Nova Health Naturopathic Centre Blog

True Health and Well Being

Infrared Saunas for Health and Well-Being March 25, 2011

Filed under: diabetes,heart health,relaxation and insomnia,weight loss — novahealthnaturopathic @ 5:57 pm

The skin is a major organ of detoxification. We release toxins through our skin when we sweat, and ideally, we should sweat daily to maximize the skin’s function as a detoxifying organ. Recently, the infrared sauna has become recognized as one of the most effective methods to channel your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. It helps remove toxic chemicals from the body, particularly when they are stored in fat cells.

Infrared radiant heat can penetrate 4 centimeters beneath the skin and can speed fat metabolism. When fat is discharged from the body as sweat, it carries with it toxins, chemicals and heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, copper, etc. which cannot be discharged by either the kidneys or the lungs.

Instead of heating the air, infrared saunas emit an infrared wavelength that heats the body core from the inside out. Infrared saunas cause sweating at lower temperatures than non-infrared heat, so it is safe for anyone with high or low blood pressure or cardiovascular issues.

Benefits of Infrared Heat

  • Improves circulation, cardiovascular function and lymphatic flow – Repeated sauna treatment improves impaired vascular function for patients with coronary risk factors.
  • Enhanced detoxification – Toxins such as alcohol, nicotine, environmental pollutants and heavy metals accumulate in the body during daily living. The body can eliminate toxins through sweating and research has shown that the body burden of chemicals, heavy metals, carcinogens and other pollutants can be significantly diminished through infrared sauna treatments.
  • Rejuvenates skin – Helps skin conditions (acne, eczema, scarring, cellulite, etc) – Infrared sauna improves circulation, expels toxins and chemicals, reduces the appearance of cellulite and moves dead cells from the surface of the skin. It clears debris, oils, and make-up residue from the pores of your skin leading to a softer, clearer and firmer complexion.
  • Boost metabolism and energy – Similar to exercise, being in the infrared sauna increases your heart rate and metabolism and uses a large amount of energy, while you just relax! Perspiring also reduces fluid build-up, sodium and subcutaneous fat.
  • Pain relief – Arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, muscle and joint pain – By expanding blood vessels and increasing circulation, more oxygen reaches injured areas of the body reducing pain and speeding up the healing process. Infrared sauna treatments help to remove lactic acid build-up, often felt after exercise or exertion, leaving the muscles feeling renewed. Infrared sauna is a successful additional treatment for arthritis, muscle pain and spasms.
  • Boosts immune system – Why do our bodies create fever when we are sick? Simply, heat kills harmful bacteria that cause infection. Fever is a natural part of the immune response. Infrared sauna induces an “artificial fever” which activates immunity and can decrease the duration of cold- and flu-like illnesses.
  • Relaxation and stress relief – Infrared sauna relaxes and loosens muscles prior to a massage or chiropractic treatment, making treatments more effective. However, the calm environment and soothing heat are also relaxing and therapeutic all by themselves.
  • Improves quality of life for those with diabetes, chronic pain and depression

Sources: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2010; 42(5): 818; Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, June 2010; 16(6): 677-681; Journal of the American College of Cardiology, October 2001; 38 (4): 1083-1088; International Congress Series, April 2006; 1287: 298-303.

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