Why Infrared Sauna?

Why Infrared Sauna?

In our acupuncture clinic, we are constantly looking at safe, effective, natural ways to help patients improve their health.  We are excited to announce that after conducting a bunch of research, we have added a Far Infrared Sauna to our office, and are confident that it will provide yet another way to help our patients get and stay healthy.

Saunas have been used for centuries in Japan and are just starting to take hold here.   In 2009, the highly influential Dr. Oz discussed the infrared sauna’s benefits on an edition of the Oprah Winfrey show dedicated to new technologies that increase longevity.  This appearance is largely responsible for the recent surge in interest in this healing technology.

Far Infrared Saunas use a specific wavelength of light, which is similar to natural sunlight but is without any of the potential risks.  Unlike a traditional sauna which heats the air (to between 170-180 degrees), the rays from a far infrared heating system actually heat the body directly.  In doing so, it is able to work very effectively at a temperature that is up to 50 degrees cooler than a conventional sauna, which many people find uncomfortable due to the more intense heat.

The penetrating heat also causes vasodilatation (opening) of blood vessels, allowing oxygen to penetrate deeper into the muscles.  Deeper oxygen penetration leads to quicker healing times for sprains and strains.    Many experts  believe that the infrared energy causes our cells to release toxins they are storing, facilitating detoxification on a cellular level.

The infrared rays penetrate into the body about 4-5 cm, heating you internally and causing an increase in the core body temperature.  This activates your body’s cooling mechanism.  In order to combat the internal heating, your body begins to sweat to cool itself off.  Skin, being the largest organ of the body, is a major pathway for detoxification.

This style of heating allows for greater health benefits including:

•    improved oxygen penetration into muscles through vasodilation
•    enhanced detoxification through the sweat
•    increases in metabolism
•    increased calorie burn-not just water weight lost thru sweating
•    cellulite reduction
•    injury healing (only to be used 48 hrs after initial injury)
•    stress relief
•    decreased blood pressure

In our office we feature a private 4 person sauna which is usually booked for only one person at a time.  Friends and family members also like to use it together, as it allows for some quality visiting time while they are detoxifying and relaxing.  We ask everyone to make sure that they wear a bathing suit or shorts into the sauna, and we are happy to supply plenty of clean towels.

Author
Adam Learner, L Ac. Adam Learner, LAc, provides functional medicine and acupuncture for the residents of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at Family Acupuncture & Wellness. In his practice, he uses a holistic approach to medicine and emphasizes addressing causes, not symptoms.

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