What Are The Benefits of Infrared Sauna?

An Infrared Sauna is a wooden room, equipped with infrared heaters.  It has glass doors for ease of entry and exit, and you can control the heating yourself, as well as the length of your session..  (If you feel it’s too hot you can easily leave anytime)

It is designed to assist with healing and detoxifying the body.

The popularity of Infrared Sauna has grown in recent years, as more people have discovered the many health benefits of using them.   We have recently added an infrared sauna to our Bondi Junction clinic, so that our patients can enjoy the many benefits, along with their acupuncture treatments

What is Infrared?

Infrared is a safe wavelength of light (or energy ) which we feel as heat.  There has been extensive scientific research to show that infrared waves are beneficial, as they increase the thermal energy of the physical body.

How Is Infrared Sauna Different to A Normal Sauna?

To put it simply,  sauna is a term used to describe any heating system that creates profuse sweating.

Although infrared sauna is similar in some ways to traditional steam saunas, it also has several differences. Instead of using steam or dry heat to warm the room, infrared sauna uses advanced heaters to warm the body directly.

As the body absorbs the infrared heat, this increases thermal energy, which induces a deep and relaxing sweat.

Another difference is that it can operate without the extreme heat of traditional saunas. Whilst a traditional sauna needs to have air temperatures of around 70 - 80 degrees to induce a sweat,  infrared sauna temperatures can stay well below 60degrees, whilst still creating a high level of detoxification. This is great for warmer climates, such as what we have here in Australia.

8 Benefits of Infrared Sauna?

Infrared waves have the ability to positively alter the body’s tissues, by penetrating below the surface of the skin, generating mitochondrial activity.

These are 8 of the many benefits of spending time in an infrared sauna:

  1. Detoxification: Using an infrared sauna can help to flush out toxins from the body.  Our modern way of living exposes us to an array of pesticides, toxic heavy metals, PCBs in plastics and many other environmental toxins.   When toxins accumulate in the body they can lead to a weaker immune system and increased risk of chronic illness. Infrared Sauna can help to promote the release of these toxins through its heating effect on the body, which drives out toxins through sweating.

A comprehensive review of heavy metal detoxification by known detoxification expert Dr Klinghardt found that saunas are an excellent way to rid the body of heavy metals. (LINK STUDY: https://saunas.org/infrared-sauna-therapy-and-heavy-metal-detoxification-protocol/)

Specifically, “infrared mobilizes specific toxins, like mercury, in deeper tissues.” In other words, infrared saunas may be more effective at eliminating toxins than traditional steam saunas.

                   2. Improves Skin Tone: Infrared Sauna therapy can help to dilate blood vessels, which increases circulation throughout the body.  This supports healthier skin by helping to supply more oxygen to the skin.

                  3. Improved Circulation: There are many benefits to having healthy a circulation, from improved skin tone to lower blood pressure. Infrared Sauna helps to improve circulation through its effect on mitochondrial activity.

                 4. Reduces Chronic Fatigue: A recent study found that CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is greatly relieved in patients using infrared sauna. The study involved patients sitting in a sauna for 15 mins a day , at high temperatures, five times per week.

                 5. Pain Relief: Infrared Sauna use has also been found to induce the release of endorphins, a hormone that is associated with natural pain relief.  Research from the Netherlands found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who underwent infrared sauna four weeks experienced reduced pain, stiffness and fatigue.

                6. Weight LossAnother health benefit of infrared sauna is its positive effect on weight loss.   In a study of obese adults, researchers found that body fat significantly decreased after 2 weeks of sauna therapy.  One theory of how this happens is the increased heart rate and the body working to cool itself down after heating.

                7. Improved Sleep : As the soothing heat penetrates deeply to relieve stress and tension in muscles, it provides a deepened sense of relaxation.  It can also help to stimulate the production of melatonin (known as the sleep hormone, which is needed for people to fall asleep and stay asleep ). Regular infrared sauna use can result in higher levels of melatonin.

              8. Strengthens the immune system:  an infrared sauna increases your core body temperature, stimulating the release of lymphocytes, white blood cells, neutrophils, and interferons - all essential elements of the body’s anit-viral army.  One study even suggests that using a sauna can reduce your chance of catching a common cold by 50%.

Our Bondi Junction Infrared Sauna

Melinda, one of the patients who has treatments with us regularly in Bondi Junction following an infrared sauna session.

Recent Research Into the Long Term Health Benefits of Sauna Use 

The more recent research has given an even clearer insight into just how beneficial infrared sauna can be for long term health and well-being, especially its impact on heart health.

A study of more than 2300 men from Finland , which was conducted over a 20 years period, found that regular sauna use reduced the risk of sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease and also all-cause mortality.   In fact, the risk of all-case mortality was 40% lower among frequent sauna users, compared to those who didn’t use sauna on a regular basis.  (STUDY: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sauna-use-linked-longer-life-fewer-fatal-heart-problems-201502257755)

How does sauna lead to this reduction in chronic disease?

A meta-analysis of multiple studies identified the possible reason behind how sauna could influence the reduction in mortality and cardiovascular disease. It concluded that raising the surface temperature of the skin and heart rate led to a reduction in blood pressure, improved function of the blood vessels of the heart, and a reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation.

This reasoning makes sense because it is deregulation of these pathways that can lead to chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Infrared Sauna Eastern Suburbs

How Often Should Someone Use A Sauna?

Using a sauna induces the same physiological response as you would experience from an intense workout.  As long as you are physically healthy enough to exercise your body should be able to use an infrared sauna on a regular basis.  Many of our patients here in our Bondi Junction clinic use the sauna multiple times per week, as a way to maximise the health

For maximum benefits you can use a sauna up to 3-4 times per week or even daily.  For the majority of people this isn’t possible, so you could instead aim for 1-2 times per week. Even just once per week will allow you to experience some of the potential health benefits.

If you are fit, healthy and properly hydrated you can stay in an infrared sauna for up to 30-45 mins.  If you are a complete beginner however, you may want to start off with a shorter time period, and slowly work your way up.

Due to the range of benefits backed by scientific research, infrared sauna therapy is worth considering for anyone who is concerned about improving their health and wellbeing. Using a sauna on a regular basis can help to maintain a healthier mind and body.  One of the conveniences of using the infrared sauna is that you don’t need to have a shower straight afterwards, you can simply dry yourself with a towel.  Here in our Eastern suburbs clinic we provide towels, rather than a shower to dry off afterwards, so that you can enjoy the benefits as you cool down slowly after a sauna session.

Why use an infrared sauna at our Bondi Junction clinic?

In our Bondi Junction clinic here in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, we have an infrared sauna suitable for one to two people.   It can be used on its own, or follow it with an acupuncture treatment to increase the healing effects.

Infrared sauna can be a great addition to your acupuncture treatment. By following your acupuncture treatment with a sauna session, you get the combined health benefits of both, which can be great especially for issues such as chronic pain, weight loss, or helping to improve energy.

Detoxification is also greatly increased when acupuncture is combined with an infrared sauna session. Contact us on info@experienceacupuncture.com.au to make an appointment.

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