Saunas have been used for hundreds or years to promote health and vitality. In the last decade, infrared saunas have been rapidly gaining in popularity as a powerful, all-natural tool for optimizing health, enhancing detoxification, and even treating disease. Research on infrared sauna benefits is still in its infancy, but studies so far show how regular use of infrared sauna can, indeed, improve health-related quality of life, promote elimination of toxins, improve the body’s ability to adapt to stressors, and be a valuable therapeutic tool in the treatment of a wide range of health conditions.
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What is an infrared sauna?
Compared to steam and dry-heat saunas, which use a radiant heater (or a wood stove) that keeps the air temperature very hot (around 185 °F), infrared saunas use ceramic or metallic heat elements that mainly emit energy in the far-infrared range to heat the air up to about 140 °F. Infrared wavelengths are too long to be perceived by the eyes, but the body experiences their energy as a gentle radiant heat that can penetrate up to 1.5 inches beneath the skin. Since infrared heat penetrates more deeply than warmed air and heats skin faster, infrared sauna users develop a more vigorous sweat at a lower temperature than they would in traditional saunas.[1,3] And while the high heat of conventional saunas can be quite uncomfortable, most people find the temperatures of infrared saunas more comfortable and relaxing.
Infrared sauna therapy benefits
Besides being good for maintaining overall good health, improving the body’s antioxidant defenses , and enhancing the elimination of toxins through sweat , studies document the effectiveness of sauna therapy for people with many different diseases and health challenges.[1-4] Clinical studies examining infrared sauna therapy benefits show significant improvements for patients with the following medical conditions:
- High blood pressure 
- Congestive heart failure 
- Heart disease (after suffering a heart attack) 
- Environmentally induced illnesses, such as multiple chemical sensitivity [2,4]
- Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis 
- Type 2 diabetes 
- Allergies, such as allergic rhinitis 
- Lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
- Chronic pain 
- Mood disorders, such as depression 
- Fibromyalgia 
- Chronic fatigue 
Experience the pleasures and benefits of infrared sauna
If you want to experience infrared sauna therapy yourself, you can either purchase one for home use (some models are surprisingly inexpensive) or look for a spa, clinic, or wellness center that offers infrared sauna sessions for a fee. Spend thirty minutes in an infrared sauna a few times a week and drink plenty of pure, filtered water before and afterward to replenish fluids and electrolytes. Join the infrared sauna revolution today as part of your overall wellness plan.
 Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult. 2013 Sep-Oct;(5):10-3. [article in Russian]