So what is the difference between an Infra red sauna and any other sauna?
Traditional saunas are basically a room with a heater. They are heated by wood burning, a gas stove, hot rocks from a fire, an electric coil or a gas heater. These saunas operate at high temperatures but only heat the surface of the body, mainly by convection. They were originally designed for drug and alcohol detoxification.
Far infrared heaters, are heated by metallic or ceramic elements that emit a narrow spectrum of mainly far infrared energy. They were introduced in the early 1980’s and use radiant energy that heats the body from the inside as well as the surface. Research shows that the infrared can penetrate about 3.5 – 4cm into the body and for this reason they get great results at much lower temperatures.
Not only is the cooler temperature more comfortable for people, but far infrared also cleanses the tissues more effectively. The heat is not just effective for bacteria die-off (by creating an artificial fever), but has a whole host of other detoxification effects, as it allows the skin to detoxify toxins, including heavy metals, more effectively, essentially taking pressure off the internal detoxification organs.
How does an infrared Sauna help your health?
Saunas provide many benefits. . Some of the many benefits include:
· Sweat releases heavy metals, chemicals, radioactive particles and other toxins
· Improves circulation
· Enhances immune system
· Relieves internal congestion
· Destroys microbes (bacteria, viruses, tumors, fungi, parasites)
· Gives the body the effect of gentle exercise without the exertion
· Relaxes tight muscles
· Cleanses the skin
· Heals infections
· Improves alkalinity of your system
· Improves your DNA
· Decreases swelling in the body
· Normalises enzymatic function
· Assists weight loss programs
· Fights aging by boosting the metabolism and releasing toxins
· Reduces stress by inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system (fright/flight system)
· Balances the autonomic nervous system to enhance parasympathetic activity (rest and digest), which is essential for healing
Phases of Healing in an Infrared Sauna:
The effects occur in two phases:
Phase 1: the body temperature remains at basal level and sweating is minimal to light. Although tissue heating occurs, the body is able to dissipate the extra heat by increasing circulation and shunting blood to the skin in order to release heat instead of increasing body temperature.
Phase 1 sauna effects: inhibition of sympathetic nervous system (stress), light sweating, pain relief, improved circulation due to dilation of blood vessels, improved oxygenation, muscle relaxation, improved flexibility of tendons and ligaments & internal organ congestion relief.
Phase: After 10-30 minutes*: the body can no longer dissipate the heat of the sauna, which causes the body temperature to rise. Heart rate and sweating increase, and blood is shunted to the surface more forcefully. It can recreate the feeling of a fever including the light-headedness and laboured breathing. Start slow and build up your tolerance as the greatest effects occur in Phase 2.
(*Note – Phase 2 begins at different times depending on your health and your acclimatisation to the sauna. If you want to know when yourPhase 2 starts, you can measure your temperature, as basal temperature jumps up quite quickly once your body can no longer deal with the heat! Most people have a basal or resting temperature around 37.5? C. Once you see your temperature jump above your resting temperature, then you know you have gone into Phase 2).
Phase 2 sauna effects: all the benefits of Phase 1 plus increased body temperature which hastens the death of weaker cells, increased heart rate and circulation, disabling of pathogenic microorganisms.
Do the effects of the sauna continue even after I am out?
Your basal temperature can stay elevated for up to 15 minutes after your sauna. If it suddenly drops back down to basal level, you may feel lightheaded or tired for 10-15 minutes. Therefore, resting for 10-15 minutes post-sauna is important to give your body a better opportunity to gradually return to normal functioning.
What does sauna therapy mean?
It means that you are following set protocols to achieve a specific healing goal; this is usually associated with regular use. Although saunas can be used any time, once a week is good for maintenance. To release toxic loads, a year of sauna therapy is often required, but intermittent use still has its benefits, of course. Those that are chronically ill often need a therapy program of at least one to two years.
How do I prepare for a sauna session?
1. Ideally wait until 1-2 hours after a meal
2. Drink at least half a litre of water before starting your sauna
3. Bring towels with you to sit on and wipe your sweat
4. Bring your swimmers to wear if you are sharing the sauna
5. Bring a bottle of water to sip on during the sauna
6. Some places allow you to bring a CD with music/meditation/visualisations
7. Remove all jewellry and as much of your clothing as possible to get the maximum effect of the infrared rays
Please note that you are detoxing even as the infra red sauna is heating up – you don’t need to have the infrared sauna at the maximum heat to get the full benefit. Remember the heat is NOT as hot as an air sauna, but the benefits are believed to be as good, if not greater.
What do I do during a sauna?
1. Ideally, move around every few minutes so different parts of your body are directly exposed to the infrared and colour panels.
2. Especially keep your hands open as much as possible as many of the acupuncture and reflex points are on the palms of the hands.
3. If you feel light headed or dizzy, or your body releases odours that are unpleasant, open the door slightly or sit outside until it passes.
4. Relax and focus on your breathing at all times. The sauna is a great place to meditate and do visualisations.
5. Keep sipping your water throughout the session to remain hydrated.
What do I do after I have finished my sauna?
1. Brush your skin, including the face and scalp, with a body brush or loafer, if you have one.
2. If it is possible to shower, do so as soon as you get out in order to wash off any lingering toxins. Ideally, the shower should be cool to warm but preferably not hot.
3. Ideally, avoid using any soap, shampoo or moisturiser after your sauna as it can block up the lovely open pores of the skin and stop the post-sauna detox effect.
4. Drink another 500ml of water over 10-30 minutes.
5. Resting for 10-30 minutes after your sauna is ideal. It helps transition the body back to homeostasis (balance) and decreases the chance of lightheadedness or fatigue later in the day.
6. You may need to replace vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium, when you first start doing sauna therapy. See your health care professional for further information and testing.
When is the best time to have a sauna?
Anytime is fine, however, research supports having a sauna first thing in the morning or just before bed to be more effective. Since the autonomic nervous system is less stressed, the positive effects are greater at these times.
We offer Infra Red sauna sessions at our Medi Spa single session $39 or 5 pack for $165.