In the post, I’m sharing the health benefits of using an infrared sauna and how I use my Heal with Heat Sauna at home.
I can’t say enough good things about my Heal with Heat sauna (I have this model), and so I want to share a little bit about the benefits of infrared sauna; I’ve immensely enjoyed the benefits of adding weekly sauna sessions into my overall weekly wellness regimen at home.
Infrared Saunas vs. Traditional Saunas
“A traditional sauna, such as what you might find at a gym, has a box-shaped heater with hot rocks on top of it. This type sauna heats the air and then the air warms the person. A typical traditional sauna will operate at 180ºF to 200ºF. Many people find it difficult to breath and relax at these high heat levels and as a result, don’t stay in the sauna for more than 5 or 10 minutes. If you think about it, our bodies aren’t designed to function in this high temperature range. It creates a stressful, rather than a stress-free environment. There’s no place on earth where we would naturally experience such high air temperatures other than, perhaps, being too close to an active volcano.
In a far infrared sauna, the normal operating temperature is a dry 100ºF to 130ºF – very relaxing and comfortable, rather than stress-inducing. This is a temperature range that we would naturally experience in a desert and on many places on earth on a hot, summer day.
In a traditional sauna, the body sweats in reaction to being in a hot environment – sweating is a superficial, topical, cooling reaction. In a far infrared sauna, the bio-identical infrared heat penetrates deep into the tissues, slightly raising the body’s core temperature, causing the body to sweat like it does during intense exercise. This sweat is coming from a deeper place and in turn, creates a deeper form of detoxification than is found in a traditional box-of-hot-rocks sauna.” (source: Heal with Heat)
Why Use An Infrared Sauna?
“We know that stress causes disease, but what can we do about it? Meditation, enjoying nature – these are a couple of the solutions that come to mind. In addition, spending time in the infrared sauna allows us to reside more in the parasympathetic state (rest, digest, heal) and less time in the sympathetic state (fight, flight, constrict).
When the sympathetic system is dominant, adrenaline is secreted, heart rate and blood pressure increase and blood vessels constrict. The body responds as if it’s being threatened and begins to move energy away from certain functions to focus on self-preservation.
As we sit in the infrared sauna, the blood vessels open, muscles relax, pain starts to subside and the body starts to actively heal. Our modern life, with all its demands with technology and sensory input, keeps us in a constant state of “fight or flight.” We were never designed to stay in this place all the time, but rather only for shorter periods to help us get out of bad situations. Chronic “fight or flight” can keep us feeling chronically tired, anxious or sick, while we wonder why we always feel this way.” (source: Heal with Heat)
[my sauna set up in our basement]
Health Benefits of Infrared Sauna
- weight loss and increased metabolism
- muscle pain relief
- immune system boost and improved hearth health
- improves appearance of cellulite
- ease joint pain & stiffness
- stress & fatigue reduction
- improves skin
Why are Clearlight® infrared saunas so effective?
Infrared works to release toxins in a much different way than the traditional sauna. Detoxification is a two-stage process in the infrared sauna.
- The first stage is mobilization, where the toxin is freed from the cell that is binding it, usually a fat cell. Infrared, if produced in the proper wavelength in the sauna, will initiate a phenomenon called resonant frequency. This is where an object, or in this case the cell, will start to vibrate and amplify the energy of the infrared wavelength. The infrared penetrates into the soft tissue an inch to an inch and a half. A vibration builds up in the cell until the toxin is cleaved off or mobilized into the interstitial fluid, the fluid surrounding the cells.
- Then the toxins go into the second stage of detoxification which is elimination. Without elimination the toxins would eventually re-attach to other cells. For the elimination phase of the process, we want to sweat out the toxins using the largest organ in the body – the skin. Through perspiration, the skin will eliminate the toxins without burdening the other major organs of elimination such as the kidneys, liver and gastro-intestinal tract and lungs. (source: Heal with Heat)
How I Use My Infrared Sauna At Home
And I couldn’t love my home sauna set-up any more. This Cedar S-Shape Sauna Backrest has made the experience much more comfortable and prevents sweat from getting on the back panel. It’s solid wood and doesn’t have any weird odor.
I also use a sanitary bench pad with an organic towel over the top – this is what I sit on – and an additional organic towel on the floor of the sauna. I had first ordered a bamboo floor mat, but it smelled toxic, so I replaced it with these towels and it’s a great set-up.
What I Use Post Sauna
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If you’re interested in learning morning about the health benefits of infrared sauna, check out this resource page with medical studies and additional articles.