Inside: So, you’ve heard of an infrared sauna but don’t exactly know what it is. Keep reading to discover the benefits of a sauna and why I chose a 2 Person Sauna.
Since there’s no cure or effective treatment for my chronic illness, I must resort to alternative methods of therapy.
I had heard that infrared saunas were great for detoxing and were thought to provide numerous benefits for people with chronic illnesses.
However, the term “sauna” alone made me think that this was an unrealistic option for someone without a ton of money.
So, I started small by going to local sauna places near me instead.
The experience was amazing. But the monthly price was expensive and the amount of energy that it took to put my clothes back on after sweating profusely for 45 minutes (not to mention the 40-minute roundtrip drive from my house) made the pleasant experience not totally worth it.
While this was several years ago, I never let go of the dream of owning a 2 Person Sauna.
What is an Infrared Sauna?
A traditional sauna works by warming the air around you, while infrared saunas use infrared lamps (that use electromagnetic radiation) to warm your body directly. This means that infrared saunas easily penetrate human tissue and heat your body first instead of heating the air around you.
As a result, infrared saunas work at a temperature between 120˚F and 140˚F, while traditional saunas need to be much hotter to work effectively.
All of this to say – infrared saunas allow you to experience a more intense sweat at a lower temperature.
What are the benefits of an infrared sauna?
Apart from simply being a relaxing way to spend time, there are several studies showing the scientifically-backed benefits of an infrared sauna:
- A small, 10-person study found that people with chronic fatigue syndrome had lower rates of fatigue and irritability after using an infrared sauna as part of an overall treatment.
- Another 10-person study found that deep penetration of infrared heat helped men decrease muscle soreness and increase recovery from strength-training sessions.
- Research indicates sauna therapy can help respiration in patients with asthma and bronchitis.
- A recent 30-year prospective study showed that lifelong sauna use reduces cardiovascular-related and all-cause mortality.
- The use of heat therapy in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus revealed a striking reduction of 1% unit in the glycated hemoglobin, suggesting this therapy for the treatment of diabetes.
What is the difference between near-infrared versus far-infrared?
Infrared is a spectrum of light, and infrared rays are emitted by the sun. The rays are a part of the light spectrum that humans can’t see. Infrared light covers the spectrum of 700-100,000 nanometers (nm) with near-infrared covering 700nm to around 1400nm and far-infrared 3000-100,000 nm [R].
As previously mentioned, infrared light heats the body from the inside out. Near-infrared is the shortest infrared wavelength and penetrates up to 5mm beneath the skin’s surface [R]. Thus, the shorter the wavelength, the higher the penetration.
To put this more simply:
- The basic premise is that you sit very close (about 4 inches) to the light source in a near-infrared sauna.
- The light typically looks like red panels or bulbs.
- Near-infrared is not going to give you a deep, penetrating sweat by making you hot.
- Near-infrared wavelengths may result in changes in mitochondrial signaling in skin cells [R].
- It is believed to be best for wound healing and increased immune function [R].
Far-infrared is the longest wavelength and is mainly absorbed by the water within our bodies. As a result, far-infrared rays penetrate only 0.1mm beneath the skin [R]. Far-infrared works to raise your core body temperature and stimulate the sweat glands, resulting in deep sweat.
- These saunas do not use a visible light source for heat.
- Far-infrared saunas will leave you dripping with sweat within a short amount of time.
- Some research suggests far-infrared wavelengths can eliminate toxins, stimulate metabolism, and offer cardiovascular benefits [R].
Why I Chose a 2 Person Sauna to Help Treat My Chronic Illness
In a slightly neurotic fashion, I bought this 2 person sauna on a bit of a whim. I had yet another sleepless night because of my muscle twitching. When I awoke the next morning, groggy and irritated, I went straight to my phone and who bought the 2 person sauna.
My husband wasn’t exactly thrilled that I haven’t consulted with him first (this is when he suggested I see a therapist, which I took him up on).
I ultimately chose the Joyous 2 Person Far Infrared Sauna because of its price points and good reviews. In an effort to get my husband on board, I pitched it to him as something that we could do together after dinner instead of watching TV!
The only upgrade I added was the ergonomic head and backrest. Based on this guy’s reviews, I did not opt for the full spectrum upgrade.
Consequently, some research indicates that near-infrared rays “prompt the body to produce heat-shock proteins, [which] offset some of the effect of oxidative stress within the body, by scavenging free radicals and supporting the body’s antioxidant levels [R].”
However, other research finds that sweating can inhibit the near-infrared rays from deeply penetrating the skin. Therefore, combining near-infrared rays and far-infrared rays would cancel the benefits of a near-infrared sauna.
Final Thoughts on A 2 PERSON SAUNA
Honestly, I think my 2 person sauna is the best purchase I’ve ever made. I use it almost every single day. I can tell a huge difference in my sleep and my mental health.
Obviously, it’s hard to tell how much It’s actually detoxifying, but I do leave the sauna each time dripping with sweat. I can also tell a huge difference in my skin.
I would definitely recommend purchasing a 2 person sauna got the money. It’s worth every penny!
Do you have a sauna? Have you noticed any changes in your chronic illness after using it?
Allie Schmidt is a rare disease advocate and disabled mom living with motor neuron disease. She founded Disability Dame in 2020 to provide tips to other moms living with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
In her spare time, you can find her traveling with her husband (she's been to 38 states and 16 countries!), watching reruns of Survivor, or tending to her near-constant sunburn from spending too much time outside. You can follow her adventures here.