Did you know that an infrared sauna is useful in many ailments?

The sauna has been used by man for thousands of years in different parts of the world. Earlier the sauna was simple, using hot rocks (with or without steam) in an enclosed space to generate heat that increased sweating as a means of detoxification of the body. These simple saunas still exist. But now saunas have also become more advanced and a range of various infrared saunas are available. These are easily accessible, enabling more people to reap their many health benefits.

Health benefits of using infrared saunas

Infrared saunas emit rays that penetrate deeper into the body than a normal sauna. Because of this they have a greater impact on health. The infrared sauna also causes the body to sweat even at lower temperatures and encourages increased sweating in a clean environment. The heat also raises the heart rate without the person having to exercise to do so. Among the positive health benefits of using an infrared sauna are:

Detoxification – modern life, stress and environmental toxins cause many health problems. The increased sweating allows the body to release the toxins in a safe manner.

Relaxation – the simple act of relaxing while in a sauna is a de-stressing experience. Your mind and body both relax and your body functions better after calming down. It also stimulates the flow of endorphins in the body.

Blood pressure reduction
– heat improves blood circulation and helps increase blood flow and decrease blood pressure. So it is helpful for patients of high blood pressure.

Pain relief – joint and muscle pains benefit from the heat and relaxation that infrared sauna affords. In fact, studies have shown that infrared sauna helps with rheumatism and arthritis pains.

Immune system boost – your body’s immune system gets a boost with regular infrared sauna sessions. You can stave off minor ailments like colds and coughs. With regular use of the infrared sauna, your body may be able to ward off other minor illnesses as well.

Improving skin tone – as the body flushes out toxins, there is increased blood flow and collagen production increases, your skin improves and you look better.

Weight loss – your metabolism and heart rate increases and so you can burn off more calories. An infrared sauna session can burn off between 200 and 600 calories, without much effort from your side.

Reduction of hypothyroid symptoms – people with hypothyroid disorders often suffer from reduced metabolism that causes them to put on weight. They may have low energy levels and may be more prone to suffer from fungal infections like those got from Candida or other pathogens. Regular use of infrared saunas can help with hypothyroid conditions and their side effects.

Possible cancer fighting properties – heat is not conducive to tumor growth. Cancer cells do not thrive in heat. When the body is regularly kept at a high temperature, cancer cells may die out and this has been proved by scientific studies*.

Decreased risk of sudden death due to cardiovascular problems – using infrared sauna regularly reduces the risk of fatal cardiovascular incidents, according to a study published in April 2015 in JAMA.

With so many benefits associated with the use infrared sauna and no adverse effects reported in normal, healthy people, it is a win-win situation to use an infrared sauna. Some massage studios are now offering infared saunas as a package or single session. You may want to try it out before investing an a home sauna.

How do infrared saunas work?

Infrared saunas use special heat lamps that generate infrared light. They are generally used in a closed environment for best results. Both far and near infrared saunas confer benefits on the user. Near infrared saunas can be used at home, particularly when they are in the form of lamps. Far infrared saunas can be found in special places, attached to spas and gyms and you can even make your own sauna room.

The heat generated by a normal sauna is very different from that of an infrared sauna. When you go to a standard sauna or steam room that generates heat or even sweat due to exercise that is very different from the sweat generated by using an infrared sauna. Normal heat only activates the sympathetic nervous system and this actually reduces blood flow to important organs. Heat from an infrared sauna activates the parasympathetic nervous system and this is important for detoxification that removes toxins from the body. It also penetrates deeper into the body.

Different types of infrared saunas

Infrared saunas come in various shapes and sizes. Their cost, too, varies a great deal. Different kinds of infrared saunas offer different benefits. Among the two main types of saunas are:

Far infrared saunas – these are called far infrared because they emit far infrared rays. These are generally used in sauna rooms and they also emit low level electromagnetic fields that are similar to those given out by cell phones and microwave ovens. This may be of some concern, particularly to people who are sensitive to these emissions.
Near infrared saunas – these emit near infrared rays and have very low levels of electromagnetic fields, so are generally viewed as being safer for regular use than far infrared saunas. As these are also available in smaller lamps, they are more affordable, especially for local use.

Apart from these differences, saunas also come with varied kinds of heaters like ceramic and carbon fiber. Each kind has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Infrared saunas can be used safely by normal, healthy people. If you suffer from any ailments or diseases, it is best to check with your doctor before using this therapy. Generally people don’t sweat as much using an infrared sauna as they would using an regular sauna. It’s still better to err on the side of caution when using an infrared sauna as far as time and frequency of use is concerned. Build up the time you spend in the sauna gradually and don’t spend more than half an hour at any one time. You can get over-exhausted, dehydrated or overheated if the heat is not regulated.

Have you ever used a infrared sauna and if so how did you like it? Let us know in the comments.

* http://www.nebraskamed.com/article/55/new-treatment-turns-up-the-heat-on-cancer