Infrared Sauna (Heat Therapy)

Benefits of Infrared Sauna (Heat Therapy)

  • Reduce Inflammation & Blood Pressure
  • Reduce Muscle Soreness
  • Reduce Arthritis & other Chronic Pain
  • Improved Mood
  • Strengthen Immune System
  • Improved Sleep
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health
  • Relief of Acne & other Skin Conditions
  • Release of Heat Shock Proteins
  • Anti-depressant Effect

The Infrared Sauna (Heat Therapy) is a new take on a very old time tested therapy. There are records of primitive types of heat therapy being used as early as 2,000 years BC. Many of the benefits are well know and range from reducing muscle soreness after intense workouts to detoxifying the body as happens while profusely sweating. As we use modern science to analyze what happens on a cellular level, even more benefits of this therapy are being revealed. Not the least of which is that this therapy stimulates the release of Heat Shock Proteins (HSP) which have a wide ranging list of health protective benefits.

What is an Infrared Sauna?

This is a type of sauna that uses light to produce heat. Unlike a traditional sauna that heats the air around you to warm the body, an infrared sauna uses infrared light to heat the body directly. Infrared light safely penetrates the skin and tissues, providing a stream of positive benefits. This direct heating via infrared light allows an intense sweat without reaching the high temperatures that traditional saunas often reach (150-200 degrees Fahrenheit). In comparison, these sauna’s have temperatures that range from 110 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. While these are not as hot as traditional saunas, they still provide the same if not greater health benefits to the user.

What Are The Top 8 Benefits of an Infrared Sauna?

  1. Detoxification: When you sweat in a sauna, the body often releases toxins, resulting in a pleasant and needed detox from unwanted toxins that linger in our bodies. Environmental or air pollutants and skin-care products are common toxins excreted from the body in a sauna. Toxins such as heavy metals, phthalates, pesticides, and other toxins can also be expelled from the body during a session (2020).
  1. Immune System Boost: While more research is needed in this area, anecdotal evidence (patients’ self-reports) in this study indicates that using a sauna regularly may decrease the frequency of catching a common cold.
  1. Inflammation Reduction: While acute inflammation is necessary for many biological factors, chronic inflammation can harm long-term health, advancing aging. Heat from the infrared light penetrates deep into the body, causing blood vessels to dilate and improving blood flow. Enhanced blood flow helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to inflamed areas and promotes healing, lowering inflammation.

  2. Pain Management: Pain can be reduced by improving blood flow, relieving inflammation, relaxing the muscles and joints, and increasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Similarly, recovery time for people with muscle soreness or fatigue reduces.

  3. Improved Sleep & Recovery: Many sauna users sleep better after sauna use. This may be explained by how the body naturally attempts to cool down after sauna use. Sleep science today shows that core body temperature must cool by 1 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit to fall and stay asleep throughout the night (Walker, 2022). While using a sauna late in the day may sound counterproductive, the body naturally cools down after, promoting healthy sleep.

  4. Stress Relief: Exercise makes us feel good–it relieves our stress and promotes dopamine (the pleasure and reward chemical in our brains). Sauna use is an exercise in its own right; although it is more passive, it reduces stress. However, health professionals advise that sauna use should not entirely replace other active exercise forms.
  1. Improved Heart Health and Decreased Blood Pressure: When studied in the laboratory, this therapy shows decreased blood pressure, as reported by the Cleveland Clinic (2022). As discussed, a sauna session is similar to light/moderate exercise, which means the heart has to increase blood flow. In turn, blood pressure is reduced, and circulation is improved, all of which are great for heart health. A half hour session can burn up to 400 calories. Combined with diet, exercise, or other avenues, this is a great supplemental tool for your weight loss journey.
  1. Release of Heat Shock Proteins: Emerging research is showing the extraordinary benefits of Heat shock proteins, which are created from the use of heat therapies and neuroprotective effect on your brain and can help your body experience improved health & disease recovery.

*Bonus Benefit: Improved Athletic Performance: This therapy helps train your sweat response and your body’s ability to sweat when it needs to cool down. While sweating more may turn some people off, this natural and positive body adaptation develops over time. The more you sweat, the cooler your body is and the better your cognitive and physical performance.

What Conditions Can It Help?

The Mayo Clinic notes the positive impacts on conditions like high blood pressure, heart failure, dementia, Alzheimer’s, headaches, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis (Bauer, 2022). Additional potential benefits include improvements in rheumatoid arthritis, muscle recovery, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and hair growth. While scientific studies are ongoing, self-reports suggest relief for many users. This therapy enhances fundamental bodily functions such as blood flow and inflammation reduction, addressing potential root causes of various conditions. Please discuss with your doctor how this therapy may help you and any specific condition you may want to address.

What are Heat Shock Proteins? Health Benefits & More

Heat shock proteins (HSP’s) are a family of proteins which are created by cells during stressful situations. These proteins can protect the cells from situations that would normally be lethal. When you expose your cells to the heated environment of a sauna or hot tub, HSPs come out into the open in greater quantities than usual. When released they work by reorganizing, stabilizing, and revitalizing your cells from the inside out. There are many different classifications of HSPs, they are divided into five major families, with HSP90, HSP70, HSP60, and HSP100 being the most studied. While there are many classifications, they are all referred to as ‘molecular chaperones’, because they serve to restabilize, reorganize, and rejuvenate intercellular order.

What HSPs Do

HSPs play an essential role in maintaining the efficacy of any system or system of organisms. An increase in HSPs within human physiology has been demonstrated to aid in the prevention of serious neurological conditions, as well as other chronic autoimmune disorders. HSPs are created when organisms are subjected to fluctuations of temperatures extreme enough to move beyond habituated temperature.

Heat Shock Protein Benefits

Increasing the production of heat shock proteins (HSPs) generates a ton of positive effects on a biological level for anyone. They prevent disease-causing mutations, repair damaged and misfolded proteins, and also help release more natural growth hormones. Some heat shock protein benefits include:

  • Reparation of misfolded and damaged proteins
  • Heightened Immune Response
  • Reduction of free radicals
  • Faster Muscle Recovery and repair
  • Protection from Heart Disease
  • Insulin Production