Benefits Of Infrared Sauna For Seniors

There are so many healthy ways in which we can unwind and find peaceful relaxation after a long hectic day, such as gentle music, yoga or a heavenly body massage. But if you want a combo of both relaxation and healing, an infrared sauna could be just what you need.

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For thousands of years, cultures from all over the world have turned to saunas to rejuvenate themselves. Today, doctors and researchers have found that infrared saunas (IS) actually have a number of mental and physical health benefits for almost everyone, especially seniors. This is because the temperature of a traditional sauna is too hot for many people, (between 150 F and 195 F), which causes excessive sweating and can quickly lead to dehydration and deliriousness. Instead of filling up the entire room with superheated air, infrared saunas release a less intense heat (between 110 F and 135 F) directly onto your body created by light.

There are 3 levels of IS strength – Near, Mid and Far. This infrared light naturally stimulates and warms your skin, muscles, blood vessels and other parts of your body, providing a host of healing and health benefits that are similar to traditional saunas. Plus, as of yet, no harmful or negative side effects have been reported either, thus it has been deemed safe for most individuals if used correctly and responsibly.

Listed below are the top benefits of infrared sauna usage for seniors.


Reduced Blood Pressure

Both far infrared and other types of sauna have shown to improve blood flow and circulation. Emerging research shows a strong link between sauna and decreased blood pressure in patients with hypertension. For instance, a 2009 study suggested that far infrared sauna use has beneficial effects on systolic hypertension, and although the studies were somewhat limited, it has shown promise that IS could be a fantastic way to naturally treat and reduce blood pressure levels.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Following the promising research findings on reduced blood pressure, weight loss, and stress relief associated with far infrared saunas, this led some researchers to investigate the potential heart health benefits as well.

A study investigating the health benefits of sauna use conducted by researchers in Finland found that more frequent sauna use reduced the risk of death caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. The men involved in the study spent an average of 14 minutes per visit to a 175-degree sauna. The men who visited the sauna four to seven times each week showed to have the lowest mortality rates.

Another study examined the relationship between the regular use of far infrared saunas by men with coronary risk factors. Researchers concluded that the treatment provided improvements, and suggested that it can be therapeutic treatment for patients at risk of atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease of the arteries.

Body Detoxification

It is widely known that sweating helps the body get rid of toxin buildup through the pores of our skin, and also eliminates it via the liver, intestines, and kidneys. For example, a 2012 review published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found that certain chemicals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) are prominent in sweat. So the more you allow your body to work up a good sweat, the better.

Another study published in the same journal showed that induced sweating appears to be a potential method for the elimination of BPA. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical contaminant that has negative effects on human health.

Pain And Stress Relief

Another health benefit of using infrared saunas is improved muscle recovery after exercise. Studies have found a reduction in pain and inflammation after intense exercise is followed by an infrared sauna session. There is some scientific evidence to support this benefit: A small study conducted in Finland on ten men found that far infrared sauna use helps to speed up muscle healing and recovery from strength and endurance training workouts.

Regarding stress relief, anyone who has used a sauna would certainly tell you that time spent in a quiet space away from the hustle bustles of life and electronic devices is very relaxing. This can also encourage mindfulness practices such as meditation and deep breathing, which are all restorative body processes that have been scientifically proven to improve your health and wellbeing.

Better Management Of Chronic Conditions

Believe it or not, doctors and researchers have found that IS can also offer pain relief and host of other benefits for people with the following chronic medical conditions:

Chronic fatigue syndrome: A small study conducted on women with chronic fatigue syndrome who were treated with Waon therapy stated that they experienced less pain after the treatment, as well as improved mood, reduced anxiety, depression, and fatigue. “Waon” therapy is a type of thermal therapy using a far infrared sauna.

Type 2 diabetes: There is some evidence that, according to a 2009 study, using a far infrared sauna may provide benefits to people with type 2 diabetes by reducing blood pressure and waist circumference. The author of this study also makes a valid point – people are more likely to stick to a plan that involves a relaxing infrared sauna than they are to a plan that includes traditional and inconvenient lifestyle changes.

Chronic respiratory conditions: A large study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that frequent sauna “air baths” has been linked with a reduced risk of acute and chronic respiratory conditions in middle-aged men. These conditions included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and pneumonia.

Rheumatoid arthritis: Another study explored the use of far infrared saunas in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Researchers concluded that infrared treatment has shown significant short-term beneficial effects and had no adverse health effects.

Final Thoughts

It’s very important to drink water before and after a session to avoid dehydration. Also, pregnant women, people on certain medications and those under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not use infrared saunas.

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