When you hear the word ‘sauna’ you might imagine a humid, wet steam room at a gym or a dry sauna that is heated with coals and water and smells a bit like something is burning. Saunas have existed for hundreds of years, but recently, Infrared saunas have been gaining popularity.
What is an Infrared Sauna? An Infrared Sauna heats your body using wavelengths. The sun produces a combination of visible and invisible light- one of those invisible spectrums are infrared rays. Invisible infrared wavelengths are what make the sun feel warm. Studies have shown that infrared waves are beneficial to the human body as they increase the thermal energy inside the body- heating the body from the inside. Infrared does this without any of the harmful rays of sunlight, which allows you to enjoy the heat for long periods of time safely!
Raising your core body temperature boosts your immune system. Benefits include: improving the functioning of your lungs, reducing allergies, reducing high blood pressure, headaches, soreness, inflammation, and arthritis. We ingest and retain toxins every day from the food we eat and the air we breathe- especially living in Utah where the air is bad. The heat from the Infrared Sauna gives you the ability to sweat out these toxins and detox your body. Even if you typically don’t sweat during workouts, by the end of a 40-minute sauna session you’ll likely be sweating everywhere!
In addition to the heat benefits, the MYS infrared sauna features chromotherapy. Chromotherapy is the power of color therapy to enhance the health benefits the sauna provides. This can help with pain relief, increasing collagen production, accelerating healing, sleep, and relief of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which we Utahans know all too well with our air inversions every winter. These colors include Violet, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red, pick the color that suits you or let it cycle through on its own!
To prepare for a session, we recommend drinking plenty of fluids and electrolytes, and not eating within an hour before your session. This will help the body focus on detoxification and recovery. Take your time cooling down and letting your core body temperature return to a normal state. While you can work out after a sauna session, we recommend including the sauna in your recovery days to decrease inflammation.
Written by Ariel Rector for Mountain Yoga Sandy.