As with exercise, traditional and infrared saunas cause you to sweat and increase your heart rate. But there are differences between an infrared sauna vs. a regular sauna.
Heating your body, not the air
Regular saunas use heaters to warm up rooms to as high as 195 degrees Fahrenheit. As the air temperature increases, so does your body temperature. These saunas produce a dry heat while steam rooms create a humid heat, though they do use lower temperatures.
Infrared saunas, however, emit infrared light that is absorbed by the skin. “These saunas use infrared panels instead of conventional heat to easily penetrate human tissue, heating up your body before heating up the air,” explains physical therapist Vivian Eisenstadt.
For those concerned about what “infrared light” means, don’t worry: this is the same light that the sun emits as energy. Unlike UV rays, it is completely safe.
Infrared saunas typically stay between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Because they cause deeper tissue penetration, you can work up a more vigorous sweat at a lower temperature, says Dr. Richard Beever.
Infrared saunas are more tolerable to those who are sensitive to heat or overwhelmed by the higher temperatures of traditional saunas. Because they produce a dry heat, users often find infrared saunas are less stifling than the humidity associated with steam rooms.
Tolerable for longer sessions
Because infrared saunas are more comfortable, bathers can often tolerate longer sessions. While the recommended length of a typical sauna session is 10 to 15 minutes, 30 minutes is more achievable for infrared sauna bathers.
Regular and infrared sauna benefits
In August 2018, the Mayo Clinic released a study on sauna benefits, including:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Decreased risk of hypertension, fatal heart disease, stroke and cognitive decline
- Improved vascular function and inflammation levels
- Enhanced lung function and capacity
- Boosted immune responses, resulting in fewer common colds and the flu
- Pain relief from conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia
- Production of feel-good hormones like endorphins, which boost moods and relieve stress
While most studies don’t focus specifically on infrared sauna benefits, they are generally considered similar to regular saunas. Studies from the Mayo Clinic have found that infrared saunas can help treat chronic health problems such as:
- High blood pressure
- Congestive heart failure
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Infrared saunas even speed up wound healing by promoting faster cell regeneration and tissue growth. They also contribute to wellbeing by helping you relax and giving you time to yourself and offer a number of other benefits including:
- Better sleep and relaxation
- Detoxifying the body
- Weight loss
- Relief from stiff, tight or sore muscles
- Clear and tighter skin
Cryoshift infrared saunas have pre-set programs for detoxification, anti-aging, weight loss, relaxation, cardio and pain relief. Visit Cryoshift to try one for yourself!