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How does Infrared Sauna aid your wellbeing

- Posted on: 31/03/2023 -

Infrared Sauna’s..

What’s the deal? Should I have these regularly to support my health? How do they work? What do they do? What’s the difference with traditional sauna?

Don’t worry we’ve got you covered.. By Jade Bradley Nutritional Therapist DipCNM, mBant, rCNHC On Behalf of Seagrass Wellbeing Centre, Buncrana Donegal


If you are someone who is interested in Health and Wellbeing you will probably have heard about Infrared Sauna from your favourite health and wellbeing expert or biohacker on social media, but you may still be unsure about how they work and their benefits. You might also never have heard the words Infrared Sauna uttered before and have no clue what they do. In either instance you will walk away from reading this article with a new found respect and appreciation for Infrared sauna and its potential superpower when it comes to support the body on a biological level.


Infrared Saunas have seen a surge in popularity over the past few years and you may be wondering why? I hear you asking.. what’s the difference between Infrared Sauna and traditional saunas?


Infrared Sauna Comparison with Traditional Sauna

The first main difference between these saunas is the temperature. Traditional saunas generally operate between 150-185 degrees Fahrenheit whilst infrared saunas temperature sits around 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Claims suggest that the lower temperatures with infrared saunas allow for longer sessions, and prolonged sweating and excretion of toxins from the body.

I can personally vouch for this, I find an infrared sauna much easier to sit in for periods of up to 45 minutes, where I can barely last 15 minutes in a traditional sauna.


In a traditional sauna, perspiration is achieved through entering a heated room that is warmed with heat from a flame or hot charcoals. The heat is controlled through dousing the coals with water. This allows the heat and humidity of the room to be controlled. 

Infrared saunas operate a bit differently. The heatwaves penetrate the body and raise the core temperature of the body.

‘Far-infrared emitters create infrared energy which is close to the same wavelength as that which the body naturally emits—often referred to as the "Vital Range” of 7 to 14 microns), so the energy is well received by the body.’ (1) 


Health Benefits of Infrared Sauna

Many well respected professionals in the health and wellbeing field including Functional Medicine Doctors, Nutritionists and Wellbeing Professionals champion the use of Infrared Sauna as part of a holistic approach to preventative healthcare, these include Dr Mark Hyman, Andrew Huberman and Dr Amen (this is suggested by their online articles and social media)

The suggested health benefits of Infrared sauna are said to include benefits both physically and mentally. Research has shown that Infrared sauna can have a health supportive effect with cardiovascular (heart) health, chronic pain conditions, detoxification, weight management, skin health and mood disorders.

Basically the heat exposure through sauna bathing elevates the body temperature resulting in a nervous system response in the body. This increases heart rate, cardiac output, skin blood flow and sweating. This process all leads into temperature homeostasis, which is a beneficial process of maintaining a constant core body temperature without major fluctuations. This is something we want to promote in terms of long term heath and wellbeing. (2)

On a cellular level infrared therapy supports metabolic health by-  Reducing inflammation and oxidative stress- Inflammation and Oxidative stress can contribute to disease in the body. This happens through the inflammatory cascade with inflammation and the production of free radicals (reactive oxygenated species (ROS)) with oxidative stress. Infrared sauna increases mitochondria function which inhibits the inflammatory cascade and oxidative stress. Mictochondrial function initiates healing processes inside the bodies cells, which includes the production of ATP, the bodies energy currency. (3)

Encouraging production of heat shock proteins- these inhibit inflammatory pathways which supports overall health.

Increasing nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability- the bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO) is reduced in hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage caused by diabetes). Infrared sauna has been shown to support positive changes with this for health. (4)

Increasing insulin sensitivity- in conditions like diabetes the body has low insulin sensitivity. This means the bodies cells don’t use blood glucose effectively and have high levels of blood sugar. Infrared sauna helps to tip the balance in the right direction for insulin sensitivity. Meaning potential health benefit for those with diabetes. (5)


Research states that the way infrared saunas supports all of these processes is still being explored. (2)


An obvious benefit of Infrared Sauna is muscle and joint pain relief and relaxation. Great for chronic health conditions and for those that may experience tightness and stiffness from heavy exercise and training sessions. Infrared saunas are favoured by many top class athletes such as Mixed Martial Artists, Boxers and many other sports areas. 

One of the worlds leading psychiatrists Dr Amen of Amen Clinics (also seen on Keeping up with the Kardashians) suggests that supporting detoxification in the body is crucial to supporting brain health and setting the mind up to excel. He advises that taking saunas is great way to do this. (6)


What is the best way to use Infrared Sauna?

Using an Infrared sauna is down to your own personal preference. Many research studies focus on one sauna session per week and see many positive health benefits. (7)

Where some advocates like to use infrared sauna everyday. It really is down to your own personal preference and the resources available to you. Infrared sauna sessions generally vary between 30-45 minute sessions for optimum results.

As a Nutritional Therapist and always striving to provide the best holistic health plans, for my clients and for myself, I am an advocate for Infrared sauna. The health benefits through detoxification are top class, this is extremely important to support gut health and hormonal health.

I specialise in supporting busy women with low energy, brain fog and hormonal imbalance, infrared sauna is definitely something that I recommend to manage symptoms and conditions experienced, alongside a personalised nutrition and lifestyle plan.

The benefits of Infrared Sauna are also great from the dark and cold autumn and winter months when many are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The heat penetrating the skin through sauna and the colour therapy are massive mood boosters.

If you haven't tried Infrared Sauna, why not give it a go? I dare say it will be one of your new favourite self care activities.


Seagrass Wellbeing Centre Experience

I had the pleasure of using the Seagrass Wellbeing Centre (Inishowen Gateway Hotel) facilities and infrared sauna and I was a fan from the get go. As soon as I walked through the door of the Seagrass Wellbeing Centre I felt myself decompress and switch off. From the very friendly staff to the warm and inviting décor and lighting, it was all spot on in my book.

What I want to tell you about is their Infrared sauna experience, which I must admit is one of my favourite things to do for self care. It is a lovely cosy room with an Infrared sauna to fit two people- booked for private usage so you don't share with anyone not in your party.

There are some very effective, self explanatory settings on the sauna including weight loss, detoxification, relaxation, pain relief, anti-ageing and a cardio setting. The sauna is also fitted with chromotherapy also known as colour therapy, this works by using different colours to support different health benefits. For example I used purple for it’s energising properties. After spending 40 minutes in the Infrared sauna I felt rejuvenated and energised.


Book a session in our Infrared Sauna