Light therapy is something that has always interested me because of the different skin issues that I have as well as stress and depression are something that I pay attention to for my own mental health. I remember the first time I walked into an infrared sauna at Perspire in Huntington Beach, CA years ago thinking that it would just be a good way to end a workout. Sitting in a hot room, sweating to my core and watching Netflix, I mean it was an easy way to give myself some ‘me time’ for an hour. I looked at thePerspire color card and saw what each light was supposed to help with..
With my morphea, I have hyperpigmentation of the skin that I was told would never recover however with infrared light therapy via a sauna, I saw some results to lighten the discoloration. My doctor kept trying to push me into using bleaching cream but the chemicals are so harsh it hurts the very dry skin there. This seemed like a good thing to try.
Once I was in there a few times, I wondered if it was really detoxifying my body and helping my morphea or if I was just sweating to sweat. (no complaints from me on that one).
HISTORY….Sweating inside a heated space has transcended time and many cultures: From Roman times, to the Ancient Greeks and Russians, as well as the Native Americans who had sweat lodges, the benefits of sweating have been known to mankind. The skin is our largest organ, and sweat is one of the major elimination channels for toxins. In fact, a fever is the way our body creates the conditions for the immune system to perform better.
Goop spoke with Dr. Junger about why the infrared sauna is better than a regular one.. “The infrared band in the spectrum of light is the one that we perceive as heat. It makes the body sweat at lower temperatures than the ones needed for regular convection heated saunas, so people tolerate it better. Because IR penetrates deeper—up to three inches—it mobilizes and burns fat, which not only helps with weight loss but with detoxification as well, since many of the toxins we absorb are surrounded and trapped by fat. Infrared saunas are also smaller and easier to install than regular saunas, and are more affordable.”
So far, the results are mixed about whether they really can “heal” certain ailments however the good news is: Even if your sweat session doesn’t do all of the things it claims to do, at least it still feels good. Plus, itcontributes to your overall health and well-being by helping you relax, loosening up stiff or tight muscles, reducing joint pain, and giving you some much needed time to yourself.
Personally, I can say that I experienced results in helping with my hyperpigmentation. It did not “cure me or heal me” but it did help lessen the darkness of my skin. And it also helped relax and de-stress me.
Next, I’m going to tackle light therapy for depression in part 2.