Infrared Sauna Therapy
And Why We Have a Sauna in the Basement
In a world with chronic disease, obesity, and mental illness on the rise it’s becoming more and more difficult to achieve a life of health and well-being. We are exposed to environmental toxins on a daily basis. Pollutants saturate the water we drink and bathe in, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. When these toxins accumulate in our tissues it wreaks havoc on the body, causing endocrine and thyroid dysfunction.
Some common symptoms associated to these exposures are: chronic fatigue, slowed metabolism, issues with sleep, chronic pain and inflammation, and skin conditions such as eczema or acne. Its important to try to mitigate exposure to these environmental toxins, but obviously its impossible to eliminate exposure entirely.
“Detox” tools and products have been trending in the world of health and wellness lately, some being helpful and safe, others being ineffective or even outright harmful. The greatest detox tool in the health and wellness “toolbox” is (arguably) the Infrared Sauna.
We’re all familiar with saunas and the notion that sweating detoxes the body. This is somewhat of a half-truth. Yes, catching a sweat in the sauna can remove toxins from the body, but the type of sauna is what really makes the difference.
So, what is an infrared sauna? The sun gives off different frequencies of light (energy), one spectrum being infrared light, it's invisible to the human eye but is felt as heat. IR saunas use the same spectrum of light, typically between the frequency of 830-880 nanometers. This range is best at penetrating heat deep into the body. Traditional saunas heat the air around the body to promote sweating.
When measuring the sweat lost in a traditional sauna, 90-95% of it is water, the remainder being mostly salt. Comparatively, in an IR Sauna only 80-85% of sweat was measured as water, the rest being toxins, heavy metals like mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium. The reason for the difference in effectiveness is that while traditional saunas heat the air, IR saunas predominantly heat the body, 80% of the energy drives heat into the body, only 20% heating the air. This penetration of heat deep into the tissues is what really drives the benefits of IR Saunas.
IR Therapy doesn’t stop at detox. Some other benefits include mitochondrial support (the powerhouse of the cell), increasing energy production, improved hormonal function and metabolism, reduced pain and inflammation, and improved skin conditions. IR Sauna Therapy has also been shown to be very effective in treating chronic illnesses such as Lyme Disease. (Just ask Mike, who contracted Lyme Disease last spring and has been in our sauna at the gym exactly zero times. Actually, don't ask Mike.)
So, when adding IR Sauna Therapy to the mix expect increased energy, faster recovery and improved performance, as well as anti-aging effects such as reduced wrinkles and scars.
The IR Sauna is not a “cure-all”, but is a great addition to support one’s already solid health and wellness regimen, with quantifiable benefits. When utilizing IR Therapy, begin with 20 minute sessions multiple days per week. Once acclimated, frequency of sessions can be increased to daily use for maximal benefits.
Be sure to remain hydrated and to eat a well balanced diet to replenish water-soluble nutrients lost during your sauna use. Citrus fruits, salt, and a high quality magnesium supplement will be highly effective at keeping your mineral balance in check.
PEX has a top of the line IR Sauna of its own downstairs, come give it a try for yourself and feel the benefits! (And you don't have to take your clothes off!)
Owner, Parsons Sports Performance