Infrared saunas are different to traditional saunas because they use infrared thermal light that goes deep into your body to raise your core temperature. The traditional sauna simply heats the air around you to produce a sweat. Infrared saunas don’t get as hot overall so you can spend more time in them to enjoy the health-giving benefits.
Infrared sauna use is becoming a self-help health trend worldwide with increasing studies on its efficacy. Infrared sauna may provide benefits in the following areas:
1. Chronic inflammation
Almost every health problem faced by humans is linked to inflammation, whether that be digestive, hormonal, brain, or autoimmune difficulties. Infrared saunas can be a natural and efficacious way to calm down inflammation that is out of control in the body.
2. Chronic fatigue syndrome
A study found that after 20 days of daily infrared sauna use participants in chronic fatigue research observed significant improvements in the symptoms of their condition. For sufferers of chronic fatigue, infrared sauna use may be a gentle and natural therapy and a beneficial complement to an overall management plan for the condition. Try to start out slow with about 15 minutes to start out with, increasing to 30 minutes gradually.
3. Increased brain function
Infrared sauna use may increase brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) which encourage new brain cell growth. This is crucial for improving memory and general brain function.
4. Heart health
One study shows evidence that infrared sauna use can protect, particularly men, against the risk of sudden cardiac death and fatal cardiovascular disease. The results suggest sauna use is able to be recommended, although more studies are necessary for different populations.
5. Recovery for athletes
Using an infrared sauna regularly can save you money on expensive supplements because it can activate growth hormones which are crucial for muscle repair and recovery. You can just heat your body and get a growth hormone increase.
6. Arthritis and muscle pain relief
Regular infrared sauna may be beneficial in lessening the pain of arthritis and muscle stiffness and soreness. It’s believed that infrared sauna use can release anti-inflammatory hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, and growth hormones, plus endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. It can also increase mobility possibly due to the fact that joint articular capsules, tendons, and fascia are more flexible after exposure to heat.
7. Fat loss and muscle increase
Infrared sauna use may promote muscle development and the loss of fat by decreasing muscle protein catabolism and increasing insulin sensitivity. In one study, intermittent hyperthermia was shown to reduce insulin resistance in fat mice. The diabetic mice were given half an hour of heat treatment, three times a week over 12 weeks with the results being significant reductions in levels of blood glucose and 31 percent decrease in levels of insulin. These can contribute to increased muscle growth, fat loss, and weight control. This means if you are injured, or you’re on a recovery day and can’t do your weight training, then you may still maintain muscle by infrared sauna use.
8. Boost the immune system
Studies on athletes and non-athletes into the effects of infrared sauna use on white blood cells, levels of cortisol and physiological changes showed white blood cell increases, also higher levels of white blood cells, neutrophil, lymphocytes and basophil counts. This means that sauna use can stimulate the immune system.
9. Skin rejuvenation
It’s true that too much exposure to the sun, especially on days when the UV index is high, can leave you eventually looking like a Shar-Pei, or with skin that looks like an old leather boot, but infrared use doesn’t give off the same kind of UVA and UVB rays you get from the sun. The sweating in a sauna can trigger a faster replacement of dead skin cells while heavy sweating helps to eradicate bacteria from the epidermal skin layer the sweat ducts.This is, in effect, pore cleansing which may increase the circulation in the capillaries, making the skin look fresh, soft, and younger looking. When we sweat, there’s more fluid moving to the skin which delivers more minerals and nutrients, and this tends to fill up the spaces surrounding the cells and this means firmer skin and a reduction in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
10. Better sleep
If you are having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, try having a sauna two to three hours before you go to bed. The sauna can release all the day’s tension and stress and release pain-relieving natural endorphins which can also produce a soothing, almost tranquilising effect that will induce relaxation and blessed.
If you have any health problems or have recently suffered a heart attack, ask your GP for advice before embarking on a course of infrared sauna sessions.
Alex Morrison has been an avid digital marketer for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including health care, relationship and home improvement. As the owner of Integral Media he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.