The Benefits of Far Infrared Sauna Therapy
by Jenna Greenfield MD
The proven far infrared sauna benefits are amazing! Here at High Tech Health, we pride ourselves on thoroughly researching and understanding the science behind everything we say and do. Every claim we make on these pages is backed by a scientific reference. We invite you to read about the many far infrared sauna benefits here, with links to the studies that have proven them.
We feel it is important to note that these are proven far infrared sauna benefits. There has never been a peer-reviewed study done on the use of near infrared in a sauna. Many other companies have added near infrared to their saunas, and are making claims that there is no evidence for. Read about the evidence for the harmful effects of near infrared.
It is also extremely important to buy a low EMF sauna. This means a sauna with both magnetic field and electric field mitigation. If a sauna company does not mention the electric field component on their website or EMF report, it is likely because they have very high electric fields. EMFs have been shown to have many risks that take away from the far infrared sauna benefits. Read about the dangers of EMFs here, and about High Tech Health's patented triple-antifield heaters here, and see our third party EMF report here.
We are all exposed to hundreds of toxic chemicals on a daily basis. Many specific toxins are found in virtually 100% of blood and/or fat samples in the population. These toxins cause cellular and DNA damage, damage to the nervous system and brain, increase your risk of dementia, disrupt the endocrine system, and cause altered metabolism and obesity. Toxins have been proven to be excreted in the sweat, even when levels are undetectable in the blood, proving that our body uses sweat to actively rid itself of these toxins. Read more about the far infrared sauna benefits of detoxification here.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in high income countries including the United States. Virtually all adults have some degree of heart disease. The cardiovascular far infrared sauna benefits are dramatic and proven in dozens of studies. Far infrared sauna therapy lowers blood pressure, has been shown to reverse the signs of heart disease, and significantly decreases your risk of death from all cardiovascular causes! Read more about the cardiovascular far infrared sauna benefits here.
Far infrared sauna benefits include increased fitness! Infrared saunas have been shown to increase exercise tolerance, speed muscle recovery, and promote muscle growth. They also increase metabolism and rid the body of toxins that promote obesity, assisting in weight loss. They have been shown to increase the results of exercise, so that when a far infrared sauna is used in conjunction exercise, you will see more results faster! Read more about the fitness far infrared sauna benefits here.
Decreased Pain and Inflammation
Far infrared sauna benefits include decreased pain and inflammation. Nearly every disease is either caused by, or worsened by, inflammation. So, the anti-inflammatory benefits of far infrared sauna therapy can improve the symptoms of virtually every chronic disease. Autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and fibromyalgia have been shown to be significantly improved with far infrared sauna use. Read more about the far infrared sauna benefits of decreased pain and inflammation.
Far infrared sauna benefits include suppressed skin aging, improved water-holding capacity (skin moisture), improved circulation, and faster healing. Click on the below links to go directly to the published studies!
Decreased Risk of Dementia and Stroke
A large study showed that the frequency of sauna use is inversely related to the risk of developing dementia, and showed as much as a 66% decrease in dementia risk. Far infrared therapy has been shown to reverse disease progression in a mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia, a neurodegenerative disorder. It even restored normal brain cell function in diseased cells. Far infrared sauna benefits also include reduced risk of stroke and blood clots.
Peripheral Nerve Health and Regrowth
Far infrared therapy has been shown to promote peripheral nerve growth and health. Damaged nerves treated with far infrared regrew faster and thicker.
Mental Health Benefits
Far infrared sauna benefits mental health. It has been shown to protect against psychiatric conditions, including psychosis and toxin-induced psychosis. It has also been shown to alleviate symptoms of the most common mental health disorders: depression and anxiety.
Improved Fatigue and Mental Alertness
Far infrared sauna improves blood flow to the brain, and alleviates symptoms of chronic fatigue. Mental alertness and performance was improved after sauna use. Far infrared sauna benefits include the regulation of normal physiologic sleep/wake cycles and improved sleep.
Autonomic Nervous System Benefits
The autonomic nervous system regulates the body’s physiologic state. The sympathetic nervous system activates the “fight or flight” response, and the parasympathetic nervous system activates “rest and digest”. An overactive sympathetic nervous system leads to many diseases associated with chronic stress. Far infrared sauna therapy has been shown to promote parasympathetic activity.
Decreased Risk of Respiratory Disease
A large long term study showed a reduced risk of respiratory disease with regular sauna use, and another study showed a reduced risk of pneumonia.
Improved Allergy Symptoms
Lowered Risk of Complications from Diabetes
Far infrared sauna therapy has many benefits and positive effects in diabetes, including decreased inflammation, improved cardiovascular parameters, and circulation, three areas which are affected most by diabetes. Far infrared has been shown to protect blood vessels from damage by high sugar levels, as well as promote new blood vessel growth.
Far infrared therapy has been shown to effectively treat lymphedema, and therefore likely has positive benefits on lymph flow under normal conditions as well.
Protection from Nephrotoxins
Improved Vascular Access in Dialysis Patients
Because of its known profound benefits on circulation and blood vessel health, far infrared has been studied extensively for the clinical application of keeping vessels patent and healthy in dialysis patients.
Far infrared sauna therapy has been shown to increase the body’s natural antioxidants, protecting us against oxidative damage, which is the main cause of disease and aging.
Possible Benefits in Cancer Treatment
Animal studies have shown that some cancers may respond to far infrared radiation.
Stem Cell Survival
Stem cells are the body’s source of new cells and tissues when our cells become damaged or aged. Stem cells treated with far infrared have shown increased survival, and enhanced differentiation into bone cells over adipose cells.
The Benefits of Heat Shock Proteins
Many far infrared sauna benefits are regulated by heat shock proteins. Heat shock proteins are proteins that are activated in response to mild hyperthermia, as one is exposed to in an infrared sauna. These proteins have amazing benefits in reducing inflammation and cellular damage. Many studies in fact have shown heat shock proteins to significantly prolong the lifespan of organisms such as fruit flies and worms. They are theorized to play a role in protecting our cells from aging and in general longevity.