Many people know that using an infrared sauna benefits your health. But many do not know that the benefits of this kind of sauna actually outweigh the benefits of using a traditional sauna.
Improved blood circulation and oxygenation are sometimes the most often cited benefits of infrared sauna therapy. In an infrared sauna, the infrared energy penetrates deep into the muscle tissue. This penetration stimulates the cells and developments circulation. With increased circulation, the blood is better able to deliver oxygen through the body. Enhanced oxygenation can shorten the time it takes to heal sprains and strains as well as alleviate some of the pain associated with those conditions.
The skin, our largest organ, also benefits from infrared sauna use. Up to 30% of the unwanted chemicals and compounds in our bodies are eliminated through the skin. Sweat increases this detoxification, so sweating has long been considered a good way to decrease the waste in our bodies. Infrared saunas enhance this process by heating the skin directly, which makes the user begin sweating more quickly than with a traditional sauna.
Saunas are also known to play some role in maintaining a healthy weight or in losing weight. While it is not used as a primary weight-loss method, sweating does remove water from the body and expends calories, the same way exercise does.
Do not forget that rest and relaxation are also important health benefits. In our fast-paced lives, we often do not take time to allow our bodies to regroup and rejuvenate. Giving ourselves an opportunity to relax in the sauna can combat stress, which is known to cause a wide variety of health problems. Relaxing is also good for our mental well-being.
Cardiovascular health is also enhanced through the use of a sauna. The heat of the sauna stimulates vasodilatation, a widening of the peripheral blood vessels. The heart rate also increases, which provides cardiovascular benefits similar to those attained by moderate exercise.
With the wide variety of soaps, creams, and related products that many people use each day, our bodies are not able to sweat the way they were designed to. Chemicals from these products accumulate on the skin, blocking some of our sweat. The increased circulation that comes from sauna use brings more of our bodies' nutrients to the surface, making the skin healthier (and making it look healthier as well).
Although there is evidence that saunas have been around for hundreds of years, there is not much scientific research about the health benefits of “taking a sauna”. But many practitioners of natural, homeopathic, and alternative medicine routinely advise their patients to take advantage of sauna use. Research into infrared sauna benefits is certain to continue.