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I am the first to admit that I have tried some crazy things in the name of wellness. I once ate raw garlic cake every morning for two weeks just as a natural alternative to antibiotics. (Not advised if it is only the garlic's breath.) I brush my hair with a comb carved from a clear quartz crystal to clean my crown chick. (Totally recommended if only for the aesthetics.)
Most recently, I dropped $ 400 on an infrared sauna rug from Amazon so I could "detox" daily from my own home, but it's not like "out there" like that sounds. In fact, experts agree that infrared sauna therapy can improve digestion, reduce pain and inflammation, benefit cardiovascular health, and even clean up acne.
The Benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy
I experienced the benefits of infrared sauna therapy first hand nearly a year ago. It was two months before my wedding, and I didn't fit in my dress. Desperate to lose some weight before the big day, I added two weeks of sauna deals to my nutrition and fitness plan.
But what I noticed most after a few months of regular sweating sessions was not the weight loss (although it helped in that department ̵
According to Dr. Josh Ax, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C. – The founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com, and author of the forthcoming book "Keto Diet" – it all checks out.
"Infrared saunas (sometimes called distant infrared saunas or near-infrared saunas) are a form of sauna that uses heat and light in the form of infrared light waves to help detoxify the body through sweat and promote relaxation, "he told Business Insider. "The proponents of infrared saunas often turn to this type of holistic treatment in the hope that meetings can provide joint and muscle support, speed up metabolism, accelerate weight loss, help rejuvenate skin, improve circulation, promote cardiovascular healing and help sleep quality."
Dr. Ax said scientific research in this area is limited but promising. But if you are a believer in anecdotal evidence, take my word for it: Infrared sauna sweating is better than a juice cleaning.
First I spoiled myself with regular infrared treatments at Shape House, an "urban sweat lodge" with places in Los Angeles and New York City. While typical sweat lodges have steam saunas, Shape House uses far infrared technology. You are essentially wrapped like a burrito in plastic coating, which is then heated to 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes using infrared light to build heat in the body.
"Infrared saunas differ from regular heated saunas because they emit light that penetrates directly into the skin," said Ax. There is no steam, no humidity and no hot air; It makes much easier to breathe and withstand high temperatures for a long time. But at about $ 50 a. Agreement, my Shape House habit was not one I could stop without that wedding budget.
I went without regular sweating sessions for a few months, which only confirmed how strong they had affected me: My digestion felt sluggish, my stomach was inflated, my acne returned, and I was low energy and eager more often than not .
Of course, I looked into the home infrared sauna blankets to get back on track on a budget.
I searched for an affordable, indoor infrared sauna treatment brought me to Amazon
"Infrared sauna rugs look like heavy sleeping bags, you attach yourself to one as it emits infrared rays and builds body heat," said Ax. "Some benefits of using an infrared rug include affordability, the fact that it is compact, lightweight and portable, it's easy to use at home, and versatility – it can be used in bed, on the floor or in a chair."
These can run from $ 100 to $ 1,000, and after conducting extensive research, I found "The One": Gizmo Supply 3 Zone Digital Far-Infrared Heat Sauna Blanket, priced at $ 400 on the Amazon worth of Shape House treatments – with more than 70 five-star reviews. Just two days later it was at my door. (Thanks, Amazon Prime.)
Fortunately, the Gizmo Supply rug is super easy to put together. It comes with a control box and a sleeping bag-esque blanket that must be connected through a series of three clearly marked wires. Each wire flows into a portion of the carpet and all three sections are separately heated between 35 degrees and 85 degrees Celsius (about 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 185 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to one hour. You just choose your desired temp and time, come in, sweat very and semi-uncomfortably, and wait to beep when the session is over … like an oven.
"Frequent, short infrared sauna sessions seem to be effective in providing the above health benefits," Dr. Ax.
A recent study associated with "20 minute treatments three times a week for a period of two to three months" with increased heart rate, so it's a good place to start. I personally follow the Shape House method and sweat for 50 minutes at 80 ° C, every single day. I am certified obsessed.
When I started my daily home treatment, I noticed an almost immediate improvement in my softening, skin, energy and mood. It turns out that a good sweat will do it for you.
Sweat tendency is the body's natural detox method, and far infrared heat is said to induce a giant seven times more sweat than a standard steam bath. This essentially wastes toxins out of the body through a process called "lymphatic drainage", enhances metabolism and increases your energy levels.
Besides this inner flush, sweating is a kind of "skin detox" in itself. When your pores are open and sweat pours through, its antibacterial properties kill acne-causing bacteria and flush away dirt and dirt sitting on the skin's surface.
"Apart from your liver, your skin is one of your greatest tools to detoxify your body," says Katie Dunlop, the founder of Love Sweat Fitness. "Being it is our biggest body, it's a kind of our first line of defense – and sweat allows us to get rid of toxins through the skin to make it fresh and rejuvenated."
"Sweat also means increased blood circulation throughout the body," she explains. "As your heart rate increases, the blood flows to the skin and brings with it lots of important nutrients and fresh oxygen. The advantage is that it happens from the outside so it's not just your skin that gets the amazing oxygen and nutrients it needs to promote collagen growth. But you can also detox and expel toxins at the same time. "
I swear my skin never looks rosy and glow-y than after a sauna session.
Infrared power is more than just physical. With regular use I find my anxiety symptoms are diminished. I think it is due in part to the fact that lying in the carpet for almost an hour gives me a chance to meditate and reflect – it is one of the only times in my day that is not consumed by my laptop or phone.
In addition, it is believed that infrared saunas promote mental health by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, Dr. Ax. "Activating the parasympathetic nervous system helps calm you down, allows the body to cope with stress and counteracts the effects of the sympathetic nervous system's fight or flight response."
Some potential disadvantages and health concerns to consider before using
As amazing as I feel inside and out of the sweat, I must be honest: The sauna is not necessarily a pleasant experience. It gets hot – to indicate the obvious – and really, really sweaty; And it certainly takes a willpower to do it through 30 to 50 minutes in the rug. "The most commonly reported adverse reactions are mild to moderate heat discomfort and intolerance, low blood pressure, lightness and claustrophobia," according to Dr. Ax. He notes that it is safe for most people, even though "even those who normally cannot tolerate other treatments that involve heat."
"Anyone who has sensitive skin, a history of heart problems, or who takes daily medications, should get their doctor's approval before they begin infrared sauna treatments," he adds. It is also recommended to wear head-to-toe cotton while in the blanket to safely absorb excess sweat and to hydrate as brittle before and after.
I realize that spending almost an hour of my day wrapped every day as a sweaty burrito sounds strange. Gwyneth Paltrow Goop level strange. But frankly, my infrared sauna rug is the most practical wellness purchase I've ever made.
It's been my healing-everything life. Feeling flared and gross? Time for a sweat sesh. Skin boring and dry? Sweat sesh. Hungover? Swollen eyes? Stressed out? I just sweat, sweat, sweat it out.
Anyone who did not say that sweat the little things clearly just had to take care of an infrared sauna blanket.
Buy Gizmo Supply 3-Zone Digital Far-Infrared Heat Sauna Blanket on Amazon for $ 399.99