One of the things that I am often asked about is, "Why did you decide to include an infrared sauna on your list of available services?" In the course of my never-ending quest to discover alternative treatment options for our clients who suffer from chronic pain, I came across some studies on the advantages of using an infrared sauna on a regular basis for improving one's general health. Let me share some of what I learned, which I believe may help answer this question.
Sauna treatments are an ancient way of cleaning and treating the body that has been practiced for thousands of years by people all over the globe. Traditionally, saunas have used steam and dry heat to stimulate sweating. Traditional saunas, however, achieve exceptionally high temperatures and may be exceedingly uncomfortable for many individuals. Luckily, modern science has given us a new type of sauna called an infrared sauna that deeply cleans and heals the body without using high temperatures or creating a very uncomfortable environment.
What is an infrared sauna?
Infrared saunas differ from conventional saunas. Infrared saunas use infrared thermal light to penetrate the skin and heat the body from the inside out. This increases the body's core temperature and blood flow without causing side effects like high blood pressure.
In contrast, traditional steam and dry-heat saunas must heat the air before warming the body. This means that typical saunas can reach temperatures of up to 220 °F, which is far too hot for the majority of people. Infrared saunas work at much lower temperatures, between 110° and 140° Fahrenheit. This heats the body without hurting it or using a lot of energy, keeping it in a comfortable temperature range.
Variations on infrared saunas
There are three different kinds of infrared saunas: near, mid, and far infrared. Near-infrared is mostly effective at the surface level to heal wounds and halt the aging process. Mid-infrared is mostly used to alleviate chronic pain. Far-infrared sauna enters the body more deeply than near or mid-infrared and is the most effective sauna for removing waste and decreasing inflammation.
At Proactive Massage + Bodywork, our medical-grade infrared sauna is a combination of near, mid, and far infrared.
What are the benefits of an infrared sauna?
Here are 10 of the many wonderful health advantages of using our infrared sauna:
Infrared Sauna Benefit #1: Reduces inflammation
Inflammation is the fundamental cause of several chronic diseases. Infrared saunas decrease inflammation, indicating that their use may be effective in the treatment of inflammatory illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune disorders.
Infrared Sauna Benefit #2: Reduces pain
The use of an infrared sauna triggers the release of endorphins, which are opioid-like molecules that function as natural analgesics. This may explain why saunas have been proven to be so beneficial for those with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraines.
Infrared Sauna Benefit #3: Reduces the chance of developing heart disease
Saunas promote heart health and may lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and boosting oxygenation and circulation. In fact, research indicates that sauna usage considerably decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease-related death!
Infrared Sauna Benefit #4: Beneficial to the brain
The use of a sauna boosts the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance that promotes the formation of new brain cells and enhances brain function and memory. In addition, frequent sauna usage substantially decreases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia!
Infrared Sauna Benefit #5: Fight illness and boost immunity
During a regular infrared sauna session, the body's core temperature may rise by up to three degrees! Raising the body's temperature is a highly effective method for eliminating pathogenic bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.
Infrared Sauna Benefit #6: Reduces stress and tension
Many individuals get caught in "sympathetic mode," an agitated nervous system condition sometimes known as the "fight-or-flight" reaction, due to the chronic stressors of contemporary life. Chronic stress compromises the body's ability to repair itself. Using an infrared sauna assists us in transitioning from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode, which is a stress-free condition in which the body can rest, cleanse, and recover.
Infrared Sauna Benefit #7: Removes chemicals and heavy metals from the body
The skin is the largest organ in the body, and sweating is a very efficient way to eliminate cellular debris. According to research, sauna usage facilitates the removal of several environmental contaminants, such as hormone-disrupting BPA, pesticides, and heavy metals. Sweat is an acknowledged excretory route for toxic metals.
Infrared Sauna Benefit #8: Improves blood circulation and oxygenation
The body's temperature rises in a sauna, causing blood vessels to widen and blood flow to increase. Enhanced blood circulation improves the transport of nutrients and oxygen to tissues and organs, thus promoting their optimum function and regeneration.
Infrared Sauna Benefit #9: Promotes weight loss
The use of an infrared sauna reduces blood pressure while concurrently increasing heart rate; these effects resemble those of cardiovascular exercise and may even aid in weight reduction.
Infrared Sauna Benefit #10: Promotes younger, healthier-looking skin
The use of saunas is related to enhanced skin hydration and tone. In conjunction with Red LED light treatment, the usage of a far infrared sauna may increase collagen formation in the skin, hence reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Who can benefit from using an infrared sauna?
Everyone, from infants to the elderly, may benefit from using an infrared sauna. In neonatal hospitals located around the United States, preterm infants who have not yet reached the developmental milestone when they are able to regulate their own body temperature are put in incubators that use far-infrared light.
When used on older patients, infrared sauna therapy improves circulation, reduces pain, and helps keep the body's core temperature steady. All of these things help the body work better and improve the quality of life.
Infrared sauna treatments have been documented to show improvement for a variety of diseases and conditions, including mercury poisoning, Lyme disease, COPD, heart disease, high blood pressure, chemical sensitivity, allergies, weight loss, wound healing, improved immunity, cancer therapy, diabetes, autism, acne, psoriasis, speed in healing time of sore muscles or strained ligaments, pain relief, pain management, detoxification, and pretty much any disease that emerges from toxicity will benefit from infrared.
Many people claim to feel more alive and energized than ever before after just a few sessions in our infrared sauna!
What are the potential dangers to my health?
There are no health risks associated with sauna use unless you have a disorder that affects how your blood clots or a severe case of lupus, multiple sclerosis, or another disease of the nervous system that makes it hard for your body to cool itself naturally.
No need to worry about getting too much infrared light. Your body is only capable of absorbing enough infrared light for each cell, and after that, it travels harmlessly out of the body.
Other possible risks include being dehydrated.
Suggestions for enhancing your sauna experience:
If you feel dizzy, short of breath, sick, or weak, or if you have a headache, cramps, or an irregular heartbeat, you should get out of the infrared sauna right away.
Minerals should be taken to replenish the body. In addition to eliminating pollutants, sweat facilitates the elimination of other important minerals, like magnesium. It's a good idea to replenish your body with zinc, calcium, and magnesium after a sauna session.
Before entering the sauna, dilate your blood vessels by indulging in 10 to 30 minutes of activity or by dry brushing your skin with a natural-bristle brush for five minutes. Both of these activities improve your sauna experience by increasing blood flow to the skin's surface.
Whether your goal is to clean your body, relieve pain, boost your immune system, or reduce stress, a session in our infrared sauna could help you achieve your best health!
We hope to see you soon! Book your consultation today!