The latest trend to sweat of those toxins – infrared sauna. Just think of a deep penetrating wave of heat at a comfortable temperature of 140 degrees F that could improve your blood circulation, boost endothelial function in the heart, enhance the health of your skin and help you cope better with pain. No more wood stoves, heaters and a high temperature of 185 degrees F that makes you feel dizzy and half fainting. This niche became mainstream thanks to its purported benefits and its capacity to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Let’s see what happens when you achieve a more intense sweat at a lower temperature:
- Pain relief.
Effective in treating all sorts of chronic pain conditions from acute muscle pain to tissue injuries or arthritis and fibromyalgia, infrared sauna is a healthy way to fight against inflammation, swelling or limited joint mobility and to decrease stiffness and pain. A study made on 17 patients with ankylosing spondylitis and 17 patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed that those who completed 8 sessions of infrared sauna on a period of 14 days, experienced significantly less pain then the control group. Also the sauna sessions did not exacerbate their diseases so this makes infrared sauna a possible treatment for patients with such conditions.
- Post exercise recovery.
How great it is to relax and enjoy the benefits of sauna after a session of workout when you can improve that fatigue and muscle soreness by increasing blood circulation and carrying nutrients and oxygen to the depleted muscles. Known to enhance the muscle recovery process and to treat cramps and muscle sensitivity, infrared sauna is the best way to relieve muscle tension and relax. However, studies suggested that mild temperature and light humidity are not enough to recover for athletes that achieve maximal endurance performance, although it can be a comfortable experience for them too.
- Cardiovascular benefits.
So, relaxing in infrared sauna it doesn’t just help you feel good but it can be similar to moderate exercise, increasing your heart rate. In the same time sweating acts like a diuretic, decreasing your blood pressure and artery stiffness, thus the work load of the heart. This way, infrared sauna can decrease the risk of several heart diseases.
- Skin health.
Another great addition to your skin care routine, infrared sauna can penetrate deep into the layer of your skin, enhancing blood circulation and ensuring oxygen and vital nutrients transportation to the skin cells. This way, it not only detoxifies the pores but also aids in rejuvenation. On the other hand, there are voices that say that the infrared can promote the production of some molecules that can breakdown the collagen structures, being damaging to the skin. However, there is not enough data to support this hypothesis. If used with the right intensity for certain skin types that don’t have a problems with that rosy cheek glow (for those who don’t suffer from rosacea for example), infrared sauna can be a good idea.
Types of infrared saunas.
Since not all infrared saunas are the same, you might want to follow the sauna guidelines for use, because they can lead to different outputs for different infrared energy. There are also some discussions related to the exposure of EMF (electromagnetic fields) but scientists are still debating if the EMF technology is clinically significant or not. Although there are not serious adverse effects reported yet, infrared sauna is not recommended for lactating mothers, people who are severely dehydrated or have different skin conditions like rosacea.
In conclusion, although infrared sauna comes with a wide range of health benefits from pain recovery to enhanced skin and lower risk of heart disease, there are still some potential risks like becoming dehydrated, overheated or dizzy. It is up to you if you decide to embrace this new trend or not.