Remember that warm, loopy, buzz-like calm after spending too long in a tanning bed during those I-wish-I’d-known-better college years? That sensation was my primary motivation for being in a tanning salon in the first place, not to mention wanting to shun the nine uninhabitable months of New York winter happening outside. Hopefully we all know better by now; yet we continue to chase activities that promise the release of feel-good endorphins, perceived or otherwise.

303 Orange Skye Spa logoA few months ago, I found one. Get ready for some serious relaxation. Without skin cancer. And with a boatload of health benefits.

FAR-infrared saunas have long been touted by the wellness fringe, but more mainstream attention is slowly being paid. I only seriously considered it when a trusted healer told me she committed to 10 far-infrared sessions and was able to treat what Western medicine had failed to: mysterious pains, aches, breathing complications and sudden exhaustion. Not only had her symptoms vanished, but her mood and general outlook on life had improved dramatically.

So, I gave it a try. And I’m so glad I did.

Amy Geiger, owner Orange Skye Spa

Amy Geiger, owner Orange Skye Spa

My Google search took me to a lovely little spa on South Broadway that offered far-infrared sauna therapy. Amy Geiger, owner of Orange Skye Spa, was kind enough to answer a few questions for 303.

303 Magazine: What is FAR-Infrared sauna therapy?

Amy Geiger: Far-infrared sauna therapy is waves of energy, invisible to the naked eye, capable of penetrating deep into the body where they gently elevate the body’s surface temperature to above 170 degrees in a 20- to 30-minute session, which then enables the destruction of toxins, bacteria, viruses and cancer cells while also activating major bodily functions, which leads to stronger, healthier cells throughout the entire body.

Who would this be good for?

Just about everyone can benefit from using an infrared sauna. It has so many amazing health benefits. Here are just a few: it’s relaxing, it detoxifies, lowers blood sugar, helps with weight loss (can burn up to 600 calories in a 30-minute session), improves blood circulation and wound healing, relieves pain, purifies skin and fosters anti-aging. Some doctors in several countries also use far-infrared saunas in cancer treatment.

Who should not use FAR-Infrared saunas?

People who should not use an infrared sauna are women who are pregnant and people with multiple sclerosis. This is because MS distorts the body’s ability to cool itself down.

Do you use the sauna yourself? If so, what benefits have you received from using it?

photo by Kyle Cooper

photo by Kyle Cooper

I use the infrared sauna myself on a weekly basis. This is to promote great overall health, keep bacteria and viruses out of my body, help manage my weight, and it makes my skin look amazing.  I will sit in the sauna on a daily basis if I feel like I am coming down with a cold or the flu. If you sit in the sauna right when you feel something coming on, usually you will not get “full-blown sick.”

How many sessions are most beneficial?

Depending on what health goals you are trying to achieve, this will dictate how many sauna sessions will be beneficial for each individual. Daily would be great for an intense detox, weight loss, or to combat an acute illness.  Weekly or bi-weekly is great for sustaining good overall health.

When I first started these treatments, I had it in my head that I would only try it for 10 sessions. I’m long past that, and there’s no stopping me now. Walking out of my weekly 30-minute sessions, I feel happier, energized, renewed, and yes, even a little buzzed.

Jodilyn Stuart is the Health &PT-color-headshot-I31 Sports Senior Staff Writer for 303 Magazine, owner of ModaBody Face + Fitness, and has been a professional fitness geek since 1997. If you have questions, feel free to email at: [email protected]