What you need to know about infrared sauna

Skin Care Matters

with Michelle Vernon

Saturday, April 15, 2017

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Infrared saunas are a type of sauna that uses heat and light to help relax and detoxify the body.

They emit infrared light waves that create heat in the body, causing you to sweat and release more stored "toxins" than your traditional sauna. The invisible heat waves produced by the infrared body wrap assist in weight loss, cellulite reduction, pain relief, relaxation, and skin rejuvenation.


Weight loss is the most popular reason that people choose to get an infrared body wrap. As we know, sweat consumes calories, and an infrared body wrap produces three to five times more sweat than exercise. In a 30-minute session, it is possible to burn up to 600 calories.

Infrared also helps to balance metabolism by speeding up the metabolic rate at which calories are burned, with the effects lasting after the session. Insulin levels can also be restored to normal after toxins are purged by encouraging the body to not store carbohydrates as fat.


Cellulite is fat deposits that push up against the connective tissue underneath the skin and cause a dimpled appearance. This is especially true for women on the back of their thighs and bottoms.

Fat turns into water when body heat reaches over 100.5°F, and this water can then be expelled through the body by sweat.

Collagen is lost with age, but cellulite can be eliminated if collagen connective tissue can be rebuilt, leading to skin tightening that makes cellulite less visible. The infrared heat does this by increasing blood circulation, which results in more nutrients being brought to the skin.


Pain can be alleviated through the infrared body wrap. Heat increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin, and this will help heal damaged muscle tissue. It does this by increasing the rate of the blood flow from approximately six quarts per minute all the way up to 13 quarts per minute. Imagine how much more oxygen-rich blood and healthy nutrients are flowing to the wounded muscles.

Infrared heat therapy has also shown its effectiveness on irritated nerve endings by reducing the pain associated with nerve disorders. Other ailments can benefit from this pain-relieving therapy; chronic pain of all kinds can greatly benefit from the sauna blanket.


For skin rejuvenation, infrared heat can help with a variety of skin issues, such a fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpig­mentation.

With age our collagen formation depreciates. Expelling the stress toxins from the body allows it to restore healthy metabolic rates to assist in skin repair and rejuvenation.


Before an infrared body wrap always consult with your doctor if this is the right treatment for you.

Cautionary conditions

People with multiple sclerosis, broken bones, haemophilia, fever, and heat sensitivity need a medical release before using the sauna blanket. Those who are advised to not use the treatment include those with stroke, lupus, heart conditions or brain tumours.

Heat exhaustion

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can occur. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke usually only occur if a client uses the blanket more than three times a week. It is not recommended to do infrared body wraps more than three times a week.

It is also not recommended to do them back to back. These sessions should be spaced out over a couple of days.


Depleting electrolytes and minerals through sweating will happen. Do not use the blanket if you have been drinking alcohol or plan to do so immediately after. It is important to drink water and electrolyte replacement beverages before, during and after the treatment to prevent any dehydration from occurring.

Medications and drugs

There are also certain medications that can cause an adverse reaction from the sauna blanket, such as insulin and medicated skin patches. If you are taking or have taken medications in the past such as sedatives, chemotherapy drugs or antidepr­essants, the sauna blanket can release any remaining residues of such medications back into the blood stream. This also goes for illegal drug use, so communication is of utmost importance.


The infrared body wrap is an effective treatment in weight loss, stress management, cellulite reduction, or elimination of toxins and skin rejuvenation. The benefits far outweigh the risks as long as you are in good health.

Michelle Vernon is a licensed aesthetician who operates the Body Studio Skincare located at 23 Central Plaza, Kingston 10, and Fairview Shopping Centre, Montego Bay. She may be reached at telephone 908-0438 or 684-9800; IG@bodystudioskincare; E-mail: bodystudioskincare@gmail.com; Website: www.bodystudioskincare.com.

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