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When you use an infrared sauna, infrared waves gently warm your skin and body. This not only stimulates beneficial sweating, but also slightly raises your core body temperature.

This gentle hyperthermia, researchers believe, is responsible for the mood-boosting effects observed from sauna therapy. With this in mind, let’s look at two studies on infrared sauna therapy for depression.

The first, published in JAMA (a super prestigious journal) in 2016, found that one session of near infrared sauna therapy reduced symptoms of mild to moderate depression compared to placebo for over six weeks.[1] Six weeks of improvement with just one session!

By the way, this was a randomized placebo-controlled study, the gold standard of science. What was the placebo treatment, you ask? An identical-looking sauna device, sans infrared rays.

Another group of researchers tested more frequent infrared therapy—20 half hour sessions over four weeks—in mildly depressed people. After the four weeks were up, the infrared group was feeling more relaxed, and they had a keener edge to their appetites.[2]

Infrared sauna therapy can also be useful in combating stress. Research has shown, for example, that sauna therapy can lead to reductions in cortisol, your “stress hormone”.[3]

This stress relief benefit is usually what Sunlighten customers rave about the most – oftentimes it’s the bonus they discover when using the sauna for detox or pain relief or some other therapeutic reason. Click here to learn more about Freshlife Sauna Sessions and request an appointment. To learn more about the health benefits, including benefits on the immune system, you can go to Sunlighten infrared therapy.


1. Whole-Body Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial, JAMA Psychiatry

2. Repeated Thermal Therapy Diminishes Appetite Loss and Subjective Complaints in Mildly Depressed Patients, Psychosomatic Medicine

3. Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men, Springerplus

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