Infrared sauna therapy is a type of therapy that uses infrared light to heat the body directly. This therapy has gained popularity but is more than just a wellness trend.
For those undergoing physiotherapy treatment, infrared sauna therapy can offer a range of potential health benefits, including pain relief, improved circulation, and stress reduction to enhance their overall healing process.
How Does an Infrared Sauna Work?
An infrared sauna is a type of sauna that uses infrared heaters to emit infrared light that makes heat. Unlike traditional or regular saunas, which use heat to warm the air and the body, infrared saunas use this light to penetrate the skin and heat the body directly.
The infrared light used in these saunas is often referred to as “far infrared” light, as it falls within the far-infrared region of the light spectrum. Infrared saunas typically operate at lower temperatures than traditional saunas.
Despite the lower temperature, the heat generated by infrared light can produce similar reactions caused by moderate exercises, such as intense sweating and increased heart rate. This makes it ideal for people who can’t stand the heat of a regular sauna.
What are Physiotherapy Treatments?
Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, is a healthcare profession that aims to help people restore, maintain, and improve their physical function, mobility, and well-being. Physiotherapy treatments may include a range of techniques and interventions designed to address various conditions and injuries, including:
- Specific exercises and stretches can improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
- Hands-on treatments, such as massages and joint mobilization, improve joint and tissue mobility.
- Modalities such as TENS units, cupping, NormaTec, and Theragun promote healing, reduce pain, and improve muscle function.
- Hot and cold applications promote healing, reduce inflammation, and manage pain.
- Myofascial stretch therapy targets the body’s connective tissue to increase flexibility, help you heal, and prevent injury.
- Exercise prescription that provides information and advice on self-management strategies, lifestyle modifications, and injury prevention techniques.
These are just a few examples of the many different physiotherapy treatments available. A physiotherapist can help assess an individual’s condition, injury, and goals before adopting a treatment plan.
Benefits of Infrared Saunas + Physiotherapy
Here, we look at how infrared saunas work to understand the benefits and how they can complement your physiotherapy treatments.
The wavelength of infrared light, felt as heat by the body, can penetrate up to one and a half inches beneath the skin. It’s believed to be deep enough to impact the bonds between molecules in cells, thus providing a therapeutic effect.
Infrared saunas can increase your skin’s temperature but do not increase your core temperature as much. Maintaining a temperature balance is possible as long as a person can sweat.
For this reason, infrared sauna therapy can be helpful for those who are unable to engage in more traditional forms of physical activity, such as people with:
Infrared sauna therapy can be a beneficial addition to physiotherapy treatment for several reasons:
- Pain relief: Infrared sauna therapy can help to reduce pain and inflammation by increasing blood flow to the affected area. Increased blood flow can help to provide essential nutrients and oxygen to damaged tissues, promote healing, and reduce pain and swelling.
- Relaxation: The heat generated by infrared saunas can help you relax, reduce stress, and improve your overall mood. This can be particularly beneficial for those undergoing physiotherapy for chronic pain, arthritis, or injury.
- Improved circulation: Infrared sauna therapy can help to improve circulation by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the muscles for faster recovery.
- Low-impact exercise: Infrared sauna therapy can provide a low-impact form of exercise for those who can’t engage in traditional physical activity due to their condition or injury. The heat generated by the sauna can help promote sweating and increase heart rate, providing some benefits of cardiovascular exercise without putting additional strain on the body.
- Enhance other physiotherapy treatments: Infrared sauna therapy with other forms of physiotherapy, such as massage, stretching, or exercise, can help maximize the benefits of each therapy. For example, the relaxation and increased circulation provided by the sauna can help to enhance the effects of massage or exercise therapy.
Healing with Infrared Sauna Therapy
Infrared sauna therapy can be a valuable addition to a physiotherapy treatment plan, offering a range of potential benefits to help enhance healing, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote overall well-being.