Get Well

What the F*ck is an Infrared Sauna?

by Anna Sproul

Not to be confused or mistaken for said standard sauna in your local gym, infrared saunas go one step further. The infrared sauna mimics specific sun waves to stimulate the immune and lymphatic systems in the body and remove toxins, all without the negative effects of excess sun exposure. 

‘The electromagnetic radiation heats the body directly’ ( with current weather conditions this should be convincing a reason as any) “20 percent of the heat goes to heat the air and the other 80 percent directly heats your body.” The waves easily absorb into your body, and  the heat also penetrates the skin and allows you to sweat in a more tolerable way. The “ideal temperature is between 110°F to 130°F, but overall, the temperature is not important; the fact that you are receiving far infrared heat is.”

What the f**ck are the benefits of infrared saunas?

Improved Sleep

Say goodbye to those sleepless nights. According to a 2015 study, infrared saunas have been linked to syncing a better sleep cycle. Specifically, it found that infrared ‘effectively reduced negative symptoms for those living with chronic fatigue.’ A key factor in sleep regularity is how your body maintains its temperature; after keeping a warm temperature all day, the body cools down to signal the release of melatonin. Upon exiting that calm solitude of heat that is the infrared sauna, your body will experience that cool down, thereby releasing melatonin and inciting a feeling of zen and calm.

Reduced Anxiety

Infrared saunas have a huge benefit in helping that billowing anxiety we all feel at some level. The saunas are actually a stressor to the body, so in turn, your brain starts to release more euphoric hormones to combat it. Regular use is important to maintain best results, but not required. Simply put, regular sessions result in a regular lowering of cortisol (aka stress) levels. Irregular usage will still give results, they just won’t be as long lasting. 

Glowing Skin

Not only will your face be glowing from the lack of stress, but infrared saunas also penetrate deeper into the skin than any other method helping to kill bacteria and ease  a number of skin issues. “Sweat is one of the top natural anti-aging remedies’” as it pulls the toxins and dirt out of your skin to reveal purer and younger glowing skin!

Workout Recovery

Muscle recovery is also a pleasant benefit. Whether you’re hitting the sauna after an intense spin class or a chill yoga sesh, your muscles will love you for this. The heat works to reduce inflammation, therefore relaxing the muscles and increasing circulation for that painful stiffness. 

So where can I sweat it out?

While the options will vary depending on where you live, if you’re based in New York, let us recommend Chillhouse. That’s right! Chillhouse’s Soho Flagship is finally offering infrared sauna services, equip with a fully stocked shower and chill ass tunes. You can book the room for yourself, or for you and up to three friends! Book a service to experience it yourself at  

Feature Image via Alec Kugler

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