How Infrared Saunas Can Boost Your Immune System

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.

Does an Infrared Sauna Kill Viruses?

Staying healthy and maintaining a strong immune system is crucial in the current health climate and for the foreseeable future. But it’s not just about COVID-19 issues. We experience an onslaught of exposure to bacteria and viruses every single day. What’s important is how we prepare our bodies to fight off viruses and build our defenses. Some of the common methods include using hand sanitizer, washing hands regularly, taking vitamins, getting enough sleep, and having a proper diet. Using a sauna as a wellness tool can also help, but does an infrared sauna kill viruses?

To answer that question, we need to look at what an infrared sauna is and how it affects the body, including the immune system. 

Let’s dive in.

What is an Infrared Sauna?

An infrared sauna uses infrared heaters to emit light of varying wavelengths within the infrared light section of the electromagnetic spectrum. This light penetrates the skin as heat and is able to, depending on which wavelength is being absorbed, have an effect on the internal systems of the body. There are 3 types of wavelengths: Near, mid, and far-infrared.

Near-infrared, with wavelengths from 0.76 to 1.5 microns, is the shortest wavelength in the infrared light spectrum. Some of the benefits include wound healing, improved skin, increased collagen production, and muscle recovery. Some saunas feature chromotherapy lighting, a type of near-infrared, which uses colors at varying wavelengths in order to produce additional benefits. 

Mid-infrared, with wavelengths from 1.5 to 5.6 microns, penetrates deeper than near-infrared, but not as deep as far-infrared. Benefits include improved circulation, joint pain relief, and weight loss.

Far-infrared, with wavelengths from 5.6 all the way to 1000 microns, has the deepest level of penetration within the infrared light spectrum. Some of these benefits include strengthening the cardiovascular system, boosting immunity, eliminating toxins, and lowering blood pressure. Sunlight is considered far-infrared light and is helpful in boosting our vitamin D levels. 

The combination of all three of these types of infrared light within our infrared saunas, including chromotherapy lighting, is the best recipe for a healthy immune system and so much more. 

The Role Of Infrared Sauna In Killing Viruses

The main topic of this article is addressing the question of – does an infrared sauna kill viruses?

A blue boxing glove punching a virus.

We’ve learned that far-infrared light helps boost immunity, detoxify, and provides other cellular health benefits. Does that mean that viruses, including SAR-CoV-2, are killed along the way?

An article from Marc Cohen, MD from the Extreme Wellness Institute in Melbourne, VIC, Australia, explores whether or not heat can be a therapeutic intervention for COVID-19. In it, it says:

“Enveloped viruses such as SAR-CoV-2 are sensitive to heat and are destroyed by temperatures tolerable to humans.”

It also indicates, “Heat is a widely accessible therapeutic modality with a long history of traditional use, yet it remains to be seen if heat can be effective in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.” So, we can’t say for sure if infrared saunas (heat therapy) can be directly responsible for eliminating COVID-19. 

However, infrared saunas ARE excellent for helping reduce inflammation and expanding blood vessels to transport blood more efficiently. Additionally, infrared can increase white blood cell production to help combat viruses and promote cell regeneration.

So yes, an infrared sauna kills viruses indirectly as it aids in other processes that ultimately work to build immunity and keep the body healthy.

What Have We Learned?

The sheer number of benefits gained from regular use is reason enough to make an investment in an infrared sauna. With more people staying home or avoiding crowded gyms and spas, having a personal sauna at your disposal is extremely convenient and more hygienic. At the same time, you can increase your immunity and ward off viruses and other bacteria.

If you’re looking to boost your immunity and stay healthy, consider 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 so we can help with your wellness journey.