Infrared saunas and therapy lights are two types of alternative therapies that have gained popularity in recent years. Both are believed to have therapeutic benefits and are used to treat a variety of health conditions.

Infrared saunas use infrared heaters to emit infrared light waves that penetrate the body’s tissues, promoting relaxation, detoxification, pain relief, and improved circulation. Some studies have suggested that infrared saunas may also help to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve cardiovascular health. However, more research is needed to confirm these claims.

Therapy lights, on the other hand, use bright light to treat a variety of conditions, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD), insomnia, and jet lag. The light therapy is thought to regulate the body’s internal clock and improve the balance of neurotransmitters that affect mood and sleep.

While both infrared saunas and therapy lights are generally considered safe, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using either therapy, particularly if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Additionally, it is important to follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully and avoid overuse, as excessive exposure to either therapy can be harmful.

Sweating for Health: The Finnish Study on Saunas and Wellness

There have been several studies conducted in Finland on the health benefits of saunas, as saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture and lifestyle. One notable study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2015 found that regular sauna use was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and all-cause mortality.

The study followed over 2,000 middle-aged men for an average of 20 years and found that those who used a sauna 2-3 times per week had a 27% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a 50% lower risk of dementia, and a 40% lower risk of all-cause mortality compared to those who used a sauna only once a week.

The researchers hypothesized that the health benefits of saunas may be due to the heat and relaxation that saunas provide, which can improve cardiovascular function, reduce inflammation, and promote overall well-being.

Overall, the study provides compelling evidence for the health benefits of regular sauna use, although more research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine the optimal frequency and duration of sauna use for maximum benefit.

The Sweat Spot: Finding the Optimal Frequency of Sauna Use for Your Health

The optimal frequency of sauna use varies depending on individual health status, age, and other factors. However, most experts recommend using a sauna 2-3 times per week for 15-20 minutes per session, as this appears to be a safe and effective frequency for most people.

Regular sauna use has been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation, and increased relaxation. However, overuse of saunas can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and other health risks, especially in individuals with underlying health conditions.

It is important to listen to your body and adjust the frequency and duration of sauna sessions accordingly. As with any new health regimen, it is also important to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning regular sauna use, particularly if you have a history of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or other health conditions.

Lighting the Way to Better Health: The Practical Benefits of Therapy Lights

Therapy lights can be practical for individuals who experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight. Therapy lights mimic the natural light of the sun and can help to regulate the body’s internal clock, improve mood, and reduce symptoms of SAD.

In addition to SAD, therapy lights can also be helpful for individuals who have insomnia or other sleep disorders, as the light therapy can help to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and improve sleep quality. Therapy lights may also be useful for individuals who travel frequently and experience jet lag, as the light therapy can help to reset the body’s internal clock and reduce the symptoms of jet lag.

Overall, therapy lights offer a practical and non-invasive treatment option for a variety of health conditions, without the need for medications or other more invasive treatments. They are relatively easy to use and can be used in the comfort of one’s own home, making them a convenient option for individuals with busy schedules or limited access to healthcare services.

Sources Supporting the Benefits of Therapy Lights for Mood, Sleep, and Jet Lag

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Golden, R. N., Gaynes, B. N., Ekstrom, R. D., Hamer, R. M., Jacobsen, F. M., Suppes, T., … & Nemeroff, C. B. (2005). The efficacy of light therapy in the treatment of mood disorders: A review and meta-analysis of the evidence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(4), 656-662.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/light-therapy-for-seasonal-affective-disorder-201212215663
National Sleep Foundation. (n.d.). Light therapy for insomnia. Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/treatment/light-therapy
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2017). Jet lag disorder. Retrieved from https://aasm.org/resources/factsheets/jetlag.aspx

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Last modified: May 24, 2023

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