I have an infrared sauna addiction, so much so, that, “What is an infrared sauna?” is a question I continually find myself answering, so here goes…
Infrared saunas use light to create heat, as opposed to your traditional sauna which uses heat to warm the air. Infrared sauna temperatures range from 30 to 58 degrees Celsius, and it is a much softer, gentler heat that penetrates deep below the skin, warming your core body temperature, without over heating your skin or respiratory system, like traditional saunas do, as they operate at much higher temperatures.
Infrared saunas are great for detoxification which is why I love them most. They help get rid of toxins my body has difficulty getting rid of on its own. I feel everything start to recalibrate and always leave feeling better than when I arrived. It’s also self enforced r & r and one of my favourite ways to unwind, particularly in winter time, when I have them at least once, if not twice per week.
The benefits don’t end there though, there’s a myriad of reasons you ought to consider embracing this self-care ritual too:
- It boosts your immune system
Each time you have an infra ed sauna, the increase in your core body temperature (to between 30 to 45 degrees Celsius) boosts the production of infection fighting white blood cells and killer T cells. If I feel the slightest hint of a sore throat or cold coming on, I dash for the sauna, it usually always helps nip it in the bud (along with immune boosting foods and essential oils). It’s also really beneficial for respiratory conditions – I certainly noticed a considerable difference to what was becoming a permanently hoarse voice, which would magically disappear after a sauna session.
- It helps your body flush out toxins
There are so many toxins our bodies are exposed to every day. Infrared heat softens deposits of crystallised toxins and acid wastes in the joints, nerve and connective tissues, allowing them to dissolve, and then be diluted and excreted via the lymphs, bloodstream and skin (as sweat).
- Your skin will glow
I never used to have glowing skin in winter time, but now I’ve said goodbye to dull, dry winter skin – thank you infrared saunas (and of course, hydration, eating the right foods, and yes, you guessed it, essential oils). It makes sense that when we eliminate the toxins, our skin benefits, doesn’t it?
- It helps with weight loss
Infra red helps rid your body of excess moisture, salt, and fat – and yes, it’s scientifically proven, (according to information published by the American Medical Association). It increases your heart rate, cardiac output, metabolic rate and burns calories.
- It boosts circulation and lowers blood pressure
Sunlighten’s saunas have been clinically determined to be one of the best natural ways to lower blood pressure. Far-infra red therapy dilates blood vessels, reduces the volume of their inner lining, and increases circulation, promoting healthy blood pressure.
- It’s great for joint pain
Doctors have been recommending Sunlighten saunas for some time now because of their proven benefits in treating sports injuries, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis and other chronic conditions. They work by penetrating joints, muscles and tissues, increasing circulation and speeding oxygen flow. By reducing soreness on nerve endings, the infra red heat reduces muscle spasms and helps the body heal itself naturally.
- It’s self-enforced r & r
I always look forward to my infrared sauna time as ‘me-time.’ I’m not good at switching off but in the sauna, there isn’t really a choice. I meditate and listen to music. It’s rancho relaxo.
I’ve been road testing various sauna places in Melbourne and Sydney. Without doubt the best place to go is Sunlighten in South Melbourne. They produce the saunas that are used in many salons across Australia, so there are a number of different ones you can try. My personal favourite are the solo capsules – it’s like being in a cosy cocoon, and because it’s enclosed it is a more intense heat – my dream home will have one of these in it! Each Sunlighten sauna has a variety of different programs that target different health goals, and different options from near, middle and far infrared. Near infrared is great for wound healing and increased immune function, mid infrared improves circulation, while far infrared is primarily for detoxification.
Nimbus & Co. in Bondi, is where I like to go when I am in Sydney. Having tried a few other places with saunas not produced by Sunlighten I can see why these ones are the best quality (other saunas do not have the range of programs or offer the near, far and mid infrared).
Well, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get your infrared sauna on!
Note: I was kindly donated a number of complimentary sessions at Sunlighten Saunas – as an obligatory component of my research for this post, of course. It’s fair to say I enjoy this kind of research far more than that I used to have to do for school and university assignments.