The human body can be home to numerous parasites and pathogens that can cause illnesses that are difficult to treat, even with antibiotics. Some of these parasites may reside on the skin surface, while others may dwell inside the body, and feed off on body tissues and useful blood nutrients. However, does an infrared sauna kill them?
There is some evidence that infrared saunas can kill or damage parasites by increasing the temperature of the body to a level that makes them more susceptible to dying from the immune system’s defenses. Infrared saunas are currently being studied to evaluate their effect on boosting immune function and overall health.
This article explains how infrared saunas can kill parasites and the technology behind this scientific breakthrough. It also gives a brief description of other health benefits of using infrared saunas, and most importantly, how parasites respond to infrared sessions.
The Working Principle Behind Infrared Saunas
Infrared saunas were developed after the second world war and used in Japan since the 1970s.
The idea was to recreate the same experience similar to a vigorous exercise. For example, when you run half a mile (804.67 meters/880 yards), you feel hot and sweaty. Your heart pounds heavily, and your skin opens up the sweat pores in an attempt to cool the body.
A similar process occurs with an infrared sauna. But with an infrared sauna, you don’t need to engage in heavy exercise. You simply sit back inside a wooden room. The strategically positioned infrared panels will warm your body and increase your metabolism and heart rate.
There’s no plumbing required with an infrared sauna since no steam is generated. It’s also more comfortable than the traditional steam sauna. What’s more impressive about an infrared sauna is how it helps in fighting against disease-causing pathogens.
Infrared sauna therapy is a field under research. Scientists are still studying how it can help treat illnesses such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, Lyme disease, and much more.
Effect of Infrared Radiation on Parasites and Pathogens
Infrared radiation has been widely used for medical research. Many tests have been performed to ascertain its impact on pathogens. For instance, a study conducted by the University of Nottingham on Toxoplasma gondii, a brain-eating parasite, revealed that some parasites change the host cell’s biochemical composition. This study could be used to analyze how other parasites develop in the body.
According to NCBI, photobiological processes and parasites in body cells are determined by the absorption of radiation. When human tissues absorb sunlight, it signals the beginning of several reactions, ranging from the release of reactive forms of oxygen to metabolic reactions. Specific locations of water in the cells are more active, and the temperature of the cells increases as they absorb infrared radiation.
This process causes unwanted temperature, physiological and pH changes, and osmotic imbalance. As a result, the body becomes a hostile hub, making it an uninhabitable environment for tumors, bacteria, fungi, and other parasites. The body is tricked into producing antibodies that fight these microorganisms and eject them through whatever means necessary.
Further studies are currently being conducted to understand better how this process works and what other positive health benefits could be taking place inside the human body when an infrared sauna is used.
Infrared Sauna vs. Parasites
Most parasites cannot tolerate high body temperatures. They prefer the optimum body temperature between 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C). This temperature supports life and is suitable for most biological processes. It promotes growth, absorption of nutrients, hormonal action, and proper functioning of catalysts.
According to research conducted by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, higher body temperature beyond homeostasis makes the host unsuitable for the pathogens to dwell in. High temperature makes the pathogens uncomfortable, which means they can be contained or controlled by the body’s immune system.
Increasing body temperature aids the body in killing parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Some people have low body temperature, making them unable to get rid of infections. Regions that could be affected include the bladder, eyes, ears, sinuses, intestines, and throat.
Age, chemical imbalances, and long-term exposure to toxic materials are several factors that affect and contribute to weakening a person’s immune system. As a result, your body becomes vulnerable to bacterial and viral attacks, making it harder for your body to fight diseases.
That’s where an infrared sauna comes in. Infrared saunas release IR, which the body tissues absorb to induce a mild fever or higher temperature that helps ward off the nuances. Infrared sauna therapy has been used for decades in Asia, Europe, and America. Its effects can be measured. Apart from fighting diseases, it also boosts your metabolism and keeps your body healthier.
Tips on Using Infrared Sauna
So far, no reports showing any adverse effects of using an infrared sauna, and here are some tips on using these types of saunas:
- Drink plenty of water. You need to be well hydrated before beginning your sessions. You may need a glass of water or more if you’re sensitive to high temperatures.
- Begin with low temperature. Infrared saunas have a temperature range of 100˚F to 150˚F (37.8˚C to 65.5˚C). Beginners should at the lower end, and more experienced may use higher temperatures.
- Time duration. A beginner can start with a 10-minute or 15-minute session and increase them gradually to the suggested time of 20 to 30 minutes. Always use the sauna timer.
- After the session. Take time for your body to cool down before taking a bath or a shower.
Other Therapeutic Benefits of an Infrared Sauna
Other than strengthening the body’s immune system, infrared saunas have several other applications that could be leveraged to improve human health. Although medical experts are still researching to ascertain the degree of these effects, one thing remains sure.
An infrared sauna cannot cause health complications caused by other electromagnetic rays. Infrared light only penetrates deep into your tissues without causing damage.
This type of radiation falls into the category of safe radiation and has been in existence since life began. Humans and other creatures have learned to live with it, so you don’t have to worry about hidden health concerns.
Below are other medical uses of infrared saunas:
Sweating is one way to get rid of toxins and other harmful substances from the body. When the body temperature rises, the sweat pores open and lose heat. Other biological processes take place at the cellular level to remove waste materials like urea from the body.
Any toxic substances present in the body, including excessive salt, will be carried to the skin surface where they can be washed off with a shower.
Sometimes, joints ache due to bad circulation that prevents enough nutrients from reaching it, especially the feet. Using an infrared sauna raises body temperature, and as a result, blood capillaries dilate more to allow better circulation soothing the pain.
Relaxation and Stress Management
After a long day of work or somewhere between the weekend, one needs to get off and take some time alone to keep stress away. Getting into an infrared sauna reduces cortisol or stress hormone levels. It also increases the circulation of blood to your brain. This helps patients suffering from stress and depression to keep it at a low and manageable level.
There’s no difference between working out every day to keep their calories low and spending some quality time in an infrared sauna. When your body raises its temperature, several physiological processes take place to restore balance. It also works to keep up with the heart rate. This burns about 600 calories.
The skin is the largest organ playing the role of eliminating unwanted substances. Infrared sauna encourages the elimination of wastes and invigorates the skin. As a result, the skin is rejuvenated.
Infrared saunas have numerous therapeutic benefits and can kill parasites as well. When the body temperature goes up in a sauna, it helps the body effectively kill parasites such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Relatively higher body temperature can get rid of infections.
The infrared sauna has other benefits, such as detoxifying and helping the body relax and managing weight loss.