TO LOVE YOUR SAUNA
OF INFRARED SAUNA USE
Are you looking for an alternative health source in a world where toxins and pollutions are adding up daily in your system? Do you experience aches and pains from your daily life or as the result of an illness or injury? Is your skin rough, dry, broken out, splotchy, or does it take a long time to heal from cuts or bruises? Are you recovering from cancer? Do you struggle with your weight and energy levels? If so, then a sauna may provide the answer you need to your health concerns.
Health Benefits of Infrared SaunA USE
Your body is an amazing system that has the capacity to heal itself. You have experienced the bodily crash of a flu or infection when your body counteracts the illness through producing a fever. Your body literally burns the infection out of your body. Unfortunately, as painful and annoying as having the flu is, it’s telling you that you’ve allowed your body to get away from its healthy balanced state. Too often, you place demands on your body too fast and too furiously for your body to compensate and rejuvenate. This is where owning or consistently using a sauna can help you maintain that balance. The heat penetrates your body tissues to a depth of about an inch and a half or 3.81cm inducing a natural fever situation without an illness. This induced fever causes your body to sweat and remove toxins that have built up in your body due to environmental, medicinal, or stress related situations. During this process, your heart rate speeds to rates similar to those of gentle exercise, thus helping your body to increase circulation and function more efficiently. Some of the benefits that result with this removal of toxins from our bodies include: softer and clearer skin tone; reduced muscle and joint tenderness and soreness; faster healing of cuts, bruises, and acne; increased weight loss with a proper nutritional programme; the ability to have a deeper, more relaxing sleep; and, reduced stress. Studies show that consistent use of an can help lower blood pressure, is safe for heart patients, arthritics, diabetics, and even healthy pregnant women when used at lower temperatures (always check with your doctor if you have any specific concerns, conditions, or ailments). Physiotherapists, osteopaths, general practitioners, naturopaths, and chiropractors all recognize the extreme benefits gained through regular usage of an infrared sauna (Black, 2007).
Heat causes body cells to release harmful substances
Toxic substances build up in the soft tissues of the body over time. Without a proper flushing of these toxins through appropriate eating styles and exercise, your body may begin to feel sluggish or you may experience more pain than you may expect on a daily basis. Usually, this feeling of un-wellness does not happen overnight, but creeps up on you like fog drifting in from the ocean on a cold night. You may see suggestions to remove toxins from your diet with harsh internal chemicals or even harsh natural supplements. All come with stern warnings and are usually quite intrusive, often leaving your body sometimes sicker than you were before you began. There is a safe natural way to detoxify your body – and that is through heat.
What happens in the body when heat reacts with your tissues?
Water molecules in your body trap and hold toxins, when these water molecules are heated they become “excited” and pop or release the extra toxin. Think of a balloon reaching it’s maximum potential of elasticity and suddenly popping. The excess waste releases from the human body in two ways – either through urination or through perspiration. The more you perspire – or sweat – the more toxins release from your body.
INFRARED SAUNA USE
& YOUR BODY
Aging is a slow process during which the body undergoes changes that eventually bring about death even if no marked disease or disorder is present. Although the human life span probably cannot be expanded, it most likely is possible to expand the health span, the length of time the body functions normally” (Mader, 1991, pp 461). In recent years the popular television series, “The Biggest Loser” shows testing of participants’ chronological age and their body age. Viewers and participants watch in shock as they see chronological ages in the 30s or 40s and body ages in the 60s or 70s or even 80s. After drastic lifestyle changes, these numbers come more in sync and often you’ll see someone who’s body age is lower than their chronological age. It is possible to ‘get younger’ if you take excellent care of yourself, exercise, eat right, and employ all the tools available to you in keeping your body and mind healthy.
Aging is inevitable. Keeping your health is a choice. A key part of the paragraph above is that death is inevitable. Sure, our lives can be marked by disease or disorder not by any of our choices or actions (for example genetic diseases, cancer, other disorders), but our general health is our choice. There are a few theories about how each individual person ages. One is genetic. We age like our parents aged. This is documented by evidence that children of long-lived parents tend to live longer than short-lived parents. This may be due to the genes being programmed to control our aging. Each of your cells has a maximum number of times it can divide, with each individual cell dividing around 50 times. As you grow older more cells are unable to divide, causing your cells to undergo degenerative changes and die. Some of these degenerative changes cause some cell functions to become nonfunctional. A second theory of aging is that this is a whole body process where each system experiences a decline (Mader, 1991). It is safe to say that “anti-aging” is a theme of mankind since the beginning with stories of finding Atlantis, the city where no one ages, to countless books, myths, and consumer products all geared at stopping or slowing down the aging process. Realistically, it is more important to look at aging ‘gracefully’ and with as much health as possible. Diet, appropriate exercise, rest, and incorporating an infrared sauna into your daily health regime, will ease those aches and pains and help the aging process treat you a bit more kindly.
So, you are reading about infrared saunas and probably asking yourself, “What role can an infrared sauna play in my own personal aging?” I think it can act as one of the essential tools in successfully aging as healthfully as possible. The gentle raise of the temperature causes a rise in the heart rate – similar to that of gentle exercise. If you are older and can’t exercise as much as you would like, taking 20-30 minutes in the infrared sauna can help add to your cardiac benefit. If you’ve been sedentary and need to exercise, starting out with the 20-30 minutes of infrared sauna can get your heart prepared to start a gentle exercise programme. The cleansing of the skin through sloughing off dead skin cells can help your skin to look dewy and smooth rather than dry and flaky.
It’s actually quite appropriate that arthritis would follow aging in order of health concerns. Wikipedia actually gives one of the most concise and referenced descriptions of arthritis you can find. Here is the introduction as well as the web address: “Arthritis (from Greek arthro, joint + itis, inflammation; plural: arthritides) is a group of conditions involving damage to the joints of the body.
There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. The most common form, osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Otherarthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and autoimmune diseases in which the body attacks itself. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection.The major complaint by individuals who have arthritis is pain. Pain is often a constant and daily feature of the disease. The pain may be localized to the back, neck, hip, knee or feet. The pain from arthritis occurs due to inflammation that occurs around the joint, damage to the joint from disease, daily wear and tear of joint, muscles strains caused by forceful movements against stiff, painful joints and fatigue. The most important factor in treatment is to understand the disorder and find ways to overcome the obstacles which prevent physical exercise. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthritis).”
Studies conducted in Sweden, Finland, and Japan note significant improvement for people suffering from symptoms of rheumatic disease when they use infrared saunas. Some of the studies demonstrated rapid improvement over a few sessions of use and others noted a longer regimen (approximately five months of use). All the studies state that participants reported alleviated pain and improved joint mobility (Flickstein, 2007; Hannuksela & Ellahham, 2001; Biro, Masuda, Kihara, & Tei, 2003).
An ancient Greek doctor named Parmenides stated, “Give me a chance to create fever and I will cure any disease” (Hancock, 2003). Cancer continues to be one of the top killers in modern society. Cures for cancer are rare, intrusive, and painful. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can put any family into a tailspin of fear and apprehension for the future. Cancer foundations abundantly dot the number of organizations striving to find cures for virtually any diagnosed type of cancer. Multiple therapies emerge seemingly daily. The three common major forms of therapy include chemotherapy (invasive, debilitating, frightening), radiation (the same), and surgery along with a multitude of alternative therapies from shock therapy to photo therapy to nutritional supplements and herbal supplements to help the body rid itself of malignant cells and tumors. Holistic cancer treatments work on strengthening the entire immune system and killing off toxic cancer cells through such interventions as diet modifications, anticancer herbs, and nutritional supplements. Even positive mental imagery helps the cancer patient work toward eliminating the enemy within. One thing all modalities agree upon is that cancer cells cannot survive heat. Cancer cannot live in temperatures above 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees F). Infrared heat becomes a “hyperthermic” treatment that artificially raises the body temperature allowing the body to literally burn out cancer cells. Malignant cancer cells are more sensitive to heat than healthy cells. Hyperthermic treatment consists of heating the body either in the local area of the cancer cells or tumor, regional sections, or by treating the entire body. Short & Turner (1980) found that hyperthermic treatments were especially successful in killing cells that radiation or chemotherapy previously were unable to kill, thus making a combination therapy of chemo, radiation, and hyperthermia desirable.
Infrared waves penetrate the skin past the epidermis into the dermis (outer skin layer to inner skin layer) of depths of approximately 3/4 to 1/5” (inches) (68cm or 1.02.5mm) (ICNIRP, Health Physics, Dec 2006, Vol 91, Number 6). This deeper penetration of heat into the skin results in increased action of the cell structure releasing water and toxins. With the build up of chemo chemicals in the system, this rapid warming and releasing of water molecules and toxins, aids in a quicker reduction of chemicals in the body system.
According to Vancouver naturopath, Jim Chan, far infrared therapy has the ability to break the protective rings around harmful molecules so the cancer cell can no longer survive. At the same time, it also weakens the bonds between toxins and human tissues allowing the flushing of stored toxins out of the system faster and in greater quantities through sweating and excretion. Cancer patients, on average, have a higher load of toxins than healthy individuals, making the importance of flushing toxins from the system doubly important.
+ HEART HEALTH
There are many studies linking the benefit of soft heat from the infrared sauna to improved heart functioning. The strongest studies are the ones showing significant lowering of blood pressure in most subjects. A significant decrease in blood pressure, cardiac ejection resistance, and total peripheral resistance is demonstrated in virtually every heart patient and in each study. While there is consequently a significant increase in heart rates, stroke volumes, cardiac outputs, and ejection fractions, infrared sauna sessions are shown to significantly improve vascular endothelial dysfunction. Sitting in an infrared sauna at 60 degrees C is proven to be safe in patients that have Chronic Systolic Heart Failure and it also significantly improves their tolerance to exercise. I found one study discussing ejection fractions at rates of 944%. These patients sat in a hot bath 41 degrees C for 10 minutes, and then had a 15 minute infrared sauna session at 60 degrees C. Heart rate increased significantly (p < 0.01) and remained higher for 30 minutes following the session. There was no change in the systolic blood pressure, but a significant decrease in the diastolic blood pressure (p < 0.05). While infrared sauna use does not appear to result in improvement of left ventricle pumping after an operation, it does significantly lower the blood pressure helping the heart function more easily. Infrared sauna usage shows no change in short term effects of cardiac output and is determined to be safe for use of heart patients. Basically:
Infrared Saunas are SAFE for heart patients
Infrared Saunas are effective in decreasing blood pressure in heart patients
Infrared Saunas help improve a heart patient’s tolerance to exercise
Infrared Saunas help to increase and improve heart function
Your immune system helps protect your body from disease. Your circulation system carries the blood throughout your body like a major highway system but also ensures every small tributary and out of the way crevice is provided with blood that is the major carrier of oxygen and nutrients. For you to have a healthy body, all of these systems work together in harmony. When one of them is malfunctioning, something else suffers. Perhaps the most important system to great health is the circulatory system. A poor circulatory system results in heart issues, strokes, as well as a myriad of other debilitating illnesses. You work hard to maintain your health through proper diet and exercise, but what if you need a little more boost? Sweating in an infrared sauna for 20-30 minutes 3x a week or more provides this boost to your system and helps your blood flow better.
+ ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
Two systems coordinate your body’s activities and movement: the nervous system and the endocrine system. While the nervous system reacts quickly to either an internal or external-stimuli (such as hitting your elbow and feeling pain), the endocrine system works more slowly and uses hormones as messengers. These messengers are delivered by the blood stream and take longer to reach the individual body parts and systems (please see section on circulation). Both the nervous system and the endocrine system are essential in proper body functioning. Both systems work hand in hand to accomplish action and movement in the body, and by body parts (such as the stomach, liver, etc.). I was able to locate two studies conducted specifically on hormonal responses to heat exposure in saunas (KukkonenHarjula, K. et al. 1989; Kauppinen, K. et al, 1989). In both of these studies, sauna use was favourable in helping the endocrine system deliver hormones to body systems. Circulation and delivery of hormones through the endocrine system improved with repeated sauna use. It is safe to say that improvement of circulation in the blood also improves delivery of hormones to the body.
I will give a continued caution at this point – please refer to your doctor for all medical illnesses and questions. Improved health and circulation through regular exercise, proper diet, and infrared sauna use will help you reduce or eliminate many medications; however, some systems (such as the thyroid system) may always need chemical medications for proper functioning. It is best to have your medical doctor check your blood and examine your medications often as you begin and continue infrared sauna use. You may find, as I have, that a reduction in most medications happens over time. KMB
If you or someone close to you has paralysis, you are looking for ways to safely keep the internal body systems working even if one or more of the limbs no longer work. Keeping heart rate up, but not forcing the para or quadriplegic to have overdue stress on their system is important. One study conducted in 1992 examined the effects of traditional sauna use on tetra and paraplegic subjects. In both groups heart rates rose significantly and declined normally with no significant changes in systolic blood pressure for both groups. While there was a significant drop in diastolic blood pressure for the tetraplegic group during the post sauna phase, there were no subjects that fainted and blood pressure returned to normal after a short period of time (Gerner et al, 1992). These results are impressive for a paralyzed person as they demonstrate a safe way to raise heart rate to mimic an exercise situation. With an infrared sauna, safety is even more assured because of lower temperatures and longer time sessions. As with all medical issues, please refer to your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using an infrared sauna.
+ SKIN CARE
Heat enlarges your skin pores allowing for easy removal of dirt and sweat helping your skin cells heal faster and function better. Washing away the resultant perspiration leaves your skin clean and rejuvenated. An infrared sauna can:
Reduce & improve acne;
Speed healing of cuts and bruises;
Accelerate healing of injection sites for diabetics;
Ease pain after an injury or an intensive sporting activity.
What about eczema? The exact cause of eczema is not known. Although it is activated by theimmune system and is related to allergic reactions, it is not the same as other allergic reactions. People with eczema do have the IgE antibodies (immunoglobulin E) produced by the immune system as part of allergic reactions. Contact with the external trigger (allergen) causes skin to become inflamed. The duration of the contact is not important. Eczema can develop on first contact (in days to weeks) or over time with repeated contact (in months to years).
* Severe forms of eczema are caused by powerful allergic responses to external agents that cannot be eliminated from the environment. Risk factors for eczema include the following:
People with severe eczema usually also have hay fever and asthma;
Eczema is probably hereditary and often is found in other family members;
Eczema is not contagious.
* Risk factors for an eczema flare include the following:
Physical or mental stress;
Exposure to skin irritants
You probably noticed that sweating is on the list of irritants for those with eczema. You will also notice warnings and notices for people who have eczema to not use a sauna. Recent studies demonstrate that continued sauna use in an infrared sauna can not only clear eczema, but also help eczema sufferers reduce their sensitivity to other irritants. The key to seeing if an infrared sauna can clear your eczema is to try one for several days in a row for 10-20 minutes at a lower temperature. You may notice a flare in the symptoms; if this is the case, continue using for two more days. If the symptoms continue to flare, then discontinue use; however, if you can make it through the first few days and begin seeing an improvement by about the fifth day, you are on your way to a safe an effective means of helping you manage eczema in your life. Using an infrared sauna also helps cuts and bruises to heal faster due to the sloughing of skin and improved circulation.
Are you an avid sports enthusiast? How about a professional athlete? Maybe just an amateur who likes your weekend golf game, a ski trip in the winter, or biking in the summer? What ever your level of participation in sport, you will find amazing benefits from using an infrared sauna, not only for recovery, but also for improving your overall health and performance. When an athlete works strenuously, over time lactic acid builds up in the muscles and tissues, there is a need to release this from the body, sweating is one of the preferred ways to detox the body, loosen the muscles, and find relief from exertion.
Many of us can recall high school athletes using saunas after games to loosen muscles; I particularly recall wrestlers using saunas to help them drop those last few pounds before weigh ins. Blackstone Saunas built traditional saunas in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Village as well as provided several infrared saunas to other participating athletes. Sauna use in any situation is best if moderated. Don’t over do or use the sauna to drop copious amounts of weight, but do use it to help you find better muscle tone and flexibility (Kuzmenko et al, 1991; Rehunen, 1998).
+ STRESS RELIEF
Stress is one of the leading causes of disability and disease in our modern world. Google stress and you will get thousands of hits. Human Resource Departments throughout the world have put in special classes and structures to help employees deal with stress. Universities, schools, hospitals, and other institutions work closely with students, employees, and clients to help reduce stress. Some stress is good for us – remember the fight or flight response? However, too much stress will make us ill. The best thing you can do to reduce stress in your life is to take a logical, calm, self reflective look at your daily life. Ask yourself some key questions. One of them being: what can I do today that will help me reduce this stress in my life?
If you can take even half an hour a day for 3 to 5 times a week to sweat out your stress in an infrared sauna, you’ll find you cope with life’s daily stresses and strains more calmly and easily than ever (Shoenfeld et al, 1976; Sohar et al, 1976; Sudakov et al, 1988).
+ WEIGHT LOSS
Used alone, an infrared sauna will not give you significant amounts of weight loss, or will it?
Here is a personal story from Juanita:
I never thought I would ever be the one writing a testimonial instead of reading it but once you have had a life changing experience, you want to share it with anyone who will listen. I have STRUGGLED in vain, to lose weight since my hysterectomy in 1978. When I reached 200 pounds (I’m still working on switching to metric) over Xmas 2005, I made it my New Year’s resolution, again, to lose weight. After changing my diet sensibly, using my rebounder regularly (did you know too much time on a rebounder can cause the toxins that come out of your body to give you a nasty rash that can take weeks to clear) I lost nothing, again. Then my husband and I read about the many health benefits of an infrared sauna (including possible weight loss). We got our cute little 2seater in mid March of 2006. The first thing I noticed was softer skin. Though not what I wanted most it was a pleasant change. Then after a month or two I noticed that my sweat, which had initially smelled unpleasant during a session, was no longer noticeable. Being a skeptic I decided that I was probably just used to it, but looking back I know it was toxins being drawn out without the nasty rash part. Then low and behold by early April I had lost 15 pounds! I quickly calculated that at that rate it would take me another 4 months to lose the 75 pounds that I longed to lose. No this isn’t a miracle weight loss story, but considering the almost 30 years of continuous weight gain and dieting, sensibly or otherwise, and always having the weight come back and bring a few friends along for the ride, this was the first time in over 20 years that I have lost more than just 1 or 2 pounds without almost starving myself. It has been slow but I have lost 48 pounds to date. I thought I’d cry the other day when I could actually see and feel my shoulder and hipbones. I have also been under the care of a naturopath for 7 or 8 years for thyroid, hormone, heavy metals, weak lung linings and fibromyalgia symptoms etc. etc. Whether there’s any connection or how much or just the combination, I don’t know but for the first time they’re under control. I don’t cough continually (unless I have a cold), my eyebrows have grown back (thyroid), and my heavy metal count is down from literally off the chart to below normal. The Dr. asked me just last month how my fibromyalgia symptoms were. I hadn’t been aware of the normal skin tenderness so I pinched and poked my self and was shocked that I hardly hurt at all. It stopped so gradually; I guess I just didn’t notice. I am still under the Dr.’s care, I’m still watching my diet, exercising a little (I’m one of those people who would rather weed in the garden for 8 hours than walk for 1 hour), and using the sauna 1 to 7 times a week. When one or both of us are sore from head to toe from yard work (we’re still learning to pace ourselves) we head in, water bottles in hand and make bets on who will sweat the best and the quickest. He always wins. So there you are, a true and unbiased testimonial from someone who can say that our Blackstone Sauna is the best investment we have made in a long time.
Most sincerely, Juanita
Juanita’s story is not unique among stories we hear from infrared sauna users. What her story does demonstrate is that she uses her infrared sauna in conjunction with healthy living practices: sensible diet, rest, stretching, light exercise and hydration. Her statement illustrates strength in her marriage that becomes stronger through the shared experience of using an infrared sauna (CessionFossion & Lecomte, 1977, Flickstein, 2007).
+ APPLICATIONS OF INFRARED
Infrared technology is most widely known for use in military and law enforcement for night filters or tracking of objects by their heat signature.
Every physical body – whether it is living or nonliving – gives off a certain amount of heat. This is known in science as the “Blackbody Radiation Law.” We can virtually “see” any object by the heat emitting from that object. You may have seen night vision goggles in movies or in person – allowing the user to see at night by tracking the heat of an object. Thermography is the method that scientists use to measure the temperature of objects. Infrared is used in imaging of digital cameras and cell phones as well as in different types of communications. You will find infrared technology in spectroscopy, climatology, astronomy and interestingly, in art history. Art historians use infrared technology on old paintings to determine if there is a hidden under layer to paintings or works of art. For our purposes, we focus only on the heating value of infrared for this book. I will discuss different methods of heating either through ceramic or carbon fibre heaters later on.
The International Commission on NonIonizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) (2006) published a statement exploring infrared exposure on humans with respect to biological tissues. It gives a solid definition of infrared rays along with excellent graphs and descriptions of infrared wave penetration at various wavelengths. The ICNIRP statement also gives a clear explanation of how infrared waves as produced in saunas affect the skin, eyes, and other biological tissues. It states adequate exposure times and gives a caution to using an infrared sauna if one has skin cancer.
Finnish saunas and other conventional hot air saunas heat only the air around them at high temperatures between 150-500° F. An Infrared sauna produces infrared waves at lower temperatures that penetrate the skin to approximately 1.5” or 3.81 cm, increasing the body’s temperature internally and more quickly than merely sitting in a hot environment. Infrared saunas provide greater benefits at lower temperatures resulting in more effective sauna sessions for the user.
Heaters used in infrared saunas emit approximately one third of their waves in the middle to intermediate portion of the infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum: 2 to 5.6 microns. However, what makes them so effective is that two thirds of their emission falls in the deep body penetration range of 5.6 to 25 microns- with the average wave length being 9.4 microns- which happens to be the optimal point for human heating output (Flickstein, 2000).
+ DANGERS OF INFRARED
Let’s talk for a few minutes about when it’s not advised for you to use a sauna. As reported in the section on children, an infrared sauna is not advised for use by children under the age of 15 or 16. You read in the section on skin when it’s not advisable to use the sauna for extreme cases of eczema; however, you also read that while initial sitting in an infrared sauna may make the eczema worse, continued use will actually help it to improve. Other than those times, what are some other instances when you shouldn’t use a sauna? Here is a general listing:
When you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
When you have a gastro-intestinal flu, are vomiting, or have diarrhea. Under these conditions
your body is usually dehydrated and sitting in the sauna can take more fluids out of your system
making you more dehydrated;
If you have a high risk pregnancy; or,
If you are dizzy and/or disoriented.
Researchers agree that far-infrared rays help increase blood flow and local temperature of the body. Habib et al (2007) state, “The penetrating infrared energy brings nutrients and oxygen to the soft tissue region being treated and at the same time stimulates the removal of accumulated toxins.” The authors site several studies reflecting the healing nature of far-infrared rays for the management of chronic pain, chronic fatigue, coronary risk factors, vascular endothelial function, and atherosclerosis. This case study also warns against localized use of far-infrared heaters for one particular area of the body after a 48 year old woman sustained deep burns on her ankle after 40 minutes of use with an additional attachment of a ‘far-infrared jade node’ that was connected to the infrared system. The authors warn against prolonged usage of direct placement of far-infrared nodes to the skin. Safety precautions included with manufacturer directions should be followed along with proper medical supervision when far-infrared sauna units are used in medical practice (Habib et al, 2007).
Pregnancy is an exciting time in any woman’s life – and family. Managing the delicate balance of health of mother and baby are crucial. For this purpose, I want to reiterate to always check with your doctor before doing anything out of the ordinary. Research studies on healthy pregnant women show lower temperature sauna use at 15 to 20 minutes is safe; however, if you have any difficulty with any part of your pregnancy, why take the chance? Hot tub use is prohibited, as is an extremely hot bath; temperatures are important, so if you choose to use your sauna during pregnancy, be sure to use the temps at no more than 100 degrees F. Pregnant women should not practice hot yoga and should always work with a trained yogi for any yoga asana. Refer to your doctor or midwife for anything to do with your pregnancy.
What about children in an infrared sauna? While sauna bathing in Finland is an integral part of their culture, there are some significant things to keep in mind before taking a child into the heat of an infrared sauna.
Sauna bathing causes substantial circulatory changes in adults, but the adult body adjusts quite well to these changes. Children have an inferior thermoregulatory system when compared to an adult, have less body fat, and have more skin surface area to body weight ratios. Core temperatures in children increase more quickly because of the child’s smaller size and thinner skin tissue. The ability to lose core heat through sweating is not fully developed in children and thermoregulatory failure takes place more easily in children than in adults. Children’s bodies cannot release heat by blood from their core to their skin in a hot environment most likely because of their limited cardiovascular reserves. Oxygen uptake in children, as measured by stroke volume, is also markedly lower than in adults. Resting heart rates are higher in younger children than adults showing the heart already working at capacity to properly move blood throughout their smaller bodies. Basically, it is much harder for children’s bodies to release heat from their body cores through blood flow and sweating than it is for adults.
It is important to not let a child overheat. Their smaller bodies cannot compensate quickly enough to counteract the overheating. While short periods of 5 minutes in a cooler sauna, such as an infrared sauna set at a lower temperature, may not be harmful to a child, err on the side of caution and not expose children under the age of ten to sauna usage.