Everyone’s busy these days – juggling job responsibilities, running from one errand to the other, dropping kids off here, picking kids up there. But what about your health? Do you have time to squeeze in a quick work out or dare I say, time to simply relax? Most would say no – there’s just not enough hours in the day.
This non-stop lifestyle can take a toll on your health, and it if gets bad enough, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, obesity, chronic pain, cancer, depression, anxiety, and more.
But what if there was a time saving way to improve your overall health? Something that not only burns calories like a workout, helps you detoxify, allows you to relax, but also feels downright amazing…
Saunas have been used in many cultures for thousands of years for a variety of therapeutic reasons. The Finnish culture actually incorporates sauna sessions routinely to improve detoxification, weight loss, prevent cardiovascular disease, and much more.
American’s have a hard time slowing down, but just a simple 15-30 minute sauna session can improve your overall health efficiently.
What is an Infrared Sauna?
Historically, heat therapy has dated back as far as Ancient Chinese Medicine, Eastern Europeans, and even Native Americans mainly for detoxification and relaxation.
Infrared saunas use upgraded technology compared to old sweat lodges by adding infrared lamps, which improves the benefits as well. These infrared lights have three different spectrums which safely penetrate the skin 1.5 inches deeper than traditional heat saunas – this allows for seven times more toxins to be eliminated via your skin when you sweat. Remember, your skin is your largest organ!
The three different infrared lights include:
- Far-infrared light – Supports detoxification
- Middle-infrared light – Increases circulation, muscle relaxation, and weight loss
- Near-infrared light – Promotes wound healing and skin benefits
These infrared lights actually heat the core of your body, unlike traditional saunas which heat the outside air. Infrared saunas provide a much cooler environment for therapy and relaxation, and so, many people can tolerate them more easily.
How do Infrared Saunas Work?
The infrared lights used in these saunas are what promote the healing effects in your body. Once your body’s thermoreceptors, which are located on your skin, detect these safe and effective infrared lights your body starts to heat up naturally.
These infrared radiation waves affect the biological structures in your body including:
- Cell membranes
- Cell fluids especially water molecules
At this cellular level, your cell membranes and mitochondrial metabolism are being altered. The mitochondria are the “powerhouses” of your cells, as in they produce energy, known as ATP. This mechanism is what causes your core body temperature to rise leading to:
- Increased sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Increased cardiac output
- Increased endorphins
- Decreased stress hormones
- Decreased blood pressure
8 Proven Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas
Saunas may seem like just another health fad but I assure you, they are not. For thousands of years our ancestors used heat therapy for multiple therapeutic reasons. Here are 8 proven health benefits behind why you should use infrared sauna therapy, too:
1. Supports detoxification
The rise of toxins in our environment is mind-boggling. These toxins can lead to serious health issues including chronic and autoimmune diseases. One of your body’s natural ways to detoxify these toxins is through your skin by sweating. And infrared saunas do just that – they make you sweat. They are also capable of detoxing certain heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, as well as many other environmental toxins. You can increase the benefit of toxin elimination by using activated charcoal and/or bentonite clay supplements timed around sauna sessions to help absorb toxins.
2. Improves heart function and circulation
There have been multiple studies proving the benefits of infrared sauna use on cardiovascular diseases including:
- High blood pressure
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart arrhythmias
- Coronary artery disease
3. Relieves chronic pain by reducing inflammation
Other studies have shown that patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis had improved chronic pain, stiffness, and fatigue after just 4-weeks of infrared sauna therapy.
All thirteen patients reported a 50% reduction of their fibromyalgia pain after their first infrared sauna therapy session.
4. Aids in weight loss
Infrared saunas bring your core temperature up which increases your heart rate – mimicking the effect of exercise. Infrared saunas don’t just help you lose weight by sweating, but increasing your heart rate in a quick 30-minute session can help you burn around 600 calories, depending on your size and the temperature in the sauna.
5. Purifies skin and improves its appearance
You know that infrared saunas rid your body of toxins – this directly affects all the toxins clogged in your pores as well. These toxins are removed leaving you with improved hydration and clearer looking skin.
6. Promotes relaxation
Studies have shown that these therapy sessions not only help you slow down in your busy life, but they actually increase your endorphins and decrease your body’s primary stress hormone, cortisol. These warm temperatures can also help relax your muscles leaving you feeling you’ve just stepped out from a whole day at the spa. I personally do a meditation session while I am in my sauna to get the maximum benefit.
7. May reduce the risk of certain cancer
These infrared radiation waves have been shown to stop the proliferation of certain cancer cells in humans. More research is being done for infrared therapy as an additional therapeutic treatment for cancer patients. If you have cancer, please speak with your physician before engaging in sauna sessions.
8. Improves chronic fatigue
With the all the toxins in our environment chronic fatigue patients are suffering from more than just a bad night’s rest. They suffer from toxin build up in their cells, which causes chronic inflammation in their body. Chronic fatigue patients have reported significant improvement in their symptoms after using infrared sauna therapy.
Infrared Sauna Therapy in the Phoenix/Scottsdale/Paradise Valley Area
It’s easy to see how infrared saunas benefit your overall health. It’s important to take time for ourselves in everyday life – just 15-30 minutes a few times per week could help improve cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, fatigue, weight loss, detoxification, skin appearance, and possibly certain cancers.
Most infrared saunas only proved the far-infrared light, however, at Arizona Wellness Medicine we offer infrared sauna that gives you all three spectra for maximum therapy – near, mid, and far. We can even help you customize the settings based on your goals.
We also offer Biomat sessions to amp up your relaxation experience with infrared therapy for those who are unable to physically sit in the sauna, prefer to lay down, or for those who want to do a session and not have to shower directly after. Still using all of the benefits of far-infrared, with the addition of negative ions from amethyst in the Biomat itself, you are also able to get a real relaxation experience with the addition of a meditation via earphones, and an eye cover– how relaxing!