A sweat session in a sauna is an unbeatable experience. It makes you feel infinitely more relaxed and refreshed afterward, helping ease both physical and mental discomforts. On top of that, it will provide you with a whole slew of therapeutic benefits that can relieve the symptoms of some acute and chronic conditions, as well as improve your overall health and well-being.
With infrared sauna bathing, you can harness the fantastic benefits of traditional sauna – but without being exposed to excessively high temperatures. So, it’s hardly surprising that it has become immensely popular in recent years. Read on to learn more about why infrared sauna is well worth your time and money.
An infrared sauna – also known as “infrared therapy” – relies on infrared light to warm the surface of the skin directly. This is a stark contrast to a traditional sauna, which works by heating the air inside the room. An infrared sauna can also operate at a much lower temperature than a traditional sauna – about 40˚C to 60˚C instead of the usual 70˚ to 100˚.
Proponents of infrared saunas claim that the radiant heat emitted by the infrared lamps penetrates the skin more deeply than heated air. In other words, this type of sauna can make you sweat more intensely at much lower temperatures. The fact that the warmth is not too extreme also means that you can stay in the room for longer periods without feeling uncomfortable.
Most of the touted health benefits of infrared sauna are similar to what you’ll experience in a traditional sauna. We’ll run through the most notable ones below.
One of the most well-known benefits of infrared sauna therapy is that it can assist in detoxification. This is the process by which toxic substances like mercury and lead are removed from the body. These heavy elements are often implicated in many chronic diseases. By inducing you to sweat profusely, the infrared light can promote the excretion of toxins through the sweat glands.
In one study, researchers suggested that sweating – as induced by repeated sauna sessions – may aid in the release of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Another study found that sweating may be a viable method for eliminating bisphenol A (BPA) – a chemical that has been linked to various adverse health effects.
Infrared sauna heat can increase your heart rate and expand your blood vessels. This, in turn, can promote better blood flow and blood circulation, as well as lower blood pressure. For this reason, it may be useful for people with hypertension or high blood pressure.
In one study, researchers found a link between regular sauna bathing and decreased blood pressure in people with hypertension. However, it’s not yet clear if the same results will carry over to the general population.
Besides improving blood flow, an infrared sauna may also boost your overall cardiovascular health and function. In turn, it may help lower the likelihood of a heart attack and other cardiovascular events.
One study found that Waon therapy reduced the risks of cardiac events in patients with chronic heart failure. In other words, they may be less likely to die from cardiovascular disease. Waon therapy – sometimes called “soothing warm therapy” – is a type of thermal treatment that uses a far-infrared dry sauna.
In one review, researchers investigated the effects of sauna bathing on heart failure. An analysis of nine studies revealed that infrared sauna was linked with short-term improvements in heart function. However, further studies are needed to see the long-term effects of this therapy, especially among patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Another review found sauna bathing to be safe even for people with heart conditions. Although more research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind this therapy, it can already be a viable option for people seeking an additional lifestyle intervention. This rings particularly true for those who find it difficult to engage in exercise.
An infrared sauna is not only good for the heart but the lungs as well. For instance, this therapy may widen the airways and loosen phlegm, which can offer temporary relief for asthma and other related conditions.
One study also found that regular sauna bathing may help lower the risk of both acute and chronic respiratory conditions in middle-aged Caucasian men. These diseases included asthma, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
By boosting circulation, infrared saunas may dramatically improve the symptoms of muscle soreness, arthritis, joint pain, and other bodily aches and discomforts. In fact, easing pain or fatigue is perhaps one of the most common reasons why people go for this type of therapy in the first place.
In one study, 13 patients with fibromyalgia were subjected to Waon therapy for 15 minutes, then kept warm with a blanket for 30 minutes. They received soothing warm therapy once a day for 2 or 5 days a week. Findings revealed that all participants experienced a significant reduction in pain. From the results, the researchers concluded that Waon therapy may be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia – a chronic condition marked by widespread pain.
Another study found that Waon therapy may be a safe and effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – a debilitating condition characterized by excessive tiredness. Aside from dramatically decreasing fatigue, it also improved anxiety, depression, and negative mood. These psychological symptoms often accompany CFS.
Finally, infrared saunas may also offer short-term benefits for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Specifically, it may alleviate pain, stiffness, and fatigue. Even better, this therapy was well-tolerated and did not produce any unwanted side effects.
One of the best things about sauna bathing is that it is not only useful for physical conditions but also mental distress, including stress and anxiety. It may promote deep relaxation, making it a perfect way to cap off a tiring work week or invigorating workout session. Consequently, it can encourage feelings of happiness and well-being.
Related article: All You Need to Know About Infrared Saunas
By combating bodily pains, muscle aches, fatigue, and stress, sauna bathing may help individuals sleep more soundly at night. So, if you’ve always had difficulty sleeping and are looking for alternative therapies to encourage better, higher quality sleep, an infrared sauna might be what you need.
Saunas have been well-loved for thousands of years. Given their touted health benefits, it’s not surprising that they remain popular to this day. Unfortunately, not everyone feels comfortable with the too-high temperatures of traditional saunas. This is where infrared saunas come in. They operate at lower temperatures, making them more tolerable while still delivering the coveted benefits of regular sauna therapy.
It’s important to note that many of the health benefits discussed in this article are still not yet fully understood and remain under investigation. Although emerging research indicates that there may be some scientific evidence behind these benefits, more studies are needed to verify these claims. But, the experience of many infrared sauna enthusiasts asserts that it does wonders for their mental ills and bodily complaints. Hopefully, it doesn’t take too long before experts gain a deeper understanding of this therapy.
For now, the only way to know if an infrared sauna will do anything for you is to give it a try. Take note, though, that sauna bathing is not for everyone. If you have certain medical conditions, make sure that your doctor has cleared you before proceeding with the treatment. A reputable sauna provider can also help you decide if this therapy is suitable for you.
Here at Solea Medical Spa & Beauty Lounge, we boast a capable team of beauty technicians and state-of-the-art infrared sauna equipment. Learn more about how we do infrared sauna or book your very first session today.
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