(Infrared) Sauna Benefits
Many of us have heard of saunas but know little about them. The image that comes to mind about them is of persons in a steamy room sweating profusely, but if you are not aware of the many benefits that a sauna can bring, you find yourself wondering why anyone would willingly get hot and sweaty.
We may know that the primary function of sweat is to cool our bodies when we get hot so we do not overheat. The second reason of equal importance is that the skin is a part of the body’s excretory system, and sweat is a means of removing toxins and other unwanted elements from the body. Anything that promotes sweating in a controlled environment can be beneficial to the body and this is where saunas are useful.
One of the most popular reasons that people uses saunas seems to be the relaxation effect that it provides. The elevated heat level in a sauna stimulates the body to release endorphins, the “feel good” hormone, and at the same time relaxes the muscles and improves circulation. Because it is an enclosed space in a usually quiet and calm atmosphere, a sauna can feel like stepping away from a busy life; taking a break from it all. These factors combine to make you feel relaxed and invigorated after a sauna session.
An infrared sauna promotes detoxification of the body through sweating in more than one way. Any sauna will generate sweat to remove toxins near to the surface level of the skin – the infrared sauna, however, goes a step further. It heats the body itself from the inside out, and in doing so it causes toxins to be removed at the cellular level and excreted via sweat. It is said that an infrared sauna removes up to seven times more toxins from the body when compared to a traditional sauna.
For the same reason that makes a sauna great for relaxation, it is also good for pain relief. The heat relaxes the muscles and reduces inflammation; in so doing it eases the pain that one might be feeling in the muscles and joints. The endorphins that the body releases during a sauna also help to minimize pain.
Cardiovascular Benefits & Weight Loss
When the body’s core temperature rises in response to the sauna’s heat, it stimulates the blood; the blood vessels near the skin dilate and blood rushes to the surface. The heart then has to begin to pump faster to support this process. This increase in circulation helps to regulate blood pressure, so saunas are great for persons with moderate blood pressure issues. Calories are also used up in the process as the heart is beating faster and the process of sweating itself uses up a fair amount of the body’s energy. These two activities lead to weight loss.
Cleanses the Skin
The sweating induced by saunas cleanses bacteria from the sweat ducts and the epidermal layer of the skin, which leads to improved circulation in the skin. The cleansed pores and the improved circulation gives the skin a soft glowing look.