Your Ultimate Red Light Therapy Sauna Guide
Over the last several years, we’ve seen a direct increase in the amount of people using red light therapy (RLT) to treat and heal all manner of ailments.
From stiff joints and aching muscles to poor circulation and sporting injuries, the red light therapy benefits you’re able to enjoy are endless. The differences before and after LED light therapy are like night and day.
Despite red light therapy having grown substantially in terms of popularity over the last several years, the concept behind this unique method of treatment is nothing new. In fact, it can be traced back more than half a century.
As more and more people discover the many benefits associated with RLT, more people are trying red light therapy at home, in the form of a red light therapy sauna, also known as an infrared sauna.
But what exactly are these saunas, how do they work, how do they help, and what can you do to ensure you’re getting the best deal? Check out this handy red light therapy saunas, and all will become clear.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Before we can take a look at what infrared saunas are, we first need to take a look at what it is that makes them so beneficial, I.E red light.
RLT is not a new concept, in fact, it is over half a century old. Having first been discovered in the 1960s, by a Hungarian physicist by the name of Endre Mester, it was initially used as a potential cure for hair loss. Endre discovered the benefits of light therapy after red light was used on rats, where it was found to speed up wound healing and promote hair growth.
Red light therapy uses light that is found within specific wavelengths of between 620 and 750 nanometres (nm) up to 1,200 nm which is technically classes as ‘near infrared’. This light is visible to the human eye, and you can guess what colour it is.
Red light therapy benefits are well documented, and the treatment itself is actually very simple. When particles of light called photons are introduced to the skin, they actually enter the body on a cellular level. These photons from red light devices enter tissues and activate what are known as ‘chromophores.’ Chromophores are a part of a molecule responsible for giving it its colour.
Once these chromophores have been activated, this then brings about a series of changes on a cellular level, and can essentially help to rejuvenate our cells. Not only that, but RLT can also help improve mitochondria health. Mitochondria are basically what power our cells. Think of your cells as a car, and the mitochondria as the battery. RLT improves mitochondria health and enables them to generate more ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is used as a primary source of energy for the cells. This in turn helps to facilitate wound healing and makes the cells healthier and more functional.
Near infrared light, which is also used as part of RLT, is used in infrared saunas and is part of the reason why red light therapy at home is so popular, as so many people are now purchasing these saunas.
What is a Red Light Therapy Sauna?
A RLT sauna, also known as an infrared sauna, serves as a very popular alternative to traditional steam, or flame-heated saunas.
Put very simply, a red light sauna/infrared sauna, is a type of sauna composing of a wooden box that is kitted out with a series of infrared heaters that use infrared light to heat the sauna and those who use it.
The infrared heat lamps not only heat up the sauna, they also give it a pleasant red glow, which really helps to set the ambience and mood you’d expect when using a sauna. They focus near infrared light onto your skin and gradually bring up your core body temperature in a slow and controlled manner.
Infrared saunas are much gentler on the skin and body than steam saunas. They produce a gentle heat that is similar to what you would expect if you were to lay in the sun for a while on a warm day. The heat lamps from red light therapy saunas focus the heat and light directly onto the skin, rather than heating up the entire sauna like traditional saunas do. Basically, rather than warming the air surrounding you, they simply warm you.
These saunas are considered much more comfortable than steam or flame-powered saunas, with average temperatures coming out at 100F – 150F, as opposed to upwards of 200F. This makes them more comfortable and relaxing, especially when used at home.
Health Benefits of Red Light Saunas
The difference in mood alone before and after red light therapy is hugely noticeable, but don’t worry, there are plenty of other health benefits to focus on as well.
Here’s a look at just a few of the more prominent health benefits associated with using an infrared sauna.
Red light therapy saunas reduce blood pressure
One of the main benefits of an infrared sauna is the fact that it helps to reduce your blood pressure.
Hypertension, which you may know as high blood pressure, is also referred to as the ‘silent killer’. This is due to the fact that it is so difficult to diagnose and can lead to all manner of very serious health issues which could be fatal.
Hypertension can lead to strokes, heart attacks, organ failure, and much more besides. One of the main red light therapy benefits of using a red light sauna is the fact that it can significantly reduce your blood pressure.
These saunas increase your core body temperature and heat you up, which in turn causes the heart to pump faster while simultaneously improving circulation (more on that shortly). Not only that, but it has also been found to significantly reduce both diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
Infrared saunas promote circulation
Another reason why red light therapy at home via one of these fantastic saunas is so popular, is due to the fact that they can boost circulation.
Like we previously mentioned, as your core temperature increases gradually thanks to the red light, this causes the heart to beat stronger, and faster, and allows more blood to be pumped around the body.
Having better circulation not only means you’re less likely to suffer with high blood pressure, it also means better nutrient delivery for your cells. Oxygen and other nutrients are delivered to the cells in your body via the bloodstream. The better your circulation, the more oxygen and nutrients can be delivered to your cells, and the healthier they will become.
Red light therapy saunas help speed up wound healing
If you’re suffering from a wound or injury, particularly a cut or tissue damage, I.E muscle sprain or tear, infrared saunas are ideal.
Research has found that red light therapy can help to increase the regeneration of cellular tissue and can facilitate the growth of new, healthy tissue. This, coupled with the fact that more oxygen and nutrients can be delivered to the cells via the bloodstream means that red light saunas can help to speed up the body’s natural healing processes.
Red light therapy promotes relaxation
When we think of saunas, we think of wellness retreats, spas, and relaxation. When you use a sauna you sit back, relax, and let the sauna work its magic. Well, red light saunas are equally as relaxing, if not more so.
As mentioned, red light therapy saunas are not as hot as traditional saunas, which makes them even more relaxing. Traditional saunas can cause you to sweat excessively and can be too hot, making it hard to relax. As infrared saunas use near infrared light however, they’re cooler and are more comfortable.
Using a infrared sauna is more like sitting in warm sunshine, so gradually your skin and core will get warmer and warmer as the red light rays penetrate your tissue and do their thing. If you’re looking for a way to de-stress, relax, and unwind after a long week, a red light therapy sauna is perfect.
Infrared saunas can help relieve pain
If you’re suffering with muscular aches and pains, and possibly headaches brought on by inflammation, infrared saunas are perfect.
The rays from the light help to ease inflammation and reduce friction between the muscles or joints, thereby alleviating muscular pain and discomfort.
Red light saunas help to clear the pores
Infrared saunas increase your core body temperature and gradually cause you to perspire (sweat).
When you sweat, you clear away dirt, grime, oil, and anything else which could be blocking the pores on your body. This in turn is wonderful for your complexion. Blocked pores can cause the skin to become greasy and can lead to spots, pimples, blemishes, and acne. By sweating, you’re helping to clear out these pores so you can enjoy clear skin and a more youthful complexion.
There is also evidence to suggest that sweating can help to remove toxins and bacteria from your body, though more research is needed before we can say for certain whether this is a fact.
How to Use a Red Light Therapy Sauna Correctly
Okay, so assuming the benefits of before and after LED light therapy have helped show you that an infrared sauna is right for you, it’s important to know how to use it correctly.
Red light therapy at home via an infrared sauna is hugely beneficial, though there are still risks that you need to be aware of.
To ensure you get the most out of your red light therapy sauna, here’s a look at how to use the device safely and correctly.
Stay well hydrated
When you use a red light sauna, or any sauna for that matter, it’s essential that you stay well hydrated before, during, and after using the sauna.
Infrared saunas may not be as hot as, say, hot coal saunas, but they are still extremely warm and they do cause you to perspire. When you sweat, not only do you lose fluids, you also lose important minerals and electrolytes that will need replacing.
If you don’t replace the fluids you lost via sweat you run the risk of dehydration. Dehydration can be very serious as not only can it leave you feeling dizzy and suffering with a headache, it can also cause muscle cramping and put extra strain on your organs, especially the kidneys.
Don’t chug heaps of water before you use the sauna, instead, have a glass of water before you step inside, and take a cool bottle of water in with you and sip it throughout your session. If you step out of the sauna thirsty, you didn’t drink enough water.
Don’t stay inside for too long
Despite red light therapy saunas being incredibly good for your body, you can have too much of a good thing. This is why it’s important to ensure that you don’t stay inside too long.
In order for your body to reap the many red light therapy benefits of using a RL sauna, you should try to limit your sessions to 20 – 30 minutes. Anything more, and you run the risk of dehydration, regardless of how much water you drink.
If you are new to infrared saunas, start off with just 15 – 20-minute sessions and gradually increase the duration as your body acclimatises to the device.
In terms of frequency, experts recommend using a RL sauna 3 – 4 days per week, though this will depend on your needs, preference, tolerance, and your schedule.
Never drink alcohol when using an infrared sauna
When using an infrared sauna, NEVER drink alcohol, no matter how small the amount may be.
Red light saunas are relaxing, and you may be forgiven for wanting to relax in your sauna with a cold beer or chilled glass of wine, but take it from us, that’s never going to end well. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that you will lose more fluids than you consume when you drink it. Add to this, the fact that infrared saunas also cause you to sweat, and you have the perfect recipe for dehydration.
Ideally, just drink regular mineral water when using a red light sauna and you should be good to go.
Don’t slouch, and sit up straight
As relaxing as it can be to use an infrared sauna, you should resist the urge to slouch or lay down on the benches.
The reason for this is largely due to the fact that in order for you to reap maximum benefits from the sauna, you need your body to absorb as much of the infrared rays from the heaters as possible. Needless to say, if you’re laying down or slouching, the rays can’t reach as much of your body, and you won’t absorb as many as a result.
Wear loose-fitting clothing afterwards
The great thing about red light therapy at home, in the form of an infrared sauna, is the fact that you can wear what you like and be comfortable in your own surroundings. With that said however, you should ensure you wear the appropriate clothing.
Most people wear a bathing suit or even just a towel when using a RL sauna, but afterwards it’s important to ensure you wear something loose.
Unless you’re heading straight into the shower to rinse off, you’ll be sweaty after a sauna session and will likely struggle with tight clothing. You try wrestling yourself into a pair of jeans or leggings when you’re all clammy and then try telling us it’s easy.
Yoga pants, loose-fitting shorts, a soft cotton tee, or activewear that wicks away sweat are all great choices in terms of post-sauna attire.
Red Light Sauna Buying Guide
Finally, before we leave you to start searching for your ideal red light therapy sauna, we’re going to share some tips with you to ensure you get the best sauna as your budget will allow.
Like anything else, before you commit to buying an infrared sauna, the first thing you should do once you’ve seen a model you might like, is read reviews.
Read reviews left by other users of the device and see what they have to say. If the reviews are largely positive, this is of course a good sign. If reviews are mixed, or even largely negative however, this could set alarm bells ringing and you may wish to continue looking.
Try before you buy
Buying an infrared sauna is not like buying a can of soda from the store. These devices are very expensive, complex, and large in size. Therefore, you need to know that it is suitable before you buy one.
If you want to reap the maximum red light therapy benefits at home, once you find a sauna you like, make sure you try before you buy.
If in a showroom, have the device switched on so you can see how it works and how it feels. Some manufacturers may even let you enjoy a trial period at home and may offer a money-back guarantee.
Whatever you do, make sure you see the device in person and try it before you have it installed at your home or business.
Consider the size
As mentioned, infrared saunas are not the smallest of devices, and while you can get fairly compact, space-saving models, before you commit to making a purchase, make sure it will fit in your home.
Take the necessary measurements and don’t forget to factor in extra space for getting in and out, as well as the weight as well.
Choose a reliable company or brand
Finally, in order to get the best deal and ensure you’re getting a product you can trust, make sure you choose to buy your red light therapy sauna from a reliable company or brand.
Look for companies/brands with a lot of experience behind them, as well as a lot of favourable reviews. If you opt for a cheap company, or a new company, you run the risk of getting an inferior product that could actually be dangerous.
So, there you have it. A brief, yet detailed look at red light therapy saunas and the benefits of red light therapy at home.
Red light therapy can help give you more energy, speed up recovery, lift your mood, relieve pain, and a whole lot more besides. Needless to say, infrared saunas are currently in very high demand and that demand is only going to increase as more people discover them.
Whether you’re dealing with sore muscles, joint pain, lethargy, or any other ailments, why don’t you consider trying a red light therapy device and see just how much of a difference it can make to you.