by Emy Breitenwischer, B.S. in Food Science & Nutrition, Concentration in Dietetics
Most people are familiar with dry saunas or steam rooms, which are commonly found at gyms, spas and hotels. Many like to incorporate saunas into their routine due to the relaxing, rejuvenating and detoxifying effects. Lately, a recent trend has been gaining popularity due to the endless health benefits: infrared heat. I had never heard of, nor tried an Infrared (IR) Sauna until I moved back to Dallas in 2012. My mom was using the IR sauna for it’s healing benefits and suggested I try a couple sessions at our studio. After the first session, I was drenched with sweat, but felt so invigorated and refreshed. My muscles were loose, pain/stiffness had subsided, and I didn’t feel as puffy or bloated. How could sitting in a box for 30 minutes create such blissful effects? This is when my research began.
So, what is infrared? Infrared light, experienced as heat, is the invisible part of the sun’s spectrum with the ability to penetrate human tissue to produce a host of health benefits. Infrared therapy filters out UV rays and heats the body directly, from the inside out, rather than warming the air, like dry/steam saunas. This mechanism raises the core body temperature and produces a deep detoxifying sweat at a cellular level, where most toxins reside. One big advantage to infrared therapy heating the body internally rather than heating the air, is that it makes it a lot easier to breathe during sessions. Infrared saunas are also gentler than traditional saunas, which operate around 200+ degrees, while the IR saunas operate at temperatures between 120-150 degrees.
According to Sunlighten, because infrared heat has the ability to penetrate human tissue versus simply heating the surface of the skin, infrared saunas are seven times more effective than traditional saunas at detoxifying the body. By raising the body’s core temperature, infrared saunas can produce a sweat composed of 20% toxins vs. only 3% toxins with a traditional sauna. Talk about truly sweating from the inside out!
In addition to detoxifying the body at a cellular level, IR heat produces numerous other benefits. Some include relaxation, improved sleep, lower blood pressure, anti aging & skin purification, improved blood circulation, weight loss, pain relief & reduced inflammation and wound healing by faster cell regeneration and human tissue growth. I can say first hand that using the IR sauna at least 1-2x a week greatly improves my energy/mood, while also reducing bloat and stiffness within my knees, back and neck. If you’re interested in experiencing the wonderful, healing benefits of IR heat, book an appointment today at BE Health & Yoga at 214-749-4744, 30 minutes for only $20!