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Four Ways Using an Infrared Sauna Can Improve Your Health

Using a sauna to relax and recover has been popular for centuries, with traditional saunas using heat to warm the air around you and stones to absorb and redistribute the heat. The heat sources in a traditional sauna can vary from wood-burning to electric or even gas powered, but steam plays a crucial role in all of them to create humidity.

While a traditional sauna uses hot stones and steam, an infrared sauna uses infrared light to heat your skin and absorb deep into your muscles, raise your core body temperature and promote detoxification. An infrared sauna typically operates at a lower temperature than a traditional sauna and there is no steam or humidity.

As someone who now struggles with high temperatures and humidity because it causes many of my MS symptoms to flare, I prefer using an infrared sauna because it’s a much more enjoyable experience for me. There are many health benefits to using a traditional sauna, however, studies have shown that infrared saunas provide additional benefits that traditional saunas don’t.


Blood Circulation and Detoxification

Because of the deep penetration an infrared sauna provides, the infrared light is able to reach your muscles, joints and tissue which increases blood flow, reduces blood pressure, improves oxygenation and can remove impurities within your cells. When you sweat in the sauna, your body is dissolving harmful substances that accumulate in your body. While this also happens in a traditional sauna, the additional light penetration accelerates the toxin removal process leading to greater levels of detoxification.


Stress Relief

An infrared sauna can be a more relaxing experience and powerful stress reliever because of the less intense heat and humidity. The infrared light causes a release of serotonin in your body, increasing dopamine levels in your brain and providing a similar sensation to what you may feel after a good workout.


Recovery and Pain Relief

Both a traditional and infrared sauna can help with muscle recovery, however, the infrared light is more effective at reducing overall muscle soreness and pain. It causes your blood vessels to dilate, which improves blood circulation for targeted relief of the affected muscle, joint, ligament or tendon. A traditional sauna does not offer the same focused recovery. The increased blood flow to muscles from infrared wavelengths delivers more concentrated oxygen, which in turn creates more energy to heal. Studies have also found that infrared saunas can make a significant impact on short-term improvement of pain and stiff joints, as well as in the management of musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain.


Improved Skin

Both traditional and infrared saunas offer extensive benefits to your skin thanks to sweating out toxins and removing dead skin cells in the process, however, the increased blood circulation from the infrared light draws natural nutrients to your skin’s surface to minimize redness and conditions such as eczema.


As someone who suffers from chronic pain and inflammation, I have found using an infrared sauna to be incredibly helpful with reducing swelling and spasms in my legs and increasing my energy levels, all of which affect me on a daily basis. And because I can experience those benefits without the extreme humidity and high temperature which can trigger other symptoms, using an infrared sauna is a more relaxing and stress-relieving experience for me than a traditional sauna or steam room.

As I mention all the time, though, everyone is different and so are our health journeys. What works for my body and recovery may not work or be the best option for you. It’s important to listen to your body, what it’s telling you it needs and what you’re comfortable with.




  1. Mutchler, C. (2023, August 14). Infrared Sauna Therapy: Comparing the Benefits and Risks. VeryWellHealth. Retrieved from,to%20fully%20back%20these%20claims.

  2. N.A. (2022, April 13). Infrared Saunas: What they do and 6 health benefits. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from:

  3. Tsagkaris, C. et all. (2022, March 14). Infrared Radiation in the Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions and Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review. Eur J. Investing Health Psychol Educ. Retrieved from:



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