Far Infrared Sauna Therapy

Far infrared sauna therapy brings about detoxification and healing deep within the body. But just what is a far infrared sauna, and how does it work?


Though it appears similar to heated steam saunas, the far infrared sauna is actually quite different. Instead of using heat, the far infrared sauna uses safe infrared rays with wavelengths between 5.6 and 1,000 microns—the segment of the electromagnetic spectrum known as far infrared. At those wavelengths, infrared energy is absorbed by the body’s cells, forcing heavy metals and other toxins out through the body’s natural elimination processes.

Immune System

Far infrared sauna therapy offers a secondary benefit: a slight increase in body temperature. By raising the body temperature by one to three degrees, a far infrared sauna session mimics a fever, which triggers an immune system response and enables the body to fight bacteria and viruses.

Weight Loss

Clients of the Center for Integrative Medicine also appreciate the weight-loss effects of far infrared sauna therapy. The improved blood flow caused by a far infrared session subtly raises the metabolism, and the release of toxins from fat cells makes those cells more easily minimized through diet and exercise. Studies have shown that as many as 600 calories can be burned in one half-hour far infrared sauna therapy session; participants in a 2009 study lost weight and decreased their waist circumference during three months of far infrared sauna therapy.

Chronic Pain

However, it is in the treatment of chronic pain that the far infrared sauna is especially useful. In a randomized, controlled study of 46 patients with chronic pain, the journal “Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics” tested a variety of treatments with and without the use of far infrared sauna therapy. Both groups reported a decrease in pain, depression and anger, but the far infrared sauna group’s decreases in all three areas were more significant. Reports two years later were just as promising: more sauna patients than non-sauna patients had returned to work. Far infrared has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effect.

A Typical Far Infrared Sauna Therapy Session

When you come to the Center for Integrative Medicine for a far infrared sauna therapy session, you can expect to be more comfortable than you may have been in high-heat saunas in the past. There are no hot surfaces or high temperatures within a far infrared sauna. While conventional saunas are normally between 180 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit, far infrared saunas operate at just 110 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet because far infrared rays’ ability to penetrate deeply into the muscles and even into some organs, they are able to heat body tissue up to three times higher than a conventional sauna can.


Far infrared saunas are highly efficient, using only about 10% of the electricity a conventional sauna would use. What’s more, less than 20% of far infrared rays heat the air—allowing over 80% of the energy to be converted into therapeutic heat within the body. Because far infrared saunas use no water, eliminating the problem of mildew or bacterial growth, they are more hygienic than conventional saunas as well.

Could far infrared sauna therapy help you feel better? Call the Center for Integrative Medicine today to schedule an appointment with

our naturopathic physician, Dr. Jocelyn Cooper, and find out.

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