If you’ve ever visited a spa or spent time at a gym, you’ve probably used a sauna. There are actually varied versions of saunas and each works slightly differently. An infrared sauna is an enclosed cabin-like space used for relaxation and wellness. Most are constructed using wood planks and can comfortably seat 1-4 people depending on the size of the unit.
Infrared saunas operate using heaters that give off electromagnetic heat rather than steam or hot air. The light from the heaters penetrates the skin at different depths using various wavelengths including far, mid, and near-infrared. These wavelengths operate at a lower temperature than other saunas, usually around 100 to 140 degrees. Since the heat is lower than in other types of saunas, it’s tolerable for a longer period of time. However, infrared’s heat penetrates deeper and results in intense sweat and a cascade of enhanced health benefits.
But what are the health benefits? Read on.
A Bounty Of Benefits
Infrared saunas have been around for nearly 60 years, originating in Japan in 1965. Many of the benefits of an infrared sauna have been known for decades. Some we are only recently discovering. Yet still more have yet to be discovered! Below are some of the benefits many happy sauna owners report.
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- Weight loss
- Improved immune system
- Relieved joint pain and muscle stiffness
- Increased circulation
- Collagen stimulation
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Injury and wound healing
How We Know Saunas Work
Infrared sauna owners share many positive outcomes about their health and wellbeing after use. Below is a sample of some of the most impactful findings to date:
- Cardio health-A single study showcases the use of far infrared light to treat cardiovascular risk factors. Evidence supports that infrared can normalize blood pressure and treat congestive heart failure.
- Immune strength – High heat induces fever or fever-like response, as in infrared. This scientific study shared, “One benefit widely attributed to fever is the enhancement of immune-protective mechanisms during infection…promoting both innate and adaptive immunity.”
- Detoxification– Sweating helps excrete trace metals. A study goes on to report that “sweat appears to be an important excretory pathway for zinc and copper.” Additional studies have shown infrared helps eliminate other harmful, toxic metals.
- Antioxidant Protection-One Russian study showcased that “The effect of high temperatures promotes the formation of adaptive reactions in the form of activation and antioxidant protection, and antioxidants are key to keeping cells health and avoiding disease.
- Safety-A 2017 study titled explains that “LLLT (low-level light therapy) has a wide range of benefits on various patient populations, without any serious risk of adverse effects.”
Use this information in helping you make an informed decision as you invest in an infrared sauna. More studies are developing all the time to reinforce what many of us already know—infrared sauna offers many benefits!
Although infrared sauna use is deemed safe, it’s important to have a good understanding of your body, be aware of any medications that may cause adverse reactions while you’re in the sauna, and use the treatment in moderation. As always, consult a medical professional before use if you have any preexisting health conditions.
Get The Most From Your Sauna Session
Once you’ve determined you are physically fine to use the sauna, there are a few things you can do to enhance your session. First and foremost, make sure the unit itself is properly wired, plugged in, and ready to go. Here are some ways to get the most from your sauna:
- Stretch Your Body. Stretching out your body is a great way to enhance your sauna session. Try some yoga poses, similar to Bikram yoga which uses a heated room, as you stand or sit in your sauna.
- Set The Best Temperature. Set the temperature of your sauna to your desired level. Since infrared saunas don’t need to be as hot as traditional saunas, a good rule of thumb is around 120 to 140 degrees.
- Hydration is Key. Always drink plenty of water before you enter the sauna to prevent early dehydration and other adverse effects.
- Clothes & Towels. Have a bathrobe or towels ready for when you sweat and perspire. This will keep you comfortable while also keeping your sauna clean and hygienic.
- Set Your Time. Be mindful of the total time spent in your infrared sauna. Generally, 20-30 minutes is a good length, and more is acceptable depending on your needs, tolerance, and health condition.
- Cleaning the Sauna. A quick bench wipe-down and cleaning after each use is recommended. Making sure your sauna is in tip-top shape after use ensures that you get the most life out of your unit over a long time.
- Check the Electronics. Occasionally check out the components inside and outside of the sauna to make sure that everything is plugged in correctly and nothing looks damaged. This helps you avoid unwanted problems down the road.
Infrared offers so many positive health benefits, it’s no wonder that many people are opting to own a personal sauna. Add your own custom touch to make the experience one of a kind
Finally, consider one of Health Mate’s many sauna models, in addition to our enhancing accessories like the aromatherapy cup, backrest, and more. For questions, we encourage you to contact our sauna specialists, who can get you answers and match you with the best sauna for your budget and lifestyle