Some bodies are naturally attracted to hot or cold therapies. I was like a moth drawn to a flame with infrared therapy and felt compelled to share it with many of my clients.
Over the past 12 years of research, I have found some pertinent aspects of infrared therapy to consider if you’re trying infrared therapy for the first time or planning to purchase in-home bulbs or a sauna.
So read on to learn everything you need to know about infrared therapy and infrared home saunas.
What Is Infrared Therapy?
The light of infrared therapy is an electromagnetic energy wave within a specific range, usually produced from a heater.
There are near, med, and far infrared rays, but most of the research has been focused on either far or near rays.
The company Sauna Space narrows their science to near infrared primarily as this is said to be the most ideal ray to penetrate the body’s tissues directly.
The secondary effect is the actual heating of the cells that promotes sweating, which essentially makes infrared sauna a combination of light and sweat therapy.
This is distinct from Finnish-style saunas that focus on heating the air. Infrared saunas target the body internally and can produce sweat at far lower room temperatures.
How Do Infrared Saunas Work?
Infrared rays, according to JNH Lifestyles, mimic the frequencies emitted by the sun. The absorption occurs when the frequency of the infrared cells match the frequency of the body cells.
When this cellular process occurs, toxins are released into the bloodstream and excreted from the body.
According to Sauna Space, “Raising the temperature by 3 degrees for a few minutes induces the detoxification response.”
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What Is the Goal of Infrared Therapy?
The increased sweating of infrared therapy promotes the body’s natural process of elimination of heavy metals, drug residues, and hormone disruptors.
It also reduces the buildup of toxic substances, which in turn, promotes the body’s natural healing functions, cellular functioning, and allows the body to drop into the parasympathetic nervous system.
Breathing and meditating in an infrared sauna is also highly encouraged to continue to promote overall wellness!
What Are the Benefits of Infrared Therapy?
According to Healthline, the benefits of infrared therapy include:
- Immune system boost
- Increased metabolism
- Increased circulation
- Reduced blood pressure
- Muscle, joint, and tissue repair
- Stress and fatigue reduction
- Improved skin
Here Are 5 Things to Consider Before You Try Infrared Therapy:
1. Consult Your Doctor
Infrared therapy is a highly effective treatment and has some very realistic consequences for people with certain conditions. If you are uncertain about any aspects of this treatment, consult your doctor.
The increased elimination in your body may reduce the efficacy of some medications. Gather the information you need as some institutions offering sauna therapy don’t necessarily delve into the details.
2. Consider Frequency
Certain companies suggest initial sessions starting at 35 to 40 minutes, where others say not more than 20 minutes.
This may vary between infrared sauna intensity and your own monitoring of your body.
Infrared therapy can be as much as every day, or as infrequently as you wish. Unless you are on a monitored regime with a health professional, you may have to navigate your response to the treatment.
Avoid dehydration from long-term use and know that you may have different reactions depending on your level of hydration, your fatigue level, digestion, etc.
3. Avoid Eye Contact
Some sources claim that near infrared rays are not harmful to the eye. However, it may not be obvious whether the infrared light is near, mid, or far rays.
Nonetheless, consider purchasing an inexpensive set of blackout goggles (readily available online), and wear them as a cautionary habit.
Alternatively, cover your eyes with a towel and avoid direct eye contact with the bulbs if they are exposed.
4. Come Prepared
If you are looking for an infrared home sauna, the current trend is to reduce general sauna toxicity.
By using bamboo in place of other treated wood panels, the company Sunlighten has produced a solocarbon heater that reduced the electro and magnetic field (EMF) to virtually undetectable.
Sauna Space has done away with the wooden structure altogether, and has a simple set up of four near infrared bulbs in a natural canvas yurt-type structure.
Some saunas have radio/touch panel technology which may feel luxurious for some but an unwelcome addition for others because it adds to the EMF output.
If you are purchasing individual bulbs, remember that not all bulbs are created equal. Some of us might be fans of essential oils, which may not fare well for the sauna walls, and some when heated, may be harmful to the skin.
If you are chemically or EMF sensitive, make sure you know before you go!
5. Stay Hydrated
Beyond water, squeeze half a lemon in your water bottle. If you’d prefer, find an electrolyte alternative that resonates with you, or try some herbal tea.
The Takeaway on Infrared Therapy and Infrared Saunas
There are many different companies out there offering infrared products and home saunas.
Knowing the factors to consider and asking the right questions empowers you to make the right choices for your body and peace of mind to find what works best for your lifestyle and routine.
Start with small doses and observe how your body reacts, and then increase the length of your sessions accordingly.
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.