A recent study found that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which results in extreme fatigue with no definitive cause, is greatly relieved in patients using infrared saunas . The study involved CFS patients sitting in a 60°C (140°F) sauna for 15 minutes, followed by bed rest under a blanket for 30 minutes in a separate room. This was performed once a day, five days a week, for a total of four weeks.
The mental benefits of hitting the sauna include less anxiety, depression and fatigue.
The results? Negative mood, anxiety, and depression levels significantly improved after the therapy, with fatigue ratings on a scale of 1 to 10 sliding from 6.7 to 4.8. While there is no clear answer as to why infrared sauna therapy benefits CFS patients, researchers theorize it may be due to its ability to reduce oxidative stress and improve cardiac output, both of which have been linked to CFS . It is important to note that the researchers state the patients didn’t perceive the effects during the treatment, but definitely perceived less fatigue after the four weeks of treatment. So, if you’re interested in undertaking infrared sauna treatment for fatigue, be aware that you may have to complete a month’s worth in order to really feel the benefits. However, less than an hour a day for four weeks to relieve chronic fatigue seems like a worthwhile treatment!
Is Infrared Sauna Therapy Safe?
Some may question the safety of infrared sauna therapy due to infrared light’s ability to penetrate beneath the skin layer . While no serious adverse side effects have been reported in the use of the therapy, it is not recommended for young children and elderly adults who are prone to heat exhaustion and dehydration, nor is it recommended for those taking medications that impair their ability to sweat. Of course, be sure to talk to your doctor about any health conditions you may have before trying out infrared sauna therapy.
Outside of exercise, who knew that working up a sweat could offer such astounding health benefits? In all, infrared sauna therapy can benefit nearly everyone: from someone looking to detox a few times a month to others looking for alternative solutions to a host of issues.
Our recommendation? Have a happy sweat.