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:
- Heart Health
- Weight Loss
- Muscle Recovery
- Skin Health / Anti-Aging
Please remember the health benefits from the use of infrared sauna may vary and naturally are dependent on the individual user.
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.
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.
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.
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.