Is an Infrared Sauna a Better Alternative to a Conventional Sauna?

Nothing beats a 20-minute sauna session and after that, you’ll feel more relaxed and refreshed, and the heat will assist in relieving aching muscles and improving your general health and well-being. However, if the severe heat of a typical sauna is too much for you, an infrared sauna may provide all of the benefits of a sauna without excessive heat.

What exactly is an infrared sauna?

Infrared saunas, in contrast to regular saunas, do not heat the air surrounding you. Rather than that, they employ infrared lights (which emit electromagnetic radiation) to immediately warm your body.

“These saunas utilize infrared panels rather than traditional heat to readily enter human tissue, warming your body before heating the air,” explains a physical therapist.

An infrared sauna operates at a lower temperature which is generally between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to a standard sauna, which normally operates between 150 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are about 20% of the heat in an infrared sauna is used to heat the air, while the remaining 80% is used to heat your body directly, according to its manufacturers.

According to proponents of infrared saunas, the heat penetrates deeper than heated air. This enables you to sweat more intensely at a cooler temperature.

The same physical therapist further claims that this atmosphere is more comfortable, allowing you to stay in the sauna for an extended period of time while boosting your core body temperature by 2 or 3 degrees.

How Can Infrared Sauna Help You?

The alleged advantages of infrared sauna use are comparable to those of a typical sauna. These include the following:

  • improved sleep
  • relaxation
  • cleansing
  • loss of weight
  • muscular pain alleviation
  • alleviation from joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis
  • skin that is clear and taut
  • enhanced circulatory system
  • Assistance for individuals suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome

For millennia, people have used saunas to treat a variety of health problems. While numerous studies and research have been conducted on conventional saunas, there are not nearly as many that focus only on infrared saunas.

One small 10-person research discovered that utilizing an infrared sauna as part of an overall therapy regimen benefitted persons with chronic fatigue syndrome, while another 10-person research discovered that infrared saunas aided in the reduction of muscular pain and the acceleration of recovery following strength-training sessions. 

Due to a lack of solid data and widely distributed research about the potential advantages of infrared saunas, it is up to the customer (you) to pick through the claims made by firms that provide this service.

Similarly, there have been no reports of adverse effects yet, other than the precautions associated with any sauna session and these usually include the possibility of overheating, dehydration, and medication interference, as well as the possible concerns for pregnant women, those with heart disease, and those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The good news is that even if your sweat session does not do everything it claims, it still feels fantastic. Additionally, it benefits your general health and well-being by assisting you in relaxing, loosening up stiff or tight muscles, relieving joint discomfort, and providing you with some much-needed alone time.

How is an infrared sauna being used?

Although there are a lot of people who prefer using infrared sauna treatments at a health club, spa, or doctor’s office, there are also others who prefer to buy and build their own. If you want to try an infrared sauna, it is critical to understand that they do not come with universal instructions.

While there are certain recommendations to follow, ultimately how you utilize an infrared sauna is up to you, so here are a few pointers to help you get started.

  • Make sure to drink water. Before entering an infrared sauna, ensure that you are properly hydrated and before your sauna session, make sure to drink a glass of water. Additionally, you may carry water into the sauna, which is beneficial if you are sensitive to greater temperatures.
  • Choose the temperature. An infrared sauna’s typical temperature runs between 100 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit, with novices beginning at the lower end and far more experienced customers at the higher end. If you are a beginner or if this is your first time doing infrared sauna, then you can start at 100 degrees Fahrenheit for your temperature and then maintain this level of temperature for several following sessions. And for each session, you may gradually increase the temperature until it reaches 150°F.
  • Consider the length of time when using the infrared sauna. You can start with 10 to 15 minutes if you are a first-time user, and for every session, you may be extended until the recommended length of 20 to 30 minutes is reached. Saunas include a timer; ensure that it is set because you don’t want to spend an extended period of time in there and risk dehydration.
  • Consider what to wear during the infrared sauna session. Dressing in a manner that is comfortable for you and is entirely up to you as there are certain individuals that wear swimming suits, while others will enter nude.
  • What to do next after the infrared sauna session. After your session is over, it is recommended that you take some time to allow your body to calm down. After you’ve cooled down, you’re welcome to have a shower or bath and ensure that you are consuming enough water.
  • Number of sessions per week. The majority of institutions that provide infrared sauna treatments recommend that you visit the sauna three to four times each week. If you are in good health and can withstand the four-day period, you may utilize the sauna on a daily basis.

Things You Need To Know Before Going Into Infrared Sauna

Before you indulge in your first session, there are some things you should know.

  • If you are intoxicated, you are prohibited to use an infrared sauna.
  • Avoid using the sauna if you are not in your optimum health state. 
  • Utilizing an infrared sauna may lead you to sweat profusely, which may cause you to feel lightheaded upon standing. If this occurs, ensure that you carefully rise and sit down as you exit the sauna. Immediately following your practice, drink water and allow your body to calm down before doing anything else.
  • In severe circumstances, some individuals may suffer from excessive heat like heat stroke, or heat exhaustion, or dehydration.

If you have a medical issue such as hypertension, heart difficulties, or are already receiving treatment, see your physician prior to your first session

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