1) Detoxification – Sweating in an infrared sauna rids your body of a variety of toxins including heavy metals and chemicals. To protect the body from harm, these toxins are stored in fat cells. Lose the toxins, lose the fat! Plus burn 500 – 700 calories per session.
2) Stress Relief – Using infrared saunas cause the release of endorphins into your blood stream. Endorphins are your body’s natural “feel good” hormones ~ they elevate your mood, increase feelings of well-being and are also nature’s pain killers.
3) Increased Circulation – As the infrared rays heat your body, your blood vessels expand and blood flow increases – a phenomenon called vasodilation. The heat causes your heart rate to rise and as the capillaries, arteries and veins open up, blood flow increases to all areas of the body including your extremities, i.e. hands and feet.
4) Glowing Skin – Infrared saunas help increase collagen production and the stimulated circulation draws more oxygen and nutrients, which keep your skin, smooth and nourished. Add to this the deep cleansing of your pores and you have a recipe for beautiful, rejuvenated skin.
5) Pain Relief – Infrared radiation penetrates to a depth of about 1.5 inches to warm and relax your muscles. Combined with the increase in circulation, excess stagnant fluids are released to help relieve pain, swelling and stiffness.
6) Increased Joint Mobility – Infrared saunas encourage the production of synovial fluid within your joint spaces. Your body uses synovial fluid to lubricate your joints and keep the articular surfaces, called hyaline cartilage, healthy. Well-lubricated joints will move more easily, be less painful and be able to move through a greater range of movement.
7) Heart Health – In the March 2002 “Journal of the American College of Cardiology,” researchers investigated the effects of infrared sauna use in patients with chronic heart failure. The results of the study indicated that repeated infrared sauna use improved clinical symptoms of cardiac heart failure in 17 out of 20 patients involved in the study. In particular, the inner linings of blood vessels were reduced in patients who had regular infrared sauna therapy. This reduction in the inner linings of blood vessels helps to decrease blood pressure, which ultimately decreases the risks for heart failure.
8) Fever Therapy (hyperthermia) for Infections – Raising body temperature powerfully assists the body to kill bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Many people have a low body temperature and, for this reason, cannot get rid of chronic infections. Common sites of infections are the sinuses, ears, eyes, bladder, throat and intestines. Hyperthermia also helps kill other types of abnormal cells. Tumors, for example, tolerate heat poorly. Raising body temperature hastens their death. Though not a conventional method, hyperthermia is a well-researched therapy for cancer. Heat also disables or kills cells mutated by radiation or damaged by other toxins.
9) Exercise Benefits – Saunas provide many of the benefits of exercise with much less expenditure of energy. These include enhanced circulation and oxidation of the tissues. Repeated sauna use can lower elevated blood pressure and improve the elasticity of the arteries. Saunas are most helpful for cardiovascular rehabilitation, arthritis, allergies, skin conditions and chemical sensitivity.
10) The Importance of “Me Time” – Do you sometimes feel that the pace of your life is going so fast you can’t keep up? Pressures of work and family can sometimes feel overwhelming. 30 minutes in an infrared sauna allows you not only to “get away from it all” but your body switches from the sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system – enabling the body to relax, heal and regenerate itself much faster, helping the body recover from many types of ailments. Just what the doctor ordered!
*Excerpts taken from www.livestrong.com, The Benefits of Far Infrared Saunas article, and from Lawrence Wilson, MD’s book Sauna Therapy.