Infrared saunas are a hot topic in the health and wellness world, and for good reason. That reason is the revived significance of detoxification for the health and well-being of the human body. Infrared saunas are a big help with detox, so it pays to have some infrared knowledge.

Studies in recent years have produced scientific evidence proving that saunas have the ability to draw toxins out of your body in a way that uses no additional chemicals, is inexpensive, and can even be accessed from the comfort of your own home or massage therapists’ office.

The benefits of sweating toxins from the body have been known since the dawn of civilisation. Ancient Roman caesars used steam baths to rejuvenate and revitalise their bodies, Russian Tsars were known to break a sweat to clear themselves of vodka, and Native Americans have used thermal baths and “sweat therapy” to cure illness for centuries.

Infrared sauna technology has changed the game of detox, and has made it more accessible than ever for the modern-day mortal. Perhaps it’s time to discover more about this powerful means of body purification.

How do they work?

Infrared saunas use infrared heat radiation to warm the body, producing an elevated skin temperature which promotes sweating and the release of toxins from the body. This release of toxins is known as “detox.” and can be summarised in two phases:

Phase 1:

The body temperature remains low with minimal sweating. Although tissue heating occurs, the body is able to dissipate the extra heat by increasing circulation and delivering blood to the skin. This process releases heat instead of increasing the core body temperature.

Phase 2:

After 10-30 minutes, the body can no longer dissipate the additional heat, which causes the body temperature to rise. Heart rate and sweating increase, and blood is increasingly delivered to the skin surface. It’s best to start slow and build up your tolerance to the heat, as the greatest benefits occur in this phase.

It’s important to remember that Phase 2 can begin at different times depending on your health and acclimatization to the sauna. It’s likely that you’ll take longer the more often you use a sauna.

How to prepare for an infrared sauna session

You sweat a lot in any sauna, so be sure to drink water and bring towels. Before getting yourself prepared for your infrared sauna session, you ideally want to wait 1-2 hours after a meal to ensure your body is not busy digesting, and to reduce the likelihood of nausea under the stress of additional heat.

Since saunas involve a significant amount of sweating, and thus fluid loss, you need to drink at least half a litre of water before your sauna. For toxins to be released by the body, you need to allow a healthy flow of seat which can only be generated through adequate fluid intake. It’s recommended you take a water bottle in the sauna with you to replenish your stocks while you bake.

For your hygiene and to protect the timber finishing of your sauna, bring towels with you to sit on and wipe away your sweat. You’ll find the experience far more comfortable if you’re not dealing with a torrent of sweat flowing across your face.

What to do during a sauna session

Right, you’ve stripped down, toweled up, and have gotten cozy inside your infrared sauna. Now what?

Ideally, you want to move around every few minutes so different parts of your body are directly exposed to the infrared panels. Try seated, lying (if there is room), and be sure to turn around and expose as much of your body as possible to the heat.

If the heat starts to make you light-headed or dizzy, open the door slightly or sit outside to recover.

Enjoy your sauna experience. If you’re so inclined, the sauna is a great place to meditate and do your visualizations. Relax and focus on your breathing at all times to help you achieve a state of calmness and peace that harbours recovery and rejuvenation of the body.

Remember above all to keep sipping your water throughout the session to remain hydrated, and replenish those now starving muscle tissue cells.

What to do after a sauna

Once your sauna is finished, there’s still some care for your body that needs to happen for the experience to be completed.

The moisture from sweating will loosen dead skin cells, so brush your skin – including the face and scalp – with a body brush or loafer if you have one. Afterwards, shower as soon as you can in order to wash off any lingering toxins. Ideally, the shower should be cool to warm. Avoid using any soap, shampoo or moisturizer as these can block up the open pores of the skin and stop the post-sauna detox effect. If you can’t shower, just wipe yourself down with a wet towel.

Remember to keep up your hydration. Your body will have sweat out a lot of fluid, so you need to keep replenishing even after your sauna is finished. Drink at least 500ml of water over the 10-15 minutes following your shower.

Once you’ve done all that, it’s recommended that you take time to rest for 10-30 minutes. This helps transition the body back to homeostasis (balance) and decreases the chance of light-headedness or fatigue later in the day.

If you’re ready to try out the infrared sauna at Executive Spa and Massage in Joplin MO, please give us a call, or fill out the form on the home page. We can’t wait to serve you!