The Healing Warmth of Infrared Saunas

Paul Youngquist has seen a number of patients dealing with the effects of Lyme disease come into his business, Wellness Works, to use the infrared sauna. Others coping with sleep issues, some from the negative effects of the blue light resulting from too much screen time, those with endocrine issues or high blood pressure and even a patient with Parkinson’s disease, have all come to reap the benefits that result from a session inside the sauna.

With three different levels of infrared light and six separate programs, plus the ability to customize, the infrared sauna is another tool for their clients to achieve optimal mind and body wellness.

“Infrared rays are the part of the sun that heat your body, so they have been around forever,” Youngquist said. “The sauna here is a full-spectrum infrared sauna that uses near, mid and far infrared rays that each have specific benefits. The six programs the sauna uses are designed to have all three infrared rays interface at different times to achieve specific results.”

Among the options clients can select are sessions that target pain relief, cardiovascular health, weight loss, relaxation, skin health and detoxification. Specifically, the near infrared rays most benefit mitochondria production (the energy centers in a cell), cell health, immunity, muscle recovery, wound healing, skin rejuvenation and pain relief, while mid-rays can improve circulation and assist in weight loss. The far infrared rays are those closely associated with detoxification, blood pressure reduction and relaxation.

“Using the infrared sauna can help the whole system of the body function better. It cleans it and helps de-stress. Stress is a major factor in successful healing and the body will never completely recover if dealing with stress,” Youngquist said. “The vagus nerve is attached to the brain and goes to different organs. It can facilitate mind-body healing and benefits from time in the sauna.”

An infrared sauna works by having the rays penetrate the body every 1-2 inches. Unlike a steam room or a dry sauna, the heat is not intense and is much more subtle and soothing. The infrared sauna can increase heart rate for cardiovascular gain, but it also provides a metabolic improvement and is good for mitochondria production and has a direct impact on the endocrine system.

Other gains come from decreased blood pressure, and those with foggy brain can find clarity. Uneasiness in the body can be combatted by the sauna’s calming of the nervous system as well.

“Most of the time people come out of the sauna and they can’t believe the difference in their overall state of being,” Youngquist related. “They notice a difference in their physiology and in their nervous system.

“Most people are impressed by what a difference a little thing (like a sauna cycle) can make. Usually the first sessions have the biggest reaction and encourage people to keep coming in.”

Program lengths are typically between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on what target area is selected, although there is a preheat program that lasts up to 55 minutes and warms the sauna up to its hottest level of 155 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to the preset programs, the sauna allows Youngquist to customize the panels that are used, and those changes can be saved into the computer and run for a client each time they come in. To determine a custom program, Youngquist said he can “talk to anybody and steer them in the right direction.”

To see measurable changes, the recommended usage is three times per week. Children as young as toddler and preschool age can use the sauna, and although there are some health conditions (hemophilia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, chronic joint pain or acute injury and any issue that impedes breathing) that should merit a consultation with a  doctor first, these patients are not completely barred from ever using the infrared sauna and reaping its benefits.

For most of the general population, the infrared sauna provides a simple, relatively quick and gentle path to wellness.

“In adding the infrared sauna to Wellness Works I was inspired by all the literature I read and the benefits of using infrared,” Youngquist said. “I thought it would be an attraction and a benefit to folks in the Peterborough and Monadnock area,”

To learn more, including how to book an infrared sauna session or other available services, visit Wellness Works online at wellnessworksllc.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/WellnessWorksLLC.PaulYoungquist.LMT.