Why You Need To Add Infrared Sauna Therapy Into Your Wellness Routine
Boasting benefits for both body and mind, infrared saunas are a wonderful addition to your wellness routine. The technology was first developed in Japan in the 1970s and over the decades has been optimised for holistic health. Unlike traditional saunas, which heat the air around you, infrared saunas use infrared light to heat the body directly. The result is a post-sweat glow and relaxed feeling. That's a yes from us.
With studios in Bondi, Byron, Melbourne and Manly, NIMBUS CO is the infrared sauna studio of dreams. We chatted with co-founder Neil O'Sullivan to find out more about how infrared saunas work and why you simply must try them.
LUI: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN INFRARED SAUNA BENEFITS FOR THE BODY?
NEIL O'SULLIVAN: We offer state-of-the-art full spectrum (mid, near and far) infrared light in our cedar wood saunas. Infrared light cannot be seen by the naked eye but it gives off radiated heat, penetrating deep within your tissues, muscles and cells. Infrared sauna therapy has many benefits: detoxification, boosting immunity, promoting skin health, pain relief, stress reduction, anti-ageing, weight loss and muscle recovery among them.
Sweating is the body’s natural process of removing toxins and chemicals from the body. Infrared rays gently increase the body's core temperature, heating it and creating a deep reaction from within the body’s cells to assist detoxification and create optimal health. This process is known as ‘vasodilation’. Sweating improves blood circulation as well as skin elasticity, tone, texture and firmness, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in your skin.
Due to the increase in body temperature during an infrared sauna session, the immune system has a greater chance of killing off viruses and bacteria that can’t survive under high temperatures.
BEYOND THE PHYSICAL, ARE THERE ANY OTHER BENEFITS OF TAKING INFRARED SAUNAS FOR THE MIND AND SOUL?
It’s interesting that you ask this because in our more recent national client survey we found three key reasons why people come to sauna with us:
1. That feeling you get from the moment you enter our studio to when you leave; we call this our ‘invisible benefit’. How often do you get a full hour in a room uninterrupted during your day? We spend so much time in fight or flight mode. We need balance and we all should have regular practices to bring us back into our parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ state whether it’s taking an infrared sauna, doing yoga, going for a walk, reading or whatever else brings calm.
2. To get a good sweat on. Taking an infrared sauna is a great way for your body to go into exercise mode without having to strenuously exercise; you can burn upwards of 500 calories per sauna session.
3. Relaxation. It’s that treat of being just with yourself, or with a loved one, with no distractions. Each sauna visit is different. You might choose to meditate, watch your latest Netflix favourite, or tune into a Nimbus Co soundscape.
ARE THERE ANY WAYS TO MAXIMISE INFRARED SAUNA RESULTS?
The big one I’d like to mention is ‘contrast’ or ‘hot and cold’ therapy, which is on the tip of everyone’s tongue at the moment. It involves vis-a-vis saunas and ice baths, which we offer at all our studios. Combining the two modalities has been shown to have improved benefits to your metabolism. We recommend a sauna before the ice bath because heat exposure before a cold plunge improves blood circulation while increasing energy levels.
Another great way to optimise your infrared sauna experience is to stay hydrated. Our new natural hydration supplement Cloud Form was formulated by my wife and Nimbus Co partner in crime, Su, who is a qualified nutritionist. It contains three types of natural electrolytes: marine algae, coconut water powder and Himalayan salt. It’s also got magnesium and vitamin C in there for an extra hit. A box comes with 30 sachets so it’s perfect during or post-sauna as a liquid top-up. You can also choose to add-on chlorophyll or charcoal shots to your infrared sauna to speed up the body’s detoxification process.