6 Benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy

September 23rd, 2017

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Are you interested in detoxification, relaxation, and increased circulation? Have you been searching for a way to burn calories without adding pressure to your achy joints and muscles? If so, infrared sauna therapy could be the missing link in achieving your optimal health.

As you might know, sweating is a great way to burn calories and rid your body of unwanted toxins, but how do you sweat when you’re injured, or unable to exercise? I like to sweat in an infrared sauna. Infrared saunas help your body release a number of toxins, including heavy metals, such as mercury and lead, and environmental chemicals. Infrared saunas can also help you achieve your ideal weight, relax, relieve unwanted pain, increase your circulation, and purify your skin.

 

6 Benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy

1. Detoxification

Sweating is one of the body’s most natural ways to eliminate toxins, making it a crucial part of detoxification. When compared to traditional swedish saunas, infrared saunas allow you to eliminate about 7 times more toxins.

 

2. Relaxation

Infrared sauna therapy promotes relaxation by helping to balance your body’s level of cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone. The heat generated by the sauna will also help to relax muscles and relieve tension throughout the body, allowing you to relax and de-stress.

 

3. Pain Relief

If you suffer from muscle aches or joint pain, infrared saunas can relieve this form of inflammation by increasing circulation and relaxing your muscles.

 

4. Weight Loss

The heat generated by an infrared sauna will cause your core temperature to increase, which can also lead to an increased heart rate – the same increase in heart rate that you experience when exercising. When your body has to work harder to lower your core temperature or keep up with an increased heart rate, your body will burn more calories, resulting in weight loss. An article titled, Effect of Sweating, in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that a 30-minute infrared sauna session could burn roughly 600 calories.

 

5. Improved Circulation

As the heat from infrared saunas increases your core body temperature, your circulation will increase along with it. Consistent infrared sauna sessions, especially in the middle-infrared level, can stimulate blood flow, improve muscle recovery, and decrease pain and inflammation after intense exercise.

 

6. Skin Purification

Infrared sauna technology can help purify your skin by eliminating toxins from your pores and increasing circulation, resulting in clearer, softer, and healthier-looking skin.

 

Infrared Levels

Infrared sauna treatments may be available at different levels: near, middle, and far.

These different levels represent the different sizes in infrared wavelengths and refer to the intensity of the treatment. Most people find that:

  • near-infrared levels are best for wound healing and increased immune function

  • middle-infrared levels are ideal for increasing circulation and promoting muscle relaxation

  • far-infrared levels are used primarily for detoxification purposes

 

My Recommendations

I personally have an infrared sauna in my home from Sunlighten Saunas that I use frequently, but that may not be a practical option for everyone. If purchasing your own sauna is not an option, you can also receive treatments from natural spas that house their own infrared saunas, like Aruba SunSpa here in Austin, Texas.

If you’re new to infrared saunas, I would recommend starting out with 4-minute sessions at 100-130 degrees Fahrenheit and slowly working your way up to 15-30 minute sessions.

If an infrared sauna is not available, but you have access to a regular sauna, you can still achieve some degree of detoxification with 10-20 minute sessions at 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

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  • Cara Zaller

    I use the sunlight infared sauna but I can’t seem to sweat, even after 30 minutes in 130 degrees. Why can’t I sweat when my husband sweats in 5 minutes? Also, do I get any benefit from being in there even though I don’t sweat?

    • Sounds like you may have issues with your detox pathways or perhaps a thyroid issue.

  • Erryl Mendenhall

    I have had an infrared sauna for 4 years and love it. I think it is of significant health benefit, but my own experience says that it is of little value in losing weight… Other than the temporary water loss of sweating. It isn’t the same effect as exercise, because your body isn’t providing the heat to warm your body, the sauna is. Your body is just sweating, trying to keep you cool. It is working harder, but 600 calories? I don’t think so. Don’t think your sauna time can replace exercise for many reasons. I do love my hour in the sauna each morning, though. It would seem like it has to be good for the cardiovascular system and a great place to meditate or just catch up on things you want to do without distraction. A way to detox?… yes.

  • AC100

    I’m interested in infrared sauna treatments as a way to detox (I take a fair amount of prescription medications) and reduce inflammation in my body (painful joints). But I get migraines easily and frequently, and one of my triggers is getting overheated. Do you think that infrared sauna is not a good idea for me? Also, which wavelength is more intense – near or far? Thanks!

  • Jacqueline

    how often do you recommend using the sauna? Daily, or how many times per week?

  • Shelly

    Hi Dr. Myers! Perfect post! 🙂 Is it safe for pregnant women too?