Recently, I visited an infrared sauna… and I loved it. I felt amazing afterward… but it’s not for everyone. The experience was sweaty, but wonderful. I felt more relaxed and rested. My muscles and my whole body felt relaxed and relieved of any tension I was feeling beforehand. The biggest take away that I got from visiting the infrared sauna was an increase in my circulation! My hands and feet always seem to be cold, for several days after my experience they felt warmer and when they did get cold, I was able to warm them up faster with a little bit of massage or movement .Now, many of you may be wondering, what exactly is an infrared Sauna? Let me explain…
Infrared Saunas: What They Are and What They Do
An infrared sauna isn’t like your traditional sauna you may have stepped into at your gym. In infrared saunas, they don’t heat the air around you. Instead, infrared lamps warm your body directly by electromagnetic radiation. These infrared panels produce heat that penetrates human tissue. They’ll essentially heat up your body before they heat up the air. They will basically heat up your body from the inside-out! These saunas have longer wavelengths than visible light and you can’t see them with the naked eye. The wavelengths from the infrared panels penetrate soft tissue up to an inch and a half, opening your blood vessels in a process called “vasodilation”.
An infrared sauna is set between 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas a traditional sauna is set between 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Manufacturers of infrared saunas claim that 20% of the heat goes to heat the air, while the other 80% goes directly towards heating your body. Thus the heat will penetrate your body and muscles more deeply than “warmed air”. The environment in an infrared sauna can also be more tolerable which allows you to stay in longer! Most facilities that have infrared saunas recommend that you use the sauna three to four days per week. If you are in good health and can tolerate the sauna for four days, you could bump it up to daily use.
The Benefits of Using an Infrared Sauna
You can reap many benefits from visiting an infrared sauna like I did, a few of them are:
- Better Sleep
- Reduced Fatigue
- Improved Skin
- Increased Metabolism
- Immune System Support
- Reducing the Appearance of Cellulite
- Supporting Those With Diabetes
- Weight Loss
- Relief From Sore Muscles
- Relief From Joint Pain Like Arthritis
- Clear and Tighter Skin
- Improved Circulation
- Lessening of Symptoms for Those Who Suffer From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Lack of Research and Why You Should Consult Your Physician Before Going
There haven’t been many research studies on the effects of infrared saunas, especially when used long-term. Therefore much of the information online is biased as it’s created by the companies that manufacture these saunas instead of health professionals or scientists.
However, there are NO reports of negative effects thus far beyond what you can expect to potentially happen when you use a regular sauna. Some of these side effects can include:
- Interference With Medications
- Danger to Pregnant Women
- Danger to Those with Heart Disease
- Danger to Those Who Are Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
However you feel about saunas, I encourage you to check with your doctor and if they allow it, give an infrared sauna a try! In fact, these saunas have been deemed so safe that many hospitals use them to keep newborn babies warm. They can help you to better relax, reduce muscle tension and give you some much needed alone time! If you’d like to hear more about the benefits I personally experienced after my visit, feel free to message me on any of my social media pages as well!