Infrared Sauna Treatment: Benefits, Safety And Potential Side Effects


Many of you would have come across the term infrared sauna. So, what exactly is it? Well, an infrared sauna is a type of sauna that makes use of light to create heat. It is different from a traditional sauna. Unlike a traditional sauna, which uses heat to warm the air and in turn warm your body, infrared sauna heats the body directly without creating warmth in the air around you .

Sauna attained its fame from the belief that it can create the effects that occur as a result of moderate exercise (such as increased heart rate and vigorous sweating). The effects of a regular sauna can be achieved through an infrared sauna but at a much lesser temperature . This makes it accessible to people who fear conventional saunas due to the fact of being unable to tolerate the heat.

Although several studies have looked at how infrared saunas can be used for the treatment of several chronic health problems, does it still live up to its expectations of being perfectly safe? So, if you are planning to try out infrared saunas, you might first want to know about its benefits, safety and side effects.

Infrared saunas make use of light and heat to help you relax and detoxify. They are also known as far-infrared or near-infrared saunas. The light waves are responsible for creating heat in the body causing you to sweat and hence release stored toxins .

In spite of research still being underway, most practitioners claim infrared sauna treatments to be safe, powerful and inexpensive. Many people seem to have obtained beneficial health benefits after using infrared sauna treatment. Infrared sauna treatment is believed to be associated with a parasympathetic healing effect, which means that it allows the body to function in a way such that it handles stress better.

In infrared saunas, unlike the regular saunas, the light directly penetrates your skin without heating the air around you . This is one reason why people can use infrared saunas within their own home (because the light has no effect on the surrounding environment).

People who have taken the infrared sauna therapy claim that this procedure can reduce inflammation, activate body cells, help with wound healing, act similar to antioxidant nutrients, boost the metabolism and help remove toxins from the body . Using electromagnetic radiation, infrared lamps are able to warm the body directly. In simple terms, once the body's thermoreceptors located in the skin detect the heat, it causes positive radiation effects in the human body.

Infrared light wave radiation (FIR) can alter cells, cell membranes, DNA and cell fluids . When at the cellular levels, alterations in cell membranes and mitochondrial activity take place, there is a positive impact on the metabolism. The meso-structure effect of the FIR makes the proteins within the body tissues to change in a way that is important for the overall biological activity .

The bodily reactions that infrared sauna cause are as follows :

The following are the two kinds of infrared saunas:

1. Far light-omitting: These omit far light waves. They use metallic, ceramic or black carbon elements for heating . Few medical experts claim that these saunas give off electromagnetic fields that can be harmful. In such cases, near-infrared emitting saunas have been found to be preferable.
2. Near light-omitting: These use incandescent reddish heat lamps for heating. These are inexpensive and can be found in most hardware stores. Such sauna arrangements give out both warming and colourful light waves . They not only have a heating effect on the body but also shows effects on how energy moves throughout the body. Such saunas are known to penetrate the skin and heat the body from the inside-out. They are capable of reaching deep inside the body and producing a heat that can be concentrated in a small area.

Improves heart health: Research reveals that infrared sauna therapy can be used for normalizing cholesterol levels and blood pressure. In general, infrared sauna treatment is one of the best ways to prevent high blood pressure and improve heart health . Studies show that repeated treatments with a 60 degree Celsius sauna can improve the functioning of the heart.

Lowers side effects of diabetes: A study revealed that far-infrared sauna was found to be quite beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes . Infrared sauna treatment can provide a natural treatment for diabetes-related complications such as heart problems, chronic fatigue, depression, pain, etc.

Lowers chronic pain: Researchers found that infrared sauna treatment can reverse chronic pain with almost no side effects. Patients who were observed during a study tolerated sauna therapy very well. Post the therapy, these patients were also found to have decreased symptoms of pain and stiffness.

Improves overall well-being: Experts say that repeated thermal therapies can lower chronic pain that can interfere with one's quality of life. It was also found that infrared sauna therapy can lift someone's mood and well-being when coupled with other holistic behavioural treatments.

Skin purification: This therapy can purify your skin by eliminating toxins from your pores. It increases circulation, thereby resulting in softer, clearer and healthier skin.

Weight loss: The body's core temperature increases due to the heat generated. This leads to an increased heart rate. So, when your body has to work harder to reduce your increased heart rate or to lower your body's core temperature, it would burn more calories, causing weight loss .

Relaxation: This therapy promotes relaxation by balancing the body's level of cortisol (primary stress hormone). The heat generated helps in relaxing the muscles and relieves tension throughout the body.

People with the following ailments can benefit from infrared saunas :

The following are some of the side effects of infrared sauna :

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