Infrared is the part of the light spectrum that is unseen and not harmful. Instead of heating the ambient air, infrared light heats your body directly at a cellular level and raises your core body temperature. When we utilize light therapy in the form of an infrared sauna, we receive 7 major health benefits:

  1. Detoxification
  2. Heart Health
  3. Weight Loss
  4. Muscle Recovery
  5. Immunity
  6. Skin Health / Anti-Aging
  7. Relaxation

Please remember the health benefits from the use of infrared sauna may vary and naturally are dependent on the individual user. 

Detoxification

We accumulate and retain toxins from our food, air, and environment every single day. Our bodies are constantly detoxifying, but sometimes our incoming toxin burden exceeds our body’s ability to get rid of it. Sweating is one of the body’s safest and most natural ways to help your natural detoxification system remove these toxins and reduce our body’s toxic burden. 

Any activity that makes you sweat is a good for your body, but by harnessing the energy of infrared light, we can specifically produce a deep sweat that helps your body purge toxins like pesticides, herbicides, BPA, aluminum, heavy metals, and other toxins commonly absorbed from simply interacting with your daily environment.

Heart Health

Exposure to dry heat in a controlled sauna environment causes your blood vessels to widen, forcing your heart to work harder to pump blood and increase circulation to all parts of your body. This “passive cardio workout” helps strengthen your heart, helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels, reduces artery “stiffness,” and boosts circulation. Increased circulation provides benefits to your entire body, including increased immunity function, increased metabolic rate, reduced pain, and faster recovery after workout or injury. 

While the use of an infrared sauna shouldn’t be used in place of a healthy exercise routine, it can be used as a supplemental activity to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Weight Loss

In order to protect your internal organs, your body actually stores toxins inside fat cells. If you have a high toxic burden, your body will create more fat cells to store toxins. It is possible to carry excessive weight as a result of toxin exposure. By ridding your body of toxins through infrared sauna use, your fat cells can shrink. 

As your core body temperature increases, your body will boost sweat production to cool itself, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood and increase circulation to all parts of your body. This “passive cardio workout” can boost your metabolism and burn calories, all while you sit relaxed in the sauna. 

You will likely also see a reduction in water weight from using the infrared sauna, though that weight may be regained once you properly hydrate after your sauna session.

Joint and Muscle Recovery

Whether you have experienced joint and muscle stress from injury or from working out, your muscles need time and nutrients to recover and heal. Heat can be great for recovery, temporary pain relief, and reduced inflammation. Infrared light, specifically, penetrates deeper into your tissues, heating your body from within, and increasing vasodilation, the widening of your blood vessels, and circulation. This allows red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the site of strain or inflammation for faster healing. 

Infrared light also warms the muscles, helping increase flexibility and range of motion while reducing soreness and stiffness.

Immunity

When you have an infection, a fever is your body’s mechanism to strengthen and accelerate the immune response and make your body less hospitable to pathogens. Many aspects of your immune system are heat-sensitive and are designed to respond to a fever. Because infrared wavelengths can penetrate deep into your body’s tissues and raise your core body temperature, and infrared sauna can produce fever-like benefits, including increased production of white blood cells and T-cells to help ward off pathogens. 

This boost to the immune system, combined with the increased removal of toxins through sweating, helps improve your overall health and resistance to disease.

Skin Health & Anti-Aging

Your skin is your body’s first line of defense against invaders. When your body begins to sweat, your skin is cleansed of oil, bacteria, toxins, and dead skin cells in the epidermal layer and sweat ducts, leaving your skin glowing and clean. 

Exposure to infrared light increases circulation to the skin and accelerates the delivery of oxygen, collagen, and elastin to the skin’s surface to help with cell turnover and enhance skin tone and texture. Infrared light therapy has been shown to help improve acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin tone, and skin elasticity. It can also be beneficial in wound healing with reduced scarring.

Relaxation & Stress Relief

Infrared therapy envelops your body in a soothing warmth that relaxes your muscles, improves circulation, and stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer. Infrared saunas have been shown to affect the autonomic nervous system by reducing the amount of cortisol (“fight or flight” hormone) in your body and by putting you in the parasympathetic (rest and digest) state. The heat from the infrared lights will help relax your muscles and relieve tension throughout your body, allowing you to relax. 

Sitting in a warm, quiet infrared sauna, free of distractions, is a great location to practice restorative mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing. You can also read, stretch, or bring your earbuds to listen to music, a book, or a podcast.

Use Our Sauna

Functional Medicine of Idaho has a full-spectrum infrared sauna in our Meridian location. You call our office at (208) 385-7711 ext. 114 to book your next sauna session. 

Click here for pricing and hours of operation here.

Other Resources:

Stephanie Ritari, PA-C

Stephanie Ritari is a board-certified Physician Assistant who offers primary care for adults at the Functional Medicine of Idaho Meridian Wellness Center. She specializes in Internal Medicine and has spent the majority of her career in the field of cardiovascular disorders.

Stephanie has more than 15 years experience as a Physician Assistant in a variety of medical areas, including cardiology and electrophysiology. Holistic practices have long been a part of Stephanie’s lifestyle, with a particular focus on clean living and nutrition. She has embedded functional principles into her conventional medicine practice throughout her career. After watching family members struggle to find answers for their chronic illnesses, Stephanie became more interested in finding ways to take a root cause approach in her own practice. Wanting to provide a proactive, comprehensive, and preventative scope of care for her patients, Stephanie began studying functional medicine. In 2021, she joined Functional Medicine of Idaho, where she is able to provide evidence based, root cause medicine.

Stephanie earned her Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Montana and her masters in Physician Assistant Studies from Rocky Mountain College. She is currently working towards her certification with The Institute for Functional Medicine. 

In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and dog doing outdoor activities including biking, hiking, and skiing. She also loves interior design and traveling, and is hoping to start her own garden in the near future.

Dr. David Musnick, MD, IFMCP

David Musnick is a board-certified medical doctor who offers in-person and telemedicine care from the Functional Medicine of Idaho Eagle clinic (coming soon). Dr. Musnick offers Functional Medicine, Sports Medicine, Functional Immunology, and Primary Care for adults and teenagers. He specializes in sports medicine, internal medicine, frequency specific microcurrent (FSM), scars, homeopathy, prolotherapy, and low-level laser treatments. 

Dr. Musnick is interested in getting to the root of underlying causes and factors that affect healing, including diet, sleep, exercise, stress, GI health, brain region health, toxins, hormones, infections, and electromagnetic fields (EMF). In medical school, Dr. Musnick spent a year studying nutrition. He has always been interested in the complex interrelationships of different systems of the body. Taking on challenges in the past, he created new treatment programs to heal the brain after concussion, treat chronic pain, arthritis, and tough SIBO and IBS cases. Dr. Musnick wants to help his patients achieve the highest level of health, vitality and function. 

After his internal medicine residency in Seattle, Dr. Musnick completed a fellowship in sports medicine where he became interested in helping patients get back to optimal musculoskeletal health and eventually back to their favorite activities. He quickly learned that many areas of the body were interrelated and started learning more about nutrition, supplements, and other facets of functional medicine. Dr. Musnick has more than 24 years of experience in Functional Medicine and achieved a very high level of both experience and expertise with many health conditions. He is also the author of the book, Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness, and helped in writing textbook chapters on arthritis and concussions.

Dr. Musnick received his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of California, San Francisco. He is certified through the Institute for Functional Medicine as an IFMCP. He also studied in the French school of Homeopathy. He is uniquely rare in that he teaches Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) and how to integrate it with functional medicine. 

In his spare time, Dr. Musnick enjoys hiking, nature photography, cooking healthy food, mountain biking, and skiing.

IFM Certified Practitioner

Aaron Dykstra, DNP, FNP-C

Aaron Dykstra is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. He offers pediatric primary care, including well-child checks and acute visits, in the Pediatric Department of the Functional Medicine of Idaho Meridian Wellness Center.

Functional and alternative therapies were a part of Aaron’s life from a young age, and he has implemented these principles into his conventional medicine practice throughout his career. Aaron has more than 8 years of experience in a variety of medical disciplines, including pediatrics, obstetrics, mental health, and nutrition. He has practiced in rural health clinics in California and Oregon. For the last 5 years, Aaron has had a passion for working with children and implementing positive change through the family unit. Aaron joined the Functional Medicine of Idaho Pediatric Team in 2021. His enthusiasm for educating children and parents about living a healthy lifestyle allows him to provide preventative and acute care for infants, children, and adolescents. 

Aaron obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Brigham Young University. He earned both his Master’s of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice through the University of Arizona. He has obtained a Family Herbalist and Family Nutritionist certifications through The School of Natural Healing by Dr. Christopher. He is currently working towards his certification with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Outside of work, you will find Aaron spending time with his wife and 5 kids, mountain biking, running, or camping in the backyard. Aaron is a big fan of Master Chef and enjoys cooking.

Nadia Kravchuk, DNP, FNP-C

Nadia Kravchuk is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. She offers functional pediatric primary care, including well-child checks and acute visits, in the Pediatric Department of the Functional Medicine of Idaho Meridian Wellness Center.

Nadia and her family immigrated to the United States in 1989 where they first settled in Oregon and then moved to Idaho in 2001. Complementary medicine practices were embedded into her lifestyle at a young age, and she has implemented these principles into her conventional medicine practice throughout her career. She has more than 15 years experience in a variety of medical environments, including emergency room, intensive care unit, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, family practice, and aesthetics.

Nadia joined Functional Medicine of Idaho so that she can combine functional principles with the foundations of conventional medicine to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. As an avid gardener, beekeeper, and sustainable living enthusiast, she understands the importance and role of optimizing nutrition, sleep, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. She has a passion for pediatric functional medicine and understands that early recognition and interventions can correct imbalances, prevent chronic illness, and improve overall outcomes for children.

Nadia obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Northwest Nazarene University. She earned both her Master’s of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice through Frontier Nursing University. In 2017, she was the recipient of the HCA Excellence in Nursing Award. She is currently working towards her certification with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Outside of work, you will find Nadia working on her urban homestead, hiking, foraging, camping, snowboarding, and spending time with her husband and her dog, Wolfy. She is also fluent in both English and Russian.