Infrared Sauna Benefits
Home infrared saunas are frequently recommended by medical
professionals to relieve pain and even to prevent illness. We believe
very strongly in the health benefits of a sauna, and particularly,
those of infrared saunas. There is a wide body of both scientific and
anecdotal evidence regarding the effectiveness of sauna heat therapy.
We are pleased to provide a review of some of the confirmed and
believed benefits of infrared sauna use. It is not our intention to
provide medical advice. The information contained below was gathered
from sources believed to be reliable and it is intended for general
information purposes only. As with any decision about your personal
health, we recommend that you personally research the topic of heat
therapy and the benefits of saunas, and discuss your findings with your
physician, to determine if the use of a sauna is right for you.
infrared energy released by a far-infrared sauna penetrates deep into
muscle tissue. It enhances circulation and thereby promotes oxygenation
of body tissues. Like other heat therapies, sauna heat therapy relives
muscle aches, pains, stiffness, and muscle spasms. In addition, by
stimulating vasodilatation of peripheral blood vessels and enhancing
the body's delivery of oxygen to joints and extremities, it is believed
to speed the healing of sprains and strains, thereby relieving pain and
reducing the time it takes the body to recover from an injury.
Sauna heat therapy is also recommended by many therapists and
physicians to treat chronic pain, including joint pain, arthritis pain,
and fibromyalgia. It is also effective in reducing inflammation and
swelling by improving lymph flow.
Not only is the skin our largest organ, it plays an important role
in detoxifying the body by eliminating undesirable chemicals and
compounds. The skin is sometimes referred to as the body's third
kidney, because it is thought by many to be responsible for eliminating
up to 30% of the body's wastes. The process of toxin elimination
through the skin is greatly enhanced by perspiration (sweating). Since
infrared saunas heat the body directly and profuse sweating begins
quickly, they offer an excellent means of general detoxification.
Infrared heat penetrates well below the surface of the skin, right into
the joints and muscles. This increases metabolism and allows body cells
to eliminate toxins more readily.
It may seem unusual to say this, but we don't sweat like we
used to. Synthetic clothing fabrics, our more sedentary lifestyles, and
indoor air conditioning, reduce the opportunities that our bodies have
to sweat out toxins. Further, sun damage to our skin and the chemicals
found in skin lotions, soaps, creams and deodorants also affect the
rate that we perspire. Repeated use of a sauna slowly restores skin
elimination better than any other method without the need for rigorous
exercise which may be difficult or impossible for many people.
Relaxation and Stress Relief
today's fast-paced world, we are rarely able to take time for
ourselves, to relax, and just let our bodies rest. It has been proven
time and time again that stress plays a huge role in our physical
health and metal well-being. A sauna session is a great way to kick
back with a good book or your favorite music and just relax.
We don't want to suggest that a sauna is the ticket to overnight
weight loss, but a sauna can help play a small roll in maintaining a
healthy weight or shedding a few pounds, especially when combined with
a regular exercise routine and healthy eating. During a sauna session,
you can lose a couple of pounds of physical weight. However, as you
would expect, most of this weight loss is due to perspiration of fluids
and not burning fat. Following your session, you will consume water to
replace the lost fluids, so some of this weight will certainly come
back almost immediately. However, it is estimated that to produce one
gram of sweat, 0.568 Kcal is required. The average sauna user can
easily produce 500 grams of sweat during an effective sauna session,
thereby burning close to 300 Kcal. This is equivalent to running a
couple of miles.
Some researchers also believe that sauna use may help melt and
sweat out cellulite. We reserve judgment on this until we see further
evidence, but it is certainly plausible - do your own research if this
potential benefit is important to you.
As mentioned above, sauna use enhances circulation by stimulating
vasodilatation of peripheral blood vessels. During a sauna session, the
heart rate increases, providing mild cardiovascular conditioning. Some
researchers have also suggested that regular heat therapy in an sauna
can help reduce blood pressure (perhaps by providing an environment
where you can just relax and let go of stress) and also lower
cholesterol. We feel that more research in this area is required to
confirm these additional benefits, however, the initial research does
Skin Health / Beauty
use has many positive benefits for our skin. In addition to freeing our
skin of many of the toxins that accumulate as a result of the use of
chemical-laden soaps, conditioners, make-up, etc., the increased blood
circulation to the skin brings more nutrients to the surface, thus
promoting healthy tone and texture.
Other Potential Health Benefits
Despite the fact that saunas have been around for hundreds of years
in one form or another, western medicine and the scientific community
is really still in its infancy in terms of studying the medical
benefits of sauna heat therapy. Doctors of naturopathic, homeopathic
and alternative medicine, however, are convinced of a wide range of
other benefits. In reality, some of these will be proven to be true,
some will not. It is important to take some of these claims with a
healthy dose of skepticism, however, as we see it, if any of these
benefits prove true, they almost merely to an added "bonus" to the long
list of benefits that are already scientifically accepted.
For instance, it is believed by many that a sauna can help
stimulate the body's immune response by elevating the body temperature
- many viruses, tumors and toxin-laden cells are thought to be weaker
(poor tolerance to heat) than normal healthy cells. Proponents believe
that by elevating the body's temperature much like the body does
naturally during a fever, the sauna will help the body fight various
diseases. Given the human body's effectiveness in fighting disease by
inducing a fever, the science behind this theory would appear to be
Another less studied benefit that we have seen strong anecdotal
evidence to support is that sauna therapy can help open nasal passages
and thereby assist the sinuses to drain. Persons suffering from chronic
sinusitis may experience either short-term or lasting relief of sinus
headaches, and find it easier to breath after a sauna session.
More Sauna Research
We strongly encourage you to do your own research into the benefits
of an infrared sauna. We are very confident that you will come to the
same conclusions as we have - there is a wide body of scientific data
supporting the health benefits of sauna heat therapy for a variety of
ailments and for preventative treatment. Of course, like any area of
research, there are health claims made by proponents of sauna therapy
that remain largely anecdotal and unproven - some will prove to be
true, many will not, but it is clear that most people can benefit
significantly from regular sauna use.