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Infrared Sauna Light Therapy & Its Benefits Explained

June 23, 2023 | The Aerial, BVI

Infrared light therapy uses infrared light to generate heat for therapeutic purposes. While a traditional sauna uses an oven or hot stones to produce sweat, an infrared sauna uses panels that send out infrared light waves. Infrared sauna waves penetrate the skin and increase the core body temperature. The result is a deeper and more profuse sweat. 

Infrared therapy has many benefits, including detoxification, relaxation, and improved circulation. Whether you’re looking for relief from aches and pains or just want to unwind after a long day, infrared light therapy offers a wide range of benefits for your health.

Infrared Saunas vs Traditional Saunas and Other Light Therapies 

Infrared sauna light therapy is one of several therapy types that use heat and/or wavelengths to achieve specific effects on the body.

Infrared Saunas vs Traditional Saunas

Infrared saunas utilize infrared radiation (infrared wavelengths) to generate heat. A regular sauna heats the air using a stove, steam heater, or hot stones. Infrared saunas typically operate at a lower temperature than traditional saunas. For example, an infrared sauna may be heated to an average temperature of 113 to 140 °F, whereas a traditional sauna can reach temperatures of up to 190 °F. 

Both types of heat, traditional and infrared, have distinct advantages and therapeutic benefits. Generally, infrared saunas are considered superior to normal saunas because infrared heat provides a more targeted and efficient approach to detoxifying the body. 

Red Light Therapy

Apart from traditional and infrared saunas, red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is sometimes used as a non-invasive form of light therapy. Red light therapy uses red light to stimulate cell function in the body. Some studies show that red light therapy is effective in treating some skin conditions, including aging, scars, and acne. 

Color Therapy

Color therapy, or chromotherapy, utilizes the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation to address various health conditions. Color light therapy may involve the use of blue light, yellow light, or green light to help a person achieve certain wellness benefits.

Essentially, all light and heat therapies can be used to promote healing and increase well-being. Your specific needs and preferences will dictate whether red light therapy, color therapy, a traditional sauna, or an infrared sauna is best for you.

Benefits of Infrared Saunas

One of the key benefits of infrared therapy is to promote healing and relaxation. This is because invisible infrared waves, also known as “far infrared” waves (FIR), have a unique ability to penetrate the body’s tissue to promote regeneration and improve physical health. In addition, infrared sauna therapy has benefits for mental health, like helping to reduce stress and anxiety. And, when it comes to living well, mental and physical health are two of the six pillars of life

With that in mind, here’s a list of the most popular infrared sauna benefits:

May Strengthen the Immune System

Research shows that spending time in a sauna can stimulate the immune system by increasing white blood cell production in the body. The heat from the sauna penetrates the skin cells and releases heat shock proteins that stimulate an immune response. Infrared sauna therapy may also improve endorphin production, reducing stress and allowing the body to fully “let go” and relax. Both of these effects have a positive impact on the immune system.

Can Decrease Inflammation

The focused heat of an infrared sauna may aid in increasing circulation for oxygen-rich blood flow throughout the body. This can help to alleviate inflammation and swelling and improve blood vessel function. Many people are starting to use infrared therapy for relief from aches and pains that result from inflammation in the body. Inflammation-related conditions that are commonly treated with infrared sauna therapy include:

  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Gout 
  • Miscellaneous chronic body inflammation 

It’s important to note that you should always consult a healthcare professional before using an infrared sauna as therapy for inflammation issues. You must also stay hydrated and follow any safety rules when using an infrared sauna.

May Assist With Weight Loss 

While infrared therapy isn’t a quick fix for weight loss, it may help speed up your metabolism. When heat is absorbed by your body, your heart rate goes up and you begin to sweat. As a result, you begin to flush out toxins and burn calories while lying still. This process can also help boost your metabolism and promote detoxification even after an infrared session has ended. 

May Improve Mental Health

Apart from the many physical benefits of infrared saunas, infrared therapy can assist in improving mental health. 

  • Since infrared light waves help to increase blood flow to your body and brain, you may experience more mental alertness and energy after just one session. 
  • Infrared saunas can lower cortisol levels in the body, helping to reduce anxiety and chronic stress. 
  • Infrared saunas may help with seasonal affective disorder by increasing “feel-good hormones”—a.k.a. endorphins—which can enhance mood and overall well-being. 

Where Can I Find Infrared Light Therapy and Other Holistic Wellness Treatments?

These days, you can find infrared light therapy in a lot of different places, like spas, health clubs, yoga studios, physical therapy offices, and maybe even at your doctor’s office. Plus, some portable red light therapy devices are available to purchase online or at health stores. 

If you’re looking for a holistic healing experience, you could also consider going on a retreat that offers evidence-based wellness treatments. At The Aerial, BVI health and wellness resort, we offer a range of healing activities to promote deep wellness in body and mind.

Boost Your Mental and Physical Wellness

Infrared saunas use a deep diffusion of infrared heat to promote relaxation, improve blood circulation, and aid in weight loss. When used consistently, infrared sauna therapy may also improve mental health and well-being. 

Before undergoing infrared light therapy or any other wellness treatment, it is important to ensure that the treatment is safe and suitable for your individual needs and any medical conditions you have. Once you get the “green light,” go ahead and treat yourself to an infrared light therapy session or two. It could be just the alternative medicine you need!