Why Everyone's Obsessed With Infrared Saunas—and Why You Should Be Too

Elinor Block

If we're being honest, it all started at the beginning of the year when Jennifer Aniston revealed that spending time in an infrared sauna was her new thing. Considering that Aniston has looked amazing for, like, ever, there's little we wouldn't do to make sure we had the same glowing skin and all-round healthy aura as the star. 

Then, this week a journalist for The Cut reported how they'd spent some time in one and what the effects were on their body—notably how incredible it was for their aching muscles and increasing their energy levels. But that's not all, Oprah's long-time show doctor, Dr. Oz, has also extolled the benefits of this therapy. And its popularity is only on the increase.

But for anyone who isn't aware of infrared saunas and why they would want to sit in one, here's a super-quick guide to what it is, what the benefits are, and where you can get in one. 

Keep scrolling for our guide to infrared saunas.

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What are they?

You've probably had a "normal" sauna, but infrared saunas are different for one main reason—it uses light to create heat. Where a traditional sauna uses heat to warm the air, which in turn warms your body, instead, in an infrared room, the rays heat your skin tissue. 

How do they work?

The infrared heat penetrates the skin tissue, in a way that traditional sauna heat doesn't, and helps release toxins more efficiently while you sweat. 

Speaking to Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop, Dr. Junger revealed that it's all about tricking your body into thinking it has a fever. 

"A fever is the way our body creates the conditions for the immune system to perform better. Interestingly, there are clinics in Germany that create hyperthermia during chemotherapy to reduce the dose of medications needed by making the cancer cells more susceptible. This same effect happens (on a less extreme level) during a sauna session: By sweating, one activates and intensifies the elimination of toxins."

What are the health benefits?

From cellulite reduction to increased energy levels, there are plenty of health benefits. We spoke to Liz Hambleton, the editorial director of Treatwell, who told us about how revolutionary it has been for her.

"I swear by the health-boosting benefits of infrared. I was first introduced to it by yoga guru Nahid de Belgeonne, founder of Good Vibes, who teaches her yoga classes in an infrared studio. I was so blown away by how my skin and body felt after several classes under the lamps, I've since become a regular user of specialised infrared saunas. I find they help soothe worked out muscles, improve radiance of my skin and leave you with an overall feeling of wellness."

Where can you experience one?

There are a growing number of places to do it, but so far they are London-based. 

Casa Spa, Paddington London, W2 1TH infrared treatments from £35. Book through treatwell.co.uk.

PUR Wellness, Notting Hill, W2 5BU, infrared treatments from £40.

Mydetoxdiet Spa & Beauty Greenwich, SE10 9HY, infrared treatments from £35. Book through treatwell.co.uk. 

Have you tried an infrared sauna? How did you feel after it? Tell us in the comments!

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