Saunas are popular luxury of spa and health club culture. However, they are not a new innovation of the modern age, in fact, they have been around for a thousand years, used by various cultures for their various health benefits.
The Mayans had their hot houses, Native Americans have their sweat lodges, and Russians have their bathhouses. Do not let this rich history mistake you into thinking that saunas are an antiquated therapy, in fact, with the recent invention of near infrared technology, saunas can take the healing and therapeutic process into a whole new level.
What is a Near Infrared Sauna?
Near infrared saunas are unique in that they do not actually require high temperatures to encourage profuse sweating. Near infrared saunas use incandescent reddish heat lamps that penetrate the skin and heat it from the inside, as well as the skin’s surface.
As a result, the air temperature in a near infrared sauna can stay much cooler yet still sweat out all the toxins. Those who have difficulty tolerating the heat or are ill find that they can stay in the sauna much longer, increasing the benefits.
The near infrared sauna is also often called a lamp sauna because it is made with red lamps.
Near Infrared vs. Far Infrared Saunas
- Near infrared saunas are much safer than far infrared saunas when it comes to EMF emissions. Some higher quality newer far-inferred models have reduced EMF levels but the simple Near infrared Lamp Sauna still has much lower EMF levels.
- Near infrared Saunas can penetrate the surface of the skin more than a far infrared or traditional hot sauna. The old hot sauna help with sweating but does not penetrate the surface at all. Far infrared saunas can penetrate 1- 1.5 inches whereas near infrared saunas can penetrate up to 3 to 4 inches. The greater the penetration the greater the overall detox may be.
- Near infrared sauna’s are also much cheaper than any other sauna. A home built one can be made for well under $100. Pre-made units cost a few hundred dollars. Far infrared sauna’s are more expensive (over $1000 typically) and also take up a dedicated space. Near infrared sauna can be setup in an existing shower/tub and moved when not in use.If you are handy, you can make a 5 lamp sauna like this person did https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EgK7y4KB7IAn even cheaper and easier option is to by 2-3 clamp style lamps, and clip onto a shower caddy. You should be able to enjoy all the health benefits for under $70. To see what it looks like check out this link
Benefits of Near Infrared Saunas
Powerful, cost effective, and safe, the benefits of near infrared saunas are far reaching and a great way to promote healing from the inside out.
Sweat Out Toxins
Near infrared saunas encourage good sweating; meaning you sweat out the toxic chemicals and heavy metals you’re exposed to everyday. This helps ease up the load on your kidneys and liver, which often have to shoulder the heavy burden of detoxing your whole body.
Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel, and arsenic build up in our bodies, causing many ailments, illnesses, and diseases including cancer. Exposures to these metals are unavoidable, as they are present in our air, food, and water. Fortunately, by regularly using a near infrared sauna, you can eliminate the accumulation of these toxins and heavy metals.
Cleans Out Internal Organs
Near infrared light reaches deep into your system, helping to circulate blood to the surface, removing harmful hormones, toxins, and heavy metals from you’re your kidneys, liver, and other internal organs. This is also beneficial to your joints, sinuses, and other tissues.
Get the benefit of improved circulation and oxidation of the tissues without the heavy energy expenditure of exercise. Near infrared saunas boost your circulation, therefore lowering your blood pressure and improving your cardiovascular health. Another bonus for heart health, near infrared saunas has shown to release nitric oxide, which helps relax the blood vessels.
Improves the Immune System
The power of near infrared saunas work four ways to increase the functioning of your immune system: improves lymphatic flow, improves circulation, improves mitochondrial functioning, and lastly, the sauna increases the body temperature, therefore stimulating the production of white blood cells. These factors all work together to increase immune response and to remove harmful pathogens and toxins.
Saunas are a popular attraction of spas because of rejuvenating effects sitting in a sauna can have on your largest organ, the skin. Near infrared saunas promote sweating, which helps unlock and eliminate toxins that are hiding deep beneath the surface of the skin.
Not only does the near infrared light encourage deep detoxification, but also the light therapy promotes elastin and collagen production in the skin. This helps repair damaged skin and gives a more youthful look, plumping up tired skin. Light therapy is a popular remedy for psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, acne scars and more.
If you suffer from arthritis, or muscle and joint pain, near infrared saunas can offer significant relief. The light of the near infrared lamps penetrates the joints from all angles, reducing inflammation.
Dr. Wilson is probably the biggest proponent of Near Infrared Sauna’s on the web. His site has quote a few listings of additional well researched health benefits of near infrared energy. http://drlwilson.com/articles/SAUNALITE%20NIR%20BENEFITS.htm
This light therapy, paired with the raised body temperature encouraged in the sauna especially benefits those suffering from painful inflammation of the joints. People using this therapy have found pain relief and an increased range of flexibility.
The light therapy of near infrared saunas accelerates the healing of damaged tissue and wounds. Studies have shown that near infrared light increased cell growth by as much as 171% and significantly decreased wound size. Near infrared light has also been found to help heal injury to the eyes.
May Kill Cancer Cells and Tumors
The increased temperature the body experiences in a near infrared sauna may potentially inhibit tumor growth. Cancer cells and tumors react to heat poorly and therefore may be an additional method to treat cancer.
Near infrared saunas can raise your body temperature by two or three degrees, which will help the body kill infections, fungi, and bacteria. People who have low body temperature often have problems fighting off viruses and illnesses and as a result, suffer from ailments of the sinuses, eyes, ears, bladder, throat, and intestines. By raising your body temperature, you can also fight off parasite and yeast overgrowth.
Relaxation and Stress Relief
Near infrared saunas promote rest and relaxation, switching off sympathetic nervous system activity in the body and activating parasympathetic activity in the nervous system. Regularly use of this therapy decreases blood pressure, improves oxygenation, and an overall sense of wellbeing. Once you leave the near infrared sauna, you will feel calm, relaxed, and get a better night’s sleep. By reducing your stress levels, you will benefit your overall health and have a better chance of fighting off illness and infection.
Some Warnings and Considerations
- Always consult with a doctor before starting near infrared sauna therapy or any other therapy.
- Pregnant women and children under the age of five should avoid near infrared lamps.
- Never spend more than 20 minutes in an infrared sauna unless you have permission from your doctor. The reason for this is that spending too much time in a near infrared sauna can alter your body chemistry, throwing your body out of balance.
- To acclimate your body to near infrared saunas, start with one session a day and work your way up to twice a day. Those who are ill should start with one session a week.
- If you have any type of health condition, supervision is recommended.
- It is also recommended to have an attendant with you if you are removing drugs from your tissue storage as you can experience flashbacks during the detoxification process.
- Do not exercise or take a high-dose of niacin before using a sauna.
- Drink plenty of water before entering the sauna.
- Towel off sweat every couple minutes while in the sauna.
- Leave the sauna immediately if you feel faint as you may be experiencing a heat stroke. Common symptoms of a heat stroke are: cessation of sweating, a red face, and a rapid heartbeat.
- Relax and do not exercise after a sauna session. A 10 to 15 minute break is recommended to give your body time to relax.
- Some people experience healing reactions the first few times they use a sauna. This is the result of toxins leaving your body as your body heals. Some temporary symptoms people experience are: mild rashes, odors, and tastes in their mouth. Some people feel more tired than normal, changes in bowel movements, headaches, and aches and pains. These symptoms are temporary.