How Does Infrared Sauna Work?

March 9th, 2024 | Infrared Tech

What Does An Infrared Sauna Do?

If you’re into health and wellness, you’ve probably heard tons of talk about infrared saunas. Maybe your favorite health coaches, influencers, or celebrities rave about them, or perhaps your friends have begun to use them and have noticed various benefits. So, what’s the deal? How does an infrared sauna work? What does an infrared sauna do exactly?

Put simply, an infrared sauna heats the body directly using infrared light rays. In turn, this produces many health and wellness benefits. This differs from a traditional sauna in that a traditional sauna first heats the air, which then heats the body. So, let’s dig a little deeper into how exactly infrared saunas work and their benefits.

Should You Use An Infrared Sauna?

Before we outline the benefits of regular infrared sauna usage, let’s take a closer look at the science behind the question, “how does an infrared sauna work?”

Radiation, surprisingly, has many medical and technological applications1. Not all radiation is harmful. Like most things, it falls on a spectrum, specifically the electromagnetic spectrum. The light we can see with our own eyes only makes up a small portion of this spectrum. Infrared radiation, on the other hand, is invisible to the human eye due to its longer wavelengths.

While traditional saunas have been used for thousands of years, infrared saunas may offer a more comfortable way to reap the benefits of regular sauna sessions. This is because they don’t heat the air but rather, heat your body directly. This can reduce various discomforts associated with a traditional sauna while amping up the benefits.

In fact, infrared wavelengths can penetrate the skin up to four centimeters, meaning your cells can absorb these rays directly, which may allow individuals to enjoy their sauna sessions for longer and also give way to various health advantages, including the following

1. Infrared sauna usage has been shown to enhance energy levels

Many report feeling rejuvenated after their infrared sauna session, and there’s a good reason for this! Research shows how infrared rays increase ATP and even may extend one’s lifespan2. ATP is the energy created by all of our cells, which drives all processes and movements we perform. Without it or without sufficient amounts of it, we might feel fatigued or lethargic.

Thus, if you’re feeling tired all the time, using an infrared sauna might help. Infrared saunas are further thought to promote relaxation and help improve sleep3 (more on this below).

2. Infrared saunas support calming anxiety and stress

When you look up ‘what does an infrared sauna do,’ the most commonly talked about benefit is its ability to lower stress throughout the body. We live in a very stressful time, with a lot of this coming down to globalization and increased technology within our daily lives.

Research suggests infrared saunas can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest system, lowering stress and cortisol within the body4. This can ensure we don’t get stuck in a chronically stressed state, which can wreak havoc on our health and well-being. Furthermore, infrared sauna therapy can help you find a state of relaxation, even at the end of a particularly chaotic day.

3. Infrared saunas are linked to improved heart health

There’s various evidence that shows how regular infrared sauna usage may improve heart health and prevent cardiac disease5. In a similar way your to heart rate increasing during exercise, your heart rate also elevates in an infrared sauna session to maintain the body’s internal temperature.

One study showed how far-infrared rays improved blood flow and survival rates of individuals with vascular malfunction6. Another study demonstrated how regular sauna treatments improved cardiac function in those with heart failure7. Further evidence also shows that infrared sauna usage may actively lower blood pressure too!

4. Infrared sauna sessions support muscular recovery and performance

Many pro and elite athletes use infrared sauna sessions to accelerate their recoveries and even improve performance. Studies show that the deep penetration of infrared heat is favorable for neuromuscular recovery, specifically from maximal endurance performance8.

Additionally, this may improve performance by reducing the time needed between intense exercise sessions, accelerating advancements in technique and more.

5. Infrared saunas help to decrease pain

Chronic pain is another commonly talked about topic in association with infrared sauna therapy. There’s ample research showing how regular infrared sauna sessions may reduce pain symptoms, specifically in those with arthritis9. It’s thought to do this by reducing inflammation often associated with these types of diseases.

Should You Consider Infrared Sauna Therapy?

This is entirely up to you! However, almost anyone can benefit from infrared sauna usage. As to how does an infrared sauna work, well, it all comes down to the effect those infrared rays have on the body and its cells. Heating up the body is proven to have many health benefits, such as those listed above, making it more resilient and enhancing your overall well-being.

In other good news, you don’t always need to invest in a full-blown sauna. Many companies offer products, like HEALiX’s Infrared Sauna Blanket, that take up minimal space and energy, allowing you to enjoy these advantages almost anywhere!