First, we froze ourselves in the name of health with Cryotherapy. Now, it’s the opposite, and personally, I’m on board. I did give Cryotherapy a fair shot and believe it has honest and real benefits for those who do it religiously. But in all honesty, I HATE to be cold. Plain and simple. Every time I’d go for one of those 3-minute sessions, the anxiety induced by the freezing chamber overshadowed the elation I felt afterward.
That’s why when I starting hearing about the newest fad in the wellness world, infrared saunas, I was intrigued. Many of the same, incredible benefits offered by cryotherapy, minus the chill? I’m in.
How It Works
But why you might ask. Well, unlike traditional saunas, these machines emit infrared light rays, which cannot be seen by the human eye but are felt as heat. By eliminating the sun’s harmful UV rays, infrared saunas provide a safe, restorative sweat.
These “Vital Rays” are seen to have regenerative effects on the human body as they penetrate deep into tissue, joints and muscles. And of course, one of the most obvious benefits of sweating is the detoxification.
Infrared Sauna Benefits
While a typical sauna likewise causes you to sweat from the high temperature, infrared saunas have 7 times more detoxifying power. Along with this, infrared saunas can relieve pain, rejuvenate skin, improve circulation (which aids wound healing), enhance the immune system, promote weight loss, reduce blood pressure and boost restful sleep. Because of this, using infrared saunas has become highly recommended by physicians for everything from workout recovery to stress relief and healing of chronic diseases.
We’re exposed to an enormous number of chemicals daily, and this is a fantastic way to remove impurities from your cells and purge the body of harmful pollutants and heavy metals.
Since moving to Austin, I’ve frequented several infrared sauna studios with a couple that top my list:
This studio in West Lake is clean, sleek and one of my favorite places to spend a self care day. A 40-minute session in one of their full-sized, spacious infrared saunas is all I need to reset after a night out or recover from a few tough workouts. You can set the heat to your preference and even share your room with a buddy you’d like to sweat it out with.
While I often love to use my time in the sauna to breathe, stretch, relax and meditate, I also love that Perspire provides televisions in each room to help pass the time with a little Netflix when I need to zone out. Plus, they even offer rooms with showers in case you need to clean up afterwards and move on with the rest of your day.
Lastly, this studio incorporates Color Light Therapy into their booths which uses the visible spectrum of electromagnetic light to treat various diseases and ailments. Check out the color chart with individual benefits here!
When you walk into their South Lamar location, CYL feels like a chic workout studio and sleek spa combined. You’ll spend 30 minutes in one of their individual pods, and it doesn’t take long to feel the burn. I was truly shocked at how much I sweat in that short period of time.
I won’t lie, it took me a few sessions to get totally used to the heat, and I suggest bringing headphones to listen to a great podcast, book or music to pass the time! Or you can enjoy the spa music pumped into your room and take much-needed snooze. Every time, I leave feeling both relaxed and as if I just finished a hardcore cardio session — truly the best of both worlds.
I by no means believe this is a fix-all cure for every ailment, but I do find it is a wonderful addition to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Paired with eating organic, whole foods, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, infrared saunas can be a wonderful addition to your routine.
For those who go regularly, the benefits truly speak for themselves. Every time I have a session, I leave sweatier, more relaxed and rejuvenated than I came in. For those local to Austin, I highly recommend giving Perspire and CYL Sauna Studios a shot.
And if not, simply do a little online research to find where you can take advantage of this worthwhile wellness trend at a studio in your area!