Keeping up with the demands of our profession requires the ability to learn and grow. Broadening and building is key. Our goal here at ProMet Physical Therapy is to inspire our community and give them a glimpse about what we are working on internally.
How does an infrared sauna work?
Our Infrared Sauna at ProMet Physical Therapy uses Infrared waves that travel through the air and when they touch a surface, heat energy is released. That heat energy excites the molecules (mitochondria) in the body it meets which begin to vibrate and gain energy (and warm up). The sauna uses LED panels that send out Infrared wavelengths at 880 nm that penetrate up to 3 mm skin deep to target the mitochondria. Traditional dry saunas (reach 180 deg F) heat up the surrounding air primarily whereas the infrared sauna heats up your core (150 deg F) temperature from within. The infrared panels located inside our sauna allows you to experience a sweat at lower temperatures due to the effect it has on heating your body up from within. Since the environment isn’t as hot as a dry sauna this infrared sauna allows you to stay in for longer periods thus increasing cardiovascular benefits and calories burned.
The Why behind the health benefits?
1: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, is a growth factor with broad relevance for aging, brain function, behavior, metabolism, energy expenditure, and satiety. This is a protein that is stimulated during elevated body temperature like being in a sauna.
In general, lower BDNF levels are correlated with poor health. The links between physical exercise, diet, and mental wellness are well known. Both exercise and diet markedly affect BDNF levels. Reductions in caloric intake and carbohydrates can produce large increases in BDNF levels, and exercise increases BDNF in a manner directly proportional to exercise intensity. Elevated body temperature has also been shown to increase BDNF levels, which raises the possibility of sauna use as a means of boosting BDNF.
2: Heat Shock Proteins: Throughout our daily lives we are exposed to potential stresses that may damage cells in our body. This is called oxidative stress. When we are exposed to high temperatures in saunas this stimulates heat shock proteins that help to repair damaged cells in our body! Ever hear of “Antioxidants? This serves as an antioxidant. Heat therapy such as sauna reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
How to prepare for a session?
- This can be done in conjunction with exercise or on its own.
- Start by drinking lots of water to stay hydrated hours before your appointment.
- Inside the sauna you can link up your phone with bluetooth connection, listen to music, podcasts, or read, meditate or just enjoy relaxing silence.
Set up an appointment with our team at ProMet Physical Therapy at our Glendale location to try our Infrared sauna today!