Including Infrared Saunas Into Your Wellness Routine
Saunas have been around for years, over 2,000 to be exact. While saunas have been used to relax muscles, improve circulation and get a good sweat going (leaving you with those happy endorphins!), infrared saunas are starting to become increasingly popular. Always consult with your doctor before doing any type of heated practice; everyone has different tolerances and saunas aren’t for everyone. So what is an infrared sauna anyways? I read a great post here explaining how the infrared light works on a cellular level. On a brief level of understanding, traditional saunas use heat to warm the air, where infrared saunas use light. This wavelength of light cannot be seen by the human eye as it is a form of electromagnetic energy. This heat penetrates up to 1 1/2” beneath the skin and is believed to effect the bonds between molecules in cells. There have been studies that infrared saunas can benefit those with chronic health problems, but they are also just a great way to detox and sweat. This infrared light can have anti-inflammatory benefits through photobiomodulation, which is crucial for healing. Just like other sweat inducing workouts, saunas leave you with with those good-feeling endorphins and opioids, and a powerful protein molecule that stimulates a production of new brain cells called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Overall, the health benefits are an ongoing study, but I have found ritual sauna sessions have left me feeling healthy and happy.
why I love infrared saunas:
It helps me relax and de-stress from a long day. Sometimes I will book a sauna session later in the evening after my day is complete so I can just zen out.
It is an hour in my day that I can take to meditate, think, or catch up on my favorite podcasts. Great time to think about my goals and intentions too!
I always get a good night’s rest after a sauna session— the drop in body temperature cues my body to rest.
My skin is glowy! Photobiomodulation by infrared light can reduce inflammation of the skin and help with wound healing.
It has been used to treat acne and basal cell carcinoma.
A sauna session is a nice alternative when I want to break a sweat without putting stress on my body from a workout. Some days, I just don’t feel like a hard workout but when I want a good detox sweat, a 55-minute sauna session is my go-to.