If you haven’t yet experienced first-hand the benefits of infrared saunas, it’s time you did. For more than 100 years, infrared energy has been used in Europe to treat everything from skin ailments and athletic pain to cancer. Infrared energy is best delivered in the form of a special infrared sauna. Nature’s most powerful force for clearing toxic overload, infrared energy (IR) is a powerful and effective natural method for healing, regenerating and rejuvenating your whole body.
Way back in 1923, a Russian biologist named Gurwitsch discovered that infrared energy is one of the ways in which our cells communicate with each other through a process known as biological induction. In the 1950s, German scientists confirmed his findings. They discovered as well that IR light is absorbed by human tissues in the same way plants feed on the sun’s energy during photosynthesis. Of all the wavelengths emitted by the sun, many of the most beneficial lie within the far infrared spectrum. And IR radiation makes up over half of the light energy we receive. It consists of wavelengths from 0.076 microns, known as “near” IR, through to 1000 microns, at the “far infrared” range which occurs just below or “infra” to red light—the next lowest energy at hand. (A micron equals 1/1,000,000 of a meter.)
It was not until the early eighties that researchers realized that abnormal cellular functioning can be normalized using polarised monochromatic infrared light. IR wavelengths stimulate cell metabolism in ways which go far beyond what we might expect from an energy which penetrates the human body. They bring about improvements in digestion, increased energy levels, and creates heightened resistance to illness.
Here’s how it works: Your body reacts to all kinds of heat by cooling itself. It shunts blood from internal organs towards the outside—into limbs and muscles. This increases your heart rate in the same way that running or rowing can. It also increases metabolic rate as well as the rate at which blood pumped by the heart flows through the body. This phenomenon is but one of many deep acting benefits gleaned by regularly exposing skin to IR light. It also stimulates repair, relieves pain and encourages healing to areas deep enough in the body that they lie far beyond the level to which it appears to penetrate the body’s surface.
So natural is IR radiation, and so welcome are the effects it exerts on living systems, that it may come as no surprise that your body not only welcomes its energy; your body actually generate infrared radiation in its own tissues. Every living body continuously radiates IR energy through the surface of the skin at between 3 and 50 microns, with most of its output hovering around 9.4 microns. A healthy young body sends out a lot of infrared power. An ailing body, or one which has lost some of its vitality as a result of high toxicity or degeneration, loses much of its ability to emit IR waves. This is when IR saunas come into their own.
The palms of your hands emit IR energy somewhere between 8 and 14 microns. Researchers have measured and recorded IR radiation from the hands of natural healers, body workers and talented beauty therapists. Many believe that an increase in the level of infrared radiating from a gifted healer’s palms as he works is the major source of the warming phenomenon which healer and healed report during treatment. Many IR researchers insist that IR radiation is selectively absorbed by the tissues which have the greatest need for it.
Here are just a few of the things that regularly using an IR sauna brings:
- Clears nervous tensions
- Detoxifies chemicals and wastes, giving higher protection from age-related degeneration
- Expands capillaries, oxygenated cells, enhances blood flow
- Supports the rebuilding of injured tissues, strengthening fibroblasts—cells necessary for repair and regeneration
Strengthens the cardiovascular system
- Improves blood pressure issues, strengthens the immune system
- Helps clear out viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites
- Strengthens muscles
- Calms inflammation
- Helps eliminate water retention and water logging
- Enhances the production of ATP—your body’s energy currency
Because IR so closely approximates your body’s own energy, your skin can absorb more than 90 percent of what reaches it. The lower heat experienced during an IR sauna is safer for anyone with a cardiovascular problem or skin prone to broken capillaries. Infrared thermal saunas usually heat up in 10 to 15 minutes. IR energy helps rebalance hormones, energises the body, clears toxicity and even antidotes the negative effects of both electromagnetic and chemical pollution in the environment. It was the reports of so many health benefits from IR saunas which encouraged me to experiment with them. The benefits to my skin and health with regular use have been enormous.
HOW TO TAP IR’S GIFTS
- Drink an 8 to 12 ounce glass of pure spring or filtered water before entering the sauna and take another big glass in with you to sip when you feel thirsty. Without water, waste elimination can’t take place effectively.
Make your first sauna a fifteen to twenty minute affair, then work up, as you come to enjoy the experience, to between thirty and forty five minutes at a time.
- Massage your body with organic coconut oil, essential oil based products or anti-cellulite creams and lotions while in the sauna.
- After a sauna, shower after using a dry skin brush to further enhance lymphatic drainage, slough off dead cells and clear away wastes.
- Apply a good body oil based on essential oils or a top quality lotion or cream after your shower. Your skin is now in prime condition to soak up whatever you put on it.
- If you have easy access to an IR sauna or decide to put one in your own home, experiment to see how often sessions work for you to bring you the best results.
WELL KEPT SECRETS
There are many beauty secrets locked within the infrared wavelengths too. We already know, for instance, that IR used regularly helps clear cellulite from thighs and bottoms, counteracts dandruff, detoxifies and firms skin, and encourages the healing of scars and burns. After a long haul flight, an IR sauna helps get rid of jet lag. IR saunas even encourage effective fat burning during weight loss. Meanwhile, the way in which an IR sauna helps counter the disastrous effects of stress is believed to be thanks to radiant heat’s ability to act upon the autonomic nervous system, helping the body rebalance its hormones. There’s an extra bonus too: IR saunas don’t wipe you out the way conventional saunas can. They are both energising and relaxing at the same time.
A FEW CAUTIONS
- If you are using prescription drugs of any kind, check with your doctor beforehand and get his OK.
- If you have any chronic health condition, be sure to get your doctor’s approval first.
- Saunas are never recommended for pregnant women or women who suspect they may be pregnant.
Want to learn more?
- Beever R. Far-infrared saunas for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors: Summary of published evidence. Canadian Family Physician. 2009;55:691.
- Hanlon T. Does thermal therapy benefit patients with chronic heart failure? Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85:693.
Beever R. Do Far-infrared saunas have cardiovascular benefits in people with type 2 diabetes? Canadian Journal of Diabetes. 2010;34:113.
- Takashi K, et al. Waon therapy improves the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure. Journal of Cardiology. 2009;53:214.
- Oosterveld FG, et al. Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Clinical Rheumatology. 2009;28:29.
- Dr. A. J. Adams, International Institute of Holistic Healing: What is Far Infrared Therapy and How Does it Work Toward Healing the Body?
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