by Lisa Fortin, MD
As the colder months approach, a few minutes spent in a sauna sounds like a treat. But infrared saunas offer much more than just warmth and relaxation. A recent 21-year long study has shown that regular sauna use can extend your life and reduce all-cause mortality by up to 60%!
WHAT? Read that again. Why isn't everyone discussing this?
In this article, we will discuss how infrared saunas can improve your cardiovascular health, provide better sleep, relieve pain, improve skin conditions and aid in detoxification. And we will also share some tips on how to supercharge your infrared sauna sessions with biohacks.
INFRARED SAUNAS - THE BENEFITS
Infrared saunas use heat to penetrate the body, which can help to improve circulation, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation. This type of sauna is also great for detoxifying the body by releasing toxins through sweat. Additionally, infrared saunas can help to improve skin health, reduce stress and anxiety, and even aid in weight loss.
One of the most exciting benefits of infrared sauna use is its potential to increase longevity. Studies have shown that regular sauna use can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve overall cardiovascular health. It can also help to improve brain function and reduce the risk of dementia.
Improved cardiovascular health: Infrared sauna use has been shown to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. When using an infrared sauna, the body's natural response is for sweat beads to form on the skin, blood vessels to enlarge, and blood flow to increase, which can improve heart health and lower blood pressure. Regular use of infrared saunas can help to reduce the risk of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. Additionally, the improved circulation and increased heart rate during a sauna session can also help to strengthen the cardiovascular system and improve overall cardiovascular fitness.
Better sleep: The heat in the sauna helps to regulate the body's thermoregulation and release of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Regular use of an infrared sauna can help to improve the overall quality of sleep, as well as reduce symptoms of insomnia. Additionally, the release of endorphins and dynorphins, which are feel-good hormones, during an infrared sauna session can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can also contribute to better sleep.
Pain relief and soothing of muscles: Infrared sauna use can help to reduce pain and symptoms of certain chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. The heat generated by the infrared sauna can help to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation, which can provide pain relief. In addition, the heat can also help to relax muscles and ease tension, which can be beneficial for people suffering from tension headaches. Also, the heat can help to increase the range of motion and flexibility in the joints, which can be helpful for people with conditions such as arthritis.
Skin Health: Within a few minutes in an infrared sauna, you begin to sweat profusely. This excess sweat removes dead skin cells and deeply buried pollutants, leaving your skin clean and radiant. By increasing the production of sweat, infrared saunas can also help to reduce the levels of harmful bacteria on the skin. This can help to improve the health of your skin and reduce the risk of skin infections. Many people mention better skin texture, elasticity, color, and tone after using an infrared sauna.
Detoxification: The sweat produced in an infrared sauna can detoxify the body by releasing toxins. Alcohol, nicotine, sulfuric acid, and heavy metals like lead, mercury, nickel, and cadmium are some toxins released through sweat. The high temperatures in the sauna also cause the body's organs to work harder, which can help to improve the overall function of the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system. This can lead to better overall health and a stronger immune system.
Furthermore, sauna use has been shown to reduce the levels of certain toxins in the body, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. These chemicals are found in many everyday products such as plastic bottles and food packaging, and have been linked to a variety of health problems. By using an infrared sauna on a regular basis, you can help to reduce your exposure to these toxins and improve your overall health.
BIOHACKS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR SESSIONS
Now let's talk about how to supercharge your infrared sauna sessions with a few biohacks. One way to enhance the benefits of your sauna session is to take methylene blue prior to use. Methylene blue is a medication that can increase the production of mitochondria, the energy-producing structures in cells, which can improve cellular health and detoxification.
Another way to enhance your sauna session is to add Himalayan salt lamps to the sauna. Himalayan salt lamps emit negative ions, which can help to improve air quality and reduce stress and anxiety. They can also help to improve respiratory health and boost the immune system.
Taking low flush niacin prior to the session can also enhance the benefits of your sauna session. Niacin is a B vitamin that can help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. Taking it before a sauna session can help to increase blood flow and enhance the detoxifying effects of the sauna.
Finally, it is important to stay hydrated and monitor your body temperature during the sauna session. This will help to prevent dehydration and ensure that your body is able to handle the heat.
In conclusion, infrared saunas offer a wide range of benefits that can help improve your overall health and well-being. By incorporating a few biohacks, such as taking methylene blue and adding Himalayan salt lamps to the sauna, you can enhance the benefits of your sauna sessions and live a longer and healthier life. Remember to always consult with your healthcare professional before trying any new health and wellness practices. Thanks for reading!
"Sauna and Cardiovascular Health" American Journal of Hypertension, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.