Infrared saunas and their benefits have been popping up everywhere in the wellness world. So, naturally I had to see what the hype is all about.
I did my research and found lots of information. The only thing is, most the information out there is from digital publications and personal websites. The most recent fully evaluated study I found was from 2009 and even then states, "the published evidence to substantiate these claims (infrared health benefits) is limited." Apparently research in China and Japan is much more expansive and where many if these infrared studios get their information.
Luckily, around the time I became interested in infrared saunas, I was invited to visit Sweat Theory, a spa in West Hollywood, that specializes in far infrared yoga and fitness. You can imagine my excitement, and let me tell ya... I was not disappointed.
What is an Infrared Sauna?
Infrared saunas use both heat and light to help relax and detoxify the body. They omit infrared light waves creating heat in the body that cause you to sweat and, in turn, release toxins.
An infrared saunas heat emits rays that penetrate into the tissues and raises your core temperature much quicker than a regular sauna. It does all this at a much lower temperature than regular saunas, making it easier for individuals to last in the heat.
The proclaimed benefits include:
When I arrived at Sweat Theory, I was given a cayenne shot to start heating up, a meditation CD, and some alkaline water to help stay hydrated. Sweat Theory also does fitness classes with the infrared heat which I am excited to try.
I sat in the sauna for a little over an hour and tried my best to relax. It was a little small in there for my long body but I ended up getting sweaty and zoning in. There were only two times I had to open the door and let some cool air in. Out of all the listed benefits, none were very outstanding after one session... and all the same benefits can be achieved through fitness (sweating) anyway.
Once I was finished I got straight into the shower. I am pretty used to sweating a lot because of hot yoga but for someone who never sweats, it is defiantly an abundance of fluid. After the shower, I took the replenishing shot and walked out of there feeling completely refreshed. I didn't leave without checking out their crystal selection though.
People use infrared sauna therapy numerous times a week, but I think every once and awhile is plenty. I prefer to move around to sweat which is the reason I want to try the classes.
Sweat Theory also has a crystal healing service which I cannot wait to try. I did not know this until after I visited, but as someone who feels extremely connected to crystals and inspired by astrology and celestial beings, I look forward to when I am home from school, back in LA, and can try it out.