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7 Benefits of an infrared sauna and side effects

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Discover the 7 Benefits of an infrared sauna and its side effects.

Enjoying an infrared sauna can be a wonderful way to improve your overall health, especially if you are limited in your abilities due to injury or illness.

I remember that once a friend shared a photo of her in one of these saunas, and since then I became interested in learning more about these therapies and discovered that, for example, you can burn up to 500 calories in just minutes, that’s how I decided to share with you the benefits of an infrared sauna.7 Benefits of an infrared sauna and side effects


Benefits of an infrared sauna

Among the best benefits of an infrared sauna we can take into account a series of therapeutic alternatives that we are going to mention below:

•Healthy heart


•diabetes treatment

Pain relief


•Skin care

•Stress and anxiety relief

But let’s better discuss them in detail below:

1.- Increases metabolism

Sauna therapy is sometimes called passive cardio because it raises the heart rate in a way similar to exercise or, as the Harvard article says, “high temperatures can push the heart rate to levels often achieved with regular physical exercise.” moderate intensity. «

A 30-minute session burns about 600 calories, says this article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, while this study published in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes found that patients receiving far-infrared sauna therapy showed “a tendency towards decreased waist circumference.

Does the time of day a sauna is used affect metabolism? A two-phase study conducted at Binghamton University says yes. When the participants used an infrared sauna; on average three times a week, they lost up to 4% body fat in sixteen weeks.

An unexpected result was that participants who used the sauna later in the day lost more weight, so they set up a second study to find out more.

In the follow-up study, they found that people who used the sauna after 3 pm lost the same amount as in the first study, but in half the time.


They attribute the difference in results to decreased evening cortisol (which is how things should be if our hormones are balanced), and slightly increased levels of human growth hormone (HGH), meaning the benefits of an infrared sauna They are competent.

2.- Detoxifies heavy metals, BPA, PCB, and other toxins

Some people say detoxification is dumb because bodies are perfectly capable of detoxifying without help. While many agree that our bodies are amazing and we have powerful innate detoxification abilities, the reality is that:

The average person carries about 700 pollutants in their body at any given time. Even babies are affected: A recent study found more than 200 chemicals in newborn umbilical cord blood alone.

Companies are not required to study the long-term health effects of most of the chemicals they produce, so most do not.

It is estimated that between 30% and 50% of the US population have the MTHFR gene mutation, which can affect detoxification.

Expecting our bodies to control those factors in addition to natural heavy metals like lead and mercury leaves is like expecting a housekeeper to keep things spotless with a gang of uninvited monkeys living in the house.

Our detoxification systems need support, and there are many ways to do that. Dry brushing is one favorite, and the other is infrared therapy because it requires very little effort on our part.

All you need to do is take 20-40 minutes to sit back and relax, you can even tell your kids to join you for 15 minutes so they can read a chapter of their current book, and then the next one skips to reading their book, etc While the other kids are playing right outside the sauna window, the important thing is to enjoy the benefits of an infrared sauna.


So what does all this have to do with sweating in a sauna?

According to Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who has a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, the fact that sweat contains both hydrophilic (water-soluble) and lipophilic (fat-soluble) components makes it an elimination pathway for a variety of toxins, which include:

•Xenobiotics like BPA (often absorbed through store receipts), PCBs, and phthalates

•Arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury

Important: Sweating also removes electrolytes, so you’ll need to replace calcium, magnesium, and potassium. I use my Coconut Lime electrolyte drink recipe or just plain water with a generous pinch of sea salt.

According to Dr. Patrick, kale is also a concentrated form of electrolytes, so you can put some in a smoothie after your sauna to replenish electrolytes as well.

3.- Beautiful youthful skin

One of the most unexpected, and welcome, changes you notice when you start using the benefits of an infrared sauna regularly is the more refreshing and “bright” amount of energy you’ll have after a few months of use.

Far infrared wavelengths increase the production of collagen (which makes skin supple) and elastin (which makes it elastic), and also improves nutrient delivery to the skin through increased blood flow.


4.- Optimize your biological age

We have two ages: our chronological age (the actual time we’ve been alive) and our biological age, or the rate at which we age on a cellular level.

Most of us have had the experience of being surprised to discover that someone is much younger than we had imagined, for example when a person we thought was in their thirties was in their 40s, “Dr. Terry Grossman, founder and medical director of the Grossman Wellness Center in Denver, explained for Everyday Health.


“And, for the same reason, we will occasionally discover that someone is considerably older than we had guessed. The reason for these discrepancies is often because their biological ages are different from their chronological ages.”

According to Dr. Rhonda Patrick, “Nearly every major cause of aging has stress at its root. Inflammation is a prime example and has been identified as one of the main drivers of the aging process. . . . However, paradoxically, stress is not always bad.

Short-term stress can result in a reduction in long-term chronic stress; in other words, we can develop resilience. This is because short-term exposure to stress can strengthen the body’s cellular response mechanisms to stress. This is called hormetic stress .”

Exercise is a type of hormonal stress, as is cold stress and, you guessed it, heat stress. Sitting in a sauna creates heat stress, which causes the body to increase the production of heat shock proteins, which help repair damaged proteins and protect DNA.

We normally produce fewer heat shock proteins as we age. However, some people have genetic mutations that cause them to maintain higher production.

Specifically: Centenarians, or people who live to be at least 100, tend to have a higher expression of heat shock proteins, the same proteins that are produced in a sauna.


In another study, researchers found that exposing C. elegans worms to sauna-like conditions, thereby producing heat shock proteins, extended their lifespan by about 30%.

Additionally, the “longevity gene” – FOX03 – is also activated by heat, as with heat shock proteins, people with higher FOX03 gene expression are more likely to live to 100.

5.- Relaxation and stress reduction

Our lives are often filled with chronic stress and very little running from tigers. Unfortunately, unlike short-term stressful experiences, which produce a rise in cortisol and a physical response (such as running away) followed by a drop in cortisol after the event, our bodies remain in a state of “high alert” for hours, days, and even sometimes months without a reboot.

Our bodies often cannot distinguish life-threatening situations from non-critical situations, and therefore react to everything just in case. That’s a problem because:

When you repeatedly experience the mobilization or fight or flight stress response in your daily life, it can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body.

It can shut down your immune system, disrupt your digestive and reproductive systems, increase blood pressure, increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, speed up the aging process, and leave you vulnerable to many mental and physical health problems.

Fortunately, you don’t have to give up civilization and move into a yurt to regain relaxation—you can manually reset your stress response. Exercise is one way to do it: sauna therapy is another.

By exposing your body to heat stress gained through the benefits of an infrared sauna, your cortisol levels (an indication of stress) will generally stay the same or even increase.


However, when you de-stress by exiting the sauna, they will drop off almost immediately and set a new baseline that is lower than before. Your body thinks the “tiger” is gone and has reset itself, leaving you relaxed.

In addition to helping with stress, the therapy you get through the benefits of an infrared sauna stimulates the release of “feel-good” neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, so you can feel amazing by the time you finish your session. session.

6.- Soothes sore muscles

This is many people’s favorite benefit, as the soothing heat gained through the benefits of an infrared sauna penetrates sore muscles and joints, increasing the flow of nutrients (glucose, amino acids, fatty acids, and oxygen) to the area while removing lactic acid and other metabolic by-products.

7.- Supports cardiovascular health

As I mentioned earlier, infrared sauna therapy is sometimes called “passive cardio” because, as the Harvard article says, ” high temperatures can push the heart rate to levels often achieved with moderate-intensity physical exercise .”

“The cardiovascular effects of the sauna have been well documented in the past. It lowers blood pressure and there is every reason to believe its effects are good for blood vessels,” says Dr. Lee of the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Side Effects of Infrared Sauna

There are some potential side effects to be aware of when it comes to infrared saunas, such as the following:




•joint injury


When you use this therapy, it will cause sweating, which is good, up to a point. Eventually, your body will become dehydrated which has many negative side effects. If your body cannot cool down due to various illnesses, these saunas can be dangerous and cause heatstroke.

When it comes to joint injuries, heat can exacerbate inflammation and worsen pain or discomfort, but there are so many more benefits to an infrared sauna that you can get, so take proper care of yourself and you won’t have anything to worry about. fear.

What is an Infrared Sauna?

An infrared sauna is a type of sauna that uses infrared radiation to create heat, rather than the traditional approach of hot stones and steam.

A regular sauna heats the air, which gradually warms your body, causing you to sweat, but infrared saunas can work more quickly to heat up the body, providing similar health effects to the benefits of an infrared sauna. they are so recommended.

There is some debate about the safety benefits of an infrared sauna, but there is little evidence of danger, other than the basic side effects of overheating in any type of sauna.

Unlike traditional saunas, infrared saunas can work much faster, heating the body in a matter of minutes; For those who want the benefits of an infrared sauna without sitting in a stifling room for thirty minutes, this is a popular option.


While these saunas are not as widely available as traditional saunas, they are growing in popularity. The two main types of infrared saunas are far-infrared saunas and near-infrared lamp saunas.

The former uses radiation waves at the other end of the infrared spectrum, while the latter uses waves that are more capable of penetrating the body and heating it effectively.

These near-infrared lamp saunas can heat the body without heating the air around you, which is more comfortable for some people, so don’t hesitate to access the benefits of an infrared sauna.


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