December 8, 2022
November 4, 2022
Why The Benefits Of An Infrared Sauna And Salt Therapy Mutually Reinforce Each Other
The written article is based on a summary of existing literature on the topic of infrared saunas. The article is for educational purposes and the information provided below cannot be taken as a promise to help with acute health problems or diseases.
29 scientific references back the claims in the article. All references are numbered. You can access the text of the reference by clicking on the number.
The age-old saying of “The sum is greater than the parts” still holds true today. In this blog post, I will talk about the combination of an infrared sauna and salt therapy, called an “infrared salt sauna”.
In the next section, I’ll dig into that topic deeper. Then, I will tell you more about the benefits of both therapies.
Let’s begin with the beginning:
Infrared saunas have been used for many decades for their health promoting benefits. The same is true for “salt therapy”. In salt therapy, salt is contained into the air that you breathe. That salt then has many therapeutic benefits.
At Clearlight Infrared® Saunas, we offer both therapies. First of all, we offer different types of infrared saunas such as far infrared saunas and full-spectrum infrared saunas. Then, as an addon to any sauna, there’s the HALOONE™ for Salt Therapy.
That HALOONE™ uses salt cartridges for its salt. That salt is subsequently heated and enters the air. You then breathe that air. The air enters your nose, airways, and travels to your lungs, thereby having a therapeutic effect. In nature, you get similar effects by spending time inside a salty cave or at the beach - the minerals in that air enter your body and affect your airways and overall physiology.
The magic happens when you combine these two therapies. You won’t only have the benefits of an infrared sauna but also receive the benefits of salt therapy at the same time. And, these benefits are mutually reinforcing at some points. The salt therapy, for instance, is extremely relaxing to your body and helps clear up your airways. The same is true for spending time inside an infrared sauna. You thus get double the benefits in the same amount of time.
In the section below, I’ll explain how some of the benefits you get from infrared saunas are similar to those of salt therapy. So, I’ll explore the infrared sauna with salt therapy combination. I’ll talk about lowering inflammation, reducing your risk of airway diseases and cleaning up your airways, and aiding your immune system:
Many people use salt therapy to improve their well-being (1; 2). The result is that your nervous system relaxes by shifting you into the “parasympathetic nervous system that’s associated with the “rest and digest” physiology. People have been using salt therapy for this goal for thousands of years - in Medieval times salt caves were used for this purpose.
And, up to 40% of people state that they visit a salt cave - a natural form of salt therapy - for the purposes of relaxation. In such salt caves, the salt content in the air is much higher than outdoors, allowing your airways to ingest healing levels of salt. Depression is also a frequent reason people give as their justification for visiting a salt cave. And, with the HALOONE™, you’ve got your own salt cave at your fingertips, without requiring to travel a great distance for therapy.
Similar trends are true for sauna use.
As stated before, the salt you inhale enters your airways. Those airways don’t just include your nose but also the rest of the airways, all the way down to your lungs. And, it turns out that salt therapy helps clean out those airways (3; 4; 5; 6). That benefit is extremely helpful if you’ve got conditions such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, or “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”. All of these diseases are characterised by an inability to breathe properly and often paired with “mucus” or “sputum” buildup.
Normally, the mucus in your airways helps filter the air that you breathe. But, sometimes there can be excessive buildup, making breathing more difficult. A simple example is excessive buildup of such compounds in your nose, leading to sinusitus.
If you’ve got allergies, such as against pollen, or you’re susceptible to getting a stuffed nose during the winter or due to air pollution, you’re probably familiar with this phenomenon. The salt that travels through your nose with salt therapy helps make that buildup of this gel-like substance more volatile. As a result, you can more easily clear it (7; 8).
Saunas are similar for countering nasal congestion - I’ve written a blog post about that in the past. I’ll explore some of the studies in this area below:
First of all, saunas counter buildup of excess fluid and inflammation in the nose (9; 10). For the best results, you have to use a far infrared sauna frequently for several days in a row. Symptoms such as itching, a runny nose, nasal congestion, and watery eyes, will all improve significantly over time. Overall breathing capacity also improves, as a result.
Secondly, saunas are amazing for preventing airway diseases (11; 12; 13;14; 15) In some cases, it’s also possible to counter symptoms of existing airway diseases using a sauna.
Overall, the frequently you use a sauna, the lower your risk of respiratory disease becomes (16; 17; 18; 19; 20; 21). By comparing one or two sessions per week, your overall risk goes down by 27% by using a sauna twice per week. And, with four sessions per week, the risk goes down by 41%. Keep in mind that I’m only talking about one lifestyle intervention here, not multiple. And, these numbers are true for pneumonia, COPD, and asthma. Those numbers are even more impressive for pneumonia, as your risk goes down by 44% with four weekly sauna sessions or more.
Also, in both healthy persons and those with an airway disease, overall lung function increases. Some studies don’t agree with this conclusion though. And, even for people with airway diseases - if you don’t have an acute problem - saunas are safe. With an airway condition though, make sure to consult your physician first before increasing your weekly sauna session frequency significantly.
So, overall, it can be concluded that both saunas and salt therapy are extremely promising interventions that keep your airways healthy. Both therapies are also mutually supportive. Next up, let’s look at the immune system:
The salt you inhale affects inflammation (22; 23 24; 25; 26). Inflammation is a huge issue, being intertwined with many chronic health conditions. And, many airway diseases result in increased inflammation in the nose and lower airways.
As a result of inhaling salt, the pattern of inflammation will change in those airways. Indications also exist that inflammation is affected at a more systemic level (that of the entire body). For instance, asmathics exert compounds associated with inflammation differently after inhaling salt.
A similar trend can be observed with using saunas (27; 28; 29). That inflammation can be measured with what is called “C-reactive protein” - one of the most important biomarkers of inflammation.
Researchers have compared the C-reactive protein levels of people with different sauna habits. On average, if you entered a sauna either zero or one time per week, your C-reactive protein levels were 2.41. With two to three sessions per week, that level went down to 2.00. And, with four sessions or more per week, inflammation goes down to 1.65 - a huge decline. The differences between the group with the highest levels of inflammation and the lowest levels is a whopping 32% difference.
And, as inflammation is closely linked to not only airway diseases but also heart and blood vessel conditions, diabetes, and other health problems, this decline in inflammation is extremely promising. And, by combining salt therapy and saunas, you’re almost certainly getting far superior results than by using either one of them.
Lastly, let’s look at some of the other benefits both therapies have:
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Infrared saunas also have benefits that aren’t shared with salt therapy. And, salt therapy has some benefits that are unique that infrared saunas don’t have.
Here are some examples of these benefits - starting with the far infrared sauna benefits:
And, by adding near and middle infrared light to the equation, the list of benefits expands even further:
So, overall, even though infrared sauna with salt therapy both have overlapping benefits, both therapies also have their own unique unshared benefits. For that reason, if you want maximum health benefits, I highly recommend the salt infrared sauna combination. And, with that being said, let's conclude:
Hopefully I’ve convinced you that the salt and sauna combination is a wonderful one. As I stated in the introduction, and I’m paraphrasing, the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, as you can receive the benefits of two therapies in the same amount of time.
Also, with the unique benefits of both an infrared sauna and salt therapy, you’re creating an even better overall experience.
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