Can Infrared Help Fight The Flu?

As we wind down the year, we all hoped we’d put the pandemic behind us. However, it seems that Covid and its variants still linger. We’re also facing the flu season. Should we second-guess our normal fend-off tactics or don our masks again? Wearing a mask may not be a bad idea if you’re feeling a little run down or getting past a runny nose. Undoubtedly, there are additional ways we can build and protect our immune system before a virus hits. Which is why we decided to answer the frequently asked, “Can infrared help fight the flu?”

Good question. We have a few answers.

Let’s jump into how an infrared sauna can potentially help us bypass the sick zone and strengthen our health.

If You Can Stand The Heat

An infrared sauna, unlike a traditional steam sauna, emits heat via wall and floor heaters. The heat doesn’t fill the air, rather it penetrates the skin and below to heat your body from the inside.woman sweating in infrared sauna with towel wrapped around her body

Many Health Mate saunas are designed with full-spectrum infrared, which means the heat comes in three ranges—near, mid, and far-infrared. The combination of the three wavelengths is what provides a host of wellness benefits. However, the amount of sweat you experience in an infrared sauna is intensified by the far infrared in particular, which provides the deepest level of heat.

As you spend more time in your sauna, you’ll start tolerating higher temperatures and longer sessions. The key to staying healthy is in the heat.

Building A Flu Bug Tolerance

To help strengthen the immune system many people use vitamin supplements, eat foods high in antioxidants, and exercise regularly. A personal infrared sauna is also a great supplemental health aid. Studies have shown that far-infrared light helps boost immunity and provides other cellular health benefits.senior man doing pushups on the floor

In fact, researchers learned that as we age, our immune defense weakens, which some experts link to a reduction in T cells. According to News Medical Life Sciences, “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.” This means no time like the present to address our health!

Additionally, Marc Cohen, MD from the Extreme Wellness Institute in Melbourne, Australia reinforced that finding in his study. He points out that nasal cavities typically cool in winter, and our first line of defense against viruses is in our airways. And so he reports, “Heat applied to the upper airways can support the immune system’s first line of defense by inhibiting or deactivating virions where they first lodge.” That explains why colds and flu are often prevalent during cooler temperatures.

So, this is the key: A sauna can produce deep enough heating via far-infrared wavelengths to mimic a fever, minus harmful inflammation. This activates your body’s innate immune response. 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. Can infrared help fight the flu? It seems, yes.

Your sauna session will not only lead to increased body temperature, but the intense heat will help increase blood circulation, improve cardio function and provide detoxification via sweat.muscular man stretching his back while in the sauna

How do we ensure we get the most benefit from our infrared sauna? Keep reading.

How To Sauna

Having a personal home sauna is like having a mini spa right at your finger tips. You may find you use it for different reasons at different periods. As you get started though, it’s important to follow a few guidelines:

  • Limit yourself to three sessions a week during the first four weeks. After about six weeks, daily sessions are fine.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable or relaxed during a session, lower the temperature and/or open the door of the cabin.
  • Limit sessions to 20-30 minutes. Medical advisors may suggest longer sessions for certain health conditions.
  • The ideal sauna temperature setting is between 120°F/50°C and 140°F/60°C. If you don’t start perspiring within 10 minutes, try increasing the temperature by 5° increments.

We learned that infrared saunas can produce heat that makes your body mimic a fever. It’s that ‘feverish’ feeling that helps our body shed toxins and kick our immune response into high gear. As mentioned above, the most comfortable temperature for most people is around 120-140 degrees.

You’ll also want to stay hydrated. woman staying hydrated after sitting in infrared saunaSince you’ll be sweating, you’ll need to ingest lots of fluids to make up for water loss. At the same time this will help you from feeling faint or nauseous. Drinking plenty of water before, during or after your session, or all three, is recommended.

A brief caution to those who are pregnant or healing from an open wound—you will want to avoid sauna sessions unless you’ve been advised otherwise by your doctor. Certain heart conditions will also preclude you from using a sauna. It’s best to always check with your medical practitioner to avoid any risks.

Overall, investing in a home infrared sauna is a great idea, and the health benefits are numerous. Each year we learn even more about how you can heal or prevent illness with infrared, so it’s worth checking back for updates here.

To get details on Health Mate saunas, contact our sauna specialists.