Infrared light (heat) is the invisible part of the sun’s spectrum. It easily penetrates human tissue to provide a host of health benefits. It’s this type of heat that’s used in an infrared sauna, which can be an immensely effective natural healing tool when recovering from an illness or as a means of prevention when you want to maintain good health. Unlike a traditional sauna, where you enter a heated room and begin to perspire (i.e., your body is heated from outside in), the heat waves in an infrared sauna penetrate the body to heat it and raise the body’s core temperature, which then makes you perspire (i.e., your body is heated from within).
There are three types of infrared LEDs: near, mid, and far. Generally, near infrared is used for cell health and rejuvenation; mid infrared is used for pain relief and weight loss; and far infrared is used for detoxification and blood pressure reduction.
Sophia Health Network physicians know the value of this therapy and may recommend regular infrared sauna sessions as part of a patient’s treatment protocol. Below are some of the health benefits patients may experience.
- Pain Relief: Infrared heat penetrates joints, muscles and tissues, increases circulation, and speeds oxygen flow. It also reduces muscle spasms and helps the body heal itself naturally by reducing soreness on the nerve endings.
- Detoxification: Studies have shown that sweating is one of the body’s best ways to eliminate toxins. Infrared sauna heat raises the core temperature of the body, which results in a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level.
- Weight Loss: During an infrared sauna session, the body works to cool its temperature, resulting in a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate, similar to exercising. In turn, the body burns many calories.
- Anti-Aging and Skin Purification: Near infrared sauna therapy is effective in healing the upper layers of skin, as well as in stimulating collagen production.
- Relaxation: For those that may not be able to fully relax due the intense heat of a traditional sauna, infrared saunas might be a better alternative. Infrared heat is a soothing, gentler heat that promotes deep relaxation.
- Improved Circulation: Just as with exercise, infrared rays—particularly in the mid range—increase blood flow. When used regularly, infrared saunas may increase blood flow up to two times the normal rate.
- Lower Blood Pressure: Using an infrared sauna two to three times a week has been shown to lower blood pressure due to the increase in blood circulation.
- Cell Health: When there is better blood circulation more toxins can flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface where they are sweated out, thus improving cell health.
- Wound healing: Near infrared sauna therapy aids in healing wounds and preventing infection by promoting faster cell regeneration and human tissue growth.