The Many Benefits of Infrared Saunas
What is an Infrared Sauna?
An infrared sauna is a type of sauna that uses infrared to create heat. These saunas are sometimes called far-infrared saunas because it’s describing where the infrared waves fall on the light spectrum. Most traditional saunas work by heating the air around you, in turn heating your body, whereas an infrared sauna works by heating your body directly. These saunas have a huge appeal as they come with tons of benefits! An infrared sauna produces many of the same benefits as a traditional sauna but all at a lower temperature, this means if you’re unable to withstand the heat within a traditional sauna, then infrared saunas are always an option.
So What Are The Benefits?
Increased Metabolism, Burn More Calories and Lose Weight
While you’re busy relaxing in the sauna, you don’t notice your body hard at work producing sweat, pumping more blood and burning unwanted calories. All of this is achieved because, as your body increases sweat production to cool itself, your heart has to work harder to pump blood at a greater rate in order to boost circulation. The increase in metabolism burns calories. The American Medical Association said, “Many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of a Sauna imparts a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories as regular exercise”. Spas around the world have now started using infrared saunas as a way of eliminating cellulite. Infrared saunas are far more effective at this than traditional saunas because they radiate heat at a far higher temperature than traditional saunas.
Relieves Muscle Pain
The deep heat radiated from an infrared sauna helps peripheral blood vessels (those in the arms, hands, legs and feet – not in the chest or abdomen) dilate, bringing relief and healing to the muscles and soft tissue. Increased blood circulation carries metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen-rich blood to the depleted muscles, so they recover faster. Muscles relax when the tissue is warm, for greater flexibility and range of motion. Far Infrared heat relieves muscle tension and thereby helping your body make the most of its intended healing abilities. Infrared heat reduces soreness on nerve endings and muscle spasms as muscle joints and fibers are heated.
Improves the Immune System
The heat from infrared saunas causes a raise in core body temperature, this induces an artificial fever. Fever is the body’s natural mechanism to strengthen and accelerate the immune response, as seen in the case of infection. This enhanced immune system, combined with improved elimination of toxins and waste products via intense sweating, increases your overall health and resistance to disease.
Infrared sauna heat increases your blood circulation and stimulates the sweat glands, releasing built-up toxins in the body. Daily sauna use can help to detoxify the body as it rids itself of accumulated highly toxic metals (lead, mercury, nickel and cadmium) as well as alcohol, nicotine, sulphuric acid, and other organic and inorganic compounds.
Reduces Stress and Fatigue
Relaxing in your own home sauna will see all your stresses and tensions just melt away. A few minutes per day will have you relaxed and ready for anything that life can throw at you.
The profuse sweating achieved after just a few minutes in an infrared sauna removes any deeply embedded impurities and dead skin cells, leaving the skin glowing and immaculately clean. Increased circulation draws your skin’s own natural nutrients to the surface. You’ll see improved tone, elasticity, texture and fresh colour. Increased blood circulation has also been shown to relieve acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, lesions and cuts. In addition, open wounds heal more quickly, reducing potential scarring.
Affordability and Installation
Infrared saunas are actually significantly less expensive than traditional saunas, which surprised many of our clients. Infrared saunas are also simple to install and do not require any remodelling or construction.
Lower Blood Pressure
Infrared Saunas induce a deep sweating to make the heart pump faster, which in turn increases blood flow and decreases blood pressure and helps with circulation. Scientific evidence shows that using an infrared sauna a few times per week will reduce blood pressure.
Cold or Flu Remedy
If you feel yourself on the verge of becoming sick an infrared sauna will stimulate circulation, increase the production of white blood cells and rally your immune system’s response to any and all invading viruses. All of this will make it harder for the cold or flu virus to grow – and creates a great place for them to die. Even if you’re not on the verge of getting ill, you’ll find your immune system boosted.
Minimise Injection Marks
People with diabetes will puncture their skin often; these injection sites can often become bulged or sore from the accumulation of white blood cells trying to heal that site. These sites effectively become scarred, but when using an infrared sauna, the blood circulation improves and helps heal the wound faster, this aids the skin in maintaining its smooth appearance and feel. This improved blood circulation also helps the human body process insulin more effectively, thus helping diabetics maintain a more regular blood sugar level
Infrared Sauna Tips
The most important advice when using a sauna is to always stay hydrated, as most people don’t drink enough water during the day anyway, so if you’re using a sauna be sure to get those vital few litres. Many of the benefits of a sauna come with sweating, which your body isn’t able to do if it’s dehydrated. It’s recommended that you drink a pint to 3 pints before, during and after your session.
You should wait at least 1-2 hours after eating before you begin your sauna session. This allows the body to allow the best results as blood will no longer be being diverted for digestion.
No Skin Lotions
You shouldn’t use skin lotions or oils before a sauna session because this can inhibit sweating and clog pores. It’s better to wait until after your session and you’ve cooled down and showered before applying any crèmes etc.
You should set your infrared sauna to around 115-140 °F to begin infrared sauna warm up. When the sauna reaches 90-110°F is a good time to start your session.
Sauna Time & Activites
It’s recommended that you start with a short duration and build upwards, starting with a 10-20 minutes session after your first break a sweat and having sessions every other day. Also, it’s recommended your session not last longer than 60 minutes. During your session you can stretch, this helps to increase body flexibility,
Cool Down & Shower
After your session, it’s important to cool while your body continues to perspire. Find somewhere quiet and sit quietly with a towel around you for about 10 minutes or until you finish perspiring. Then take a warm shower to exfoliate and wash the sweat residue off your skin as well as all the old skin cells and toxins you have flushed out. Once you have washed, cool the shower and relax, this closes all the skin pores.
You may not sweat for the first 2-3 sessions of using your infrared sauna. This is actually normal for many people.
Vacuum your sauna once per week or even after every use, it’s totally up to you to decide. Using a damp sponge or cloth with some diluted vinegar and baking soda mixture will help cleanse and disinfect any area that has collected sweat. Using towels during your sessions will reduce the need and time spent cleaning your sauna.
An oxygen ionizer is the best thing for keeping your sauna germ and bacteria free. The oxygen radicals (chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen) are an awesome cleaning and disinfecting method. The ionizer also prevents mold, fungus, and mildew from forming. Simply turn the ionizer on for 30 minutes after each sauna session.