Get ready to sweat without moving a muscle! Infrared saunas are a newer technology that provides the experience of a traditional sauna with a bit more privacy and none of the steam. But what are the health benefits of an infrared sauna, and what other effects and issues should you be aware of before taking one? To discover the answers to these questions, continue reading below.
A Little Sauna History
In the good old days, when someone wanted to enjoy a relaxing sweat after a workout, they’d go to a bathhouse or gymnasium equipped with an old-fashioned sauna. Traditional saunas, also known as sudatories, were Finnish in origin. They operated by creating an enclosed wood structure with a stove and chimney that heated up rocks until the room achieved a high, sweltering temperature. Traditional sauna fanatics swear by the rejuvenating properties of a good steam, claiming it sweats out toxins and provides a relaxing and mindful experience. Infrared saunas are like traditional saunas for the most part, save that they use light instead of steam to create a hot, soothing environment in a small area.
You’ve probably heard the term infrared before. It’s a part of the light spectrum that’s out of the range of human sight. Infrared sauna bulbs generate such light, producing a steady and intense heat. While a traditional sauna generates steam and heats up the air, infrared saunas turn the heat onto your body and warm you. You sweat without sweltering in excessive humidity. Again, like traditional saunas, many people enjoy the sensations brought on by the heat, including sweating, an increased heart rate, and a relaxing heat. Some people prefer infrared saunas to traditional ones because they provide an equal effect at lower temperatures.
Are There Health Benefits?
The full health benefits of infrared saunas are still being explored by the scientific and medical communities, but there have been studies looking into their effect on the treatment of various ailments. Per the Mayo Clinic, conditions currently being tested and treated with infrared saunas (as well as traditional ones) include high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, headaches, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies seem to bear improvements in patients, but these are more palliative. Overall, a good steam is an enjoyable, healthful process.
Is It Safe?
Certainly! There is no risk of sunburn, or any kind of burn, and infrared light doesn’t contain damaging ultraviolet light like that found in the sun’s rays. Of course, as with any situation involving elevated temperatures, users with heart conditions or susceptibility to heat should not overdo it. Children under 18 should not use infrared saunas, nor should women who are pregnant. Either way, all sessions are carefully monitored for each participant.
These are the health benefits of an infrared sauna. If you’re seeking a pleasant infrared sauna session in Washington, DC, look us up! We’d be happy to discuss the benefits of the infrared sauna process and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.