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Home » 5 Reasons to Try Infrared Sauna Therapy

5 Reasons to Try Infrared Sauna Therapy

The concept of using saunas for relaxation is not new, however another type in saunas is gaining popularity such as infrared saunas.

Infrared saunas are kind of therapy that utilizes the light spectrum to warm your body, says Kelly Simms, ND, an naturopathic doctor in Chicago. The light used is infrared, and is located in the spectrum of non-visible light according to her.

Infrared sauna therapy differs in comparison to the traditional Finnish (dry sauna) sauna bathing. This warms the air to higher temperatures, which can range from 150-195 degree F. In the dry sauna the body is heated by the hot air that circulates around it. Finnish saunas are the ones with the most studies behind them and could increase heart health and the overall quality of life, as well as other wellness benefits according to a study that was published in August 2018 within Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Infrared saunas fall in the same classification as dry-heat saunas they are operated by non-visible light, meaning that the temperature inside remains at a pleasant 110-120 degrees F according to Dr. Simms states.

Infrared saunas gradually builds warmth, you’ll be able to remain longer in it than traditional saunas. The claimed health benefits stem from the fact that the infrared saunas directly heated your body, and the warmth penetrates much more deeply than traditional saunas.

In the present it is clear that more research and studies is needed on the infrared sauna Melbourne treatment to fully grasp all possible health benefits it could bring, particularly due to the fact drying heat as well as infrared may not affect your body in the same way.

However, there is research that suggests that sauna bathing infrared can aid in the overall health and wellbeing of some people.

Potential Health Benefits from Infrared Sauna Therapy

1. Could Support Heart Health

One of the reasons dry-heat saunas as well as infrared saunas can promote health is the way they affect the circulation of your body. “The treatment may result in the production of nitric Oxide, and dilate blood vessels, and could improve circulation and blood flow” states Melinda Ring, MD, executive director of the Osher Center for Integrative Health at Northwestern University in Chicago. A study released in December 2017 within the Journal of Human Hypertension, observed that a 30 minute dry-heat sauna bathing session decreased arterial stiffness and raised blood pressure.

In particular, for saunas that are infrared, one meta-analysis and review of seven studies released in November of 2018 , in Clinical Cardiology, found that taking a 15-minute bath infrared every seven days a week for up to 4 weeks was associated with improvement in the cardiovascular system in patients suffering from heart insufficiency. Alongside a reduction in inflammation and stress as well as the improvement of the function of blood vessels, researchers found that saunas are as physiologically beneficial as walking. This is proven to improve the quality of life for those suffering from this condition.

2. Is (Slightly) similar to Exercise

Like exercising, when you heat to a point, the body will need to cool down. The process causes thermoregulation (where the body copes in hot environments better by sweating faster for instance). This can increase the heart’s workload and trigger a response like a cardio exercise, according to Simms. However, to be precise it’s not as effective than traditional exercise and a small study that was that was published in Complementary therapies in medicine in the month of March in 2022 which examined the effects of an infrared sauna with exercise confirms this. The sauna didn’t increase participants’ breathing rate like exercising did.

3. Could Improve the recovery from exercise

Following a workout the best option is to visit the infrared sauna. “Athletes might notice a better recovery after injury or exercise,” says Dr. Ring.

A study of a small size that was published in July 2015 in SpringerPlus which was a journal for physically active men showed that spending 30 minutes spent in a sauna with far-infrared after an intense endurance training enhanced neuromuscular recovery when compared to the non-sauna condition. It was also described as “a pleasant and enjoyable experience.”

4. It helps to increase your relaxation response

Consider the last time you felt at ease and warm. Infrared sauna users often are well-aware of the soothing feeling. Relaxing in the warm, peaceful space is a natural way to relax for the majority of people. “When we ease the nervous system by engaging in a relaxing activity the body reacts to reduce cortisol stress hormones and creates feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin,” Simms explains. Additionally it increases circulation, which can provide you with a feeling of energy and vitality after you’re finished.

5. Lowers the Pain of Autoimmune Conditions

Some studies have shown advantages of using infrared saunas for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing Spondylitis, fibromyalgia and the chronic fatigue syndrome, in terms of reduction of stiffness, pain, fatigue, and enhancing quality of life according to a review released in April 2018 In Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The reason for this is that the warmth helps dilate blood vessels and improve circulation to areas of injury and reduce inflammation markers Simms says. This is also evident in studies of dry-heat saunas which shows that people who take saunas more often have decreased levels of the C-reactive proteins, an indicator of inflammation, in a letter to the editor, published on December 17, 2017 by the European Journal of Epidemiology, however this hasn’t yet been examined in the infrared saunas.

What’s the Bottom Line? Is trying an Infrared Sauna an Effective Therapy?

Although more research is required for this, infrared sauna therapy could be an effective method to reduce stress and speed up the recovery process from exercise. this wellness exercise could be beneficial to the reduction of pain and the function of the heart. If you’re suffering from an existing health issue that is related to heart disease, you may still be able to enjoy an infrared sauna. However, consult your primary care doctor about the best option for you. Also, if you’re expecting and are a woman, experts from the American Pregnancy Association recommends avoiding saunas as the body heats up to a very high temperature can cause harm to the baby and you. This is a great time to discuss with your obstetrician about the best option for you.