Find out the health benefits of infrared saunas compared to standard saunas
The amazing health benefits of infrared saunas are getting more and more popular, and for good reason. The hot health trend is an optimal way of providing us the benefits of a traditional sauna while using infrared lamps that utilize electromagnetic radiation to help directly warm our bodies.
“These saunas use infrared panels instead of conventional heat to easily penetrate human tissue, heating up your body before heating up the air,” said physical therapist Vivian Eisenstadt, MAPT, CPT, MASP. These high-tech saunas are able to operate at lower temperatures (120˚F and 140˚F) when compared to conventional saunas (150˚F and 180˚F).
Infrared sauna users say that its heat penetrates better than heated air. This enables users to sweat more vigorously at a cooler temperature. According to Eisenstadt, this is more bearable, allowing users to stay in the sauna for longer periods of time while raising the body temperature by a couple degrees.
“Infrared light is outside the visible spectrum, further than red, and these waves penetrate the body to add heat,” said Tom Igegno, a licensed acupuncturist and owner of Charm City Integrative Health. “Traditional saunas, meanwhile, warm the air rather than directly heating the body.
Ingegno also states that many studies have shown that the health benefits of infrared saunas are very similar to those from traditional saunas. “Regular use has positively affected blood pressure, heart rate variability, and vascular health. Research also shows that there is a boost to your lungs. Some studies even showed that it could help with asthma and chronic bronchitis.”
Other health benefits of infrared saunas may include better sleep, relaxation, weight loss, tighter skin, and even improved circulation. The sauna’s heat causes “the blood vessels to dilate,” according to Ingegno. “Opening the blood vessels helps [the body] in two ways. It allows old blood with metabolic waste and inflammatory compounds to be flushed out of the tissue and recirculated to the body’s core to be broken down a series of chemical changes in the liver and kidneys, then eventually excreted through sweat, exhalations, urine, and bowel movements.”
For those interested to experience it themselves and gain the health benefits of infrared saunas, make sure to get a doctor’s approval prior to your first session, especially if you have health conditions such as high blood pressure.