7 Amazing Benefits Of Infrared

Before the New Year even arrives, there are thousands of people setting new health goals for themselves every day. It could be to get fitter, to feel more relaxed, or to move beyond chronic pain. Which specific health benefits you seek to achieve can vary as much as the choice of sauna models on the market. But, thousands of customers all across the world will admit at least one of the following 7 amazing benefits of infrared makes owning a home sauna worthwhile.

Remarkably, relaxation and stress relief are not always at the top of the list. Additionally, some sauna health benefits may surprise you! Let’s dive in and learn more.

Healing Faster

As a child, days after you placed a Band-aid on a cut or knee scrape, you would peel it away to witness the “boo-boo” was nearly gone! The body innately heals itself. Back on the monkey bars or bicycle, you went. However, as we age healing can take a little longer than the playground days of our youth.

healing

Infrared heat works with our body to expedite our healing process. The surface of our skin benefits particularly from near-infrared rays. The wavelengths that reach and penetrate our skin can help reduce inflammation, and red light from near infrared has been shown to activate fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are cells that help maintain and improve our tissue structure and help us heal. This is why our full-spectrum saunas, with near-infrared panels built right in, will provide benefits you may not have been expecting.

But that’s just near infrared. The mid and far rays are imparting even more health improvements deep below your epidermis.

Improving Circulation

One of our longtime customers recently shared that she was having trouble conceiving, after months of undergoing IVF treatments. “I subsequently went off treatments, and at the same time was using my infrared sauna. Not long after, I was able to get pregnant,” she said. Her doctor upon discovering this attributed it to better circulation resulting from the infrared sessions. That’s a great testimonial to the power of infrared! Indeed, increased circulation can have many health benefits.

We rely on good blood circulation not only to deliver oxygen to our lungs but also to distribute essential nutrients throughout our system. Lethargy and sedentary lifestyles can directly affect our bodily functions. Infrared saunas help improve circulation by increasing the temperature in our core which then helps expand blood vessels. This leads to better delivery of those nutrients, and simultaneously promotes a boost in cardio activity.
Meanwhile, you’ll also be sweating up a storm, which provides its own benefits, like detoxification.

Detoxing Your System

The stress of the day isn’t the only thing you can say goodbye to after a sauna session. Our patented Tecoloy Max heaters are uniquely engineered to allow you to sweat more quickly at high temperatures. As a result, your body will be releasing toxins that have been stored in your system. Even the most health-conscious person might not be aware of the sheer number of metals, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals impacting their health day to day. Unfortunately, there’s only so much we can do to avoid certain pollutants.

sweat detox
By sweating during a 20- or 30-minute sauna session, you can safely bid toxins ‘bon voyage’. Our infrared saunas are a powerful detox resource. As long as you are staying hydrated, the entire experience will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your day or relax at the end of your evening. And you may even sleep more soundly.
Curious about what else saunas have to offer? It gets better.

Kickstarting Weight Loss

We’re all busy. Everyone would like to have enough time for fitness or enough money to hire a personal chef, but that isn’t always feasible. A personal home sauna can be a viable tool for meeting fitness goals. Amazingly, the intense heat generated by the powerful mid- and far-infrared rays helps increase our heart rate, resulting in a cardiovascular effect similar to jogging or running. The result? You can burn up to 300 calories and promote weight loss in a single visit inside your sauna.

Some of us live in a seasonal climate, where it might not be so enticing to brave the outdoors for a jog during fall or winter. Thankfully, you don’t have to. Rather, you can reap similar benefits all while relaxing in your sauna. Once the weather heats up again, your sauna is still a great wellness retreat for other reasons.
Read on…

Building Your Immunity

Your body is a germ-fighting machine, but it’s only as good as its healthy cells. While winter months can make us more prone to infection for various reasons, your sauna can be your best defense.Infrared Sauna Benefits for the Immune System - Health Mate Blog

Our infrared heaters don’t just make you sweat, they actually make your body mimic an internal fever. Your blood cells are kicked into high gear, fending off potential infection. Internally, your mitochondria are working to prevent inflammation and essentially heal your body. Far-infrared rays penetrate deep beneath the skin, so while you relax, a series of restorative actions are helping build your immune response. Studies have actually shown that infrared sessions when taken regularly can reduce the frequency of colds.
And what about aches and pain? We’re glad you asked.

Reducing Chronic Pain

Whether you’re recovering from a workout or more seriously, battling ongoing aching from issues like arthritis, migraines, or fibromyalgia, consider infrared treatment. It’s not just that we’re partial to our saunas, but actual medical evidence points to the benefits of infrared saunas for their positive results in relieving pain.

happy seniors

Far-infrared rays can work to flush out fluid that causes inflammation and swelling. While sweating and releasing these fluids, you’ll not only feel more relaxed but you’ll also free the body of toxins that might lead to autoimmune disorders. Your muscles receive an influx of oxygen from better circulation as well. This expedites the healing process.
The long-term benefits are worth the investment. But if you’re not already convinced, check out one more added sauna advantage.

Brightening Your Complexion

She’s glowing! You’ve heard this positive expression before and not just applied to a passing moment. Rosy, clear complexions are a sign of good health, which is why so many people shell out hundreds of dollars for skin care treatments that promise the same. But what if you could sit in your sauna for minutes a day and get some of the same results, and more?

Infrared saunas are a source of all the benefits you’ve read about so far. They could also be the answer to your acne or wrinkle issues, and figuratively, a way to time-travel back to a young-looking you.

We know that the stimulation of our cells and increased circulation offer better organ function, but our skin is the largest organ in our body! So it makes sense that our pores releasing toxins and our circulation distributing nutrients would also lead to improved appearance and increased collagen production. What? Yes, a study showed that after regular sauna sessions, our elastin and collagen production increases.

clear face

So, you won’t just feel better after a healthy dose of infrared, you’ll actually look better, too.
These are just 7 of the amazing benefits of infrared that have been popular.

We hope you’ll continue to learn more about Health Mate saunas, get pricing information, and consider our financing options. Contact our sauna specialists for details today.

Can Light Therapy Help S.A.D.?

It’s that time of year when our clocks fall back an hour, and the morning light creeps in earlier. While you may or may not be partial to the daylight saving practice, we know our bodies and minds are affected. Just as mornings seem to start earlier, the skies can also get gloomier. Northern states of course experience this the most, with long rainy or snowy days and constant overcast. If you’re one of the 5% of the population who experiences Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) it can be a struggle. However, there are some measures that can help lessen depression. But can light therapy help S.A.D.?

We’re here to discuss fall onset S.A.D. and how light therapy may make a huge difference.

What Exactly Is S.A.D.?

Just because it’s cloudy in an otherwise sunny state, you might think, oh, I have S.A.D. But having one or two off days can’t be categorized as a disorder. Sure, it may take time to adjust to an earlier sundown or a rainstorm, but winter blues are fleeting. S.A.D. can last an entire season.

The Mayo Clinic shared that fall and winter S.A.D. can include symptoms like oversleeping, appetite changes, weight gain, and exhaustion or low energy. If you happen to have an existing mental challenge, such as bipolar disorder, it may feel more extreme. There’s no exact diagnosis.

Additionally, the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder can vary, but studies have shown a few correlations. You could find your sleep pattern disrupted due to drops in melatonin levels. Less sunlight can also affect your serotonin levels, the hormone that impacts mood. You might also experience headaches or brain fog. Worse, you could feel withdrawn and hopeless, similar to standard depression.

The good news is it’s treatable.

Steps To Combat S.A.D.

People who are not prone to S.A.D. might think you can easily ‘snap out of it.’ However, for those who continually experience it season after season, it may require a visit to a doctor. Both cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants have been known to help.

However, there are other steps you can take to address this disorder before seeing a medical advisor.

  • Sit near a window or take breaks to sit in the sunlight when available
  • Make time to socialize to break up any alone time
  • Get active, even if it’s just 15 minutes of daily home exercise
  • Include healthy foods in your diet while reducing or eliminating alcohol and drugs
  • Focus on positive aspects of the day; set small goals to improve your mood

winter girlAs mentioned, a key part of the antidote to S.A.D. can be soaking up sunlight when available. But if your weather is a long series of gloomy days, what else can you do?

This is where light therapy can help!

Using Your Sauna To Treat S.A.D.

Sauna therapy is great for stress relief, general relaxation, and treating sore muscles, along with a host of other health benefits. The mid- and far-infrared heat do wonders after as little as 20-minutes. Many Health Mate saunas offer what we call full-spectrum infrared, which means you can enjoy chromotherapy as part of your sauna sessions. Chromotherapy is part of the near-infrared feature, which is the third level of infrared included in a full-spectrum sauna.

Chromotherapy, also known as light therapy, offers a range of color lighting delivered via an LED panel. It’s known for treating various ailments. From yellow to purple and all in between, it can address health issues like migraines, anxiety, skin conditions, and even, you guessed it, S.A.D.

Here is how the individual colors help:

  • Green: Fights off depression associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.)
  • Blue: Kills the bacteria that produce acne and may help relieve migraines
  • Purple: Reduces anxiety and stress to promote serenity
  • Red: Stimulates skin cells and collagen to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation
  • Orange: Promotes cheerfulness and clarity
  • Yellow: Boosts positivity and energy levels, giving a ‘brighter’ perspective

Getting a jump on your seasonal mental health can include various positive actions, but Health Mate Sauna is here to help year-round. Our infrared models are designed with your well-being in mind. For details on sauna benefits or what features to look for, see our sauna selection, or speak with our sauna specialists.

Taking Sauna Sessions A Stretch Further

Congratulations if you’ve taken the leap and finally treated yourself to a home sauna! Or maybe you’re in the market still, wondering, is a sauna worth the investment? Either way, you’re already aware of how infrared will enhance your fitness or self-care routine. So, as you get into the groove with regular sauna visits, you might wonder how to take your sessions a stretch further.

We’re here to share exactly how! And yes, it involves stretching.

What many people already know about personal infrared saunas is that they offer health benefits beyond relaxation. The more you sweat, the more your body is receiving beneficial far-infrared heat that amps up circulation, improves your cardio, helps detox, and increases collagen production, to name just a few health pluses.

If you’d like to get even more out of your sauna session, read further.

It Starts With Tension Release

If you’re working out, just starting a fitness regimen, or participating in sports, you might find your muscles cramping or slightly sore afterwards, sometimes even a day or two later. Along with muscle stiffness, your body has likely built up lactic acid.

By applying or using penetrative heat, your body can more easily flush this lactic build-up, which is where your sauna comes in. Regular sessions in the sauna before a workout or physical exertion will loosen muscles. The heat helps increase the blood and oxygen flow throughout your body so muscles will less likely cramp and become sore.

Now, if you’re experiencing inflammation from muscle or body injury, you will more likely need to apply ice or cold. Inflammation is a different type of issue that is more related to injury or trauma than pure exercise or exertion.

Beyond warming up, there is one more element you can add to improve performance and reduce strain caused by vigorous physical exercise.

Get Your Flex On

Once you enter your sauna and get comfortable, it’s easy to slip into a meditative state or zen out and listen to music. If you share your sauna with someone, it could be the digital-free time you need to reconnect. Sauna time is really great self-care time.

But, if you want to get even more health benefits from your infrared experience, consider a good stretch. A study on a small group of sauna users revealed that even a brief stretch or a few yoga poses while exposed to far-infrared heat increased flexibility by 205%!

As mentioned, using heat will help relax your muscles and prep for any upcoming physical activity. And even if you don’t plan to hit the gym or exercise class after your sauna, increasing flexibility has been shown to help as we age. It also improves strength and balance. You don’t have to get fancy and try any complicated poses or contortion into a state of discomfort. There are basic stretches you can do in a small span of time that will enhance your health and leave you feeling even more relaxed once your session has ended.

Just Add Water

One more tip and this goes for any sauna session, even if you’re just there to relax and unwind. You should always hydrate before and after your infrared treatment. Water will not only help flush lactic acid and prevent buildup, but because you’ll be sweating, you’ll need to replace the loss of fluids.

This may seem like common sense advice, but one thing we know is that you won’t feel thirsty until you’re already past the state of dehydration. You want to make sure you don’t faint or feel nauseous during your sauna experience, because, why ruin it? Grab a glass of water before you soak up the heat and you’ll end up more refreshed and less tired.

Whether you’re already on your way to home sauna bliss or still deciding which sauna to buy, Health Mate can help. Check out our FAQ section or contact a sauna specialist. Our 40+ years in the industry means we’re familiar with your needs and ready to answer all your questions.

Enhance Your Sauna Experience With Aromatherapy

You’ve seen essential oils in many forms over the years. They come in tiny bottles for topical use to blend into moisturizers or to add to bath water. Also, they’re sold in diffusers to brighten or calm the vibe in a room. Additionally, cleaning products sometimes incorporate them as a natural alternative to synthetic scents. However, one of our favorite ways to use them is to enhance our sauna experience with aromatherapy.

Enjoy the benefits essential oils impart by incorporating them into your sauna therapy sessions. To begin, add a few drops of your favorite oil to a small container or

Aroma Therapy Cup for Enhanced Sauna Sessions-2

an aromatherapy cup. The oil will release its properties and scent as the heat intensifies, infusing your surroundings. Start with a small amount, and you can always add from there.

What Oils Are Good For Sauna Sessions?

There’s a huge variety of essential oils on the market, and each has its own beneficial properties. Do want to feel energized or relaxed? Are you looking to reduce inflammation, heal, or clear your sinuses? Learn about the options that will help with all of that and more!

oil variety

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

  • Cedarwood– This popular essential oil is often used to deodorize spaces and repel insects. Additionally, it helps improve concentration, ease tension, and promote better sleep. It can even prevent mildew!
  • Lavender– Lavender has a sweet, floral smell and has been widely used as a homeopathic remedy to help relieve stress and anxiety Also, it can heal minor burns and bug bites.
  • Lemon– This classic, citrusy oil is associated with freshness and cleanliness. Not surprisingly, it imparts many benefits including enhanced immune function, bacterial fighting, improved clarity, and much more.
  • Peppermint – This oil is often used in teas or as a topical for healing. As an aromatherapy addition, it can relax and soothe muscles, promote sweating, and help eliminate itching. Plus, much like eucalyptus oil, it has menthol properties. It can also help with headaches.
  • Orange – A more flowery citrus than lemon, orange can enhance circulation and reduce acne, and it’s antifungal as well. Orange oil tends to be very uplifting and energizing

Can I Combine Oils?

Once you experiment with the various oils in the sauna, you may find you enjoy more than one or two. Try using your favorites together! Here are some popular combinations:

  • Calming: Lavender & Bergamot, Orange & Frankincense, Marjoram & Chamomile
  • Energy: Peppermint & Orange, Cinnamon & Lemon, Orange & Peppermint
  • Focus: Cinnamon & French Basil, Juniper Berry & Wild Orange, Lime & Eucalyptus
  • Skin: Eucalyptus & Peppermint oil mix well with Tea Tree Oil

mixing oilsThere is no wrong combination. Experiment and create your own. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference! Aromatherapy is a beneficial practice and can enhance your sauna therapy.

What Should I Consider When Buying Essential Oils?

So, what is essential to buying essential oils? There are a few tips on what to look for before you purchase. First, you want to ensure you get the best quality.  Additionally, you’ll want the most bang for your buck while infusing your infrared experience. Consider the following:

  • Pure vs Scented – Be sure you’re getting 100% essential oil, not a diluted version that smells like it’s combined with perfumes or other ingredients.
  • Organic – You want the most chemical-free, pesticide-free variety. And, no artificial ingredients should be listed.
  • Natural Extraction – Look for steam distilled or CO2 extraction, as these are some of the best processes used to produce oils.
  • Bottle Type – The best oils are stored in dark glass bottles, usually amber/brown or dark blue. This reduces exposure to harmful ultraviolet light that can cause degradation. Also, never buy oils stored in plastic bottles.

Overall, Health Mate encourages the use of essential oils to enhance your sauna experience because aromatherapy is a wonderful complement to infrared sessions. Before you make a sauna purchase, be sure to reach out to our sauna specialists or see our FAQ for additional information.

Why You’ll Sleep Better With Infrared Therapy

Sleep is the best anti-aging remedy money can’t buy. For some of us, it can be elusive. And like many things, you don’t appreciate a good night’s sleep until it’s gone. Or hard to attain. So, aside from sleeping pills, sleeping masks, weighted blankets, and a bit of meditating, what can help assure we get more Zzzzzs? Enter the infrared sauna. Literally, step inside for 20-30 minutes at night. Let the heat do its magic, and there’s a great chance you’ll sleep sounder with infrared therapy.

Why would something designed to relax and even detox you provide better sleep, you ask? We wondered the same. But first, we looked at what’s keeping us awake at night in the first place.

What’s The Last Thing You Drank?

A nightcap, a second glass of wine with dinner, or a midday jolt of caffeine to keep us powering through the day—whether we know it or not, each can be a sleep deterrent. The alcohol isn’t as obvious, since it seems to help us wind down and therefore should be followed by a better snooze. Caffeine is a little more obvious. But even if your last sip of coffee was midday, it can still keep you up into the wee hours of the night.

“The half-life of caffeine—i.e., the amount of time it takes for the body to process just half—is usually around five hours but can vary from one to as much as nine hours,” says Dr. Broderick, a neurologist and sleep specialist. This means if you drink a cup of coffee late afternoon or even after dinner, you may not get as much shuteye.

Alcohol, on the other hand, even though it’s a depressant, causes rebound alertness, affecting our REM sleep, leading to insomnia, or leaving you groggy when you do wake. Cut out alcohol in the evening, and you could improve your sleep.

What about a glass of warm milk? Drink milk before you go to bed, and this age-old remedy may actually help, assuming you’re not lactose-intolerant. Tryptophan, which is an amino acid, helps produce melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone in our bodies that signals sleep. So, milk might be a viable option to help you nod off.

However, maybe something else is keeping you up at night.

Step Away From The Devices

The electronic age has left many of us wanting that last scroll, chapter skim, or read-through of whatever it is we’re drawn to on our devices before our head hits the pillow. For some, it’s checking social media. For others, it’s a reading good book or answering your last few emails before the day ends. These are all common practices, however, the thing that’s deterring our sleep is the fact that it’s all happening on a screen.

According to the Sleep Foundation, “The blue light emitted by many devices disrupts the natural production of melatonin, a hormone that facilitates sleep and can throw off your circadian rhythm.” Blue light suppresses melatonin, so it makes sense that if you spend an hour or more before bedtime staring at a laptop, phone or tablet, your sleep will be disrupted. Additionally, the stimulating effect of a movie or email on your brain makes it harder to power down.

So, let’s say you stayed away from alcohol and caffeine, set aside your device hours ago, and snuggled in for a final wind down. What else might be distracting you?

Organize Your Thoughts

Have you ever stayed awake worrying about a presentation or test the next day, or replaying a conversation in your head from earlier? Or you finally climb between the sheets and there are swirls of tasks left undone. Now you’re stressing about where they’ll fit in during the week. Any of these can lead to hours of tossing and turning.

Often when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, we really just need to be better at prioritizing. It could be as easy as establishing a bedtime routine. Or, write a to-do list and set it aside for when you wake up.

A study was published several years ago by the Sleep Research Society that showed that de-cluttering your bedroom space improves sleep. Something simple as putting laundry away can reduce sleep anxiety. Getting more organized in the bedroom in general can eliminate distractions and add a sense of ease to your surroundings.

Sounds like sweet dreams can be attainable, right? Let’s talk about the easiest task of all, an infrared therapy session.

Why Infrared As A Bedtime Routine?

Infrared saunas provide an amazing amount of health benefits after just a short, 30-minute session. Used over time, they can help your body recover from pain, injury, reduce migraines and muscle strains, and even strengthen the immune system. We’re still learning one area, which is why you’ll sleep sounder with infrared therapy.

Here’s what we understand so far—

Shortly after entering your infrared sauna, you’ll begin to sweat, and your body will naturally begin to release tension. The intense heat spurs chemical changes, increasing the production of endorphins. These help calm and relax our bodies. In addition, hormones like cortisol, which triggers a flight or fight response and can be produced as a result of any stress, will balance out as the infrared seeps into your core.

Any soreness, pain, or muscle tightness you are experiencing, even if you’re not aware of it, will gradually disperse as a result of the high heat and sweating that occurs during an infrared session. The sauna works much like a good jog or workout, increasing your heart rate, but also providing a release so that you can more easily cool off and wind down.Sauna Detox Benefits - Health Mate Sauna blog article

Speaking of cooling off, as you near bedtime, your body goes through a change in temperature. Your core temperature decreases before bed, signaling the production of melatonin.  Once you leave the sauna, your body temperature will begin dropping and kickstart the sleep process. For that reason, it’s also helpful to reduce the temperature in your bedroom at night. This assists with the body’s naturally occurring thermoregulation that ensures a good night’s rest.

And Now You Know!

Spending time in an infrared sauna can be a wonderful way to help you beat insomnia, along with many other health problems. While it’s important to have a balanced lifestyle, there’s a reason why this centuries-old tradition has made a strong comeback. It’s one of the easiest, least invasive paths to well-being, without any side effects.

Contact Health Mate for more information on how to get started enjoying infrared therapy in the comfort of your own home.

Can Infrared Saunas Fix My Sinus Problems?

Fall will soon be here, signaling the start of sniffle season. But do you really need to brace yourself for nose maladies, or could you head some symptoms off at the pass? We all would rather avoid the discomfort and downtime caused by stuffiness, sneezing, or worse, painful headaches. While diet and lifestyle have some play, we get asked, can infrared saunas fix sinus problems, alleviating symptoms? The answer is, yes. The best part is, you can enjoy sessions at home, safely and comfortably.

But first, let’s discuss these conditions and some of the causes.

Is It Allergies or Sinus Infection?

Whether seasonal or ongoing, allergies can be hard to get a handle on. At best they’re distracting but at their worst can become debilitating and cause a loss of productivity. Here we’re mostly discussing those that relate to sinus discomfort. Amazingly, allergies, or allergic rhinitis, are listed as the sixth most common chronic illness globally.

Allergies can stem from a variety of things, like pollen, mold, hay fever, pollutants, chemicals, and also food, the latter of which if left untreated can lead to other issues. One cause can be fungal overgrowth from a poor diet, typically too much sugar and other foods that cause bad bacteria to reproduce at high rates.  Sometimes allergies are unavoidable based on where you live and the environment in general.

You might experience allergic rhinitis and no other sinus issues. However, it’s common for symptoms to overlap. Rhinitis can also lead to sinusitis.

So, what’s the difference in symptoms between allergic rhinitis and sinusitis?

Itchy nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes are common with allergic rhinitis or allergies. Sinusitis symptoms can include nasal congestion, discolored nasal drainage, sinus pressure, headache, and fever.”

While allergies are typically treated with antihistamine medications and over-the-counter nasal sprays, sinus infections can be a little trickier. People are often confused about what causes sinusitis and more importantly, how to treat it.

“Viral sinusitis usually lasts less than 7 to 10 days and will resolve with supportive care. Antibiotics are not needed to treat viral sinusitis. Bacterial sinusitis typically lasts longer than 10 days and may present with persistent fever. Bacterial sinusitis is usually treated with antibiotics.”

In general, inflammation is the root cause of each malady, and that’s where infrared comes in.

Infrared’s Role in Allergy and Sinus Relief

It might seem counterintuitive that an infrared sauna can help fix sinus and allergy problems since it’s an intensely warm, enclosed area. Infrared in particular has its benefits, though. Infrared therapy actually enhances our immune response, which is responsible for how our body fights anything foreign to our body, even airborne attacks. This includes reducing inflammation.

Our autonomic nervous system is affected by allergens, including those that assault our sinuses. Not coincidentally “the immune system interacts directly within brain regions that regulate autonomic function.”  While far infrared is particularly beneficial for building our immune response, the near-infrared treatment showed positive results in treating rhinitis as well. Near-infrared, or red light, is part of the chromotherapy feature in a number of Health Mate saunas.

Another study conducted with thirty-one patients of varying ages showed significant improvement in allergy symptoms over the course of just a week after infrared treatment. What’s especially significant about Infrared therapy is it produces no side effects, something commonly experienced with medications for the same issues.

A slightly smaller but longer study was conducted to learn if infrared could reduce the frequency of the common cold, and again, it proved helpful. Not only was the occurrence reduced, but those who did experience a cold reported quicker recovery.

You can gain an advantage by taking sauna bathing seriously and treating it like you would any other health regimen. Our immune system responds positively to intense heat.

To learn more about sauna benefits and how infrared saunas can help fix sinus problems, or to get started with your own infrared therapy at home, speak with our sauna specialists. You could be avoiding the worst of cold or allergy season simply by incorporating sauna bathing as part of your daily health routine.

The Heart Wants Infrared Therapy

Heart health is uber important in a time when the CDC reports that one person dies every 34 seconds from cardiovascular disease in the U.S. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking all contribute to the risk of heart failure or heart attacks. So, while many of us are careful about our diets and incorporate exercise into our lives, having an alternative resource also helps. There are multiple tools we can use to naturally keep ourselves healthy, and one of those is saunas. We are learning more every year that the heart wants—infrared therapy.

The Importance of Circulation

When you imagine an infrared sauna, you probably picture a place of relaxation, recovery, and calm. It’s where you might go to unwind, right? Not to mention sweat, abundantly. What’s unique about infrared heat, particularly far infrared, is that it’s working wonders for your health even as you sit still. The intense temperature causes your circulation to quicken. This is a good thing. And the reason it happens is that your heart will start pumping faster at higher temps, equivalent to an aerobic workout or run.

In turn, your blood vessels dilate. This benefits your entire body because it means your organs are getting more oxygen as the blood transports it more efficiently. Having proper circulation is what prevents many health issues, including high blood pressure.

So, what is the role of infrared in blood pressure?

Infrared And Blood Pressure

Blood pressure monitoring is standard practice at most doctor visits, whether you’re there for a general exam or for something specific. Doctors and nurses remind us to keep our blood pressure at a certain level. Healthy is considered a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80. Elevated blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 with a diastolic pressure of less than 80, per the National Institute on Aging.guy reclining in sauna

According to a recent Mayo Clinic report, “Regular sauna bathing may improve cardiovascular function via a lowering of systemic blood pressure.” And a 2017 study done in Finland concluded that Compared with men who used a sauna only once a week, the risk of high blood pressure was 46 percent lower in those who use a sauna four to seven times a week.”

Infrared sauna bathing on a regular basis can therefore keep your blood pressure in check while simultaneously providing other health benefits. This includes overall cardiovascular health.

A Sauna Heart To Heart

The core of how our body functions are reliant on a strong, well-functioning heart. And it all ties together with our circulation and blood pressure. As you sit in an infrared sauna, your muscles untighten as they heat up, but your heart will kick into a higher gear.

Scientists have carefully tested infrared on people who have vascular and arterial issues. The results? “Repeated sauna treatment improves vascular endothelial function, resulting in an improvement in cardiac function” Endothelial dysfunction is a type of coronary artery disease.

And as Dr. Thomas shared in a News Medical Life Sciences article, infrared can increase nitric oxide, essential to circulation and ultimately, good heart health.

Again, it seems that the heart wants infrared therapy. It’s a great alternative to exercise, especially when the weather turns cold and your outdoor fitness options are limited. Ultimately, sauna bathing on a regular basis can help improve your overall cardio function, but should not be a replacement for regular exercise, stretching, and movement.

A word of caution: if you have a serious heart condition, always check with a medical advisor before using a sauna.

Health Mate has your optimal wellness in mind as it manufactures infrared saunas for every lifestyle. See our entire line and speak with a sauna specialist for details on how to get started using sauna therapy as a way to improve your heart and so much more. Call or text (877) 595-3221.

5 Tips For The Best Sauna Experience

Tony and his wife had been enjoying their recently shifted lifestyle of working remotely. However, he and his wife missed the social interaction their on-site jobs provided before the pandemic. Plus, being in one place all day left them less motivated to exercise. They decided to purchase an infrared sauna to help with some stress and break up their day. Tony did his research on brands, benefits, and which size he and his wife needed. When he finally placed his order, he couldn’t wait for it to arrive. The infrared sauna would be the perfect wellness solution and provide the relaxation they’d been desperately seeking. He was sure they would have the best sauna experience.

What they hadn’t figured out yet was what would be the best sauna routine. How often was it safe to use it? What is the right temperature setting? Would they be able to relax and detox the way everyone always talked about?

Tony and his wife are like many first-time sauna owners. A little extra advice is all they need to take their sauna experience from so-so to completely satisfying!

The Ideal Infrared Sauna Temperature

Getting acclimated to your infrared sauna takes some time, especially if you’ve never used one or are used to steam saunas. Typically, you’ll want to start with shorter, 10–15-minute sessions and scale up from there. In addition, you’ll want to find a temperature setting that is comfortable.

Man adjusting sauna while woman sits inside smiling

It’s a good idea to set your sauna at 100°F – 120°F initially. Since infrared penetrates your skin and muscles at any setting, you’ll still benefit from a lower temperature. Starting lower will give you an idea of how quickly your body will react and begin perspiring. The infrared heat will cause your heart rate to increase, which is perfectly normal. However, if you have any heart issues, you’ll want to consult a medical professional before use.

After you’ve gotten in a sauna groove and your body is used to the heat, you can increase the temperature. The most highly recommended setting for adults is between 120°F and 140°F. At that level, you’ll be sweating a good deal and reaping the most rewards from your session.

Once you have found your sweet spot for both session length and temperature, the next part to plan is your optimal time of day.

Morning or Evening? Planning Your Infrared Sessions

You might’ve read that the best time for a sauna visit is when you first wake up. Others claim the ideal time is just before bed. In reality, the best time is whatever works for you. Our busy schedules don’t always allow us a solid lunch hour let alone a sauna break during the day. It’s important to get the most out of your investment though, right? You wouldn’t want your sauna to turn into a storage shed, the way treadmills become clothes racks.

If you’re using your sauna as part of a fitness or sports regimen, you’ll find the sessions are great for added muscle relaxation and recovery. Scheduling a 20–30-minute sauna break just after a workout or game is the best bet for maximum results.

Trouble getting centered when you first wake up? Start your day with a sauna session. Even a 10-minute escape to your sauna can set a course for productivity and focus. Add a meditation routine for even greater calm.

An older man sleeping on his side in bed while wearing pajamas.

Infrared saunas are also ideal for pain management. Some doctors recommend daily therapy for chronic pain relief. Sauna bathing regularly at any time of day can also help develop a strong immune system, ward off potential illness, and keep pain at bay before it builds.

Finally, infrared can help banish insomnia. Tossing and turning at 2 a.m. can be dreadful, but sauna time before turning in can make the difference between a wakeful or blissful night. Infrared heat’s reduction of oxidative stress levels along with inflammation helps promote calm and tranquility. One study showed that red light in particular, or near-infrared, was conducive to sounder sleep.

Whichever time of day you choose, your sauna is safe to use daily. Your needs may change for sauna sessions throughout the year. They may help you to stay warm during winter, keep your skin looking amazing during summer, or replace a workout when you’re injured. No matter when you step into your sauna, just be sure you’re doing one thing every time—drinking plenty of fluids.

The Importance Of Hydration

One of the first things you’ll notice during an infrared sauna session is the amount of sweat produced. It operates at a lower temperature than a steam sauna but the rays penetrate deep below the skin’s surface, so increases your heart rate and circulation more rapidly. This leads to more intense and prolonged sweating.

woman drinking water

Since you lose a significant amount of fluids via sweat, you need to be sure to replenish. The best plan is to drink water before your session and during. Our bodies don’t signal thirst right away, so it’s best to hydrate before you reach that point.

In addition, it’s important not to drink anything that will dehydrate you, such as caffeine or alcohol. Avoid these types of drinks for an hour or more before stepping inside your sauna.

If you’re using your sauna at night before bedtime, you might want to enjoy something decaffeinated that promotes sleep. Drinking certain teas or coconut waters can help bolster this effect.

Hydrating after your sauna session is beneficial as well. Since your body will be detoxifying, drinking plenty of water is a great way to stay energized and help your liver do its job.

The Best Sauna Attire

Having your own infrared sauna comes with lots of perks. One of the best is that you won’t have to share your sauna with a group of strangers at a gym or spa. Sure, you might have a partner or family members getting saunified, but a home sauna lends itself to more privacy.

That means you can wear, or not wear, anything you wish in your sauna. Keep in mind that you’ll naturally be perspiring heavily, so whatever you wear will need to be moisture-wicking and breathable. Comfort is key!

Ideally, you’ll want to keep a towel handy, sit or lean on a towel, or wear a terry cloth or cotton fabric robe, so it can absorb sweat. The natural wood of your sauna is meant to have some varied coloration and grain patterns, but oils and perspiration from your body can result in unwanted stains.

towel lady

It’s recommended that you wipe your sauna down after each use so you can prolong the beauty of your sauna panels. Plus, it’s simply a good hygiene practice.

Getting Into Zen Mode

So, you’ve set aside time to enjoy your personal sauna break and are ready to reset your day or evening. You might have a hundred thoughts racing through your head, an unfinished to-do list or an ache that just won’t let up. How to get into sauna mode?

Never fear, your zen is here!

Along with leaning back and letting the infrared do its job, you can make great use of the Bluetooth feature in your sauna. Put on some relaxing tunes, or even better, download a popular meditation app, pop in some earbuds, or don a headset and sail off to sauna bliss.

If a total zone-out is not your thing, try a podcast or catch up on that article you’ve been meaning to read. The quiet time inside your sauna provides the perfect moment to focus on something other than daily stressors.

To engage more senses, try aromatherapy. One of Health Mate’s most popular accessories enhances relaxation and is customizable using your favorite essential oils. In saunas with chromotherapy, you’ll experience the added benefit of color to relax, energize, and more. Each color provides a health benefit separate from the mid- and far-infrared rays.

All Set?

Ultimately, Health Mate wants you to enjoy your sauna, and following these tips can lead to a restorative infrared sauna experience. Learn more about the benefits of sauna bathing and check out our full line of saunas to get details on each model.