Benefits of the Infrared Sauna
Refresh Your Health - IR Sauna Benefits
Owing to a culturally galvanised increase in health consciousness – born out of the Covid-19 pandemic – the benefits of infrared saunas have never been as prevalent as they are today. Taking toward fitness enthusiasts and casual consumers alike, far infrared (FIR) treatments have come to engender a certain trust in our considered approaches to physical therapy.
Bolstered by exponential intrigue in its use, a gathering collection of peer-reviewed research has revealed an interest in sauna discourse, and its place in high-level health treatment beyond just being a great way to socialise.
Relieve Aches, Pains, Arthritis & More
Though not as heat-intensive as more traditional steam or dry saunas, the infrared energy released by an infrared sauna can penetrate up to 1.5 inches deep into muscle tissue. 93% of this energy is absorbed through our skin. In the process of targeting these tissues, we experience a vasodilation of peripheral blood vessels, which can be beneficial in reducing muscle spasms, joint stiffness as well as general aches and pains due to conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Without its traditional elevation in surrounding humidity, the risk of fainting ends up being lowered – making it a strong contender for those prone to dehydration and heat sensitivity.
In typical heat exposure treatments to muscle and joint pains, warmth is applied locally to the area of concern – wherever you’re hurting, slapping heat onto the area is a common instinct we reach for to lessen the bite your injury has. By localising heat to an area, blood vessels begin to expand, driving blood flow to the injury, and its nutrient-rich supply as a result.
Sauna-use functions on this principle, driving oxygen and minerals essential for cell renewal at an increased intensity throughout the body.
Fever therapy for Colds, Flu's & Improved Immune System
Being highly susceptible to changes in its structure due to the high-movement nature of heat, raising body temperature powerfully assists the body to kill bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. For those with a naturally lower body temperature, regular sauna use offers a practical solution. Common sites of infections are the sinuses, ears, eyes, bladder, throat and intestines.
The benefits of infrared sauna treatment includes a positive effect on the immune system. Often misunderstood, fever is a natural healing response of the body. The function of the immune system is increased naturally during a fever, while virus and bacterial growth is slowed, weakening its hold. This helps the body ward off invading organisms. A FIR heat treatment in the early stages of a cold or flu has been known to stop the disease before the symptoms occur. Further studies into the benefits of FIR heat therapy is creating a new avenue of hope for those suffering from life threatening diseases such as cancer, which explains why the majority of FIR Sauna heat clientele base is affiliated with the medical industry.
As a powerfully multifaceted practice, the capacity for infrared saunas to engage full-body activation of its essential system functions – like thermoregulation – means that auxiliary benefits,like the process and removal of toxins from the body become viable effects.
Brought on as a byproduct of the body’s need for homeostasis, placing its internal environment in a high-temperature state urges the skin to begin producing sweat, which consequently absorbs excess heat carried in the body’s facilitated blood flow.
In the process of sweating, toxins and heavy metals harmful to the body are also excreted, brought forth by natural consequence of its heightened bodily processes.
The body’s facilitated rate of metabolism, in addition to this, ensures that the breakdown and process of waste contaminants are flushed from its excretory system at a quickened rate – hastening its natural process of delivering toxins to the liver, to then be digested and destroyed by its cells.
Improved Blood Circulation
As a natural homeostatic response, having a sauna treatment increases heart rate and blood circulation, crucial to maintaining a consistent internal working environment. The rate that your heart pumps is increased to force blood flow away from its hot core, closer to the surface of the skin to radiate and dump excess heat out of its extremities.
By indirect consequence, this also helps bring blood replenished with oxygen to tired, painful joints and muscles. For injuries, heat stimulates vasodilation of peripheral blood vessels, bringing this nutrient-rich supply to its given area, reducing your time to recovery by endowing damaged tissue with reparative cells and energy-facilitative resources, like the oxygen-carrying haemoglobin.
By indirectly demanding higher heart rate – despite the lack of an increased demand for oxygen from working muscles – circulatory health is promoted, strengthening the lined walls of arteries by subjecting them to greater rates of flow, stressing and encouraging cell survival.
Requiring energy just as much as any other bodily process, available stores of fat are consumed for their provision of extended energy. Rather than long-term, high-duration physical exercise, putting your body under infrared heat stress can mimic the same physiological effects. Infrared units also help reduce the formation and appearance of cellulite. You can burn up to 100 calories in just 10 minutes in infrared sauna fat loss, provided you sweat profusely.
Producing sweat requires a lot of energy (i.e. uses up a lot of calories) – it’s precisely why your body continues to consume calories even after a workout, taking a passive consumption of your resources to replenish, rebuild and recover tired muscles.
Sauna use actively engages your skin, and its natural processes of protection and cleansing. Despite being the largest eliminative and protective organ in the body, in most people, it is inactive against dirt and grime buildup, leaving it congested and prone to infection.
Exposure to irritating materials, comedogenic moisturisers, harsh elements – not to mention excessive nervous system activity and emotions such as stress and anger – causes an excess production of oil as the body’s defence mechanism, leaving your skin inactively clogged and without a natural cleanser.
As natural surface purgers, the sweat and oil that the skin produces during thermoregulation act as pore cleaners that remove the clogging nature of dirt, grime and other contaminants.
Infrared sauna skin benefits involve increased blood circulation to supply nourishing and regenerative nutrients to the skin, promoting healthy tone and texture.
Heart Health & Blood Pressure
As an accessory to the body’s dilation of blood vessels, pressure upon the interior walls of your arteries is reduced, improving the capacity and efficiency with which your heart is able to push blood throughout your body. When it comes to the advantages of infrared saunas, scrutiny over the benefits to cardiovascular health have been its most promising advantages to a healthy lifestyle.
By driving responses from the body with a similar physiology to exercise, being placed under heat stress can induce similar performances from the heart, and an optimisation of its ability to work. In this case, key structural benefits to the architecture of your cardiovascular system, like the pliability of your arteries, have been seen to change with repeated sauna use, reducing arterial stiffness and increasing compliance. The heart then, as one of our key sauna cardiovascular benefits, is able to pump naturally, without the need to dangerously overwork its muscles to distribute blood more effectively.
Muscle Pain Relief
As has been the baseline benefit to all our healthy qualities of sauna use, an increased blood flow means carrying blood laden with oxygen and nutrients essential for energy production and cell growth.
The increased concentration of blood flow to areas of pain, then, encourage the body’s natural processes of recovery by delivering platelets, collagen and other cells responsible in the healing process to the area in question.
A go-to approach to physical treatment among high-level athletes, the benefits of infrared sauna muscle recovery surround preventative or long-term protection of the muscle’s ability to activate – as a function of its possible range of motion, generation of power, and movement within a given space.
This information is not intended to prescribe a particular health issue or course of action. We are not medical professionals, so please contact your GP or health practitioner for medical advise.