Jade Infrared Sauna: The Benefits
Jade Infrared Sauna:
Benefits of Infrared Sauna
Researchers have been studying the effects of saunas for decades when it comes to pain management and relaxation. Infrared saunas are relatively new compared to conventional saunas but have picked up attention recently for helping naturally treat, without drugs or invasive treatments, multiple health problems with little to no side effects. Research studies have shown benefits of infrared sauna. See below:
Infrared sauna detoxification has received more attention as a result of an effort toward natural and self-directed treatments. The leading sauna detoxification principle suggests that common illnesses are caused by the build-up of toxic substances in the body. The infrared sauna helps remove such toxins, which may help relieve symptoms, prevent future illness and increase overall health and vitality. Reports from the United States Center for Disease Control estimate that over 80% of all illnesses have causes rooted in personal environments or lifestyles. (3)
Toxic substances, including heavy metals, are secreted from the body through sweat. Therefore, the more one can safely sweat, the greater quantity of toxins will be released from the body. Sauna usage is one of the most effective methods of inducing a detoxifying sweat. In a sauna detox, sweat carries toxins out of the body through the pores. (4)
Researchers have found infrared sauna therapy to reduce body fat in obese subjects. (5) In addition, according to results published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, infrared sauna weight loss sessions were shown to burn up to 600 calories. (6) When performing an infrared sauna session your core temperature increases and the body has to work hard to cool itself, causing a healthy sweat. In addition, there is an increase in heart rate, cardiac output, blood flow from 5-7 quarts up to 13 quarts a minute and metabolic rate. As result, these are the major causes for this many calories being burned. (7)
Helps Lower Chronic Pain
Infrared heat therapy works to decrease pain naturally. (8,9) This process is natural since pain is relieved by infrared heat warming your muscles and tissues. As a result, of this increase in temperature, blood vessels in your body dilate, through increase nitric oxide synthase (enzyme), in order to increase blood flow and heart rate without increasing blood pressure. (10) Pain is at times related to lack of blood flow to your muscles due to muscle tension or spasm. (11) This improved circulation, from increased blood flow and heart rate, allows more oxygen to reach tissues and nerves, helping to reduce pain, reduce spasms and speed up the healing process. Essentially, the increased blood flow breaks a feedback loop, in which the low blood flow leads to further spasm and then more pain.
Heat from the infrared sauna has also been shown to reduce pain sensation by direct action on both free-nerve endings in tissues and on peripheral nerves. The sauna is shutting down the so-called “spinal gate” of Melzack and Wall, which will decrease pain. (12) In addition, an endorphin release from the sauna is believed to be another cause for the reduction in pain. (13) Those who suffer pain from rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia and chronic pain may significantly improve their pain symptoms by using infrared saunas. (14, 15, 16, 17) The use of infrared saunas has been proclaimed to also reduce pain associated with having ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease but more research is needed.
Improved Heart Health
In the U.S. alone, one in three adults suffer from heart disease, stroke or some other form of cardiovascular disease in their lifetime. High blood pressure increases your risk of getting heart disease, kidney disease or serious stroke. In the Journal of Cardiac Failure, researchers reported statistical improvements in blood pressure, strength of heart (ejection fraction on echocardiogram) and exercise tolerance in patients treated with saunas. (18) Saunas also helped reduce the number of hospital admissions for this condition. (18)
In 2004, a clinical study published in the Journal of Circulation explored the therapeutic use of infrared saunas for patients in the end-stage of congestive heart failure. It showed that saunas helped relieve arrhythmias, which are an irregularity in the force or rhythm of the heartbeat. (19)
In 2009, a review by the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver found evidence supporting the use of infrared sauna treatments for normalizing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, treating congestive heart failure and helping with chronic pain. That means an infrared sauna is a good way to help prevent high blood pressure and improve heart health. (20)
A 2002 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that infrared saunas help improve the function of impaired vascular endothelial cells in patients who are at risk for coronary artery disease. The infrared heat of the sauna was found to open capillaries to improve blood flow. Fifteen minutes in an infrared sauna each day for fourteen days improved the function of the endothelial cells lining the arteries by 40%. (21)
In a 2005, researchers performed a clinical study at the University of Missouri Kansas City and found infrared saunas to lower blood pressure through a program of 30-minute infrared sauna sessions just three times per week. The study concluded that infrared sauna therapy dilated blood vessels and reduced the thickness of their inner lining. This increased circulation and promoted healthy blood pressure. (22)
Lowers Side Effects of Diabetes
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that far-infrared sauna use is associated with improved quality of life in people with type II diabetes, even when compared to other lifestyle interventions. People with diabetes often suffer from complications such as pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, congestive heart failure and other heart problems, but sauna treatment seems to improve pain threshold and contribute to overall wellbeing. (23)
Infrared light easily penetrates the dermis and can help with a variety of skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, scarring and eczema, as well as improving skin quality.
The infrared light boost circulation, which brings more blood and nutrients to areas of the skin that need healing. In addition, collagen fibers contract and tighten and chemical messengers called cytokines are released. As more cytokines are released, collagen-producing cells called fibroblasts leap into action. If healing is required, then the skin will heal. If the skin is already healthy, you will get a plumping effect from the extra collagen created and tightened.
A study published in The Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy showed significant improvements in skin appearance after just 12 weeks of sauna skin therapy using near-infrared technology. Participants experienced a reduction in wrinkles and crow’s feet, as well as improved overall skin tone, including softness, smoothness, elasticity, clarity and firmness. (24)
Wound Healing, Cell Health, Muscle Recovery and Immunity
Your skin plays an important role in the protection of our bodies from the external environment. As a result, broken skin is important to repair quickly to prevent harmful environmental aggressors like germs and UV radiation from entering. Our skin is important in preventing bacteria from attacking our skin and causing infection. Our infrared pod produces near infrared, in addition to far infrared light using LED technology. This is the same technology used in scientific research that concluded near-infrared therapy greatly enhances the wound healing process. Studies conducted by NASA concluded that near-infrared LED light significantly promotes faster cell regeneration, wound healing and human tissue growth. Human cell growth increased by 155%-171% in some cases and wound size decreased by 36%. (1)
Infrared therapy stimulates the circulatory system, causing the heart to beat more vigorously and blood vessels to dilate, which help cleanse the circulatory system and more fully oxygenate the body’s cells. Better blood circulation means more toxins flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface to improve cell health, aid in muscle recovery and strengthen the immune system. In fact, the NASA study showed this same near infrared therapy, delivered by LEDs deep into body tissue, can quadruple cell health and tissue growth. (1)
Improve Overall Well-Being
In 2005, findings by researchers from Nishi Kyusyu University in Japan found that infrared sauna heat therapy might work even better to lift a person’s mood and wellbeing when coupled with other holistic treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and exercise rehabilitation.
According to the patients’ test scores, self-ratings for pain, depression and anger significantly decreased after treatment. Two years after treatment, 77% of the patients in the infrared sauna group felt well enough to return to work, compared to just 50% in the control group. (25)
Improve Aerobic Sports Performance
Infrared sauna exposure has been found to cause aerobic hypothermic conditioning. Hypothermic conditioning is when acclimating yourself to heat independent of aerobic activity reduces the strain of your primary aerobic activity. The way infrared sauna use improves your aerobic performance are through:
- Enhancing endurance by increasing plasma blood volume and blood flow to the heart, which reduces cardiovascular strain and lowers your heart rate at a given work load. (26, 27, 28)
- Reducing the chance of athletes “hitting the wall” when glycogen stores are depleted. Infrared sauna exposure increases blood flow to the skeletal muscles, increasing the delivery of glucose and reducing the dependence on glycogen stores. (29, 30)
- Sweating at a lower core temperature and maintaining sweat rate longer through increasing blood flow to the skin (26)
- Increasing oxygen delivery to muscles through an increase in red blood cells. Sauna use increases plasma volume as mentioned earlier, which stimulates a growth factor called erythropoietin to produce more red blood cells. (31)
Prevents muscle breakdown when muscles are not used and improves muscle building in conjunction with resistance training
This is another form of hypothermic conditioning in which muscle size and strength can be maintained if not used, as in after an injury, or increased without resistance training exercise. This occurs as the result of three main reasons:
- Sauna use will induce heat shock proteins, which act against the oxidative stress that causes protein breakdown and repair damaged proteins ensuring they have proper structure and function. (32, 33)
- Sauna use causes a large release of growth hormone, which inhibits muscle protein breakdown and thereby increasing protein synthesis (i.e. muscle building). (34, 35, 36)
- Sauna use increases insulin sensitivity, which results in protein synthesis by stimulating the uptake of amino acids into muscle. (37, 38) This improved sensitivity also prevents protein or muscle breakdown by inhibiting proteasomem, which is largely responsible for the breakdown of cellular proteins. (39)
Positive Effects on The Brain
Sauna use has shown to increase norepinephrine and prolactin. Norepinephrine helps with focus and attention while prolactin promotes myelin sheath growth, which assists your brain in functioning faster and repairing nerve damage. (40, 41) In addition, sauna use has been found to increase the expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor, which increases growth of new brain cells and survival of existing brain cells, which enhance learning. (42) Brain derived neurotropic factor also helps adapt to any brain injury and disease and improve long-term memory, which has been found to help reduce anxiety and depression. (43)
Greater Post-Exercise High
Sauna use has shown to increase the release of dynorphin in the body. Dynorphin is what causes the uneasiness associated while exercising. However, the greater the release of dynorphin causes more receptors for endorphins to be available. (44) Endorphins make us feel good and give us relief from pain. As a result, more endorphins are recognized creating even greater feelings of well being and decreased pain.