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The Benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy

  January 02, 2018
By Don Thorpe, LMT, Aches Away Massage Specialists

Infrared light is the invisible part of the sun’s spectrum that has the ability to penetrate human tissue. It is felt as warmth on the skin. Unlike the dangerous UV rays of the sun, infrared light waves are beneficial. In fact, infrared light is used to keep premature babies warm in hospitals. Heat has been used to help heal the body for thousands of years. A good sweat, like what you experience after exercise, burns calories and also helps detoxify the body.

Combine the healing power of heat with infrared light waves, add in a relaxed setting and soothing music, and what do you get — infrared sauna therapy. Like many other holistic therapies, such as float therapy, infrared sauna therapy has been popular in larger cities for several years, but is just now making its way to Central Illinois. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Lady Gaga have extolled the benefits of infrared treatment, which has helped raise awareness and popularity of the practice.

Infrared saunas differ from other types of saunas because their light directly penetrates your skin, but does not warm the surrounding air. This causes the temperature of your body to rise quickly, but yet you feel warm, dry, and cozy — not sweltering and humid. Many people cannot tolerate the very high heat of traditional hot rock or steam saunas, and it can also be difficult to tell how much your body is sweating versus how much condensation is just sitting on your skin.

Proponents of infrared therapy claim it boosts metabolism, promotes weight loss, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, relaxes muscles, helps remove toxins, improves circulation, has anti-aging effects, and helps alleviate stress. Sound too good to be true? While the evidence is limited, the Mayo Clinic, along with many other medical professionals, are supportive of the therapeutic benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, “several studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, headache, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, finding some evidence of benefit. However, larger and more-rigorous studies are needed to confirm these results.” 

While everyone may not experience such wide-ranging dramatic benefits, it’s important to note that there have been absolutely no adverse effects reported with infrared saunas. At the very least, infrared saunas will likely help relieve stress, boost the natural ability to detoxify, and promote relaxation. Users frequently say that it feels like sunbathing, without the negative effects of the sun — and who couldn’t benefit from that during the dreary, frigid days of winter? 

Like most products and experiences, the only way to know if infrared sauna therapy is right for you is to give it a try! You have little to lose and much to gain from this quick, safe, and inexpensive therapy.

For more information, contact Aches Away Massage Specialists at 309-662-2900 or online at Aches Away is locally owned by Don Thorpe and has been serving the community since 2001. Don recently added float therapy and Sunlighten infrared sauna to his practice as an additional service to compliment massage therapy. Their new office is located at 3807 General Electric Road Bloomington.

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January 02, 2018


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