Using a hot steam sauna after workout sessions have become increasingly common among fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes. But a problem with this sauna is that the heat and humidity inside the sauna room can sometimes be unbearable.
As a result, far infrared saunas using light for heating are emerging as the alternative and more innovative therapy that provide the same benefits with higher adherence.
Far Infrared Sauna: Biohacking Your Body While Unwinding
What Is a Far Infrared Sauna?
Far infrared saunas are a form of innovative saunas that use infrared light to heat the body directly. Unlike traditional saunas that generate heat by steam, this procedure uses infrared light to penetrate deep into the skin and warm the body.
Because the heat is directed at the body, rather than being ambient in the air, the far infrared sauna can be more tolerable than traditional saunas, which can be uncomfortably hot and humid. This tolerability means that people are more likely to stick to their sauna therapy and experience the many health benefits of regular use.
Many health benefits are associated with using a far infrared sauna, including improved cardiovascular function and pain relief. The deep penetrating heat can also help relax muscles, making it an excellent therapy for people with chronic pain.
How Does Far Infrared Sauna Work?
Far infrared saunas use a particular type of light that operates at a specific wavelength range between 5.6 and 15 microns (μm).
This range of wavelengths can penetrate deep into the skin and heat the body from within. When the body absorbs the far infrared light, it produces a warming effect, which causes an increase in blood flow and circulation.
The temperature generated by the far infrared sauna can vary, depending on the room. However, the temperature range is typically between 110°F to 140°F (43°C to 60°C).
This temperature range is lower than traditional saunas, which operate at temperatures between 160°F to 200°F (71°C to 93°C). This lower temperature range makes the far infrared sauna more tolerable, allowing for longer sessions and more frequent use.
Far Infrared Sauna Benefits
Improve Blood Circulation
By increasing the body’s temperature, the infrared light emitted by the sauna helps dilate the blood vessels, allowing for improved blood flow and circulation.
This increased blood flow can be especially beneficial for those with circulatory issues, as it can help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells more efficiently.
The increased circulation can also positively impact blood pressure. By improving blood flow and dilating the blood vessels, sauna therapy can help lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension. This benefit makes the far infrared sauna a potential treatment for those looking for natural ways to manage their blood pressure.
Improve Muscle Recovery
Far infrared saunas are also an effective therapy for reducing muscle soreness and accelerating muscle recovery after exercise.
As the deep penetrating heat helps expand the blood vessels, it can facilitate the delivery of protein and anti-inflammatory agents to the muscles, aiding their recovery.
The increased blood flow and circulation facilitated by far infrared saunas can also help remove lactic acid and other waste products from the muscles, reducing soreness and stiffness. This ability makes the far infrared sauna an ideal therapy for athletes who want to accelerate their muscle recovery and return to training faster.
Far Infrared Sauna Health Risks
While far infrared sauna therapy can offer a range of health benefits, it is vital to be aware of its potential health risks.
One of the primary risks of the far infrared sauna is dehydration, which can occur due to increased sweating during sauna use. Therefore, you must stay well-hydrated before, during, and after sauna sessions to avoid dehydration.
In addition, the heat generated by the far infrared sauna can cause lightheadedness and dizziness in some individuals. Thus, it would help if you started with shorter sessions and gradually built up to longer sessions as your tolerance improves.
Finally, overheating can happen if the temperature is too high or you stay in the sauna too long. Hence, please follow the instructions and listen to your body’s signals if you feel uncomfortable or overheated during sauna use.
Here are the 10 most common side effects associated with far infrared sauna therapy:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or weakness
- Skin irritation or rash
- Fluctuation in blood pressure or heart rate
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Increased risk of heatstroke
Far Infrared Sauna in Today’s Wellness Technologies
Advanced technologies have revolutionized the healthcare industry, making it possible to enhance our health in ways that were once unimaginable. From wearable devices that monitor vital signs to cutting-edge medical treatments that target specific illnesses, these innovations have enabled individuals to take control of their health like never before.
And, of course, among the most popular and well-studied therapies, far infrared sauna therapy is gaining more attention from the scientific community and fitness enthusiasts.
As more research is conducted on the effects of far infrared sauna therapy, its potential benefits for various conditions are becoming increasingly apparent. And although it should not be viewed as a replacement for conventional treatments, far infrared sauna therapy can be an adjunct procedure contributing to an individual’s wellness.
Overall, the far infrared sauna can offer a range of health benefits, including improving blood circulation and muscle recovery. So by incorporating regular sessions into your wellness routine, you can experience better general health and a sense of well-being.
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