How Does Infrared Help with Relaxation?
We may have missed national relaxation day (it was August 15th), but it’s alright. We believe in indulging in blissful moments each and every day!
Relaxation doesn’t just feel good; it’s actually beneficial to your health and overall wellness. This is where the Mind Body connection comes in, fostering calm thoughts and taking slow, deep breaths does make a difference in the way your body feels. For instance, in a tough situation, taking a deep breath can send a signal to your brain that things are going to be ok.
Infrared sessions create a physically comfortable atmosphere for the participant. We hear from happy body wrappers regularly, they are falling asleep during sessions and getting some much needed R&R. And let’s just say, they need it. The American Institute of Stress estimates that 75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. The more stressed you are, the more cortisol your body produces, but one of the wonderful things about infrared is that it can help maintain healthy levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is your fight or flight hormone, made in your adrenal glands. This is the hormone that raises your heart rate and blood pressure when you get stressed and those with high cortisol levels may experience health issues, trouble sleeping, weight gain and more. During an infrared session your cortisol levels may remain stable or increase ever-so slightly. Upon completion of your session your cortisol levels can drop quite drastically and this is when the magic happens. Infrared lovers often report that they experience a lower heart rate, reduced blood pressure and an overall sense of well-being after just one infrared session.
FIT Tip: Studies show that cortisol can also contribute to excess calories (fat) being stored in the midsection. Want to lose weight? Don’t stress about it!
Infrared can do more to help you relax than just regulate cortisol levels. A 2009 study used far infrared on 70 inpatients that were experiencing depression and insomnia or trouble sleeping. Before infrared exposure, scientists measured serum serotonin levels, a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain that influences our brain cells that are related to mood, sleep, behavior and more. They also measured serum malondialdehyde (MDA), a naturally occurring organic compound that is a marker for oxidative stress. During the four-week experiment, participants were exposed to infrared twice a week and it was noticed that the serotonin levels increased and MDA levels decreased after exposure.
Now we know why relaxation based spa services are among the top services booked! We believe that you shouldn’t have to go to the doctor or take prescription medication just to relax! Want to test it out?
You can do your own experiment by participating in weekly infrared sessions. See if you notice relaxation benefits such as boosting your memory, lessened depression, decreased acne, improved sleeping patterns and a sense of calm.
Tips for relaxing during infrared sessions:
- Listen to music that relaxes your mind, waves crashing or nature sounds are nice, too.
- Take deep breaths and close your eyes. Trust us, this works even as the sweat is dripping down your face 😉
- Make your infrared session all about you, connect to the present moment and enjoy it.
Chang Y, et al. “The Effect On Serotonin And MDA Levels In Depressed Patients With Insomnia When Far-Infrared Rays Are Applied To Acupoints. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2016.
“The Many Health Benefits Of Deep Relaxation”. Mercola.com. N.p., 2016. Web.
“10 Health Benefits Of Relaxation”. The Huffington Post. N.p., 2012. Web.