The term sauna is typically used to refer to a Finnish sauna, which is a deeply ingrained part of the culture in Finland. In the United States very few people use saunas, though they are making somewhat of a stir in the health and wellness community due to their benefits. Infrared saunas have numerous health benefits including helping your body rid itself of toxins, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow.
Plus, infrared saunas feel pretty amazing.
Infrared saunas versus saunas – what’s the difference?
In all saunas your body temperature is raised which induces sweating. With traditional wet or dry saunas the air is heated and you warm from the outside in. Infrared saunas cause your body temperature to rise, but the surrounding air remains the same – your body temperature rises from the inside out.
Two major benefits of infrared saunas are their cost and portability – they can be used in most homes and there are even some that pack down very small for easy storage. Infrared saunas also allow people to withstand the heating effects longer than a traditional sauna would and are therefore a good option for people sensitive to excess heat.
Infrared heat penetrates the body more deeply than heated air, which results in a more vigorous sweating at a lower temperature. The way your body sweats in infrared saunas compared to traditional saunas is believed to be more effective for delivering benefits to your body.
7 Benefits of Infrared Saunas
1. Flushes toxins
If you do a quick Google search you’ll find a lot of people knocking the ability of saunas to flush toxins, but we’ve known for a long time that sweating helps the body rid itself of toxins.
Studies have found that increased sweating, as experienced in a sauna, can help you excrete toxic metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. One study found “that body stores of trace metals may be depleted during prolonged exposure to heat.”
Another study found that “induced sweating in saunas can mobilize BPA in adipose tissue thus leading to enhanced excretion in sweat.” The science is there – sweating helps you eliminate toxins and infrared saunas can help you sweat at a much faster rate.
2. Fights dementia & Alzheimer’s disease
Saunas have been shown to improve vascular function, blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and boost cognition. One study found that Finnish men who frequently used saunas had a significant reduction in dementia and Alzheimer’s risk. With Alzheimer’s now clocking in as the third most common cause of death in the United States, any technique that can help resist the impacts of dementia onset adds hope.
3. Burns calories
The calorie burning effect of infrared saunas is one of the most sought after benefits. Infrared saunas are able to increase your body’s core temperature in a manner similar to working out. You can burn between 400 to 600 calories in a 30-minute session, which has led to the use of infrared saunas in weight loss programs.
4. Speeds up recovery
Studies have found that infrared saunas help your neuromuscular system recover faster. Athletes have found they are able to recover from endurance training more quickly while enjoying the pleasurable effects of an infrared sauna.
In most infrared sauna studies, researchers comment on the enjoyable and relaxing effects which are experienced on top of the healing outcomes.
5. Improves athletic performance
On top of the added recovery benefits infrared saunas can help improve overall athletic performance. Athletes who used saunas post-workout saw an improvement in plasma, red blood cell volumes, and an improvement in overall performance.
One study found that post-exercise sauna use produced a “worthwhile enhancement of endurance running performance” and researchers suggested it was due to an overall increase in blood volume.
6. Improves cardiovascular function
Using a sauna is often compared to working out because of the raised body temperature, sweating, released endorphins, and other similarities. Studies on the effects of infrared saunas on cardiovascular health typically find similar benefits.
One study that examined heart health and sauna use found that saunas reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, coronary heart disease, fatal cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.
7. Pain reduction
This is one of my favorite benefits of the infrared sauna.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, infrared saunas appear to help with inflammation and pain. Numerous studies have found that infrared saunas reduce pain caused by inflammation.
One study found infrared saunas reduced the pain experienced by fibromyalgia patients by half. Another study examining the impacts of infrared saunas on cardiovascular health found they were effective in reducing chronic pain. Infrared saunas have shown to be an effective treatment for those suffering from chronic lower back pain.
With the opioid crisis claiming more and more lives, it’s important that we explore all non-pharmaceutical pain relief options seriously. Though infrared saunas may require a steep initial investment, if used regularly they could quickly become a very worthwhile purchase. This is especially true for those suffering with chronic pain because infrared saunas are a potential pain solution that prevents the need for addictive substances such as opioids.
Why quality matters with infrared saunas
Infrared saunas are generally seen as a more convenient option for consumers. They are typically cheaper and easier to move than their wet and dry Finnish counterparts. You can even find one on Amazon for around $200, but I have concerns surrounding these cheaper models.
Electromagnetic fields are often radiated directly from electrical infrared saunas and can literally bathe you in harmful electromagnetic radiation. This is why I recommend High Tech Health International’s infrared saunas. They’ve addressed the EMF concern and more.
Next week, we will be digging deeper into the concerns behind EMF and why you should consider unplugging your Wi-Fi at night.
Thinking of getting your own sauna?!
Here are two brands I highly recommend:
Call our specialist at 303-413-8500 ext. 813 and mention Dr. Jill referral for $500 Referral Discount on any Size/Model Sauna with High Tech Health
Lowest total EMF from our in-house designed, patent-pending heaters
Healthy materials, very low-toxicity
2. Sunlighten M-Pulse 3 in 1 Sauna – Mention Dr Jill referred you for special pricing secured for you!
- Full-spectrum IR technology
- Customizable heaters
- Preset health programs
- LCD touch-screen control panel
- Five mPulse Infrared Sauna Models Available
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.