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How To Use An Infrared Sauna

Tips And Guidelines To Maximize Your Experience

The use of an infrared sauna is both easy and straightforward. By following a few expert guidelines, the benefits and results can be safely augmented to serve you better.

As with any new exercise or healthcare protocol, you will want to start slow with regard to the following:

  • Frequency of Sessions
  • Length of Time of Each Session
  • Temperature of the Sauna

Further, turn your infrared sauna for home into a den of relaxation and nurturing where both the body and mind can relax. Take some time to learn about some of the features you will want to use while using your infrared sauna.

Quick and Easy: A Brief History

Sauna therapy is an ancient tradition used by people worldwide. The infrared sauna is as easy to start as, quite literally, pressing a button. Most sauna therapies throughout history have been laborious in preparation time and effort. For example, it could take days to prepare the first saunas of the East African dugouts, arduous to prepare the Native American sweat lodge, and time consuming to heat the rocks up for the traditional Finnish saunas.

Infrared saunas install easily within the comfort of your home in about an hour, and require nothing more than the pressing of a button to get started.

Traditional saunas increase the body’s temperature by heating stones over a fire that are then imported into the structure to raise ambient temperatures. Infrared saunas rely on radiant heat to increase internal core temperature, rather than the atmosphere, and it takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to get the temperature to your preference.

Preparation Through Hydration: Be Sure to Drink Water Before, During, and After Your Sauna Session

Glass of Water

Preparing the body for the transformational experience of an infrared sauna begins with proper hydration. Detoxification protocols, including infrared sauna sessions that rely on copious sweating, will need to be done in conjunction with adequate hydration.

Ideally, hydration should begin several days before taking an infrared sauna. At least, three quarts of water a day should be consumed by someone engaged in regular sauna use. The infrared wavelengths, including near, mid and far all penetrate deeply into the initial epidermis of the skin causing the body’s temperature to rise from the inside out. While this method of heat therapy is far more effective in its detoxification protocol, it also tends to cause dehydration easily if the individual is not properly hydrated before the session.

Temperature Setting:

Infrared saunas, both for use within healthcare practices and at home, come fully equipped with their own thermostat so that you can set your preferred temperature. As you begin your journey through broad spectrum infrared sauna therapy it is important to begin with lower temperatures to acclimatize the body to the heat. If you have little to no experience, with any kind of heat therapy, then it is safe and advisable to begin setting your temperature at 100 degrees Fahrenheit to start.

Infrared saunas can more accurately be described as a light bath, and many of the benefits of exposure to the infrared light spectrum do not rely on high temperatures. Rest assured even if the temperature is not set too high, you are still benefiting at a cellular level from the light.

As you prepare for your sauna, all you need to do is heat the sauna up 15-20 minutes before entering. You are more than welcome to enter the sauna before the desired temperature has been reached, as the exposure to the infrared wavelengths is healthful unto itself.

There is no need to feel angst about increasing the temperature before you are ready as it is the light waves themselves, in communication with human physiology, that create the healthful biochemical changes.

The infrared sauna’s capacity for heat ranges from 100-150 degrees Fahrenheit. As you make steady progress with the time you spend in the sauna you will naturally begin to increase the temperature. Remember, it is better to spend longer periods of time and more frequent sessions than it is to set a high temperature.

Increase Session Duration Incrementally

It is recommended to sit inside the sauna for no more than about 15 minutes for the first two weeks. During this time period give yourself a day between each sauna session. By the third week, the body will be acclimatized to both the heat and infrared wavelengths. Rest assured that sweating occurs even at lower heat settings due to the nature of the infrared wavelengths and their depth of penetration into the soft tissues of the body.

By the third week the body will be well acclimatized to sit in the infrared sauna for more than 15 minutes. At this point you will want to begin to increase the temperature.

Increased exposure of up to 50 minutes per sauna session is more important than the temperature of the sauna because of the nature of the ‘light bath’ rather than the traditional heating up of external air temperatures.
Eventually, when the body is acclimatized, and provided you are properly hydrated, the infrared sauna can be used twice a day for 50 minutes with the temperature set to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

* Hydration is key to creating the desired health benefits offered by the infrared sauna, particularly as you increase time and frequency of use. The minimal amount of water you should consume is 3 quarts a day with regular sauna use.

Clothing Optional

Copious sweating occurs inside the infrared sauna, as the body releases potentially harmful toxins. Any clothing you do wear inside of the sauna will be soaked through and could potentially clog the pores. It is recommended, particularly if you have an infrared sauna installed in your home, to enter naked. This will maximize the detoxification protocol so that every cell of the body can easily open up and release sweat.

Towel Use

Stack of Towels

You will not sweat a little: you will sweat a lot. Be sure to bring two towels inside the sauna with you and have one fresh one prepared for the after shower rinse. The first towel can be used to sit on so that your bare skin is not on the wood bench. The second towel can be used as a sweat rag to wipe falling sweat off the brow and away from the eyes. You will want to have some kind of cover to put on as you walk from the infrared sauna to the shower.

Shower Protocol

After your infrared sauna session it is advisable to take a shower. This will not only feel comfortable but will also aid in the detoxification protocol. In the shower it can be helpful to exfoliate the skin, as it is warm and the pores are open. Dead skin cells will easily wash away. It is also important to use a natural cleanser to remove any toxic build up on the skin. Be sure not to use anything too harsh, as the skin is open and vulnerable at this time.

It is recommended to bring a jade rock into the shower with you or any other tool that will powerfully exfoliate the skin. It is both satisfying and invigorating to remove the old skin cells in the shower.

Engage The Mind: Visualization

Drawing conscious awareness to the health benefits of infrared light therapy will augment the positive long-term effects. It can be helpful to visualize the transformation occurring at the cellular level as a means of encouraging physiological changes (1).

The autonomic nervous system will enter out of sympathetic (fight or flight) into parasympathetic (relaxation) dominance. As the body finds increasing states of rest, it is an excellent time to fall into meditation. As the body relaxes, so does the mind. States of profound relaxation attained in the infrared sauna will give you the opportunity to gently pull the curtain back between the conscious and subconscious mind back.

Every sauna comes equipped with Bluetooth speakers so that you can play your favorite-guided meditations or music.

Medical Grade Light Therapy

Most infrared saunas for your home are furnished with medical-grade light therapy. There are a multitude of health benefits connected with exposure to the color light spectrum. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the benefits corresponding to each light wave (2).

You have the freedom to choose which frequency of color you want to work with during your sauna session depending on your needs, or allow the medical grade lights to cycle through on their own, exposing you to all of the colors for equal amounts of time.

Halotherapy: Himalayan Salt Therapy

Trays of Salt

Certain infrared saunas specifically provide a full sensory experience by incorporating the health benefits of Himalayan salt. (3).

Begin Your Journey and Reap the Full Host of Health Benefits

It is exciting and invigorating to begin your journey into infrared sauna therapy. Infrared saunas that are made well provide state-of-the-art technology to promote safety and maximize health benefits. Be sure to begin incrementally with a low heat setting and build your endurance to longer sessions over several weeks.

Hydration of the body is necessary to safely enjoy the transformative powers of the infrared sauna. Be sure to drink ample fluids before and after your sauna. Hydration will aid to increase circulation and detoxification protocol.

As you keep these basic guidelines in mind, you provide a platform to move through infrared sauna safely and effectively.



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