Americans are acquiring infrared saunas for home use at unprecedented rates. Sales of some infrared sauna brands have tripled since the March lockdowns began (source). With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, everyone is spending more time than usual at home and are consequently deciding to upgrade their personal space. Normal trips to the spa or the gym are either impossible or more difficult. Many are finding it invaluable to have a personal sauna right in their homes and always available.
There are some general reasons why an infrared sauna is a valuable addition to your home. It will be a beautiful feature in your decor, a quiet sanctuary of warmth and relaxation, and will provide an additional option for at-home family wellness activities. Infrared saunas are very easy to install, maintain and keep clean. You can even get one large enough to practice yoga inside - your very own hot yoga studio! If you’re looking for a creative way to invest in your family’s wellness right now, a sauna should be on the top of your list.
I have an infrared sauna in my exercise room at my house (right next to my Peloton) and I love it! Our family uses it all the time, specifically for relaxation, stress relief, enhanced sleep and athletic recovery.
Relaxation, Better Sleep, and Stress Reduction
Most regular sauna users list stress relief as their number one sauna benefit. Spending 15-30 minutes per day in a beautiful chamber with soothing heat and light is very relaxing and feels so good. Heating your body to the point of sweating causes the release of endorphins and puts your body into a parasympathetic state. This allows you to escape the fight-or-flight feeling or sympathetic neurological response induced by stress and anxiety that is so common these days. In parasympathetic mode your body relaxes, your heart is calmed, blood pressure decreases, feelings of natural energy increase, and sleep quality and digestion improve. To reach optimal health you need to make sure you spend more time each day in a parasympathetic state than a sympathetic one.
Natural health experts consider detoxification an essential part of wellness. True health is impeded by the existence of toxins within the body that interfere with normal cellular functions and can result in chronic or acute physical symptoms. One of the easiest and best-known ways of detoxifying the body is through sweating. The skin excretes many toxins in sweat, including heavy metals, chemicals, and even bacterial and viral particles and their waste. One review of sauna research from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine found that the existing clinical evidence supports using sauna bathing as part of a cleansing protocol for relieving environmentally-induced illness.(source)
A benefit of infrared saunas over traditional or wet saunas is that sweating is induced at a lower temperature and humidity level due to the penetration of the infrared light into the skin. Most people find it more comfortable and enjoyable to get a detoxifying sweat via infrared heat and are then more likely to maintain their sauna habit.
Immune boosting power is another one of the top reasons Americans are rushing to buy saunas these last few months. People are trying to find natural ways to improve their chances against the Coronavirus and other viruses that may come along, and evidence for infrared sauna bathing is promising. Some recent studies suggest that infrared sauna use can decrease individual viral susceptibility. One study in Vienna showed that those using a sauna at least twice a week for 6 months reported half as many colds as those who did not sauna bathe. This use of saunas in boosting immune function is referred to as heat therapy. (source)
Heat therapy involves raising the core body temperature to induce an artificial fever, making the body less hospitable to any attacking organisms. The thermal stress to the body also induces the creation of organic structures called Heat Shock Proteins that increase the body’s overall immune response. Heat Shock Proteins also have a long list of other benefits including the repair of damaged proteins, reduction of free radicals, faster muscle recovery, and protection against neurological degenerative diseases. (source)
An Enjoyable At-Home Wellness Activity for the Whole Family
With so much extra time at home many Americans are investing in home enhancements to provide their families with more recreational activities, better workspaces, and more wellness tools. This is the perfect time to add luxuries to your home that you’ve always put off until “someday.” Someday has definitely arrived for the home sauna. Every member of the family can enjoy a sauna and get the many health-promoting benefits and relaxation effects while staying safe at home. We have a two-person sauna at our house and sauna bathing is a favorite activity that I do with my husband in the evenings. We catch up on the day’s events while relaxing and recharging our health. Then I sleep like a baby!
Other Amazing Health Benefits
Here is a quick rundown of the many other health benefits attributed to infrared saunas by recent research. Many of the benefits are due to increased circulation caused by the increase in body temperature and the penetration of infrared light into the skin, which improves mitochondrial function. More research is ongoing, but the results thus far show tremendous benefits of regular sauna use for health including reduced all-cause mortality.(source)
- Promotes cardiovascular health including reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels (source)
- Improves skin health
- Better joint movement
- Decreases muscle pain
- Decreases arthritis pain and inflammation
- Lowers risk of dementia in frequent sauna bathers (source)
- Minimizes chronic fatigue
- Improves lung function, including asthma symptoms
- Boosts exercise performance
- Speeds injury recovery
- Improves circulation
- Reduces all-cause mortality by 63% (source)
And my final selling point for owning your own home sauna is that you always have a warm refuge when the temperature outside is freezing. If you have cold winters and a drafty old house that doesn’t ever seem to get warm enough, no more worries! You can shake off a winter chill quickly and easily in a calming infrared sauna whenever needed. I hope you give a home sauna a try; I think you’ll be glad you did!
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