Feeling distracted? Regain your focus by relaxing in an infrared sauna. Aside from releasing endorphins, an infrared sauna session may increase the levels of norepinephrine in the brain. Norepinephrine is a stress hormone that helps increase focus and attention. Additionally, a good amount of heat can influence the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which protects, repairs, and increases the growth of brain cells. A good amount of BDNF in the brain can relieve stress and prevent mental illnesses.
Today we have a better understanding of depression and have identified dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin as the neurochemicals that give us a sense of contentment, optimism, and the ability to experience happiness. Infrared saunas have been shown to optimize the production and reception of these natural antidepressants. Regular use of an infrared sauna may reduce depression.
The infrared light produced by an infrared sauna actually penetrates several inches below the surface of the skin. This warming effect encourages the production of serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. As mentioned previously, these are all neurochemicals that are found to be lacking in individuals with depression.
Athletes are very familiar with endorphins because this neurotransmitter is what gives the body a natural “high” following intense physical exercise. These endorphins are carried throughout via the bloodstream, where they remain for hours, elevating our mood and alleviating symptoms of depression.
When our body is assaulted by the exposure to pro-inflammatory foods, alcohol, tobacco, medications, and foreign substances such as drugs, heavy metals, chemicals, persistent organic pollutants, and microorganisms, our natural detoxification systems can be overwhelmed and unhealthy metabolites can accumulate. This can ultimately trigger mitochondrial dysfunction, metabolic deficiencies, immunotoxicity, and resultant neuroinflammation (also known as inflammation in the brain). As a result, the body's energy is diverted and metabolically active organs such as the brain, the heart, and the muscles start to suffer. It is then that we start to feel unwell and experience not only chronic fatigue and weakness, but slow processing and cognitive difficulties.