 10 or so minutes is a great time for a beginning sauna session. As you progress and your body gets more acclimated, you can bump up the time to a usually suggested 20-30 min. You can adjust the time and also temperature level to ensure your session is tailored to you.

Everything in this world, even infrared saunas, needs to be used with a balance in mind. Spending too much time in an infrared sauna can cause unwanted effects including dehydration, so listen to your body and make sure to stay within the suggested range.

 

5. Wear proper clothing

It’s important to make sure that the clothing you are wearing feels comfortable to you and is breathable. Most individuals simply wear robes inside the sauna to absorb sweat, but throwing on a tank top and shorts is perfectly fine too. Don’t forget to remove any jewelry, as an infrared sauna may not be the most ideal place for them and could lead to damage over time.

Individuals also tend to sweat after they exit the sauna for an extended period of time. While showering is the most ideal option after your sauna session, prepare your clothing choices in case you can’t.

 

6. Ditch the Shoes

Try to avoid wearing shoes inside an infrared sauna because not only are they dirty, they can absorb moisture from your sweat and cause issues for the health of your feet. Opt for open-toe sandals instead so your feet can breathe and you can wipe them down with a towel.

7. Listen to an audiobook

Time spent in an infrared sauna should be used wisely, to better yourself! If you prefer to be partaking in an activity instead of doing nothing, or reading a book is not your style, listening to an audiobook is a great way to pass the time quickly and improve your knowledge.

8. Relax & Enjoy the Experience

Infrared saunas were built to improve health, help detox, enhance wellbeing, alongside a number of other benefits. Implement the same benefits to your mind and habits, as you should take the short time in the sauna to partake in activities such as meditation, breathing exercises, reading, yoga, and anything else that takes your mind off the stressors of the day.

Try to avoid bringing in your phone or any other electronic device so you can unplug and recharge your own figurative batteries. While there have been anecdotal reports of electronics working fine while in an infrared sauna, challenge yourself to not be dependent on it and look for other ways to occupy your time.

When Is The Best Time To Use A Sauna?

While everyone’s schedule differs widely, the best time to use an infrared sauna ultimately comes down to personal preference. 

Using an infrared sauna either in the morning or in the evening is suggested to be beneficial. According to an excerpt by Dr. Lawrence Wilson: 

“It is best to use a sauna first thing in the morning or the last thing at night.  These are the times one is most relaxed and it will be most effective.   The more one relaxes, the more one will sweat.”

Using a sauna before and after workouts is also very beneficial. When used before the workout, it helps to warm up and loosen your body and muscles, and increase your range of motion. Using it after a workout helps to aid in muscle recovery and relaxation.

The important thing to keep in mind is to always listen to your body, and incorporate infrared sauna therapy where it’s right for you during your day.

 

Should I Shower After The Sauna?

When finally stepping out of your infrared sauna, your body will more than likely be covered in sweat from head to toe. Instead of immediately running to the shower to cool off, ideally, you want to take a few minutes to have your body acclimate and get to baseline with the normal environmental temperature.

Taking time to do this can help to prevent sudden circulatory disturbances which could also shock the system for some individuals. 

 

What Should I Do After An Infrared Sauna Session?

Your sauna session should be a pleasant and enjoyable one. This experience doesn’t just stop after you get out. Depending on what time of the day you have your session, there are various things you can do to maximize your experience. 

 

1. Make sure to rehydrate

Since your body has lost a lot of fluids in the sauna, you want to make sure that your body gets replenished to fight off dehydration.

 

2. Supplement your body with healthy foods

Make the most of your sauna session by opting for healthy foods including fruits and veggies to promote an even more beneficial environment for your body. One important benefit of an infrared sauna is toxin detoxification, so you can essentially negate this factor if you end up opting for junk food, sodas, or candy.  You’ll end up feeling better with healthier foods, and look better too.

 

3. Take some time to cool down

Whether you’re enjoying your sauna experience in the morning or evening, a beneficial element to keep in mind is to take a few minutes after your session to just relax. Doing this in the morning can prepare you for a positive day ahead. In the evening, this can help to promote better sleep.

4. Go for a walk

Help to promote healthy circulation from sitting down for an extended period of time by going for a short walk. Not only can you get your steps in, but you’ll be more in tune with your body about how you feel.

 

Health Mate has been manufacturing quality in-home infrared saunas for over 40 years. Our wide selection of infrared saunas for sale ensures there’s something for everyone. For even more in-depth articles on saunas, check out our infrared sauna blogContact us today and let us help you improve your health and kickstart your way to healthier habits.

How a Sauna Helps with Weight Loss

Saunas have been shown to help detoxify your body from harmful toxins and improve your cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as helping heal muscles and chronic pain.

 

 But is a sauna good for weight loss?

 

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, regular use of a sauna compares to the same cardiovascular effect of running. Infrared heat therapy helps raise your core body temperature as your body absorbs the infrared heat, which then boosts your cardiovascular, lymphatic and immune systems creating a fat based sweat to help your body detox and yes, help lose some weight. 

 

Of course, having a healthy diet and regular exercise are imperative to a weight loss journey. There aren’t any shortcuts there, so make sure a healthy diet and exercise routine are part of the plan. 

 

But if you’re looking for wellness that goes deeper and also helps with the process of weight loss, an infrared sauna can provide a wealth of health benefits. 

 

We’ll dive into how a sauna helps in losing weight as well as all the tips and tricks in using your infrared sauna to help optimize your overall health. 

Does a Sauna Help You Lose Weight?

 

According to research, dry saunas have been proven to help lower weight in overweight people with a large body mass index. 

 

The way you lose weight with a sauna, happens in these different ways: 

 

  • Sweating Probably the most obvious way to most of us, sweating is one of the way’s our body loses weight. Water weight that is. When it comes to water weight, it can (and should) easily come back when you rehydrate. 
  • Detoxification Your immune system is constantly going up against an arsenal of toxins such as pesticides, toxic metals, PCBs in plastics, environmental pollution, and even GMOs (genetically modified organisms). These toxins can also inhibit your metabolism according to Physical Therapy Doctor and Functional Medicine Specialist, Tim Jackson. When you detox by using a sauna, those toxins can be reduced and allow your body to burn fat more easily. 
  • Burning Calories We often think of burning calories in the form of sweat, but it’s more complex than that. Infrared heat raises your body’s temperature which then raises your metabolic rate, as much as by 20% according to Jackson, which allows you to keep burning calories a few hours later after spending time in your sauna. 
  • Lowering Stress. That’s right, infrared heat helps your body lower it’s cortisol level, which is a hormone that has been proven to cause weight gain. So don’t forget to add a mediation session to your routine sauna time so you can get those stress levels down even more. 

 

 

How to Use a Sauna to Lose Weight

 

There are important and safe ways to use your infrared sauna in order to really maximize on the health benefits, including weight loss. 

 

A sauna routine is unique to everyone – but there are some core guidelines you can follow to shape and create your sauna routine. 

 

  • Hydration – Always make sure your are well hydrated before and after a sauna session.
  • How often to use a sauna – While an infrared sauna is safe to use every day, start off with 1-3 times per week. Maximize this time by having the session after a workout (that you have cooled down from). 
  • How long to stay in a sauna – It’s recommended to keep your sauna sessions 15-20 min long. You can also adjust the temperature based on your comfort level. 
  • Cool down – Allow your body to cool off after your sauna session. 

 

Tips for Safely Using Your Infrared Sauna for Weight Loss

 

Using your infrared sauna for weight loss should be done with safety and health in mind. 

 

Here are some tips to using your infrared sauna safely:

  • Avoid alcohol before using a sauna
  • Don’t stay in a sauna longer than recommended 
  • Use a temperature your body is comfortable with
  • Start off with shorter sauna sessions and you can gradually increase the time 
  • Don’t use the sauna pre-workout as it could increase your chances of injury or dehydration
  • Stay hydrated! Look out for signs of dehydration and make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes 
  • Avoid using the sauna when you are ill 

Weight loss, like any health goal, is truly about keeping in mind the long term. Eating healthy and exercising become a way of life and a mindset rather than just a phase for those who really experience a positive weight loss journey. 

 

Make the most out of your weight loss journey and increase your body’s health from the inside out in a holistic and natural way using an infrared sauna to help detoxify, heal chronic pain, improve muscles, burn calories, and improve your body’s internal systems. While many good things may take some hard work and  time, it’s always worth it in the end. 

 

Infrared Sauna vs. Traditional Steam Sauna – What’s the Difference?

The health practice of heat treatments for the body date back to the ancient greeks. Saunas are said to have been invented in Finland thousands of years ago. Their therapeutic influence slowly spread throughout the world.

 

In 1965, the first infrared sauna was invented by a Japanese doctor and became available to the public in 1979. Since then, their popularity has grown worldwide and it’s raised several important questions we’ll be exploring in this post.

 

What is an Infrared Sauna?

 

An infrared sauna, or far-infrared sauna, uses infrared light to create heat. Also known as infrared therapy, the infrared lamps heat the body from within, meaning that your body will be directly heated by the light waves penetrating your skin. Think of it like when you walk outside on a sunny day and the sun warms your skin. Infrared saunas work similarly to warm your body, reaching your muscles and nerves, and are completely safe to use.

 

What is a Steam Sauna?

 

A steam sauna is likely what you think about when you think of a traditional sauna. Steam saunas use a heater and stones to create humidity and heat the body from the outside. The hot air makes you sweat more to release toxins. Traditional saunas can range from being wood-burning saunas, electric saunas, and steam rooms, which use the most amount of humidity.

 

What’s the Differences Between Infrared Saunas vs. Traditional Steam Saunas?

 

Sauna Operation Temperatures and Heat Up Times

 

Infrared saunas can operate at lower temperatures because they use infrared light to heat the body from the inside, rather than heating the air outside the body. Infrared saunas can run as low as between 110-150°F.

 

Because traditional steam saunas heat the air to create humidity to heat your body from the outside, they have to operate at a much higher temperature – between 150-190°F. 

 

It takes about 15-20 minutes for most infrared saunas to heat up. A person may even begin bathing when the room is turned on because it’s the infrared light that heats up the body rather than the air inside the sauna. On the other hand, traditional steam saunas may take about 30-40 minutes to heat up and bathers will need to wait for the desired temperature before bathing.

 

Health Benefits

 

Both saunas provide a range of health benefits and some differ depending on the heat source.

 

Infrared saunas have great skin benefits. The infrared rays penetrate deep down into skin tissue and promote more sweating than traditional steam saunas. This deep penetration increases blood flow, breaks up water molecule clusters, and in return promotes detoxification or the release of harmful toxins for healthier skin. 

 

The increase in blood flow from the infrared rays means more blood is passed through the heart with less resistance by the arteries and veins, thus lowering blood pressure for increased cardiovascular health.

 

The traditional steam sauna offers a wet heat that is great for moisturizing and purifying the skin. The heat opens up the pores and sweat helps clean them out. The moist air can also open sinuses and nasal passages to help relieve respiratory issues, such as allergies, sinusitis and cold symptoms.

 

Sauna Maintenance

 

Traditional steam saunas tend to be bigger than infrared saunas. There are one or two-person steam saunas available as well, yet steam saunas tend to be heavier due to the fact that they require thick insulation and watertight walls which adds more weight.

 

Both types usually come in kits that can be assembled without professional help. Traditional steam saunas do involve specific electrical and plumbing requirements, while most infrared saunas can be plugged into a standard 20 amp wall outlet. 

 

Steam saunas also require a steam generator that should be installed in a safe location to reduce the risk of a burn. Due to the nature of the steam, traditional steam saunas tend to require more cleaning and pose a risk of mold growth.