It is getting to that time of year when people are looking for a ‘reset’ or a ‘detox’. Many supplement bottles are purchased off of shelves, many juice containers will be downed and many ingredients will be ditched, but will you be adding sauna therapy to your regime?
When I say ‘sauna’, you might think of the steam room at a spa, but have you heard of an infrared (IR) sauna?
Unlike a traditional wet sauna where the heat is from water vapour, infrared dry saunas use (you guessed it) infrared rays to heat the body. This allows the heat to penetrate deeper giving you more benefits!
Let me tell you why I love to use a IR sauna (and have one in my home!)
Top 5 Benefits of IR Sauna Therapy
1) Improved Circulation
Our body has a natural temperature set point at which it functions optimally. When our body temperature increases, our body tries to compensate by sweating to decrease the temperature. It does this by increasing circulation to the skin’s surface. During that process, blood is pumped through our heart and to our lungs where it picks up more oxygen. More circulation = more oxygen delivery to our tissues.
2) Reduce Stress
Do you find that taking a warm bath helps you de-stress? The same concept applies to a sauna. Both the act of sitting still in a sauna and the heat itself allow you to slow down, breath deeply, and relax as you enjoy all the other benefits a sauna has to offer.
Like I mentioned previously, when we’re heated our bodies compensate by increasing sweat production and the movement of the lymphatic system. These two systems combined with the increase in circulation and the penetrating IR help to support detoxification. Heavy metals, environmental toxins, other chemicals and our own metabolites can all be eliminated through sauna therapy!
4) Improve Pain
Much like putting a heat pack on our shoulder if it’s sore, experiencing the full-body heat of a sauna helps our aches and pains. Specifically, the heat will block some of the pain signals to the brain causing decreased pain sensation.
5) Improve Skin Conditions
The heat increases circulation, bringing blood close to the skin. If you are dealing with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, the immune cells in the blood will help to heal the inflammation and tissue damage present. The more blood flow to the area, the more nutrients being delivered and the more waste that is being taken away. Essentially, we’re speeding up the healing process.
When you shouldn’t sauna
If you have heart disease, are in your first trimester of pregnancy, or have a seizure disorder – the sauna is not for you. It’s also important to avoid the sauna after intense exercise or after consuming alcohol.
Using a sauna at least once per month is definitely something to consider adding to your health routine. Finding one to use is more convenient than you think as most gyms have them nowadays and you can even get them installed in your home! Give it a try and let me know what you think!