The Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas

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Updated in October 2019.

For years I had the sense that I needed a new way to detox.

I tried every juice cleanse and detox diet, but nothing felt like it was truly working. As soon as I would finish the cleanse or diet, I’d feel immediately assaulted by the toxins all around me, whether from the atmosphere in New York City or the food I ate when I wasn’t home to cook.

I knew I needed a way to detox that I could use regularly, so I started looking for new, healthy ways to do so. Intuitively I knew I needed to sweat. Sweating is one of the body’s healthiest and most effective ways to eliminate toxins. It’s a crucial part of detoxification.

After doing a lot of research online I learned that a great way to get rid of toxins was through infrared saunas.

Why I love infrared saunas

Several studies have shown that saunas remove solvents, organic chemicals, PCBs (a chlorine compound), pharmaceuticals and heavy metal toxins from our bodies.

Tweet: Sweating is one of the body’s healthiest and most effective ways to eliminate toxins @gabbybernstein #spiritjunkie

Unlike traditional saunas, which you have to heat to very high temperatures, infrared saunas heat your body while the air stays cooler. This is a big bonus if you are sensitive to heat — infrared saunas are definitely more comfortable than traditional saunas. Plus, infrared energy can go deeper into your skin, helping you sweat even more and helping your cells eliminate toxins better.

The more I learned, the more obsessed I became with getting an infrared sauna! The sauna I decided on is the Sunlighten.

Sweating in my sauna has become part of my spiritual and self-care practice. Using my infrared sauna regularly I’ve experienced a lot of incredible benefits, ranging from relaxation to healthy-looking skin.

You don’t have to own a sauna to get your sweat on! These days there are tons of places where you can access a sauna.

  • In NYC I recommend checking out Gravity. Their infrared sauna sessions are super affordable.
  • In L.A. you can check out Shapehouse for an innovative way to sweat.
  • If you’re looking for a very affordable option, there are some super cool portable saunas.

The benefits of using an infrared sauna

my body is strong and healthy spirit junkie appThere are lots of benefits to using infrared saunas, and you may experience benefits beyond what I list below. Research shows saunas can help with a lot of chronic conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. They can even help people kick nasty addictions.

It’s important to use your infrared sauna responsibly, starting with short sessions, drinking plenty of water before and after your session, and generally paying attention to the cues your body gives you. When you do this, your sauna can offer major health benefits. I’ve experienced many benefits of an infrared sauna and love that I can detox safely and regularly. (Note that you should not use a sauna while pregnant.)

Here are some of the benefits I noticed right away when I began using my infrared sauna.

My circulation improved

The first time I experienced the infrared sauna I felt a feeling I’d never known before. I felt alive in a whole new way. I was energized, clearheaded and vibrant! This was because of my increased circulation. Infrared saunas stimulate blood flow and decrease inflammation. You feel the improvement in your circulation immediately!

I finally got my sweat on!

I could never really sweat. No matter how much cardio I’d do I’d barely break a sweat. And I longed for it! I knew that sweating was going to be the best way to detox and purify. Sweating is one our body’s fastest and most powerful ways to eliminate toxins. Infrared saunas help you detox about 7 times faster than traditional saunas. Infrared light penetrates deeper into body, helping you sweat out more toxins instead of simply water with a bit of salt.

One thing that’s really important to note … while you’re sweating, don’t forget to hydrate. It’s essential for your body—you’ll sleep better, feel happier and it’ll keep your organs working properly.  So right after I sauna, I’ll drink a glass of water with LMNT electrolytes mixed in to replenish all that sweat I lost.

I got my Zen on

My infrared sauna has become my favorite place to meditate. I head into my sauna three or four days a week and meditate for 40 minutes while I detox! Some of my deepest meditations have happened in my Sunlighten sauna. Plus, the sauna has an awesome sound system so I can listen to mantras and chant while I sweat.

My muscles relaxed

I tend to work out hard. Doing a hardcore workout by Tracy Anderson or Kayla Itsines is awesome, but it always leaves me with super-sore muscles. My infrared sauna fixed this! A few sauna sessions a week have really helped alleviate some of the soreness. The heat helps tight muscles relax and it increases circulation, which reduces inflammation. The heat also helps release endorphins, aka the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.

I glow!

The best part of using my infrared sauna is that my skin glows! Whenever I come out of the sauna I feel like I’ve had a facial. My skin is purified, smooth and lit from within.

Check out Sunlighten

If you want to start experiencing the benefits of infrared saunas, check out Sunlighten! I am in love with my sauna and recommend this brand big-time. You can explore all their saunas at (The team there is super knowledgeable and helpful, too.)

The information contained in this blog is intended to educate, inspire and entertain you on your personal journey toward health and happiness. It is not intended to replace care best provided by qualified professional and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

I only recommend products and brands I passionately believe in. I want you to know that when I make a recommendation, I may receive a referral fee.

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  1. Great article! I love my Infrared Sauna and have experienced amazing Health Benefits from it!
    SO nice to have a tool that helps detox and feel great!

  2. Thank you for sharing this nice article. I’m also into the sauna and steam room. It helps me to lose weight and even helps maintain a glowing skin. The downside is I notice my hair is getting dry, I’m not sure if it’s directly related to my using the sauna too often, I may reduce my visits and try some essential oils on my hair. Here’s another interesting article you might love to read as well

  3. Great article, Gabby. I absolutely agree with you. Infrared saunas can offer benefits over the traditional ones. In fact, studies show that infrared heat can ensure deeper tissue penetration that the heaters used in traditional saunas. This means greater health benefits. And, with the easy availability of sauna kits and steam room kits online, there’s no reason why we can’t have a sauna at home. Available in a large selection of shapes and sizes, you are sure to find one that fits your space perfectly.

  4. Such an interesting read, Gabby. I absolutely agree that infrared saunas offer benefits over traditional ones, especially in terms of deep tissue heat penetration. This leads to greater health benefits. And, the health benefits offered by saunas has been scientifically proven. With easy to install kits available in all sizes online, it could be a great idea to install a sauna at home and gain benefits for a long time to come.

  5. I have an infrared sauna and loved it for detoxing but have been told that it’s too damaging for the aura…..what’s your thoughts?

    1. Hi Sharon. I haven’t heard that I have great experiences with saunas. I recommend doing what feels best and comfortable for you!

    1. They are all amazing! Just depends on what is right for you. The team is really knowledgeable and I recommend talking with them. xo

  6. A very informative post, Gabby! Other than the important benefits you’ve mentioned, saunas are also effective in slowing and preventing brain aging. Being exposed to heat can increase the production of growth factors, consequently promoting the growth of brain neurons, which in turn help in keeping the brain young and sharp for longer.

  7. I live in Germantown MD. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to find a sauna. They don’t have one at Planet Fitness. I did use a sauna years ago.

    1. Both Hope Floats in Bethesda and Unit 8 in Frederick have Sunlighten. Unit 8 had full spectrum of near mid and far infrared. Nice pkgs too. Short drive from Germantown. Hope Floats also has the magnesium salt meditation tanks that relax and help you focus.

  8. are there any places in london that you know of that offer infrared saunas. I have recently moved and have been researching for some but am hard pressed to find an infrared one rather than a normal sauna!

  9. I have a sauna too and I LOVE it but I’m just curious if you have any specific tips…what temp do you set yours for your sessions, and how long do you sit in there? I find I don’t start sweating until after at least 20 minutes with it above 135 but then I can’t stay in very long after that. Is there some way to trick my body into sweating sooner or should I just wait longer for it to get hot?

  10. I don’t think Gabby is making us feel small by recommending something that is truly beneficial. Yes there are numerous ways to sweat but infrared saunas deep penetrating heat is what most effectively stimulates metabolic activity, which in turn triggers the release of stored toxins through sweat, as well as through the liver and kidneys. You can go to a spa if you do not want to invest in a sauna at home. And if I want something healthy in my life, I will cut something out that isn’t healthy so I can afford it. Thank you Gabby for continually sharing your love, support and wellness with the world.

  11. Hi Gabby,

    OMG! Thank you for featuring my wellness center, Gravity East Village in this blog post! I am beyond trilled! I love your work so much! I will she your post to my email list and on social media! Hurray! You rock my world! A huge support to me!

  12. I have been doing hamams where they scrub you down with a lufa and massage you in the Hamam as part of my self care routine.I also swim daily and after shower with a lufa to always help skin to detox.As my liver has taken strain to metabolize and detox hormones and toxins.This has been a great way!

  13. We just got the Sunlighten infared at our wellness center (KOBA Family Wellness) in Berkeley, CA and we LOVE it. I sit it in 3-4 times a week as well and my arthritis (a very managed condition, but still causes me pain from time to time) nearly vanishes. My skin is awesome, my sleep has improved and I even believe my hair is softer.

  14. There are spa centers and gymnasiums that offer this facility at a small amount, Stacey, you could try and find one 😉

  15. Ya wanna sweat? Come horseback riding with me in the warm weather! English style, with a helmet, boots, gloves, long pants & leather half-chaps. LOL. You. Will. Sweat! Thanks for the info on the infrared. Never heard of it till now. Very interesting!

  16. Thank you so much for your suggestion, Gabby. Sounds like something that will be of help to me.
    Love, Cecilia

  17. I love my sauna for detox, but I might love my AMD IonCleanse more. I get better detox with the AMD than with the sauna. I got both to help heal Lyme Disease. I got the sauna first and fell in love with it. It literally made me feel clean from the inside out. Of course, it’s important to drink a lot while you’re using one. But then I got the AMD IonCleanse. I wondered if that was all hype. All I can say is, if you can find someone who has one to try it a few times, you will be ah-mazed by what that little footbath does. It’s unlike any other. I believe Dr. Klinghardt has done some studies on the amount of toxins and metals it pulls and the results were impressive! Give it a try!

  18. I love hot yoga! I sweet like I am in a sauna and get a workout! I have a hard time sweating in other workouts.

I only recommend products and brands I passionately believe in, but wanted you to know that when I make a recommendation, I may receive a referral fee.


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