Infrared Sauna Treatment: Are they everything they claim!
You may have heard about all the wonderful health claims of the infrared sauna: anti-aging abilities, detoxification, weight loss and even more. But are these infrared sauna claims actually backed up and proven by science, and are there any infrared sauna dangers?
Like most heat treatments, there’s a lot of hot air out there … but that doesn’t mean an infrared sauna is bad for you. Quite the opposite, in fact, as research shows heart-healthy, pain-reducing, life-extending benefits of infrared saunas.
Infrared saunas are a type of sauna that uses heat and light to help relax and detoxify the body. Also called far-infrared saunas or near-infrared saunas, these omit infrared light waves that create heat in the body, causing you to sweat and release stored “toxins.”
While ongoing research is still being done to determine their long-term effects and potential benefits, as of now infrared sauna treatments seem to be safe, inexpensive and powerful. These small devices are proving to help many people suffering from pain feel better — and also very importantly, more relaxed!
Anti-aging effects, increased detoxification, pain reduction, joint and muscle support, and cardiovascular healing are currently where infrared saunas are gaining the most attention. They’re believed to have a parasympathetic healing effect, which means they help the body handle stress better — an attribute that could mean one day they’re used for handling all types of diseases from insomnia and depression to hormonal imbalances and autoimmune disorders.
The interesting thing about the infrared sauna is that they differ from “traditional saunas” because their light directly penetrates your skin but does not warm the air around you. The temperature in your body goes up quickly, yet the light has no effect on your surrounding environment — which is why you can use infrared saunas within your own home.
How Infrared Saunas Work
People who stand behind infrared sauna therapy believe it naturally has an inflammation-lowering effect, acts similarly to antioxidant nutrients, activates the cells, helps with wound healing, boosts the metabolism and helps remove toxins from the body.
According to a 2012 report published by doctors at Wellman Center for Photomedicine of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, technological advancements have resulted in infrared sauna devices that deliver far-infrared light wave radiation (FIR) directly to the human body without any bands needed. These are considered safe, effective and widely applicable for healing many inflammatory disorders.
The therapeutic effects of infrared saunas comes down to the electromagnetic radiation spectrum: Infrared radiation (IR) band covers the wavelength range of 750 nanometers to 100 micrometers, frequency range of 400 terahertz to three terahertz, and photon energy range of 12.4 milli-electron volts to 1.7 electron volts. What exactly does this mean? In the simplest terms, this results in infrared saunas causing heat and natural, positive radiation effects in the human body once it’s detected by the body’s thermoreceptors located in the skin.
FIR light waves are capable of altering cells, cell membranes, DNA/proteins and cell fluids, including and especially water molecules. At the cellular level, altered cell membranes and mitochondrial activity take place, which positively impact the metabolism. FIR photons are absorbed by the bonds in the body’s molecules, and the way that water functions within our cells is altered. FIR also has a “meso-structure” effect, where proteins within bodily tissues change in a way that’s important for overall biological activity.
Infrared light treatment usually works within just 15–20 minutes and can be done within your home if you’re willing to purchase your own light-omitting sauna device. Infrared lamps are capable of causing dramatic changes in body chemistry in some instances, helping restore balance in some people who suffer from chronic problems related to pains, inflammation, low energy and poor circulation.
Infrared sauna treatments cause reactions in the body, including:
increased sweating (some people even report heavy or”vigorous sweating”)
increased heart rate
the same type of clarity-of-mind feelings as moderate exercise
relaxation responses triggered by the body’s parasympathetic nervous system