Hi, I’m Johannes Kettelhodt, CEO of Clearlight Infrared® Saunas, the premier supplier of infrared saunas in UK.
In this guest blog post, I’ll tell you about three myths infrared saunas and benefits related to these myths. The myths I’ll consider are 1) infrared saunas don’t detoxify you; 2) using an infrared sauna only once per week is best for health; 3) any infrared sauna will do for optimal health benefits.
And when I’m debunking these myths, I’ll show you how to maximise the health benefits of saunas instead. Let’s now consider the first myth:
Myth 1: Infrared Saunas Don’t Detoxify You. Fact: Ample Scientific Evidence Backs Detoxification
While detoxification as a consequence of heating up your body, as an internal process, has hardly been studied, a lot of research exists showing humans do detoxify themselves through the skin (1; 2).
In plain English, that means that toxins can be eliminated through sweating. Infrared saunas, in turn, are an excellent means to induce very heavy sweating in a very gentle way.
Current research shows that several types of heavy metals as well as toxins such as “PFAS” and “BPAs” are detoxed through the skin. What’s most important to remember is that many online sources, such as the New York Times and Atlantic claim that infrared saunas increase detoxification through the skin is a myth, even though many studies have been published on this topic (3; 4).
The moral of the story is simple here: just start sweating profusely in an infrared sauna, use a shower or towel to remove sweat from your skin, and you’ll reap the detoxification benefits. Next up, the second myth I’ll consider:
Myth 2: Using An Infrared Sauna Only Once Per Week Is Best For Health. Fact: Higher Sauna Session Frequencies Are Almost Always Better
Many people implicitly assume that once they visit a spa every week or every month, they’re reaping the maximum health benefits from that practice. In reality though, more frequent sauna sessions, of up to seven sessions a week, are superior for the health rewards you reap.
Finnish researchers have published some extremely high-quality studies on this topic (5; 6; 7). Here’s the outcome of these studies:
People who use a sauna 4-7 times a week have far lower “all-cause mortality” than those who use the sauna once per week or 2-3 times per week. The same trend is true for the risk of having heart and blood vessel diseases and excessive inflammation.
Sure, using a sauna once per week or once per month is much better than never using one. But, the Finnish research shows that more frequent sessions are far superior in improving overall health outcomes than incidental usage.
Next up, the third and last myth:
Myth 3: Any Infrared Sauna Will Do For Optimal Health Benefits. Fact: Higher Quality Infrared Saunas Are Superior
Not all saunas are created equal, just like cars and houses aren’t created equal either. So, not all car companies have the same reputation for quality as Mercedes does, and, not all sauna companies necessarily offer the best product money can buy.
And, while many differences exist between what makes a sauna effective for promoting health or not, I’m focusing on one criterion here. Many companies offer saunas that exclusively emit what is called “far infrared” heating.
“Near-infrared”, however, also has many different therapeutic health benefits (8). So far, iin fact, all different types of infrared, such as near and far infrared, have been shown to have therapeutic benefits. Hence, what is called a “full-spectrum” infrared sauna – which emits both far and near infrared – offers you a wider range of health benefits than an infrared sauna that exclusively emits far-infrared.
Keep in mind that I’m not saying that far infrared saunas are bad in any way – they can be completely life-changing for your health and life. I’m merely saying that full-spectrum saunas offer more benefits, and if you’re looking for the maximum health benefits, quality matters.
And, after debunking these three myths, let’s conclude:
Conclusion: The Infrared Sauna Facts Are More Interesting Than The Myths
Truth is stranger than fiction, sometimes, and reality is more promising than myth about infrared saunas. By using an infrared sauna many times per week, you’ll maximise the health benefits. Detoxification is one such benefit, that is considered a myth by many reputable online sources.