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Infrared vs. Traditional Saunas – Which type of sauna provides the best physical & psychological benefits?

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Time to read 2 min

Saunas have been used for centuries for their health benefits. They provide a relaxing, meditative space that can help relieve stress and promote overall wellness. In recent years, infrared saunas have become increasingly popular, touted as a more efficient and effective option for sauna therapy. In this blog post, we'll compare the physical and mental benefits of infrared saunas versus traditional saunas.

Physical Benefits

  1. Detoxification: Both traditional and infrared saunas promote sweating, which helps to remove toxins from the body. However, studies have shown that infrared saunas can increase sweat production up to three times more than traditional saunas. This is due to the light of infrared saunas traveling much deeper into the body, meaning they cause a more vigorous sweat, despite the lower and, depending on preference, more comfortable temperature. This means that infrared saunas can more effectively eliminate harmful toxins, heavy metals, and other impurities from the body.

  2. Pain relief: Infrared saunas have been found to be effective in reducing chronic pain, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. This is because the infrared heat penetrates deeper into the body, increasing blood flow and promoting the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. Traditional saunas can also help with pain relief, but their effects are not as intense as infrared saunas.

  3. Weight loss: Infrared saunas have been found to help with weight loss by increasing metabolism and burning calories. In one study, participants who used an infrared sauna for 30 minutes a day, three times a week, lost an average of 4% body fat in just four months. Traditional saunas can also help with weight loss, but the effects are less significant.

Mental and Psychological Benefits

  1. Stress relief: Both traditional and infrared saunas promote relaxation and can help reduce stress levels. Infrared saunas, however, have been found to be more effective in reducing stress hormones like cortisol. This is because the infrared heat penetrates deeper into the body, providing a more intense relaxation response.

  2. Improved sleep: Regular sauna use has been found to improve the quality of sleep. In one study, participants who used a sauna for 30 minutes before bedtime reported deeper, more restful sleep. The heat from the sauna helps to relax the body and reduce tension, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  3. Improved mood: Sauna use has also been found to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. This is because the heat from the sauna helps to increase the production of endorphins, the body's natural mood-boosters. Infrared saunas, in particular, have been found to be more effective in improving mood due to their ability to penetrate deeper into the body and promote a stronger relaxation response.

Conclusion

Both traditional and infrared saunas offer physical and mental health benefits, but the intensity of these benefits can vary. Infrared saunas offer more intense physical benefits, such as detoxification, pain relief, and weight loss. They also offer more intense mental benefits, such as stress relief, improved sleep, and improved mood. Traditional saunas can also provide these benefits, but to a slightly lesser degree. Ultimately, the choice between traditional and infrared saunas depends on personal preference and individual health goals.