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Is Trying an Infrared Sauna a Worthwhile Therapy?

The concept of using the sauna to relax is not new, but another form that is gaining popularity is the infrared sauna Melbourne.

Infrared saunas are a kind of treatment that makes use of light to warm your body, says Kelly Simms, ND, an naturopathic doctor in Chicago. The light used is infrared, and is located on the spectrum of light that is non-visible she claims.

Infrared sauna therapy differs in comparison to conventional Finnish (dry heating) sauna bathing. This warms the air to higher temperatures, which range from 150-195 temperatures 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 may help enhance your heart health and improve the overall quality of life, as well as other benefits for wellness according to a study that was published in August 2018 within Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Infrared saunas fall in the same class as dry heat saunas, they are operated by non-visible light sources, which means that the air inside is a moderate 110 to 120 degrees F according to Dr. Simms states.

Infrared saunas gradually builds heat, you are able to remain longer in it than traditional saunas. The claimed health benefits stem due to the fact that infrared heated your body directly and also the warmth is absorbed more deep than traditional saunas.

In the present there is a need for more research and larger studies is needed regarding infrared sauna therapy to fully grasp all potential health benefitsthat it can bring, especially due to the fact drying heat as well as infrared may not affect your body the same way.

There is still research that suggests that sauna bathing infrared can aid in the overall health and wellbeing of a few people.

Health benefits that could be derived from Infrared Sauna Therapy

1. May Help Heart Health

One of the reasons dry-heat saunas and infrared saunas could promote wellness is how they impact the circulation of your body. “The treatment could lead to the production of nitric Oxide, that dilates blood vessels, and can increase circulation and blood flow” states Melinda Ring, MD, executive director of the Osher Center for Integrative Health at Northwestern University in Chicago. A study published in December of 2017 within the Journal of Human Hypertension, observed that a 30 minute dry-heat sauna bathing session decreased arterial stiffness and increased blood pressure.

Particularly for infrared saunas an analysis and review of seven studies released in November of 2018 , in Clinical Cardiology, found that the infrared bathing of 15 minutes per daily, seven days a month for up to 4 weeks was associated with immediate improvements in the function of the heart in patients suffering from heart insufficiency. Alongside a reduction in inflammation and stress, as well as improvements in the function of blood vessels, researchers found that saunas are as physiologically beneficial as walking. This is proven to improve the quality of life of people who suffer from this disease.

2. Is (Slightly) Like Exercise

Similar to exercising, when you heat the body, it will need to cool down. This process triggers 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 that it’s not as efficient as regular exercise and one study, which 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 and confirmed that. The sauna did not raise participants’ breathing rate like exercise does.

3. Can Improve Recovery from Exercise

After an exercise the best spot to relax is the infrared sauna. “Athletes may notice improved recovery after injury or exercise,” says Dr. Ring.

A study of a small size released in July of 2015 in SpringerPlus an online journal, of physically active males found that spending 30 minutes spent in a sauna with far-infrared following a hard endurance exercise increased neuromuscular endurance compared to an untreated sauna control. It was also described as “a pleasant and restful experience.”

4. It helps to increase your relaxation response

Consider the last time you felt extremely at ease and warm. The people who take advantage of infrared saunas often are well-aware of the relaxing sensation. In the warm, peaceful space is naturally relaxing for the majority of people. “When we relax our nervous system through engaging in a relaxing activity our body reacts to a degree that lowers cortisol, a stress hormone, and releases feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin,” Simms says. Furthermore it increases circulation, which can bring you a sense of energy and vitality after you’re finished.

5. Lowers the Pain of Autoimmune Conditions

A handful of studies have revealed 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 in accordance with a study released in April 2018 within Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It could be because 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 on dry heat saunas that shows that people who take saunas more often have less C-reactive protein. This is which is a sign of inflammation according to a letter addressed to the editor, published at the end of December in European Journal of Epidemiology, however, this hasn’t been thoroughly researched in saunas with infrared light.

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

While further research is required to determine the benefits of infrared saunas, it can be an effective option to ease stress and enhance recovery from exercise. the practice of wellness could provide some benefits to reduced heart rate and pain. If you’re suffering from an existing health issue like heart disease, you may still be able to enjoy an infrared sauna. However, consult your primary care physician about the appropriate method for you. If you’re pregnant and are a woman, experts from the American Pregnancy Association recommends avoiding saunas since the body heats up to a very high temperature can cause harm for the baby and you. This is a great time to discuss with your obstetrician regarding what is best for you.