Infrared Saunas - Do They Work?

Conventional saunas have been around for a long time, so what is this new infrared sauna thing and why use that instead of the regular steam or dry sauna? 

Well, it all comes down to how light and heat penetrates our bodies.

One of the main differences between a traditional sauna and an infrared sauna is the heat itself. Traditional dry saunas use temperatures as high as 90 degrees Celsius, which can overwhelm those who are more sensitive to the heat. Infrared saunas however, use a much milder temperature environment of between 50 and 60 degrees Celsius. The kicker though is, because the heat of infrared saunas travels much deeper into the body due to the light, they are able to cause a more vigorous sweat at lower temperature. Genius!

If you haven’t used a sauna at all, dry or infrared, maybe it’s time to think about it. 

Dr. Rhonda Patrick, a PH. D Biomedical Science expert on Nutritional Health, Brain & Aging says that there is data to support the argument that saunas make us live longer.

“Saunas will activate things called ‘heat shock portions’ in our bodies, the same way you do when you exercise. These proteins are particularly awesome because they are able to prevent a certain type of damage that can happen in our cells. Heat stress, like the stress caused in exercise, is a stress which turns on something called ‘stress response mechanisms’. And that’s a good thing when done right and safely! It’s part of the benefit you get from exercise, like any good stress exposure.”

“What’s really interesting, is when you expose worms or flies to 15 minutes of heat stress or increased temperature in a controlled environment intermittently, it can increase their lifespan by 15%! There’s similar data coming in reading human’s and sauna use, but we need years to collate that in proper evidence.”

Another celebrity health and fitness personality, Ben Greenfield, who has a Masters in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics, also advocates for the benefits of the sauna using the same rhetoric as Dr Patrick.

“It’s good for a number of reasons - the heat shock portions, the blood flow, but it’s also underrated for the mental side of things too. It’s an opportunity to meditate, much like a float tank. When I use mine, I’m doing light stretches and thinking about things as I would if I was meditating.”

Besides making you live longer, the benefits of using an infrared sauna range from detoxification through sweating, to pain relief by decreasing inflammation, as well as weight loss and improved circulation. There’s not a lot to dislike about the process, plus, all you have to do is sit there and relax!

What about the potential negatives associated with sitting in a hot sauna I hear you say? Well first off, there are no dangers associated with the infrared rays themselves. Far infrared rays do not carry the dangers that we associate with ultraviolet rays or x-rays. Besides from people not using the sauna as it supposed to – staying in too long, going in already dehydrated, while drinking alcohol, not hydrating properly after use - there are no real negative side effects.

If you’re thinking about trying infrared saunas, which you should be! Get in touch with City Cave now.