James Storen

I'm James, a passionate sauna therapist and wellness educator. As a sauna instructor at Am-Finn Sauna, I provide guests with safe, relaxing, and therapeutic sauna experiences. Read about me.

Saunas have become a popular trend in the wellness world, but are there potential risks hidden behind the relaxing steam? In this article, we’ll explore the truth about saunas and their effects on your health. From sauna benefits and risks to safety precautions, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know to use saunas safely.

Key Takeaways:

  • While saunas may offer temporary relaxation and relief, there is limited scientific evidence supporting their claimed health benefits.
  • Saunas may have certain medical benefits, such as improving pulmonary function for people with asthma and reducing joint pain for those with arthritis.
  • It is important to use saunas safely by following recommended temperature and duration limits, staying hydrated, and taking breaks if feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, should consult with their healthcare provider before using a sauna.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to follow guidelines and recommendations from health authorities to minimize the risk of transmission in saunas.

The Rise of Infrared Saunas: A Spa Wellness Fad

infrared saunas image

Infrared saunas have gained significant popularity in recent years as the latest wellness fad in the spa industry. These saunas, which use heaters that emit infrared light waves, promise a range of benefits including weight loss, glowing skin, better sleep, and detoxification. The allure of the infrared sauna experience has been further heightened by celebrity endorsements from the likes of Selena Gomez, the Kardashians, and Demi Moore.

One of the key reasons for the rise in popularity of infrared saunas is the private and spalike settings they are often found in. These secluded locations provide individuals with a serene environment where they can leisurely perspire and unwind. The chic and trendy image associated with infrared saunas has undoubtedly contributed to their increasing appeal, with many people finding them to be relaxing and enjoyable.

“I absolutely love infrared saunas. They help me relax, rejuvenate, and clear my mind. It’s become an essential part of my self-care routine.” – Selena Gomez

The Potential of Sweat Therapy

One of the reasons behind the popularity of infrared saunas is the concept of sweat therapy, which suggests that sweating can have beneficial effects on the body. It is believed that sweating helps to eliminate toxins and impurities from the body, promoting overall well-being. While there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims, many individuals find the experience of sweating in a sauna to be therapeutic and conducive to relaxation.

It is important to note, however, that the stylish appeal and perceived wellness benefits of infrared saunas have overshadowed the lack of scientific evidence backing their claimed advantages. As with any wellness trend, it is crucial to approach infrared sauna usage with a critical mindset and be aware that individual experiences may vary.

Infrared Saunas Traditional Saunas
Heating Method Infrared light waves Hot stones or electric heaters
Temperature Lower temperature (around 120°F – 140°F) Higher temperature (around 170°F – 190°F)
Heat Source Directly heats the body Heats the surrounding air and then the body
Perceived Benefits Weight loss, glowing skin, better sleep, detoxification Relaxation, muscle pain relief, increased blood circulation
Cautionary Notes May not be suitable for individuals with certain health conditions (e.g., heart disease) May cause more extreme heat exposure

The table above provides a simple comparison between infrared saunas and traditional saunas. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before using any sauna, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

Saunas and Health: What the Experts Say

The experts have varying opinions on the health benefits and risks associated with saunas. Dr. Catherine Forest, a clinical assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, acknowledges that saunas may provide some medical benefits, such as improving pulmonary function for people with asthma and reducing joint pain for individuals with arthritis. However, Dr. Forest also states that there is no data supporting the notion that saunas can sweat out toxins. She suggests that infrared heating can provide some of the benefits of saunas while potentially reducing the risks. Overall, the experts agree that while saunas may offer temporary relaxation and relief, it is not a substitute for medical treatment and should be used with caution.

While some experts are cautious about the potential risks of saunas, others emphasize the safety precautions individuals should take. Dr. Sarah Johnson, a board-certified dermatologist, recommends that sauna users limit their sessions to 15-20 minutes and avoid temperatures above 170°F to prevent overheating and dehydration. She also advises individuals with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, to consult with their healthcare provider before using a sauna. Additionally, Dr. Johnson emphasizes the importance of hydration during sauna sessions and suggests drinking water before, during, and after to replenish fluids lost through sweat.

“Saunas can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, but it’s essential to use them responsibly,” says Dr. Mark Thompson, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. “Individuals with heart disease should be cautious when using saunas, as the heat can place additional stress on the cardiovascular system. It’s important to listen to your body and take breaks if you start feeling lightheaded or dizzy.”

The Benefits of Infrared Saunas

According to Dr. Forest, infrared saunas may be a safer alternative for individuals with heart disease. The lower temperatures and more gradual heating that infrared saunas provide can help prevent the sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure that traditional saunas can cause. Infrared saunas also penetrate deeper into the skin, which may help with detoxification and improving blood circulation. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of infrared saunas.

Overall, while saunas can provide temporary relaxation and some medical benefits, it is important to approach their usage with caution and follow safety precautions. Consulting with healthcare professionals, using saunas responsibly, and being aware of any underlying health conditions are key to enjoying the potential benefits of saunas while minimizing risks.

Sauna Safety Precautions: Using Saunas Responsibly

sauna safety

To ensure a safe and enjoyable sauna experience, it is crucial to follow certain precautions and guidelines. By taking these measures, you can minimize the risk of potential health hazards and make the most of your sauna sessions.

1. Set Safe Temperature and Duration

When using a sauna, it is important to keep the temperature within recommended limits to avoid overheating and dehydration. The ideal temperature is typically between 150°F (66°C) and 190°F (88°C), but it may vary depending on personal preference. Additionally, limit your sauna sessions to around 10-20 minutes to prevent any adverse effects.

2. Consult with Healthcare Provider

If you have any underlying health conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider before using a sauna. They can provide personalized advice and determine if sauna usage is safe for you.

3. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how your body feels during a sauna session. If you start feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or excessively fatigued, it is important to take a break and cool down. Your well-being should always be the top priority.

4. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after a sauna session is crucial to prevent dehydration. Saunas can cause excessive sweating, so replenishing fluids is essential to maintain proper hydration levels.

5. Practice Good Hygiene

It is vital to maintain good hygiene when using a sauna to prevent the spread of germs. Always use a clean towel and consider taking a shower before and after your sauna session. By practicing proper hygiene, you can create a clean and safe environment for yourself and others.

By following these sauna safety precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of sauna therapy while minimizing the risk of potential hazards. Remember to prioritize your well-being, listen to your body, and consult with a healthcare professional if needed. Saunas can be a great addition to your wellness routine when used responsibly.

Saunas and COVID-19: Safety during the Pandemic

sauna safety during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our daily lives and has raised concerns about the safety of public spaces, including saunas. As we navigate this new normal, it is important to be aware of the guidelines and recommendations from health authorities in order to minimize the risk of transmission.

When it comes to sauna usage during the pandemic, there are a few key considerations. Proper ventilation is crucial, as it helps to reduce the concentration of viral particles in the air. Saunas should have adequate ventilation systems in place to ensure the safety of users. Additionally, it is important to adhere to social distancing protocols and maintain a safe distance from others while using the sauna.

In line with general guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, individuals who are ill or have been in close contact with someone infected with the virus should avoid using saunas. It is also essential to continue practicing good hygiene, such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and avoiding close contact with others. These measures help to reduce the risk of transmission and ensure the safety of everyone using the sauna.

It is important to note that sauna usage is a personal choice, and individuals should carefully consider their own health and circumstances before deciding to use a sauna during the pandemic. By following the guidelines and recommendations from health authorities, we can help protect ourselves and others while still enjoying the benefits of saunas.


After examining the spa health facts, it’s clear that saunas offer a mix of benefits and risks. While they can provide relaxation and temporary relief, the claims of significant health benefits lack scientific evidence. However, there are some medical advantages, such as improving lung function for asthma patients and reducing joint pain for individuals with arthritis.

To ensure safety, it’s crucial to follow sauna precautions. This includes staying within recommended temperature and duration limits, especially for those with underlying health conditions. It’s important to listen to your body and take breaks if you feel lightheaded or dizzy. Hydration is key, so drink plenty of water before, during, and after sauna sessions.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Follow guidelines from health authorities, such as maintaining proper ventilation and practicing social distancing in saunas. If you’re feeling unwell or have been in contact with someone infected, it’s best to avoid sauna usage. Alongside these precautions, practicing good hygiene, like wearing masks and washing hands frequently, will help prevent the spread of the virus.

Ultimately, making informed decisions about sauna usage based on reliable information and consulting healthcare professionals will contribute to overall wellness. Understanding the spa health facts, sauna benefits and risks, and sauna safety precautions is essential for enjoying the experience while prioritizing your well-being.


Can saunas help with weight loss and detoxification?

Limited data supports the claim that saunas can aid in weight loss and detoxification. However, saunas may provide temporary relaxation and relief.

Do infrared saunas have more benefits than traditional saunas?

The benefits of infrared saunas are not scientifically proven. However, some individuals find them relaxing and enjoyable.

Are saunas safe for individuals with heart disease?

Infrared saunas may be safer for individuals with heart disease because they gradually heat up the body. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before using a sauna.

Can saunas help with asthma and arthritis?

Saunas may improve pulmonary function for people with asthma and reduce joint pain for those with arthritis, according to some experts.

How should I use saunas safely?

To use saunas safely, it is important to follow recommended temperature and duration limits, stay hydrated, take breaks if feeling lightheaded, and practice good hygiene.

Are saunas safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Saunas should adhere to guidelines and recommendations from health authorities, have proper ventilation, and follow social distancing protocols to minimize the risk of transmission. Individuals who are ill or have been in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 should avoid using saunas.

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