What is “sauna bathing”?
Sometimes used as another term for sauna use, it is an ancient practice with implications for slowing aging and improving overall health. There are both mental and physical benefits of sauna bathing as it exposes the body to extreme heat, a form of hormetic stress.
What are the benefits?
- Ability to heat your body
- Boost your immune system
- Calm your nervous system
- Pain relief
- Collagen boosting
- Anti-aging effects
- Skin purification
- Improved cell health
- Improved circulation
Increasing your core temperature for short bursts is not only healthful, it can also dramatically improve performance. Heat acclimation through sauna use can promote physiological adaptations that result in increased endurance, easier acquisition of muscle mass, and a general increased capacity for stress tolerance. If you expose your body to the right stimuli and cultivate the right environment, it will adapt and subsequently respond better the next time you are in a similar situation.
What sort of gains can be anticipated?
One study demonstrated that a 30-minute sauna session two times a week for 3 weeks POST-workout increased the time that it took for study participants to run until exhaustion by 32% compared to baseline (see reference to article below). Regular exercisers will understand how the physiological responses to sauna use are comparable to those that are experienced during moderate to vigorous intensity exercise.
What if I’m not an endurance athlete?
Regular sauna exposure has also shown to be beneficial in ameliorating the deleterious effects of aging, including brain health and function. Several large, observational studies in humans have identified strong links between sauna use and reduced risk for age-related conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and premature death. Studies of participants in the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study, found that men who used the sauna 2-3x/week were 27% less likely to die from aging-related disorders such as cardiovascular disease than men who didn’t use the sauna (see reference to article below).
How does it work?
Hyperthermic conditioning improves your performance and recovery by improving cardiovascular and thermoregulatory mechanisms. It optimizes blood flow to the heart, skeletal muscles, skin, and other tissues by increasing the plasma volume (the liquid component of your blood). It does this to compensate for the decrease in your core blood volume - roughly 50-70% of blood flow during sauna use is redirected from the core to your skin in order to facilitate sweating and temperature reduction
How do I decide how long?
Typical sessions last 30 to 60 minutes and can be repeated once or twice during the day to maximize the benefits. The benefits of regular sauna use are also dose-dependent: from the aforementioned KIHD study - men who used the sauna roughly twice as often, about 4-7x/week, experienced roughly twice the benefits and were 50% less likely to die from cardiovascular-related causes.
Infrared vs. Traditional Sauna?
Infrared heat is the same type of heat as produced by the sun and our bodies. In an infrared sauna, only 20% of the energy is used to heat the air, leaving the rest of the energy to heat the body more directly. This allows for deeper tissue penetration, the ability to stay in longer (temperatures are lower than with a traditional open air sauna), and a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. The deeper penetration of the infrared heat actually allows you to sweat out 7.5x more toxins, heavy metals, and other impurities.
Why did we choose a Clearlight Infrared Sauna?
Clearlight saunas use a special heater construction that completely blocks all EMF (toxic electromagnetic radiation). Most other infrared saunas give off extremely high levels of EMF that over time can have negative and deleterious effects on the cells of our body. EMF exposure can facilitate an increase of our sympathetic nervous system activity (“fight or flight”), thus downregulating detoxification pathways. This means that it will actually inhibit your ability to detoxify optimally.
Where and how can I book a session?
Due to COVID-19, we’ve suspended all use of our shiny new infrared sauna until further notice. Please stay tuned for more updates. In the meantime, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions, comments or concerns.