5 Reasons To Try An Infrared Sauna This Winter (A Naturopathic Doctor Explains)
There are numerous wives' tales when it comes to winter health, but science over the years has clearly demonstrated that constant exposure to indoor air can be unhealthy. In fact, according to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment! Whether it's increased exposure to chemical products in your home or workplace or constant exposure to germs, remaining inside all winter long does have a negative effect of your health and well-being.
So how can you keep yourself healthier this winter? In addition to eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep—you can enjoy regular trips to an infrared sauna.
What is infrared heat and how does it work?
Saunas and sweating have been used throughout history for healing. People would sit in an enclosed area, by a fire, with stones heating the air for extended periods of time. And eventually, what started as a tradition turned into a vital tool for people's health around the world. Lucky for us, modern-day technology has resulted in the most effective type of sauna yet—the infrared sauna.
Infrared saunas are special because the infrared heaters warm the body in the same way as natural sunlight. But let's get a little more technical for a moment, shall we? Sunlight is a combination of visible light and invisible light. The seven colors of the rainbow are visible lights, and infrared rays and ultraviolet rays are invisible lights. Infrared is part of the spectrum and is classified into three categories itself: near, middle, and far. All of which have specific healing properties.
All the benefits of light, without the risk.
Infrared heat provides many of the benefits of natural sunlight but does not expose you to solar radiation. Infrared waves have the potential to penetrate almost 2 inches into the body, raising your core body temperature from deep inside. In many ways, you are self-inducing a fever, which can help ward off viruses this winter along with any other unwanted pathogens in your body like mold, Lyme, and candida.
Conventional saunas heat the air with steam, which can make them unbearably hot and will cause you to sweat only at the surface of your tissue. Steam also makes the air difficult to breath, but an infrared sauna uses soothing, dry heat that is well-ventilated and extremely comfortable and relaxing. Here are five reasons to try an infrared sauna this winter:
In our modern society we are exposed to more toxins than ever before—many of which are unavoidable. Sweating is one of the safest and most natural ways to heal and maintain good health. Far Infrared heat stimulates the detoxification process by raising your core temperature and heating your tissues several inches deep, which can also enhance your natural metabolic processes.
2. Weight loss
A 30-minute infrared sauna session can burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories! As the body works to cool itself while using an infrared sauna, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate. Infrared heat therapy raises core body temperature causing passive cardiovascular conditioning. Your body's natural response to infrared heat therapy is to increase circulation and sweat.
3. Circulation and blood pressure
Heating muscles with infrared heat increases blood flow levels similarly to exercise. Infrared heat assists in resolution of inflammatory infiltrates, edema, and exudates. The increased peripheral circulation provides the transport needed to help evacuate the edema, which can help end inflammation, decrease pain, and help speed healing.
Sweating increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure, and helps circulation. Some scientific evidence suggests that using an infrared sauna a couple of times a week lowers blood pressure.
4. Pain relief
Studies have shown1 that back, neck, and arthritis pain can be relieved with infrared sauna heat therapy. Infrared heat penetrates tissue, joints, and muscles to relieve all pain from minor aches to chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia. I've found that it can also help speed up recovery time after an injury.
5. Skin purification
In my experience, infrared heat therapy helps with acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It also reduces wrinkles, makes skin look radiant, and improves skin tone and elasticity. I've seen regular sessions help reduce cellulite trapped beneath the skin, lessen the appearance of scars, and help burns heal significantly.
Take your health to the next level and feel great this winter. Whether for joint or muscle pain, weight loss, detoxification, or simply to relax and stay warm this winter, an infrared sauna session will benefit your health and well-being.
Tiffany Jackson, N.D., is the owner of EcoHealth Wellness Center & Detox Spa in Charleston, South Carolina and creator of Natural Medicine Now University—an online e-course designed for her patients to get the information they need to get their bodies back in balance.
Tiffany is an expert in natural medicine, uniquely trained to identify imbalances and toxicities in the body and the diseases they create. Tiffany sees herself as a health detective, specializing in identifying and healing chronic gastrointestinal disorders and immune dysfunction. Through Tiffany’s unwavering passion for discovering the underlying causes of their disorders and diseases, she’s helped patients realize that their suffering often stems from poor gut health and compromised immune systems. Her most common patients are healed of irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation; allergies; anxiety and depression; skin disorders such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis; ADD and autism-spectrum disorders; and even infertility. She also helps patients improve their overall health, lose weight, and pursue detoxification and body-cleansing programs.
Most importantly, Tiffany is married to an amazing and supportive husband and has a beautiful and charismatic four-year-old daughter, with another on the way. She loves yoga, cooking, and making smoothies and is admittedly obsessed with her Vitamix. She’s known to arrive at a destination and sit in her car for twenty minutes because she can’t stop listening to a health podcast. Tiffany turned to natural medicine for answers when both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer, and her life and her work are driven by this lifelong love for learning, teaching, and helping people.