Tips For the Best Health Benefits
One of the primary health reasons for using a sauna and possibly the most beneficial is that of detoxification. An infrared detox can result in elimination of heavy metals, chemicals and many other toxins which are detrimental to your health. While any time in a sauna can result in some amount of benefits, following some guidelines can safely increase the benefits significantly.
Infrared saunas typically result in a much better detox than traditional steam. This is primarily due to the way they heat the body, the air, and also your skin temperature. We want to use this to our advantage. Our Sauna Reviews page highlights the brands that provide the best proven detoxification benefits.
Here are some additional ways to maximize your individual benefits from your infrared sessions. Some can be applied before, during and after your time in the sauna.
Pre-Session Protocol for Optimal Benefits
A proper protocol for detox starts with something that is obvious. Hydrate. Drink a glass of water before beginning the sauna session. The higher the temperature will be, the more water should be consumed before, during and after the heath therapy.
You should drink a full 16-20 ounce glass of water prior to your session. You could also drink a non-sugary sports drink or better yet coconut water. Coconut water has the added advantage of being loaded with electrolytes and all the nutrients needed for your body to assimilate the fluid completely and quickly.
Avoid sugary drinks, sodas, coffee or fruit juices with added sugar. Your body will want to sweat out toxic matter from itself and will need a lot of fluid to perform this task well.
How important is this? The Holistic Healing Centre, located just outside Sydney Australia has a good brochure describing how to best use their saunas. And the largest section has to do with hydration:
Stay Hydrated! Most people do not drink enough water to begin with and now that you are using a far infrared sauna and sweating, it is even more important to stay properly hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to drink your body weight in ml for every half an hour of your waking day, for example if you are 60kg, you will drink 60ml every half an hour from the time you wake up until the time you close your eyes at night.
When exercising or using our sauna you will need to increase this water. It is important to drink water during the hour before you enter the sauna. This will also aid in the detoxifying process. A bottle of Alkalife spring water will be included.
Showering Before and After using a Sauna
Although not necessary, some users find showering prior to using their sauna results in a faster and heavier sweat and a more invigorating experience. It can also begin the stimulation of your body’s circulation.
This shower will also remove dirt, dry skin, lotion or any other residue which could hinder proper sweating. As well, you could also dry brush your skin. This brushing will increase circulation and has additional benefits. It is not necessary but it does add some benefit and many think it feels great.
Wear as Little Clothing as Possible
Ideally, no clothing at all allows the best experience, especially in an infrared sauna. This is possible if it is in your home. The Infrared is hindered by clothing so if any area is injured or needs special attention, it needs to have direct contact with the infrared light waves.
If you are wearing clothing, wear as little as possible of loose fitting clothing that is breathable. Cotton shorts and top would be the better choice. Although rolling up the sleeves, legs and waist to expose as much skin to the infrared as possible is what is needed.
First Sauna Session Length
Beginners should start with 10-15 minute sessions. Slowly build up to 25-30 minutes. But also listen to your body. If you begin to feel weak, tired or too hot, open the door or simply step out of the cabin. When beginning you should definitely try to not overdo any session.
Many beginners that have been more sedentary may also notice they may not begin to sweat until being in the cabin for 20-30 minutes. This can be normal. Your body will learn to begin sweating sooner as your progress.
Infrared saunas are best experienced at lower temperatures of 110-125 degrees F. This may seem cool for you if you have been used to the traditional steam variety where temps can reach 180-200 degrees F. But in fact you will receive more benefits when the temps are kept lower.
Fiber for Mobilized Toxin Removal
Once the toxins are released and mobilized in the body, those that are not secreted in the sweat are released into the digestive system. Without proper fiber in the intestines, a portion of these toxins will be reabsorbed back into the body, being again deposited into fat cells.
While eating a heavy meal prior to entering the sauna is not recommended, having fiber in the form of a smoothie, green powder, fruits or vegetables more than an hour before or after your time in the sauna use can be beneficial in aiding the removal of these toxins.
After the Sauna
After your session, take a warm shower to wash off the toxins that are now on the outside of your skin. Many find that a cool shower rinse after a warm shower invigorates them and their skin. So enjoy a good shower followed by a cool rinse. This will also close up the pores.
When showering, avoid chemical laden soaps and heavy lotions. Your pores are open wide immediately after a sauna and you want to avoid clogging them.
Plan a little time to relax as a session can often leave you feeling a little drained for a few minutes.
Some users find the session will relax them, preparing them for a good nights sleep and they enjoy the sauna in the evening. Others are invigorated by the session and like to enjoy the renewed energy hours before bed. You will learn quickly what time of day you enjoy the best.
Hydrate again. Have another 8-16 ounce glass of water to replenish what has been lost during your heat therapy.
For an in-depth look at all of the remarkable health benefits of saunas see our benefits page.
Consult Your Physician
Always consult your physician prior to beginning use of any healing device. This toxin removal can also begin removing medications you have stored up in your body. Please see our recommendation on contraindications. Avoid the sauna entirely if you are pregnant as the heat and release of toxins are not good for the unborn.