As part of our commitment to wellness, Moramarco Chiropractic is introducing infrared sauna for our patients, as well as the Boston community at large, so more people can have the opportunity to experience the potential health benefits of infrared sauna.
Infrared sauna differs from traditional dry sauna in that it utilizes infrared light waves to heat the body. The air temperature inside an infrared sauna isn’t nearly as hot – around 120º compared to 180º in a traditional sauna. The lower temperature allows for longer sessions and the infrared spectrum offers different healing levels that focus on the body in different ways.
It’s an exciting addition to our lineup of services, especially for those interested in detoxification, improved circulation, potentially lower blood pressure, increased calorie burn, improved flexibility, or just relaxation.
Infrared waves come in near, mid and far. Our unit, from Sunlighten, has the ability to emit all three, individually or in combination.
The goal of infrared sauna, at any wavelength, is to help you get healthier, naturally. Near infrared is beneficial for treating skin conditions and improving appearance and elasticity. Mid-infrared waves penetrate deeper and increases circulation to the extent that it mimics the effects of increased cardiovascular output. This can often last beyond the sauna session. Other benefits may include reduced inflammation and joint swelling (1), and according to research conducted at Auburn University (2), improved flexibility. The longest wavelength, far-infrared, heats the body from the inside out. As body temperature rises you will produce a deep, detoxifying sweat from the cellular level to reduce your toxic burden. Regular treatments in far-infrared may help to reduce blood pressure according to one study. Other benefits include increased metabolic rate, reduced muscle tension, and improved mood.
These claims are supported by research. A study from Canada regarding far-infrared and cardiovascular risk (3) states “the cardiovascular demand imparted by thermoregulatory homeostasis is similar to that achieved by walking at a moderate pace.” Another study, from the University of Missouri (4), found that for patients with high blood pressure, far infrared waves contributed to somewhat lowered blood pressure. Patients studied spent 30 minutes 3X per week (for six weeks) in the infrared sauna. This resulted in the reduction of the diastolic (bottom/second) number of the blood pressure reading dropping from 130.5 to 124.
Preprogrammed settings allow you to focus sessions according to your individual health goals. While you sauna, the heat from the infrared waves penetrate the tissues to produce a deep, vigorous sweat.
If your goal is weight loss, the estimated calorie burn during an infrared session (mid and far infrared waves) is between 200 to 600 calories. This will vary by individual. As the body heats, it works to regulate temperature resulting in increased calorie burn (measurement by a compatible Android Bluetooth heart monitor is possible and available for purchase from Sunlighten). This monitor syncs wirelessly to the sauna to reveal specific energy expenditure. As long as there are no contraindications to infrared sauna use, it’s an excellent alternative to elevate heart rate for those who are unable to exercise due to limited mobility.
If you are looking to eliminate systemic environmental contaminants, infrared sauna can help with this too. Sweating helps rid the body of these pollutants. In today’s toxic world, awareness of environmental exposure to toxins is on the rise. Heavy metals, especially mercury, lead, and aluminum are of particular concern. These contaminants are suspected of triggering or exacerbating heart disease, thyroid issues, anemia, and even neurological conditions like brain fog and dementia. Infrared is said to produce a more therapeutic sweat than a conventional sauna–about 20% toxins and 80% water. Some proponents of infrared even suggest that for detoxification purposes, regular infrared sessions are superior to a juice fast!
Prior to the first session, each individual will require a brief one-time consult with Dr. Moramarco. This is so that he can rule out any contraindications to sauna use. To determine heat tolerance, the initial in-sauna session may be up to 25 minutes. After that, sessions in our office will be either 25 or 37 minutes depending upon your preferences and health goals.
While hydration is always important, we recommend that everyone using the sauna is extra hydrated before a session and continues to hydrate during and after the session concludes.
Our sauna is equipped with radio, MP3 input, and DVD. It also has a wireless internet connection so you can be online while sweating your way to improved health.
Whatever your health goals, infrared sauna is pleasant and offers numerous potential health benefits. Here at Moramarco Chiropractic Office, we’ve enjoyed having a warm box to relax in during this cold Boston winter.
(1) Oosterveld, F.G.J., Rasker, J.J., Floors, M. et. al., Infrared sauna patients with rheumatoid
arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Clin Rheumatol (2009) 28:29.
(3) Beever R. Far-infrared saunas for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors: Summary of published evidence. Canadian Family Physician. 2009;55(7):691-696.
(4) Edwards B, Kort H. A study of the health benefit of far infrared sauna therapy. J Am Coll Cardiol 2001;38:1083– 8.