People from all corners of the globe across different cultures have found comfort in a shared experience – sweating inside a heated space. Whilst some may be non-believers in the effectiveness of sauna therapy, the sheer popularity of saunas across the world says otherwise.
If you’ve been thinking about trying a sauna, you’ve probably heard about infrared saunas. But do infrared saunas do anything for your health? How do infrared saunas work?
In short, saunas are used as a method of relaxation and therapy. An infrared sauna heats your body directly with infrared light for a number of varying health benefits, both physical and mental.
So, how do infrared saunas work? And apart from making you sweat, do infrared saunas do anything substantial? We’re here to answer your burning questions. Keep reading to find out more.
How Do Infrared Saunas Work?
Infrared is a safe wavelength of light that we as humans feel as heat. But how does infrared technology work for a sauna treatment?
An infrared sauna is a wooden cabin with infrared heaters designed to detoxify and heal the body. Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you. Instead, they use infrared heaters to warm the body directly. Infrared light waves penetrate human tissue and skin much more effectively than traditional saunas do. What does a sauna do for your body, you ask? As your body absorbs this infrared heat, a deep and relaxing sweat is induced, subsequently clearing out unwanted toxins.
Infrared saunas allow you to experience a much more intense sweat at a lower temperature than traditional saunas. This is because infrared heat waves penetrate the skin more effectively than warm air. An infrared sauna takes anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes to warm up.
In an infrared sauna, the optimum temperature for maximum results sits around 40 to 55 degrees Celsius. In direct contrast, most people will find that they need a temperature in the range of 70 to 90 degrees Celsius in a traditional sauna to realise results.
What Do Infrared Saunas Do for Your Health?
You may be wondering, “do infrared saunas do anything?”. To put it simply: yes. In this section, we’ll discuss the health benefits arising from infrared sauna treatments.
Saunas have long been used for therapeutic and relaxation purposes and have been a part of traditional medicine for many centuries. A small 10-person study found that people who suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome benefitted from using an infrared sauna as part of an overall treatment.
Another 10-person study found that infrared saunas helped decrease muscle soreness and increase recovery from strength-training sessions.
Similarly, there have been no reports of adverse side-effects arising from infrared sauna usage yet beyond regular sauna cautions like dehydration, overheating, and those under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
In your quest to answer, “do infrared saunas actually do anything?” you’re probably wondering what saunas mean for your health. Let’s look at the main benefits that come with infrared sauna technology:
What Does a Sauna Do?
1. Relieves stiffness, muscle, joint & back pain
Infrared heat can penetrate up to 50mm into our bodies; meaning it can get right into your joints to provide pain-relieving benefits. Heat penetration encourages muscle dilation, which brings relief to aching muscles and injuries and allows for a greater flow of oxygen to recovering muscles, decreasing the effect of toxins like lactic acid.
2. Supports healthy weight loss
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, regular sauna use can impart a boost to your cardiovascular system not dissimilar to the benefits gained from running.
Sitting in an infrared sauna will kickstart your body’s metabolism process, which in turn burns calories quicker as the body pumps blood at a faster rate. This increase in blood flow will burn fat over time as your body increases sweat production to cool itself. Moreover, infrared sauna use can also reduce the appearance of cellulite. Since infrared heat penetrates deeper than heat from traditional steam saunas, it is more effective at reducing cellulite.
3, Increases relaxation & reduces stress
Have you been feeling stressed or anxious lately? Infrared sauna usage has been shown to relieve stress and induce a heightened sense of relaxation. As the infrared heat penetrates deep into muscle tissue, bothering aches and pains are eased, leaving you feeling fresher than you did before you entered the sauna.
With an increased heart rate comes a stimulating release of endorphins (those ‘feel good’ chemicals that’ll ease stresses). When you step into a sauna, you’re cutting yourself off from the outside world and focusing on you – what better way to rejuvenate yourself?
4. Improves circulation & lowers blood pressure
Studies have shown that high blood pressure leads to an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular illnesses. As the body is heated, the heart rates increases and capillaries under the skin dilate to dispelling excess heat. This natural reaction increases blood circulation, meaning that the lungs, heart, and muscles function more efficiently, transporting blood cells around the body where needed. Increased blood circulation will, in turn, reduce your susceptibility to disease and illness.
5. Anti-ageing properties
The body’s natural way to clear pores and clean skin is through sweat. Flushing out body toxins through sweat will improve the tone and firmness of your skin, in turn providing the appearance of youth.
If you’ve previously been wondering, “do infrared saunas do anything?”, you may be shocked to hear about the anti-ageing properties of infrared sauna use, but it is true. Stay young and fun while enjoying peak relaxation!
6. Enhances body detoxification & toxin removal
Humans consume toxic materials daily – from heavy metals within our environments to pollution and toxic chemicals on fresh produce, our body often holds a considerable amount of toxins. Infrared heat induces intense sweat, which releases built-up toxins within the body.
7. Boosts immune system
A robust immune system is vital in defending against viruses and bacteria. Deep, penetrative heat from infrared saunas raises the body’s core temperature and stimulates cell production. This creates an artificial fever which accelerates the immune response and strengthens the immune system overall.
8. Improves quality of sleep
Infrared sauna heat increases melatonin production, which aids the quality of sleep. On top of producing melatonin, infrared saunas encourage relaxation for the entire body, reducing the prominence of the ‘cortisol’ stress hormone, making it easier for you to drift away into a deep sleep. A well-rested mind and body is key to making the most of the incoming day.
9. Improves energy
Infrared saunas have been shown to affect the autonomic nervous system, putting you into a parasympathetic rest state which encourages healing and restoration. This restorative state increases the prominence of endorphins in the body, leaving you feeling more energised and relaxed for the day ahead.
When considering “do infrared saunas do anything?”, it is essential to note that many of the health benefits provided are realised over time through regular and proper use. Patience is key, and you will reap the rewards long-term.
How Do You Properly Use an Infrared Sauna?
Ultimately, the way you use an infrared sauna is up to you. However, there are some measures you can apply before, during and after that’ll improve the effectiveness of your time in the sauna. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Drink water. Hydration is critical for sauna usage to reduce the likelihood of feeling faint and improve the process of sweating.
- Correct temperature. The optimal temperature for infrared sauna usage is anywhere from 40 to 55 degrees Celsius. For beginners, it is recommended to start at the lower end and gradually work your way up as you become more comfortable with the effects of infrared sauna usage.
- Length of time. Like anything, it takes time to get used to the infrared sauna. Rimba Sweat recommends that first time users spend roughly 15 minutes in the sauna. As your body becomes more acclimatised to the process, it is recommended to spend anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes in the sauna to realise maximum healing benefits. Staying in a sauna for too long can lead to dehydration.
- What to do while in the sauna. Saunas are the perfect way to relax. You may like to meditate, read, or listen to music while in the sauna – whatever helps you!
- Let your body cool down after. Take time to let your body cool down after getting out of the sauna. Feel free to take a shower or a bath – just make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.
- The number of sessions per week. Rimba Sweat recommends using the sauna three to four times per week. As you become a more experienced user, you can use the sauna daily. However, you must let your body acclimatise to its’ effects.
Do Infrared Saunas Do Anything?
Infrared saunas are one of the most enjoyable ways to improve the mind and body, providing plentiful healing benefits in both the short and long term.
Located in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Rimba Sweat’s exclusive Sydney infrared sauna studio has both standard and large rooms so that you can enjoy relaxing benefits by yourself or even with a friend.
Our studio is a consciously curated space designed to promote healing. Experience the restoration and clarify that comes with the age-old practice of sauna combined with the modern technology of infrared heat.
Are you ready to enjoy a private oasis? Book online now and enjoy access to our luxury infrared sauna studio in Manly.