Traditional saunas have long been used as a way to detoxify and relax the body. Originating in Finland, the Finns have been using saunas for approximately 2000 years. This long tradition of using heat therapy to improve health still continues today with infrared saunas gaining popularity due to their effectiveness.
An infrared sauna functions differently from a traditional sauna. Infrared saunas do not create high heat in the air around you, instead, infrared lamps are used to warm your body directly without heating the surrounding environment.
The infrared heat penetrates your skin, increasing your body temperature and causing you to sweat. In fact, the infrared heat creates this effect at a lower temperature than a traditional sauna, and this method of heating is often better tolerated by people who find saunas too hot and uncomfortable.
Infrared saunas offer significant health benefits with a greater level of ease and comfort for the user. Below are 5 ways an infrared sauna can improve your health.
When we sweat, toxins are removed from our body via the skin. Our skin is our largest organ and a key channel for detoxification. Infrared saunas create a more vigorous sweat, as explained by Dr. Richard Beever, a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of British Columbia.
“As infrared heat penetrates more deeply than warmed air, users develop a more vigorous sweat at a lower temperature than they would in traditional saunas,”
This more vigorous sweat leads to greater detoxification whilst the lower temperature is more comfortable for the user.
Lower high blood pressure
An infrared sauna is an excellent way to lower high blood pressure. When you sweat you stimulate circulation and increase blood flow throughout your body. The increased circulation helps to lower blood pressure and improve overall heart health.
A study published in the Journal of The Japanese Circulation Society found that participants who spent 15 minutes a day for two weeks in an infrared sauna experienced a significant drop in blood pressure compared to a control group. (The control group spent that same amount of time in a room-temperature space.) The research also concluded that the regular use of an infrared sauna improved heart arrhythmias and overall heart function.
Relax muscles and decrease chronic pain
Studies show that heat therapy is an effective way to relax muscles and relieve chronic pain. For example, researchers in the Netherlands concluded that infrared sauna treatments provide effective relief from chronic pain and can even help to reverse it. In the study, patients with rheumatoid arthritis had a series of eight infrared sauna treatments, and reported a decrease in symptoms of pain, stiffness and fatigue. The study was conducted over a four-week period and this demonstrates just how quickly you can experience the benefits from regularly using an infrared sauna.
Boost your immune system
The major benefit of an infrared sauna is increased circulation. When circulation is stimulated, the production of white blood cells also increases— white blood cells are our body’s defense system and help our body to fight disease and infection.
By regularly using an infrared sauna you are able to boost your immune system and this can be a particularly useful practice over the winter months.
Improve skin tone
The sweating induced by an infrared sauna removes toxins from our body and skin, resulting in clearer, more radiant skin. It also helps to clear pores and the increased circulation greatly improves skin tone. Many users report softer skin and the reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The regular use of an infrared sauna can powerfully improve your health. The lower heat used makes it more comfortable than a traditional sauna and is generally better tolerated by most people. However, to be on the safe side, please consult your healthcare practitioner before undertaking regular infrared sauna treatments.