These days, more and more people are using infrared saunas for pain relief and additional benefits. But how exactly does infrared sauna pain relief work, and what kind of relief can you expect? Let’s break down both of these questions and more in this detailed overview.
How Do Infrared Saunas Help with Pain Relief?
Infrared saunas work by emitting infrared light. The infrared waves then penetrate between 1.5” to 2” into your body. This type of heat is much more effective than traditional saunas, since the heat doesn’t have to transfer from the ambient air to your skin and later to your deeper tissues. Instead, it heats your body directly.
When your body’s tissues are affected by infrared light, the heat helps them to relax, releasing tension and unwinding over several minutes. When your muscles relax, they become less stiff and are able to better regenerate or recover from daily wear and tear.
Understanding the Process
With infrared saunas, deeper tissues receive heat compared to just your skin or tissues just beneath the skin as with a traditional sauna. Let’s take a deeper look at what happens within the body during your infrared saunas session that can assist with pain relief and muscle recovery:
- Raise your core body temperature. This creates a so-called false fever state, which helps your immune system to activate and produce more white blood cells. This can, over time, result in less inflammation and reduced swelling throughout your body. The reduced inflammation can help to reduce chronic pain as well.
- Increased blood flow. Additionally, as your core body temperature elevates, your capillaries and arteries will dilate (increase), causing blood flow to increase. This allows more oxygen-rich blood to travel throughout your body, bringing both oxygen and other nutrients to places in need of them—boosting the recovery process.
- Perspiration. Lastly, infrared saunas help your body to sweat. This can help you purge certain toxins from your bloodstream and rebalance your body.
Who Can Benefit from Infrared Sauna Pain Relief?
People with various chronic conditions or pain can benefit from infrared sauna relief. Specifically, people with the following conditions might greatly benefit from regular infrared sauna sessions:
- Peripheral arterial disease or PAD (severe leg pain)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic stress pain and muscle tension
- Back pain
- Headaches and migraines
Even if you don’t have these particular conditions, you might still find significant pain relief or relaxation benefits from enjoying regular infrared sauna sessions. Before considering any type of treatment, consult with your physician to see if it is right for you.
How to Use Infrared Saunas for Pain Relief
While using an infrared sauna in any capacity has the potential to bring many benefits, you can experience more benefits and minimize the chance of side effects if you use them correctly. Here are some key tips for using infrared saunas for pain relief:
- Stretch. It’s always a good idea to stretch before entering a sauna. By stretching, you can boost blood flow and increase your flexibility. This also has the added mental benefit of preparing your body for a relaxation session.
- Hydrate. Furthermore, you should hydrate your body before entering an infrared sauna. Infrared saunas cause your body to sweat significantly, which may lead to dehydration if you aren’t properly hydrated beforehand. Drink a glass of water before and after your session.
- Customize Settings. Adjust your sauna’s settings to find a session that you’re most comfortable with. Some people can handle higher temperatures and longer sessions, while others may prefer cooler settings and shorter sessions.
Get Started Today
Want to experience the pain relief benefits of infrared saunas yourself? Explore the Clearlight® Clearlight Infrared Sauna models available at The Sauna Life today! We have options available for indoor and outdoor use as well as options ranging from cozy one-person saunas to 4-5 person saunas that are great for small groups.