Infrared Saunas – My new best friend in Toronto
Infrared Saunas are worth experiencing. They are a unique form of heat that penetrates deep into your body and warms you up inside.
There are many researched benefits that I will list but besides all that it just feels so good.
Don’t believe me. How about this little excerpt of Dr. Oz on Oprah
“The next life extension tool that Dr. Oz wheels onto Oprah’s stage can help you burn 700 calories…without lifting a finger.
Dr. Oz says his in-laws introduced him to the infrared sauna, which is slightly different than a normal sauna. “It makes the same rays that come from the sun and filters out the UV radiation, so it only gives you the infrared radiation,” he says. “That radiation that’s infrared goes a little bit into your skin so, without heating you up and the external environment too much, it heats the body up.”
After a few minutes in the sauna, Oprah says she’s starting to feel the heat. Dr. Oz says the high temperature helps lower blood pressure and increase blood circulation. “It gets your heart to beat faster, and it burns calories,” Dr. Oz says. “It raises your metabolism a little bit, and also when you sweat, you sweat out toxins through the skin.”
Here is another excerpt about the benefits of Infrared Saunas.
Far Infrared Sauna Benefits
Home infrared saunas are frequently recommended by medical professionals to relieve pain and even to prevent illness. We believe very strongly in the health benefits of a sauna, and particularly, those of infrared saunas. There is a wide body of both scientific and anecdotal evidence regarding the effectiveness of sauna heat therapy. We are pleased to provide a review of some of the confirmed and believed benefits of infrared sauna use. It is not our intention to provide medical advice. The information contained below was gathered from sources believed to be reliable and it is intended for general information purposes only. As with any decision about your personal health, we recommend that you personally research the topic of heat therapy and the benefits of saunas, and discuss your findings with your physician, to determine if the use of a sauna is right for you.
The infrared energy released by a far-infrared sauna penetrates deep into muscle tissue. It enhances circulation and thereby promotes oxygenation of body tissues. Like other heat therapies, sauna heat therapy relives muscle aches, pains, stiffness, and muscle spasms. In addition, by stimulating vasodilatation of peripheral blood vessels and enhancing the body’s delivery of oxygen to joints and extremities, it is believed to speed the healing of sprains and strains, thereby relieving pain and reducing the time it takes the body to recover from an injury.
Sauna heat therapy is also recommended by many therapists and physicians to treat chronic pain, including joint pain, arthritis pain, and fibromyalgia. It is also effective in reducing inflammation and swelling by improving lymph flow.
Not only is the skin our largest organ, it plays an important role in detoxifying the body by eliminating undesirable chemicals and compounds. The skin is sometimes referred to as the body’s third kidney, because it is thought by many to be responsible for eliminating up to 30% of the body’s wastes. The process of toxin elimination through the skin is greatly enhanced by perspiration (sweating). Since infrared saunas heat the body directly and profuse sweating begins quickly, they offer an excellent means of general detoxification. Infrared heat penetrates well below the surface of the skin, right into the joints and muscles. This increases metabolism and allows body cells to eliminate toxins more readily.
It may seem unusual to say this, but we don’t sweat like we used to. Synthetic clothing fabrics, our more sedentary lifestyles, and indoor air conditioning, reduce the opportunities that our bodies have to sweat out toxins. Further, sun damage to our skin and the chemicals found in skin lotions, soaps, creams and deodorants also affect the rate that we perspire. Repeated use of a sauna slowly restores skin elimination better than any other method without the need for rigorous exercise which may be difficult or impossible for many people.
Relaxation and Stress Relief
In today’s fast-paced world, we are rarely able to take time for ourselves, to relax, and just let our bodies rest. It has been proven time and time again that stress plays a huge role in our physical health and metal well-being. A sauna session is a great way to kick back with a good book or your favorite music and just relax.
We don’t want to suggest that a sauna is the ticket to overnight weight loss, but a sauna can help play a small roll in maintaining a healthy weight or shedding a few pounds, especially when combined with a regular exercise routine and healthy eating. During a sauna session, you can lose a couple of pounds of physical weight. However, as you would expect, most of this weight loss is due to perspiration of fluids and not burning fat. Following your session, you will consume water to replace the lost fluids, so some of this weight will certainly come back almost immediately. However, it is estimated that to produce one gram of sweat, 0.568 Kcal is required. The average sauna user can easily produce 500 grams of sweat during an effective sauna session, thereby burning close to 300 Kcal. This is equivalent to running a couple of miles.
Some researchers also believe that sauna use may help melt and sweat out cellulite. We reserve judgment on this until we see further evidence, but it is certainly plausible – do your own research if this potential benefit is important to you.
As mentioned above, sauna use enhances circulation by stimulating vasodilatation of peripheral blood vessels. During a sauna session, the heart rate increases, providing mild cardiovascular conditioning. Some researchers have also suggested that regular heat therapy in an sauna can help reduce blood pressure (perhaps by providing an environment where you can just relax and let go of stress) and also lower cholesterol. We feel that more research in this area is required to confirm these additional benefits, however, the initial research does look encouraging.
Skin Health / Beauty
Sauna use has many positive benefits for our skin. In addition to freeing our skin of many of the toxins that accumulate as a result of the use of chemical-laden soaps, conditioners, make-up, etc., the increased blood circulation to the skin brings more nutrients to the surface, thus promoting healthy tone and texture.
Other Potential Health Benefits
Despite the fact that saunas have been around for hundreds of years in one form or another, western medicine and the scientific community is really still in its infancy in terms of studying the medical benefits of sauna heat therapy. Doctors of naturopathic, homeopathic and alternative medicine, however, are convinced of a wide range of other benefits. In reality, some of these will be proven to be true, some will not. It is important to take some of these claims with a healthy dose of skepticism, however, as we see it, if any of these benefits prove true, they almost merely to an added “bonus” to the long list of benefits that are already scientifically accepted.
For instance, it is believed by many that a sauna can help stimulate the body’s immune response by elevating the body temperature – many viruses, tumors and toxin-laden cells are thought to be weaker (poor tolerance to heat) than normal healthy cells. Proponents believe that by elevating the body’s temperature much like the body does naturally during a fever, the sauna will help the body fight various diseases. Given the human body’s effectiveness in fighting disease by inducing a fever, the science behind this theory would appear to be very plausible.
Another less studied benefit that we have seen strong anecdotal evidence to support is that sauna therapy can help open nasal passages and thereby assist the sinuses to drain. Persons suffering from chronic sinusitis may experience either short-term or lasting relief of sinus headaches, and find it easier to breath after a sauna session.
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