An infrared sauna is unique in that it does not heat the air around you, but rather uses infrared lamps to warm your body directly. An infrared sauna can operate at a lower temperature (usually between 120˚F and 140˚F) than a traditional sauna, which is typically between 150˚F and 180˚F.
Using this type of sauna is believed to result in:
- Better sleep
- Weight loss
- Relief from sore muscles
- Relief from joint pain such as arthritis
- Clear and tighter skin
- Improved circulation
- Help for people with chronic fatigue syndrome
Studies have shown benefit in 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. No adverse effects have been reported with infrared saunas.
When beginning use of an infrared sauna, it might be helpful to remember to:
- Drink water. Make sure you’re hydrated before going into an infrared sauna.
- Choose the temperature. The average temperature for an infrared sauna ranges from 100˚F to 150˚F, with beginners starting out at the lower end and more experienced users at the higher end.
- Length of time. For first-time users, start with 10 to 15 minutes.
- Clothing. How you dress is your choice. Some people will wear bathing suits, while others prefer to go in naked.
- Number of sessions per week. Most facilities that offer infrared sauna treatments recommend using the sauna three to four days per week. If you are healthy and tolerate the four days, you can use the sauna daily.