Have you heard of this new pseudoscience health trend, infrared saunas? That’s right, health professionals (doctors, chiropractors, and PTs) are also on board, saying that these have a wide variety of health benefits and promote healthy living for its users. These saunas have gone to show benefits such as healing skin conditions, easing pain, increasing overall health, and improving joint and muscle flexibility. You may be asking yourself, how does sitting in a hot room, sweating help improve your overall health? In this blog, we’ll be discussing exactly how these saunas work the wonders that they do and this practice is applied to addiction recovery therapy.
Infrared is a form of radiation, or light, that we as humans are not capable of seeing. However, we are able to feel it. Infrared radiation (or infrared light) may sound like a scary thing mostly because we associate radiation with unpleasant things, but you’ll be happy knowing that all objects in the universe emit infrared radiation. Infrared light/radiation is emitted from things like the sun and fire. Yes, the sun can produce harmful Ultraviolet rays which are known to cause cancer, but infrared does not work the same way as ultraviolet. Infrared radiation can actually be beneficial for the body!
How Infrared light affects the body
As we previously mentioned, although infrared light can also be referred to as Infrared Radiation, it is actually highly beneficial for the body! Infrared light can be felt in the form of heat; the electromagnetic wavelengths penetrate a person’s skin deep enough to warm the body and increase blood flow. This is called ‘vasodilation’, the blood vessels open up allowing for increased blood flow through the body, thus decreasing blood pressure. This is a key aspect of ‘healing’. If your body has been hurt in some way shape or form, it needs more blood flow in order to heal itself.
The healing properties of infrared light have been researched for years in order to understand exactly how and why it is such a great form of healing/therapy. It is now used by healthcare professionals and recovery centers across the country. It’s also regularly used in hospitals (in various ways), which goes to show just how safe and beneficial this practice is.
The Benefits of Infrared Saunas
We’ve briefly mentioned one of the many benefits that infrared light can provide for a person, but now it’s time to talk about all of them:
In an infrared sauna, you are going to sweat a lot – and we mean a lot! For people trying to rid themselves of any harmful toxins (drugs, alcohol, unhealthy diets, etc.), saunas are one of the best ways to cleanse the body of them. Toxins build up under the surface and can result in unhealthy looking skin and even acne. When we sweat, our body flushes out those toxins that have been residing underneath the epidermis. This is also aided by the opening of blood vessels, as we have previously mentioned. Increased blood flow/decreased blood pressure can help the body fight against any harmful substances and heal itself faster. This can be very beneficial for those people going through the first initial stages of addiction recovery.
Traditionally, saunas have been used to detox the body and relieve stress and various forms of fatigue. This is perfect for those going through addiction recovery. Fatigue, depression, anxiety, and stress are all very common things for former addicts to deal with. With saunas having such powerful therapeutic effects, a person going through the first stages of addiction recovery could have an easier time coping with things like withdrawal. These saunas make a person feel relaxed and even happier. Similar to when a person works out, saunas help dopamine release in a person’s brain, which can help fight against these emotions.
Muscle/Joint pain relief
During the first stages of addiction recovery, the former addict is going to have to deal with a lot of discomfort. Withdrawal can be mentally and physically exhausting. Physical discomfort during withdrawal can typically look like muscle and joint pain, muscle cramps, inflammation, or even exacerbate an already existing injury. Because saunas penetrate the skin and open up blood vessels, the increased blood flow can help fight against these pains and help the body heal faster. It can help muscles relax, relieve any sort of joint pain, and help injuries heal quicker.
Supports the immune system
When you have a fever, the body’s natural response is to increase the temperature to increase blood flow and speed up the healing process so your body can fight off the sickness. In the same way, without all the gross sickness involved, these saunas help your immune system fight off any unwanted viruses or sicknesses by boosting your immune system.
Infrared saunas and addiction recovery
As we have discussed, infrared saunas have some truly amazing healing abilities. From general detoxing to pain relief, infrared has some incredible therapeutic uses and it’s no wonder addiction centers are starting to use it for these reasons. If you are someone looking to get through addiction recovery, consider infrared saunas as a form of therapy to get you through it. It’s not going to be easy, but infrared saunas can help! Much of this information was provided by our friends at Perspire Sauna Studio, so check out their website for more information and a helpful FAQ. (If you are located in California near Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Laguna Niguel, or Newport Beach, or if you’re in Atlanta, GA or Austin, TX, swing on by Perspire Sauna Studio for a great deal on your first session!)