Understanding Infrared Sauna

What makes saunas unique?

Use of saunas has been around for over 2000 years. It originated in Finland and has advanced from a log room with a wood fire and almost zero ventilation to clear the smoke to the variety of technologically advanced options that we have today. Traditional saunas still heat the air around you, but thanks to the invention of electricity it no longer takes 8-12 hours to fill that heat. Similarly, infrared saunas provide heat but they use infrared lamps to focus that penetrating warmth directly on your skin. This approach allows infrared saunas to provide the same benefits as traditional saunas at a much lower thermometer reading (Yes please!). So what are these benefits?

1. Detoxification

One of the most celebrated benefits of the infrared sauna is its ability to aid in detoxification. From the cleaning and hygiene products we use, to the chemicals in the air, to the additives in our foods, we are exposed to multitudes of toxins in our environment. Even our own bodies produce toxic waste products like carbon dioxide! Thankfully, the body already naturally filters out toxins through processes happening regularly in many of our organs. These toxins are then removed as we use the bathroom, sweat, or just breathe. Some of these toxins, however, prefer one pathway over another. For example, aluminum, cadmium, cobalt, and lead have been shown more likely to exit via sweat. Thus, activities that induce sweat (exercise & saunas) encourage detoxification.

2. Relaxation and Stress Relief

Imagine stepping into a warm cocoon of tranquility after a long day. That's the essence of the infrared sauna experience. The gentle heat relaxes your muscles, releases tension, and encourages the production of endorphins, those wonderful feel-good hormones. It's a serene retreat from the chaos of daily life. And the relaxation doesn’t stop there! A cross-sectional study revealed that most sauna goers report improvements in sleep quality for up to 2 nights after use. Many in that same study also report a higher mental well-being with regular sauna use. The serenity of an infrared sauna can work wonders for your mental health. It's a space to unplug, unwind, and simply be present.

3. Improved Circulation

As the infrared heat warms your body, your blood vessels widen and increase blood flow. Beads of sweat begin to glisten on your skin. Your heart rate gently increases. The sauna is essentially mimicking the physiology of exercise. In fact, researchers have likened this response to that of walking at a moderate pace. And we know that even a single session of moderate physical activity can reduce blood pressure with consistent exercise contributing to lower rates of heart disease. This increased blood flow also means better delivery of nutrients and oxygen throughout your body thus aiding muscle recovery and athletic performance. Sauna use should not replace regular exercise, but clearly it can be an amazing addition to your wellness routine and contribute to your overall health.

4. Chronic Pain Relief

For those suffering from chronic pain conditions, the soothing warmth of an infrared sauna can offer much-needed relief. Fibromyalgia is one such chronic disorder. Characterized by widespread pain and stiffness of the joints and muscles, the sauna heat helps to relax muscles and joints, easing stiffness and discomfort. Many users report a significant reduction in pain after regular sauna sessions. Another chronic disorder soothed by sauna is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is an autoimmune disorder with chronic inflammation where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. Unlike the wear-and-tear joint damage of other types of arthritis, RA causes painful swelling of the joints and damage to other parts of the body. Infrared sauna studies show a statistically significant decrease in pain and stiffness as well as general fatigue in patients with RA without exacerbating other symptoms.

5. Skin Rejuvenation

Healthy, glowing skin is not exclusive to those with expensive creams and serums anymore! The vasodilation, or expansion of the blood vessels, from infrared sauna heat increases circulation to help deliver more oxygen and vital nutrients to your skin cells. This helps the skin look younger and brighter. The increased circulation also assists in collagen production thereby contributing to more youthful skin. As previously mentioned, the deep sweat induced by an infrared sauna is a pathway by which the body removes toxins. Along with those toxins, pores also flush out dead skin cells and oil products that, if not removed, could contribute to acne breakouts. This detoxification combined with a high temperature to reduce bacterial growth leaves skin clearer and more radiant promoting a youthful complexion.

What to Expect:

Stepping into the warmth of an infrared sauna is more than just a luxury—it's an investment in your health and well-being.

  • You will sweat! We recommend drinking plenty of water before any session. Remember to hydrate after as well!
  • What to wear: many opt to sweat in the buff. We recommend wearing loose fitting clothing after your session.
  • Temperature: We'll start your session at a lower heat setting and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable. You're in control of the heat settings, so feel free to adjust them at any time during your session.
  • Duration: Sauna sessions last 30 minutes.
  • Entertainment: The sauna encloses just the body, leaving the head out. Many bring headphones to listen to tunes or watch a show.
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