Infrared Saunas have gained popularity in the last ten years. Many choose infrared sauna therapy over traditional saunas and with good reason. Infrared Saunas have many benefits that will have you feeling refreshed and relaxed.
What's the difference between an infrared sauna and a regular sauna?
A regular sauna uses heat to warm the air which warms your body while an infrared sauna heats your body directly so you get the same results at a lower temperature with an infrared sauna.
The Benefits of an Infrared Sauna
Many people are aware that saunas help them feel more relaxed. The heat, quiet, and often isolation of a Sauna session naturally relaxes you. When you relax your body responds by reducing stress hormones and producing happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine. This happens especially in the first half of a sauna session as your body temperature slowly rises.
Soothing Sore Muscles
Sitting in a sauna can also help soothe sore muscles. A 2015 study found that spending time in an infrared sauna after strength and endurance training helps with pain relief and reduces muscle soreness (Mero, 2015). This is due to increased blood flow which helps your body reduce inflammation. Infrared saunas can also be helpful in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise.
Fighting Off Illness
Sitting in an infrared sauna isn't just great for when you have a stuffy nose. Infrared Saunas have been shown to improve the body's ability to fight illness. This is due to the rise in temperature in the body which mimics that of a fever. A higher temperature in the body speeds up the work of cells fighting against the virus and makes it more difficult for bacteria to exist in your body. Infrared Saunas also invigorate your body's circulatory response, dilating blood vessels and raising your white blood count.
Many studies have shown Infrared Sauna Therapy to be effective in reducing perceived feelings of fatigue and negative mood in those living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. One of the reasons for this is the production of happy chemicals in your body such as serotonin and dopamine. Another reason for this is that the sweating that occurs when sitting in an infrared sauna helps your body eliminate heavy metals which reduces inflammation in the body.
Improves Heart Health
The heat emitted from an infrared sauna also helps with heart health. As you sit in a sauna inflammation is reduced in the body and blood circulation is improved. Both of these are important in helping fight heart disease. In one study patients with Congestive Heart Failure had improvement in their congestive heart failure symptoms.
All of us could benefit from better sleep. Cooling down rapidly as you do when are in a sauna naturally promotes relaxation throughout your body. As your body cools it sends melatonin to your brain signaling that it is ready for sleep. The relaxing effect of an infrared sauna naturally aids in sleep.
Reduced Joint Stiffness
The infrared sauna can also help with joint stiffness and has been proven to help people with rheumatoid arthritis experience short-term relief from pain, fatigue, and stiffness during four weeks of regular use. The heat also reduces inflammation and improves circulation which helps with muscle and joint tension.
Many people who use the infrared sauna report having clearer skin. Sweating helps your body purge itself of dirt, oil, and other things that harm your skin. The blood circulation that happens when you use the sauna helps to make the skin clearer and healthier and the red light from the sauna stimulates collagen and elastin production which helps plump and firm your skin.