One of my favourite detox therapy tools is the Infrared Sauna. It HAS and IS a big part of my healing journey from having had Lead poisoning. Lead poisoning was the straw that almost broke my body, spirit and soul. It has taken 3 years to regain my strength and health back, both physically and mentally and the Infared Sauna has played a big role in getting my health back.
What is an Infrared Rays?
“The sun produces a combination of visible and invisible light, and one of those invisible spectrums is infrared rays. Invisible infrared wavelengths are what makes the sun feel warm (and ultraviolet wavelengths are what makes it bright). Scientists have established that infrared waves are beneficial to the human body as they increase the thermal energy in the body. Infrared does this without any of the harmful rays of sunlight.
There are three main categories of the Infrared spectrum: near infrared, mid infrared, and far infrared.
Near Infrared is the shortest wavelength but penetrates the deepest. It has the distinct property that it is not captured by the water of the body allowing it to penetrate the deepest to increase your core thermal energy. Near infrared is associated with photo biomodulation which directly produces energy within the cells through ATP stimulation.
Mid infrared wavelengths are also captured by water molecules while temporarily increasing circulation through vasodilation, promoting temporary increase in blood flow and temporarily elevating heart rate and overall metabolism.
Far infrared is the closest of the wavelengths to the infrared heat given off by our own body. Far infrared is readily captured by the water molecules in the body and releasing its energy. Our bodies actually give off far infrared wavelengths at about 9.4 microns. Since far infrared wavelengths feel very natural and normal to us, our energy is temporarily enhanced and strengthened.”
Rather than a traditional sauna where heating elements are either steam or hot rocks, the infrared sauna heaters use the infrared spectrum listed above to promote relaxation and other wellness benefits.
Why I prefer Infrared Sauna instead of the traditional Sauna.
The main difference between infrared saunas and traditional saunas is how they use heat. Traditional saunas use a single heater that is heating the air and this hot air heats the user. In contrast, infrared saunas use advanced therapy to promote heat generation in the body with only a small percentage of the heat heating the air. This results in a deeper sweat and at a lower ambient air temperature. In fact, infrared saunas usually operate between 46° – 65° degrees, while traditional saunas can get up to 90° degrees.
You will get all of the relaxation benefits of a traditional Infrared Sauna along with the increased health benefits that Infrared offers all at a much more comfortable temperature. Infrared saunas are also dry saunas and many users find this makes for a more comfortable sauna session.
I have never been a fan of the traditional sauna and steam rooms as the humidity becomes too much for me. These sauna sessions are a maximum of 10 minutes because I feel like I cannot breathe. And 10 minutes it is not enough for it to become beneficial to the body.
In an infrared sauna however, the air temperature is less important than the quality of the infrared heat. As your body absorbs the infrared heat, this will increase thermal energy inducing a deep and relaxing sweat. I enjoy 46° – 65° degrees in the Infrared Sauna and am comfortable for about an hour without any problems.
Potential benefits of Infrared saunas include:
Deep Detoxification: Eliminate heavy metals, chemicals, and other toxins from your body
Boost your immune system
Promotes blood circulation
Boost your immune system
Calm your nervous system
Improved cell health
I have two infrared Sauna’s at home. One portable Infrared Sauna (for one person) that I do not use as often and my favourite Infrared Sauna Blanket that I use very often. Once in a while I treat myself to a full Infrared Sauna sweat session at @onethirtylabs in Copenhagen. I try to use the Infrared Sauna 3 times a week and the effect on body, mind and soul are amazing.
How to maximize your Infrared Sauna Session:
Firstly, make sure to check what materials your sauna is made from. A sauna should be a sanctuary of wellbeing, so avoiding anything toxic, such as chemical glues, paints, varnishes, plastic or cheap plywood (which can contain formaldehyde) is essential.
Schedule an Infrared sauna session to your needs. Do you need a energy boost than do it every morning, or when you need to wind down - take a session in the evening.
Get the blood and lymph liquid pumping
Anything you can do to dilate your blood vessels pre-sauna; perhaps a little stretching, or a gentle gym session. I prefer 5-10 minutes on the rebounder (mini trampoline). This will prep your body for what’s to come and give a much better sweat.
Wash your face and fully remove any makeup, lotions, dirt or sweat so you enter the sauna fresh and with unpolluted, chemical-free pores. I sometimes hope in the shower just to make sure that my skin is clean. Remember use non-toxic products. Sometimes if time allows it, I dry brush my skin too.
How long to stay in?
Only stay in the sauna as long as you feel comfortable, but always try to sit it out at least until you break a proper sweat - as this is when the real health benefits kick-in. For most people, this will be around 15-20 minutes. I prefer longer sessions of 30-45 minutes as it leaves me feeling fully recharged and restored. Remember always start start.
ALWAYS take a cold shower afterwards
So, you’ve successfully opened your pores, cleansed your system, got your blood pumping and sweated so profusely you’re glistening from head to toe. Now that you’re out, you need to close those pores and rinse away that sweat to avoid re-absorption of the toxins you’ve just worked so hard to release, meaning a post-sauna cold shower is absolutely essential.
If it isn’t washed away, excess salt, sebum and bacteria left on your skin can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Taking a cold shower will not only close your pores, but it will also boost your circulation; drawing the blood back to your vital organs and leaving you feeling reinvigorated and refreshed.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
We can’t overstate the importance of staying hydrated - before, during and after your infrared sauna session. You’re going to sweat. A lot. So, making sure you keep your thirst quenched and your fluids up is crucial.
Drink water (preferably filtered or spring) before you enter the sauna, throughout your time inside, and when you leave too.
The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe for any medical or psychological condition, nor to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions. Therefore, this information is not intended as medical advice, but it is a sharing of knowledge and information based on research and experience.