Detox, relieve pain, and relax with the health benefits of an infrared sauna!
In an ever toxic world, it is becoming more and more common for an individual to adapt regular cleansing methods into their lifestyle. Although our bodies have innate cleansing systems woven within them, using saunas to instigate sweating can alleviate the toxic burden and provide immediate and long-lasting benefits and relief. Saunas have been used for centuries by many different cultures, including the Finnish, the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans, the Turks, and the Native Americans. Also called “bathhouses” by some of these cultures, they were not only a place for socializing, but also for purification, recovering from sickness, and even a “rite of passage” for both men and women alike. In more recent years, the sauna has emerged as a wonderful way to bring on perspiration and to release toxins through the skin. Although most think of saunas as heated stones and smoke, like the traditional Finnish sauna, a new wave of sauna use is now in full force by way of infrared therapy.
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Unlike Finnish saunas which heat from the outside in, infrared saunas work on the body by heating from the inside out. The infrared rays penetrate the body and in turn increase circulation and body temperature. In many infrared saunas on the market these days, the ambient air remains much cooler than one would expect from such high temperatures, thus allowing the bather to stay in the sauna that much longer, and to greater reap the health benefits from the infrared rays.
So just what might those benefits be, you may ask? Here are some of the top benefits and advantages of soaking in an infrared sauna.
It is said that infrared heat expels toxins via sweat more than traditional sauna or exercise alone, up to 20% by some estimates versus around 3% in traditional methods. Pathogenic bacteria, dead skin, heavy metals, and other toxic matter is released as you sweat, leaving the skin supple and body lighter. Use of infrared sauna helps lighten the load off the kidneys and liver, regenerates the blood, and in turn supports many of the body systems.
Becoming ever more popular for pain relief, infrared rays penetrate deep into the musculoskeletal system and are very effective at easing aches and pains, sore or tight muscles, and even acute and chronic injuries. Increased blood flow to these areas, especially joints and areas of stagnancy in the body, further promotes healing and can be of great use in painful injuries and conditions of many types.
Immune System Boost
As saunas are a sort of “artificial fever,” the body’s tried and true healing mechanism, they can stimulate the body’s own natural defense and scavenging systems such as white blood cells, and assist the body in fighting off viruses and pathogens.
Although the jury is still out on whether or not the estimates for caloric burn are accurate, there is no denying that some amount of metabolic energy boost takes place during and shortly after sauna use. As the heart rate is elevated, and sweat increases and frees the body of toxins, the body is better able to function and perform its natural processes, thereby supporting a healthy metabolism. Don’t go thinking the sauna is the next big weight loss fad, however. Though you can lose weight in the sauna, most weight loss will be from water. A proper exercise routine and diet should be the foundation of your healthy weight loss plan.
As blood vessels and capillaries expand during one’s time in the sauna, the circulatory system is given a boost and allows for proper functioning. In preliminary studies, soaking up infrared rays may also have a positive benefit for those suffering from hypertension, or those who are unable to exercise due to arthritis or other limiting conditions or factors. More research is yet to be done in this area, but infrared saunas are well on their way to being a good choice for maintaining a healthy heart!
With the shedding of dead skin cells, skin becomes softer and cleaner, and smooth to the touch. An infrared sauna is also said to improve scarring, help heal acne, and improve skin quality.
Quiet Time and Relaxation
In a world where there rarely is a still or peaceful moment, and distraction and stimulation lurks at every turn, enjoying an infrared sauna session can be a welcomed “timeout” from the demands of daily life. It is an excellent opportunity to allow for space to be created in the mind, prayer, reflection, meditation, reading, or other contemplative and restful activities. It can be a place of peace amidst the chaos of life, and further augment the beneficial experience of infrared saunas.
As you can see, infrared saunas have many benefits, and being easily accessible in spas and gyms nationwide, most anyone can take advantage of what this therapy has to offer. Start slow, with 10–15 minutes spent at a tolerable level, and slowly work your way up to 30–45 minutes if desired. Always check with your doctor before use, and make sure to shower off well immediately after using to flush all those harmful toxins away. Happy sauna-ing!