Immune System Basics
We come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, yet one thing we all have in common is that we like pizza! That could be an urban myth. One thing that we for sure have in common is that we’re born with an internal germ warfare system—our immune system.
As children, we were shooed outside to “go play in the dirt” to build up our immune system, which apparently works! Yet we don’t really think much about our immune system until we’re ill.
Your immune system works in the background, fighting the good fight. Your white blood cells, called leukocytes, are key to warding off anything attacking your body or immune system. Anything that has been detected and tracked is caught in your lymph nodes, which is why having a healthy lymphatic system is so essential.
Overall, you want to develop a healthy, balanced lifestyle to keep your body from depleting its immune capabilities.
Here are a few key benefits of having a healthy immune system:
- Quicker recovery from surgery or illness
- Improved protection from viruses
- Faster infection-fighting response
- Lowered stress and anxiety
- Sounder sleep
Maybe you’re already eating plenty of green, leafy vegetables, exercising, and sleeping well? You can still get off balance while simultaneously being exposed to more toxins and pollution than we realize—daily. But let’s not discuss agricultural aggravators or industrial culprits that negatively affect our food and environment.
Let’s focus on how infrared saunas can help build your body’s ability to fight off what might ail it and keep you strong and healthy.
Let’s Talk About Sweat
Our body naturally cools itself and prevents us from overheating or fainting by sweating.
When you sit in an infrared sauna, you will naturally begin to sweat. Setting the temperature between 110- and 130-degrees Fahrenheit is a comfortable range that ensures you get the most from your sauna. First-time users may start at lower temps to get acclimated.
Once you’re inside, the wavelengths are going to penetrate your skin and cause your body temperature to rise. The most obvious and immediate result will be your skin producing extra moisture as it perspires.
What we don’t always realize is how our skin plays a role in our immune system. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases notes, “The skin is usually the first line of defense against microbes. Skin cells produce and secrete important antimicrobial proteins, and immune cells can be found in specific layers of skin.”
Many people use their infrared sauna for detoxification, which studies have found is a direct benefit of sauna therapy. This detox process, which happens through your sweat, can help eliminate some harmful heavy metals and other pollutants, like PCBs and BPAs, from your system. While your kidneys do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to detoxing your system, it’s one key benefit that comes from spending time in infrared heat.
Plus, it feels good once you’ve worked up a sweat, toweled or showered off, and cooled back down. Some equate the benefits of an infrared session to a good jog or run, which we don’t always have the luxury of doing, especially once the weather gets too chilly. However, you can burn calories as you sweat. Staying hydrated is also recommended before, after, or during a session.
Is Your Immune System Fighting Back?
As we get older, our immune system response has to work harder. Some attribute poor nutrition to reduced immunity response. Some experts have concluded there’s a reduction in T cells. News Medical Life Sciences defines them; “T cells are a part of the immune system that focuses on eliminating specific foreign particles, antigens. As such, T cells play a critical part in immunity to foreign substances.”
Medical experts have long known that your immune system is triggered into action when your body heats to above normal temperatures. A fever, as long as it’s within a safe range, can be a good thing in keeping temperature-sensitive bacteria and viruses from multiplying. And, yes, this includes viruses like the widespread COVID-19.
An infrared sauna can produce deep enough heating via far-infrared wavelengths to mimic a fever but without the harm or resulting inflammation. This activates your body into producing an innate immune response, often with additional beneficial outcomes such as increased circulation, improved metabolism, and better cardiovascular health.
Some people have found infrared heat helps them heal faster after having an illness or surgery. Since they may not be mobile enough to exercise vigorously, it’s an ideal solution for safe, no-impact recovery.
Start With Reducing Anxiety and Stress
Everyone deals with stress differently, and exercise and nutrition can play a big part in helping us manage it effectively. When not kept in check, stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on our immune system response.
A certain level of stress is healthy since we want to be able to respond to danger with our “fight or flight” system intact. Adrenaline produces cortisol, also called the stress hormone. However, we reduce our ability to fight illness when we have high blood pressure or too much cortisol in our system.
Stress can also inhibit digestion. And as many medical experts have reported, the digestive system is responsible for producing healthy bacteria and immune cells. In fact, according to a recent UCLA Health study, 70% of the immune system is in the gut.
So, what part of infrared therapy helps with stress?
Chromotherapy, known also as color therapy, is a method used to induce calm and tranquility. Near-infrared wavelengths when produced at the proper intensity and combined with certain color lighting can promote relaxation and improve your mood. There have been multiple studies done to corroborate this finding. In addition, mid-infrared wavelengths will relax the muscles and provide rejuvenation. Even the well-respected Mayo Clinic endorses infrared sauna therapy for relaxation.
Now you’re in the Know About Infrared and Immunity
While there is plenty of information about infrared therapy, we want to encourage you to take proper precautions based on your medical history, health, and research yourself.
Always be careful not to overtax or stress your body beyond what’s safe. Just like exercising, there’s a sweet spot on how much or how little time you should spend in your sauna. Keep your infrared sauna sessions to the 20–30-minute range for best results.
The ideal infrared sauna is one that combines all levels of infrared, meaning near-, mid- and far-infrared wavelengths. Together they provide the maximum benefits and ultimate outcome from an infrared sauna experience.
Health Mate calls it full-spectrum infrared. It combines our patented Tecoloy heaters with mid- and far-infrared waves, dual micron technology, along with chromotherapy, or near-infrared, panels. Our bestselling Enrich 2 and Restore models were designed with full-spectrum heating so you have the option of a more extensive level of therapy.
All of Health Mate’s infrared saunas are made with 100% solid, eco-friendly wood that is sustainably sourced and naturally anti-microbial. For more information on our infrared sauna models, contact our knowledgeable sales team and learn how you can enjoy the benefits an infrared sauna imparts in order to maintain good health, including a healthy immune system.