Infrared Saunas; Physical and Mental Benefits

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Infrared saunas have become really fashionable recently and are the latest trend in “detox.” Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow or Dr. Mehmet Oz, of the Oprah Winfrey show are all regular advocates. This technology is still not well known in the UK, many of us are more accustomed to traditional saunas. So exactly what is an infrared sauna – I decided to go and check them out! 

What are Infrared Saunas?

The Infrared Sauna therapy practiced today was the invention of Japanese doctor, Tadashi Ishikawa, who received a patent for inventing healing infrared heaters in 1965.

The main difference between a traditional sauna  and an infrared sauna, is the infrared sauna heats the body directly without heating the surrounding air. Normally traditional saunas become very hot and cause reactions such as heavy sweating and increased heart rate. The infrared sauna produces these results at a lower temperature, which makes it more usable to people like me, who can’t tolerate the heat of a conventional sauna.

Infrared sauna

Health benefits of an Infrared Sauna

How to use Infrared Saunas?

Infrared light has a longer wavelength than visible light, and there are three infrared categories : near, middle, and far.
These new saunas combine near infrared light and heat therapy. Unlike traditional saunas that heat the air around you, these infrared saunas use radiant energy to raise the core temperature of the body.
According to Dr. Michael Hamblin, principal investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, the sensation can be felt beneath the skin. Therefore, heat passes through the skin, muscles, tendons and subcutaneous layer. (Dr Michael Hamblin also has some interesting theories on cancer so check him out!)

infrared sauna heater

Important Tips

To take full advantage of the infrared sauna, it’s important that you follow these tips:

infrared sauna

My Results

I don’t suffer from any major health problems, but I do suffer with a bad back from standing all day, I also suffer from anxiety, and muscle/joint stiffness. I found almost immediately lying in the sauna, my stress levels decreased, and my anxiety disappeared. I also found my anxiety didn’t come back for a few days after my first treatment, and with regular use it decreased significantly, so I can highly recommend regular treatments for anyone who suffers from this. This and CBD oil have been my best cures for anxiety so far. Recently a lot of people have been commenting on my skin too, how I look glowing and healthy, which has been a nice bonus! I have noticed my joint pain has reduced too, so I am definitely going to keep using an infrared sauna regularly.

Where to find Infrared Saunas

Infrared Saunas can be found at some gyms, hotels, or holistic centres; there are not many around where I live, so you can purchase one for home use. Hot tubs have been popular for a long time, but I think you get a lot more health benefits from an infrared sauna, and they are a lot more economical to run. The sauna is the size of a shower cubicle, so you could keep it in a shed or an outhouse, or there are portable versions if you don’t have much space. It is also eco friendly as it uses very low energy heating elements which cost pennies to run.

Having a sauna at home seems an excellent solution for me, jumping in whenever I want and privately too. Can you imagine the pleasure after a tense and stressful day, being able to jump into your own sauna? Amazing!

What do you think – have you tried or would you try an infrared sauna?

Natalie x

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