Imagine being able to tackle pain relief, weight loss, detoxification, stress reduction and skin improvements in a 30-minute sauna session. Infrared saunas claim to be able to do all this and more in just 30 minutes -- but do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Infrared saunas work to mimic the body's response to natural sunlight without the dangerous UV rays. The infrared penetrates the first few inches into the skin, causing sweating and stimulation of the tissues.
On the Oprah show in 2009, Dr. Mehmet Oz explained that infrared saunas could burn as many as 700 calories a session. Due to the high intensity continual heat of the infrared sauna, the body increases circulation and perspires. This is similar to the effects of exercise on the body.
Unlike physical exercise, infrared saunas cannot build muscles, burn fat or strengthen the body. Always consult a physician before beginning any new diet or exercise program. Infrared saunas claim to have detoxification properties by eliminating impurities through sweat, but can lead to overheating and dehydration.