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Infrared Sauna Therapy For Immune and Detox Support by Dr. Jockers

Infrared Sauna Therapy For Immune and Detox Support Infrared sauna therapy can make a huge difference in our quality of life. We all want to be healthy, vibrant, and energetic. This, however, can become very difficult to achieve if your body is full of toxins. The truth is that we are exposed to toxins throughout our life from pollution, toxic tap water, plastics, medication, conventional cleaning and body products, non-organic food, stress, and unhealthy lifestyle choices. These toxins get deep inside your fat cells and deep in your tissues, and over time they can lead to pain and disease. This is why detoxification is so important. Detoxification allows your body to clean out what’s harmful and creates an opportunity for repair and renewal. Infrared sauna therapy may be one of the best ways to help your body open up its detoxification pathways. In this article, you will learn more about infrared sauna therapy and its major benefits. You will understand the difference between infrared sauna therapy and steam saunas. I will also share my favorite infrared sauna that you can use at home even if you have limited space. Infrared Sauna as a Detoxification Therapy Your skin is your largest organs and one of your most important detoxifying organs. Its way of detoxification is through sweating. While being outside on the summer heat is a great way to sweat, it is not the most effective. The sun is not available year-around and you have to be careful with the ultraviolet light and skin damage. Infrared sauna, on the other hand, is a sauna that releases infrared light. Infrared light is safe and goes deeper into your body allowing to release fat-soluble toxins, lower toxic burdens, and even enhance internal detox pathways as well. Heat and sauna therapy can be found across cultures throughout history. Heat has been considered healing for a long time. The Romans were famous for their baths, Native Americans still use sweat lodges, and the Japanese use hot soaking tubs. Today we can take advantage of infrared sauna therapy inside our own homes, a technology that offers us science-backed health benefits. What Is Infrared Sauna Therapy Infrared sauna therapy is a form of sauna that uses infrared heaters that release infrared lights you experience as heat as it gets absorbed through the surface of the skin. Infrared sauna therapy used Far Infrared Technology (FIR), which is a non-invasive light therapy that can penetrate your body as much as three inches. It used FIR wavelengths between 5.6 and 20 microns. Through this process, infrared sauna therapy heats your muscle tissues and internal organs without heating the surrounding air. This heat helps your organs and tissues to detoxify and pushes toxins out of your bloodstream to be eliminated by perspiration or sweating. The infrared wavelengths of infrared sauna therapy are able to stimulate multiple pathways throughout the body. They help to enhance liver detoxification, improve the immune system, kill pathogenic organisms, support metabolic pathways, stimulate metabolism, optimize kidney filtration, aid elimination, reduce stress, and enhance healthy weight loss. The FIR technology of infrared sauna therapy can penetrate the body 1.5 to 3 inches below the surface level. It helps to reduce the size of water clusters inside your body allowing them greater mobility and an easier access to body tissues. This helps to enhance cell membrane tone and functionality, nutrient absorption, circulatory patterns, and detoxification. It can also improve lymphatic and blood circulation, reduce inflammation, improve microcirculation throughout your body, lower lactic acid, and increase oxygen delivery to your cells (1, 2). Major Benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy Infrared sauna therapy has so many health benefits from detoxification to enhanced physical endurance. According to research, regular sauna use can lower the risk of mortality by 40 percent. No matter what your goals out, infrared sauna therapy has something to offer to you. Let’s take a look at each of these amazing benefits (3). Improves Immune Response One of the main benefits of infrared sauna therapy is improved immune response and immune system support. One study on the benefits of Finnish sauna on white blood cells looked at the effects of a 15-minute sauna session on a group of long-distance runners and a group of non-athletes. Researchers looked at the body mass and blood samples of each participant. Both groups experienced improved immune response, body mass loss, better plasma volume, increased number of white blood cells, lymphocyte, neutrophil, and basophil counts, however, the group of athletes experienced greater benefits. These findings indicate that infrared sauna therapy is not only fantastic for your immune system but combined with regular exercise it is a powerful combination for an improved immune response (4). Facilitates Detoxification Your skin is your largest detoxifying organ and it does this cleansing job through perspiration or sweating to eliminate toxic chemicals. Research has shown that using a sauna regularly can improve your sweat detox pathways and may result in up to 2 liters of sweat per hour. Studies have found that using an infrared sauna regularly can help you detoxify your body from environmental toxins and heavy metals, including mercury and arsenic. Not to mention that all this sweating and detoxing can lead to clear and glowing skin. No wonder that US firefighters use saunas to get rid of the toxins they encounter through their work and prevent any consequent disease. You may not be running into a fire every day, but you can certainly benefit from detoxifying from environmental and lifestyle-related toxins (5, 6, 7, 8). Reduces Inflammation Chronic inflammation is the root cause of most modern-day chronic health problems. Infrared sauna therapy can reduce chronic inflammation and the risk of consequent pain and disease by hyperoxygenation of the blood cells, optimizing circulation, improving your body’s immune response, reducing chronic stress response, and enhancing a state of relaxation. Infrared sauna therapy sends infrared light to cellular structures throughout your body increasing ATP energy production and improving circulation which results in lower inflammation and reduced pain. Sweating during an infrared sauna therapy session also helps your body to get rid of toxic pollutants that are one of the main causes of chronic inflammation. By addressing stress and tension, another underlying cause of chronic inflammation, infrared sauna therapy may help you to gain freedom from inflammation and pain. Research has shown that infrared sauna therapy may reduce chronic pain syndrome, symptoms of rheumatoid and autoimmune conditions, and inflammation related to cardiovascular health (9, 10). Improves Insulin Sensitivity Insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and diabetes are serious health issues that millions of people are facing worldwide. Insulin sensitivity, on the other hand, enhances fat burning and reduces inflammation. The good news is that infrared sauna therapy may improve insulin sensitivity and enhance your health as a result. Research has found that insulin-resistant, diabetic mice experienced a 31 percent decrease in insulin level and a significant improvement in blood sugar levels after receiving 30 minutes of hyperthermia treatment three times per week for twelve weeks. While eating a healthy, nutrient-dense, and low-carb diet is still critical for improved insulin sensitivity, research suggests that infrared sauna therapy can help you improve insulin sensitivity (11). Activates Heat Shock Proteins The heat of infrared sauna therapy generates stress in your body which prompts the destruction of old and damaged cells and the creation of new and healthy cells through autophagy. Heat shock proteins (HSP) are a group of proteins that your cells create as a response to exposure to stressful conditions they encounter due to heat. HSPs play an essential role in your body’s cellular repair system. They may help to stabilize new proteins and refold damaged proteins. Infrared sauna therapy can activate HSPs by up to 16 times the baseline. It is a fantastic way to enjoy the benefits of heat therapy (12). Stimulates Autophagy Autophagy is a process of cellular recycling where the cell itself metabolizes its various components in order to recycle them and build new and healthier cell structures. Cellular stress is the major driver of the process of autophagy. Your body is constantly seeking homeostasis. When it experiences stress, your body needs to prepare for survival. This means that it breaks down older or damaged cells and cellular organelles to leave room for the creation of new and healthier ones for better energy efficiency. When using an infrared sauna, your body experiences higher temperatures than normal. This stress from heat stimulates autophagy and allow renewal. Research has found that this process has anti-aging benefits by activating internal antioxidant, repair and degradation processes (13). Increases Human Growth Hormone Level Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a peptide hormone that is critical for your growth, cell reproduction, and cellular regeneration. HGH acts to preserve lean body tissue, burn fat, and allow cellular healing. It is not only important for muscle growth, but also brain health, energy, and vitality. Even if gaining muscle is not your main goal, increasing your HGH levels is critical. Infrared sauna therapy can help with that. Research has shown that two 20-minute sauna sessions a day can lead to a 2-fold increase in HGH baseline, while two 1-hour sessions a day can lead to a 1,600 percent increase. In some cases, infrared sauna therapy can increase HGH levels up to 5 times the baseline level. Just remember, regular infrared sauna use is key for experiencing full benefits (14, 15, 16). Improves Physical Endurance Infrared sauna therapy may also improve your physical endurance, hence it is great news for you if you are training for something, exercise a lot, or simply want to improve your stamina for daily tasks or chasing your kids. Physical exercise increases your body temperature and can put a strain on your body. However, getting acclimated to heat though infrared sauna can improve your body’s self-cooling mechanism. Research has shown that it can help your body to perform better in hot climates or summer time. Research has also shown that infrared sauna may improve blood flow to your muscles, and increase red blood cell count for better oxygen transport, both of which benefit your exercise performance and endurance (17, 18, 19). Difference Between Infrared and Steam Saunas You may be wondering why I am recommending infrared sauna therapy instead of steam saunas. The short answer is that infrared sauna therapy offers more health benefits. One of the main ways your body eliminates toxins is perspiration. While both infrared saunas and steam saunas lead to sweating and detoxification, combining the benefits of saunas with infrared technology allows your body to sweat out a significantly greater amount of toxic debris in just one infrared sauna therapy session. Infrared sauna therapy allows your body to perspire 80 percent water and 20 percent toxins and waste, white traditional steam saunas only allow your body to release 3 percent sweat while sweating 97 percent water. You can see that infrared sauna therapy is much more effective than traditional steam saunas. The Infrared Sauna I Recommend I recommend and personally love Synergy Sauna™ for infrared sauna therapy. I love that this sauna is light, portable, and affordable. It is made from bamboo fabric without any synthetic materials. It is so small that you can use it in a small space then store it under your bed or in your closet. Synergy Sauna™ is a full spectrum infrared sauna that allows deep penetrating and detoxifying heat through powerful infrared rays. It protects you from electric fields, including both Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and Extremely Low Frequencies (ELFs). This infrared sauna uses carbon heating panels that are Ultra Low EMF (less than 1mG) and Ultra Low ELF (150mV – 200mV) to protect your body while providing full benefits. It uses 7 to 14 micrometers (7,000 to 14,000 nanometer) wavelengths that are the safest and most beneficial for humans. It heats up to 113 to 140 Fahrenheit which is great for sweating, detoxification, and repair It allows the optimal amount of 4 to 14 micrometers of heat penetration. In short, Synergy Sauna™ is a safe, small, and portable home sauna that offers maximum health benefits. How to Use an Infrared Sauna If you are new to infrared sauna therapy, you can start with a short 5-minute session and build-up over time to a 20-minute session or longer. Using it in the evening can help you sleep, while using it in the morning can help you to start your day relaxed and rested. If you have time, you may fit two sauna sessions into your day. There are also a few strategies you can try to enhance your benefits:
  • Exercise before using your infrared sauna to start heating up your body, sweating, and detoxing. Rebounding is a great option for lymphatic and cardiovascular benefits.

  • Take a shower before to heat up your body a bit and remove any external toxins.

  • Try dry brushing before your sauna therapy session to stimulate your lymphatic system and remove dead skin cells.

  • Use niacin (vitamin B3), which enhances toxin release, then exercise to kick-start your sweating process before your sauna therapy session.

  • Take activated charcoal after your session to help internal detoxification.

  • Eat a nutrient-dense organic diet, lower toxic exposure, exercise, reduce stress, and make healthy lifestyle choices to support detoxification, cellular repair, and rejuvenation.

Final Thoughts Infrared sauna therapy is a type of sauna that uses infrared heater that releases infrared lights that get absorbed through your skin. It is one of my favorite ways to support the immune system and detoxification. Use it regularly and notice a significant health shift overtime. If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend this article with tips on how to find a great coach. At my clinic, we offer long-distance functional health coaching programs. For further support with your health goals, just reach out and our fantastic coaches are here to support your journey.

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  • Privacy PolicyPlease read the Privacy Policy carefully before you start to use By using or by clicking to accept or agree to Terms of Use when this option is made available to you, you accept and agree to be bound and abide by the Privacy Policy. Learn More Sources in This Article Include: 1. Vatansever F, Hamblin MR. Far infrared radiation (FIR): its biological effects and medical applications. Photonics & lasers in medicine. 2012;4:255-266. Link Here 2. Crinnion WJ. Sauna as a valuable clinical tool for cardiovascular, autoimmune, toxicant- induced and other chronic health problems. Altern Med Rev. 2011 Sep;16(3):215-25. PMID: 21951023 3. Laukkanen T, Khan H, Zaccardi F, Laukkanen JA. Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):542–548. Link Here 4. Pilch W, Pokora I, Szyguła Z, Pałka T, Pilch P, Cisoń T, Malik L, Wiecha S. Effect of a single finnish sauna session on white blood cell profile and cortisol levels in athletes and non-athletes. J Hum Kinet. 2013 Dec 31;39:127-35. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2013-0075. PMID: 24511348 5. US fire departments turning to detox saunas to fight off the cancer threat – But are they effective. CTIF. Link Here 6. Eisalo A, Luurila OJ. The Finnish sauna and cardiovascular diseases. Ann Clin Res. 1988;20(4):267-70. PMID: 3218899 7. Ross GH, Sternquist MC. Methamphetamine exposure and chronic illness in police officers: significant improvement with sauna-based detoxification therapy. Toxicol Ind Health. 2012 Sep;28(8):758-68. doi: 10.1177/0748233711425070. Epub 2011 Nov 16. PMID: 22089658 8. Sears ME, Kerr KJ, Bray RI. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:184745. doi: 10.1155/2012/184745. Epub 2012 Feb 22. PMID: 22505948 9. Barsheshet A, Barshack I, Keren P, Keren G, George J. Whole-body hyperthermia attenuates experimental autoimmune myocarditis in the rat. Cardiovasc Pathol. 2008 Nov-Dec;17(6):375-81. PMID: 18402844 10. Hussain J, Cohen M. Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Apr 24;2018:1857413. doi: 10.1155/2018/1857413. PMID: 29849692 11. Kokura S. Whole body hyperthermia improves obesity-induced insulin resistance in diabetic mice. Int J Hyperthermia. 2007 May;23(3):259-65. PMID: 17523018 12. Dubey A, Prajapati KS, Swamy M, Pachauri V. Heat shock proteins: a therapeutic target worth to consider. Vet World. 2015 Jan;8(1):46-51. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2015.46-51. Epub 2015 Jan 13. PMID: 27046995 13. Rattan SI. Hormetic modulation of aging and longevity by mild heat stress. Dose-Response. 2006 May 22;3(4):533-46. doi: 10.2203/dose-response.003.04.008. PMID: 18648625 14. Leppaluoto J. Endocrine effects of repeated sauna bathing. Acta physiological Scandinavica 128, 467-470. Link Here 15. Kukkonen-Harjula K. Haemodynamic and hormonal responses to heat exposure in a Finnish sauna bath. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology 58, 543-550. Link Here 16. Hannuksel ML, Ellahham S. Benefits and risks of sauna bathing. The American journal of medicine 110, 118-126. PMID: 11165553 17. King DS, Costill DL, Fink WJ, Hargreaves M, Fielding RA. Muscle metabolism during exercise in the heat in unacclimatized and acclimatized humans. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1985 Nov;59(5):1350-4. PMID: 4066564 18. Costa RJ, Crockford MJ, Moore JP, Walsh NP. Heat acclimation responses of an ultra-endurance running group preparing for hot desert-based competition. Eur J Sport Sci. 2014;14 Suppl 1:S131-41. PMID: 24444197 19. Kirwan JP, Costill DL, Kuipers H, Burrell MJ, Fink WJ, Kovaleski JE, Fielding RA. Substrate utilization in leg muscle of men after heat acclimation. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1987 Jul;63(1):31-5. PMID: 3624132


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