Infrared Sauna Health Benefits
Over the last few years, the popularity of infrared saunas has grown, not least because they are widely considered as an effective detox therapy. The difference between an infrared sauna and a traditional sauna is the way it heats the individual.
Whereas a traditional sauna works by heating the air around it, an infrared sauna directly heats objects, including the human body.
They do this because they use electromagnetic radiation, much like the direct warmth from the sun on the face, which means infrared penetrates deeper into the skin and warms the muscles and tissue. A traditional sauna also requires much higher temperatures than infrared to achieve its effect.
For those who can’t tolerate the heat produced by a traditional sauna, which can be quite stifling at times, infrared presents an affordable and safe way to get similar benefits. Many spas, gyms and healthy retreats now incorporate infrared saunas and they are worth trying out.
Here we look at the benefits of infrared saunas and what kind of health issues they can help with.
What Are the Benefits of Using an Infrared Sauna?
Therapy for cardiovascular disease
A study in Finland found that men who used a sauna once or twice a week were far less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. This could be because of the workout being in a heated room provides for the heart.
There is also research that suggests spending just 20 minutes in a sauna can help you burn 500 calories which could mean it’s a good weight loss tool.
One reason why many people take a traditional sauna is to flush out toxins through the sweat. It’s also a relaxing way to reduce stress levels and get the mind and body back in focus.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
There has been some research undertaken that is specific to infrared saunas for treating some chronic illnesses. One small study found that using infrared heat helped to alleviate the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
High blood pressure
Another review found that it could help reduce blood pressure and may play a role in treating a range of chronic health problems, including cardiovascular disease.
The role of heat in treating muscle soreness and injury has long been associated with traditional saunas and the same effects can be seen with infrared. Because infrared heats directly, the effect is much more noticeable.
There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that a sauna can help relieve joint pain. Again, because infrared gets deep into the tissue, it can work more efficiently than a traditional sauna.
Things to Consider Before Using an Infrared Sauna
If someone has a health problem such as heart disease or high blood pressure, they must consult their physician before trying an infrared sauna. People should also avoid this sort of therapy if:
- They are ill or have a fever.
- They have been drinking alcohol.
- They suffer from contact dermatitis.
- They are pregnant.
For the vast majority of people, however, infrared saunas are extremely safe but there are some simple safety guidelines that should be followed:
- Drink water: With any situation where an individual is exposed to higher levels of heat, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Make sure that a bottle of water is available in the sauna and that regular sips are taken.
- Choose the right temperature: The range for infrared saunas is between 100 and 150° For people new to this type of sauna, it’s a good idea to start with the lower temperature and explore how comfortable this is.
- Limit time: Most saunas have a timer to prevent people from getting overexposed. It’s also a good idea to keep that first sauna to ten to fifteen minutes. Time can be increased later with a maximum of around 30 minutes. Many spas and gyms suggest limiting saunas to three or four in a week.
- Let the body readjust: It’s also important to let the body readjust to the cooler air once a sauna session is finished. Wait for at least fifteen minutes before having a shower and continue taking sips of water.
Having an infrared sauna is a relaxing way to get some important health benefits. Working at lower temperatures than a traditional steam sauna, it is also more comfortable