Just like many things in the health and wellness industry, detoxing methods and products can get a bit fuzzy when trying to figure out if they are effective or not. Take the latest detox craze that our favorite celebrities swear by – the infrared heat sauna. Besides being a buzzword among Hollywood and other wellness gurus, just what makes this form of detox superior to others? Who’s to say that you can’t get the same benefits from a good old-fashioned sweat sesh or Bikram class?
Infrared therapy fans swear by its multitude of health benefits from weight loss to improved quality of sleep. The art of sweating has been around for centuries, most popular in Europe and Asia, but besides gaining recognition in top detox spas in Los Angeles and New York, it’s sweeping the nation and making its way into more and more wellness clinics and doctors’ offices.
How Does an Infrared Sauna Work?
Sweating as a way of detoxifying the body has been around since ancient times. Steam rooms, saunas and other forms of sweat therapy have always been the primary methods of releasing toxins from the body but as technology has advanced, so have these methods. The average person can only withstand a certain temperature when the room is heated. In order to get the full benefits of sitting in a steam room or sauna, the temperature must be set to a sometimes uncomfortable point. Infrared devices emit light rays that penetrate the skin cells and heat them from within, which means that the air temperature in an infrared sauna only needs to go to about 120 degrees F. Most people can handle that temperature and find it to be a more comfortable experience overall.
What Does the Scientific Research Say?
Some studies claim that far infrared heat therapy can lower blood pressure, improve circulation and reduce chronic pain. Weight loss and clearer skin are also perks that many followers swear by. The weight loss that one might experience is mostly likely excess water loss from all the sweating. Unfortunately, you probably won’t lose any actual fat from an infrared therapy session. You might also feel a sense of wellbeing and euphoria, thanks to the release of Endorphins. When you sweat, your body releases the same happy chemicals in the brain as when you exercise and that’s why one might feel so good after an infrared therapy session.
The Bottom Line
If you’re interested in trying this out for yourself, you have a few options. You can visit a spa or wellness center and pay about $50 per session or you can install an infrared sauna in your home for a couple thousand dollars. Anything that makes you feel good and reduces chronic pain regardless if it legitimately works is a win-win. No matter how you sweat, always remember to stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes balanced by drinking plenty of water or coconut water. If you are pregnant, prone to seizures or fainting and have high blood pressure you shouldn’t try this treatment.