Are Infrared Saunas the next wacky, pseudoscience health trend? You might be surprised to learn that doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists employ the benefits of infrared on a daily basis to help ease pain, heal skin conditions, increase joint and muscle flexibility, and promote healing in general. But what is infrared? And how exactly does it do all of these seemingly-miraculous things? Can it be used to help someone through detox and addiction recovery? The healing powers of infrared saunas are pretty amazing, so keep reading if you want to learn more about this up-and-coming treatment method. Much of this information was provided by our friends at Perspire Sauna Studio, so check out their website for more information and a helpful FAQ.
What is Infrared?
Infrared radiation (IR), or infrared light, is a kind of energy that humans are incapable of seeing but can feel in the form of heat. The word “radiation” might put some people off, but actually, all objects in the universe emit some level of infrared radiation. The two most notable sources are the sun and fire. IR is a type of electromagnetic radiation which is a continuum of frequencies produced when atoms absorb and then release energy.
So how on earth does infrared light help heal the body and what does it have to do with saunas?
How Infrared Light Affects the Body
Not only does infrared light give off heat, but the electromagnetic wavelengths have the ability to penetrate soft tissue up to an inch and a half, warming the body and opening blood vessels in a process called “vasodilation.” Vasodilation helps to increase blood flow and lower blood pressure, which are key components in healing the body quicker and more efficiently.
Infrared technology has been researched and studied for decades and is used by licensed healthcare professionals all across the country. It’s so safe that it is actually used by hospitals regularly to keep newborn babies warm. The treatments using infrared even have specific hospital insurance billing codes because of the wealth of research supporting the therapy.
The Benefits of Infrared Saunas
Some of the things that infrared saunas can help with that are relevant to detox and addiction recovery are:
- Stress and fatigue
- Muscle aches, arthritis, and joint relief
- Immune system support
Infrared saunas can also help mitigate the symptoms of diabetes, skin conditions, and heart conditions, as well as reduce the appearance of cellulite and help people with weight loss.
Sweating is great for cleansing the body of harmful toxins that have built up under the skin. Perspiration can flush the body of substances such as alcohol, nicotine, cholesterol, salt, and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, nickel, and cadmium. Infrared saunas detoxify the body by promoting the body’s ability to perspire by increasing blood circulation. This is especially helpful during the initial detox on the road to recovery from addiction. Sweating in the sauna allows the body to purge alcohol, nicotine, and other organic and inorganic materials at a much quicker rate than it would normally, leading to a smoother transition period. Sweating also boosts “feel-good” endorphins, which can help take the edge off of the uncomfortable and sometimes painful withdrawal symptoms.
Stress & Fatigue Reduction
You’d be hard-pressed to find a spa that didn’t have a sauna. That’s because saunas have traditionally been used for thousands of years to relieve stress and fatigue. Just a few short minutes in the soothing warmth of an infrared sauna can help a person feel relaxed, instantly lifting feelings of anxiety and stress. The effects can last the rest of the day, as the rapid re-cooling of the body leaves one feeling rejuvenated for hours. Infrared saunas stimulate the autonomic nervous system by putting the user into the parasympathetic (AKA “rest and digest” state which allows the body to relax, heal, and restore.
Relief from Muscle Aches and Joint Pain
Infrared saunas can help relieve inflammation, stiffness, and soreness in muscles and joints by increasing blood circulation. The deep, penetrating infrared heat helps to relax muscles and purge metabolic waste products, all while delivering oxygen-rich blood to the muscles for a speedier recovery. Muscle cramps and inflammation are common side effects of withdrawing from an addictive substance, so infrared saunas can be beneficial in relieving some of this pain.
Immune System Support
Fevers play a huge role in speeding up and strengthening the body’s immune system response. When a person is detoxing, they risk opening themselves up to illnesses more easily because their body is expending all of its energy getting through the symptoms of withdrawal. When your body is fighting off infection, the first line of defense is raising the body’s core temperature — and this is exactly what infrared saunas do!
Infrared Saunas are the Future of Addiction Recovery Treatment
We truly believe in the healing power of infrared saunas, and see the immense potential they have for speeding up addiction recovery and easing the uncomfortable symptoms of detox. This is why, at Scottsdale Recovery Center, we have state-of-the-art infrared sauna technology that is available to use for all of our clients to assist in their recovery process. If you’re still skeptical, already completed treatment, or perhaps aren’t in a place where you’re ready to enter our program, we implore you to give the infrared sauna experience a try! (If you are located in California near Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Laguna Niguel, or Newport Beach, or if you’re in Atlanta, GA or Austin, TX, swing on by Perspire Sauna Studio for a great deal on your first session!)
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Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 866.893.6816.