Infrared sauna - the benefits and harm
Among the many therapeutic and recreational means that use heat, a new one appeared - an infrared sauna. Despite her “young” age - 10 years from the date of invention, she has already gained immense popularity among the population.
How does it differ from the steam sauna we are used to, what is its effect on the human body and can a sauna harm health? So, infrared sauna, the benefits and harm.
What is infrared sauna
A standard infrared sauna is a cabin made of natural wood or other environmentally friendly material. Infrared emitters are mounted in the walls and under the seats. Individual cabins are very popular, where you can experience the delights of the thermal procedure alone, as well as thermal cabinets for up to 5 people.
IR sources for saunas are special ceramic heaters that are powered from the network. Due to the radiated heat, they provide warming of the tissues to a depth of 4 cm. Heat transfer occurs due to electromagnetic waves of the infrared range without using any transmission medium (air, steam). They are absolutely safe, as they represent the natural heat emitted by any heated bodies. Moreover, the length of their waves corresponds to those emitted by the human body (0.76–3 μm).
In contrast to the bath and the usual sauna in its infrared variety, energy is spent on heating the air, only about 20% of the radiation emitted by the heaters. And in the usual bath - up to 80% of thermal energy is spent on the same goals. And only then the heated air gradually warms up the human body. Moreover, the heating of tissues in a conventional sauna occurs at a depth of just a few millimeters.
The benefits of infrared saunas
The benefits of infrared saunas are manifested from the first minutes of the visitor’s stay in it, expanding the pores and causing excessive sweating. Trickles of abundantly flowing sweat for 20% consist of harmful substances - toxins and slags. Getting rid of them cleans the body, charges it with energy.
The temperature at 38.5 ° C, to which the body heats up very quickly, is detrimental to most germs and viruses. Vivifying heat warms the muscle and bone tissue, accelerates the movement of all fluid components.
Let's take a closer look at what is useful infrared sauna. With the systematic use of infrared procedures occurs:
- reducing cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular pathologies and stabilizes blood pressure;
- the fragility of the vascular walls is eliminated;
- the immune system is activated;
- muscle, joint and headaches are removed;
- accelerates the process of healing wounds and bruises;
- stressful states are removed, sleep is restored;
- nasal congestion is eliminated and other chronic ENT diseases are cured.
Even a quick glance at this list allows us to make a conclusion not only about the health, but also about the therapeutic effects of infrared waves.
However, the effects of infrared saunas are not limited to this. Her visit has an excellent rejuvenating effect and a noticeable cosmetic effect. Indeed, the opening of the pores and excessive sweating contribute to the deep cleansing of the skin, the release of dirt and dead cells. And increased blood flow provides an active supply of nutrients in the skin - it becomes smooth and elastic. Improves complexion. Nourishing creams, applied after the end of infrared procedures, enhance the cosmetic effect of the sauna.
Very effective IR procedures for losing weight. Sweating is accompanied by significant energy consumption. Abundant sweat in one session in a sauna carries with it as much energy as a 10-kilometer run. If, however, combining a sauna visit with a reasonable diet, then parting with extra pounds is guaranteed.
A number of skin diseases (dermatitis, eczema, acne and acne, dandruff) are successfully cured when visiting the infrared cabin.
Hate cellulite in the form of "lemon peel" is very uncomfortable feeling under the sight of infrared radiation. These subcutaneous deposits consisting of fat, water and slag begin to dissolve.
Perfectly infrared sauna affects professional athletes. Her visit to the workout contributes to the warming up of the muscles, their preparation for increased loads. During exercise, lactic acid builds up in the muscle tissue. The degree of fatigue of an athlete depends on its level. Sauna after a workout for half an hour reduces this level by 2 times.
The excellent therapeutic and cosmetic effects of the directional heat flow become noticeable with the regularity of these sessions. But how often can you visit the infrared sauna?
The small sizes and simplicity of operation allow to establish an infrared sauna in the apartment or a country house. Yes, and a half-hour stay in this individual "health and fitness center" is transferred more easily than in an ordinary sauna.
To maximize the benefits of this thermal procedure, some rules should be followed.
- You should not eat for 1.5 hours before taking the procedure, but rather take a hot shower and drink green tea or mineral water, as if to compensate for the upcoming loss of fluid.
- Ventilate the room thoroughly before visiting it. Turn on the heaters, wait until the air in the cabin heats up to 40–60 ° C. Only then come in, taking with you 2-3 towels.
- The first session should last no more than 25 minutes. As the body adapts, the duration of the procedures can be increased to 40 minutes. To be in the booth should be sitting with his legs down and straight back. It is very useful to make yourself a light massage of problem areas.
- After finishing the procedure, take a warm shower, drink tea or mineral water, again to fill the fluid.
- To enhance the cosmetic effect, apply the necessary creams on the skin.
The recommended frequency of visiting an infrared sauna is no more than 2 times a week. Wellness course should include 11–12 sessions. If the purpose of your procedures is to reduce weight, you can bathe more often, say, in 1-2 days, and after training at the simulators or other physical activities. Excellent results can be obtained while using other methods of weight loss (massage, wrap, appropriate diet).
In general, listen to your well-being, look for the “golden middle”, which will allow you to determine the maximum time spent in the sauna, and the frequency of its visits.
Who is harmful infrared sauna
Speaking about the undoubted benefits of the procedures described, it should be remembered about the contraindications to visiting the infrared sauna.
- During pregnancy, the sauna should be replaced by local warming up of separate parts of the body.
- It is strictly forbidden for leukemias, malignant tumors or suspicions of them.
- In the "black list" and especially female diseases - mastopathy, fibroids, as well as menstruation.
- Recent injuries (less than 2 days) are also not recommended to warm up.
- At risk are people with heart failure and angina.
Caution does not interfere with diabetics, as well as those with severe liver and kidney diseases.
- There is an incompatibility of some drugs with the thermal effects of the sauna, because there is a danger of side effects.
The list of contraindications includes chronic alcoholism.
It is believed that such a deep heating can adversely affect the work of the brain. Do not overheat your head! To avoid the "boiling of the brain", you can use a modernized infrared sauna, the cabin of which is made of synthetic material, and the head is outside during the procedure.
Only consultation with your doctor will help you decide in each specific case what the infrared sauna will bring - whether the harm is beneficial and how often you can visit it.
Visiting the infrared sauna will certainly help the body stay young and healthy. However, it is necessary to proceed to any thermal procedures with a certain degree of caution so that the benefits of an infrared bath are incomparably greater than harm.
The article was written by Svetlana Semenovna Dracheva - a teacher of physics of the highest qualification category.