For more than ten thousand years, the sauna has been part of the culture of the Nordic peninsula. First made in Finland, out of a pit that was dug from an embankment and lined with stones and covered with layers of animal skins, the modern sauna also has roots in many cultures and their use of hot steam to promote health and wellness. Globally, the tradition of sweat lodges, bath houses, steam pits, and hot springs are found on 6 continents, have been extremely important to almost every indigenous culture, and were very popular with Ancient Romans, Greeks, and the Celts.
With that much history, there has to be something beneficial for the modern day person. And there is! Infrared saunas have the benefits of traditional saunas without many of the detracting features. Traditional saunas work by heating the air, while infrared saunas use light to heat the body instead of heating the air around you. In addition to the caloric burn that comes from sweating, several studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, headache, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and found some evidence of benefit.
Some of the other general benefits are pain relief from muscle aches and joint pain, detoxification, improved circulation, relief of inflammation, weight loss, skin purification, and relaxation.
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