Novoa spoke with acupuncturist Liz Magnussen Ph.D. to discuss the health benefits of saunas. Read on for her expert insights.

Liz says “saunas can provide some amazing health benefits from the Chinese medicine perspective, and have been part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Here are some of the reasons you might like to sit in the sauna:

Detoxification: Sweating is the body’s natural way of eliminating toxins, and saunas can provide an intense, short-term detoxification process. Remember it’s important to re-nourish and rehydrate the body after a sauna session to maintain the detoxification process.

Nervous System Management: Heat from saunas is known to help bring the body out of the ‘fight-or-flight’ response and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion, sex and sleep.
ding: Infrared saunas provide a calming experience, helping the body and mind to slow down, and focus on internal processes.

Boosted Immunity: Saunas can boost immunity by increasing mitochondrial activity at a cellular level, aiding the body in the elimination of waste products from various organs. These include the kidneys, liver, lungs, intestines, and skin.

Western scientific evidence supports this experience. Saunas have been shown to reduce pain (1)  promote muscle recovery (2) and enhance cardiovascular health (3). Even though more research is needed, there’s information suggesting sauna therapy can promote healthy skin and collagen production(4).

For these reasons and more, a sauna session post-workout (or whenever you’d like) is a beloved practice for many. You may love it because it simply feels great, but there are plenty more reasons to commit to a daily or weekly sauna session if you can.

Oosterveld, F.G. et al. (2008) “Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis,” Clinical Rheumatology, 28(1), pp. 29–34. Available at:

Mero, A. et al. (2015) “Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men,” SpringerPlus, 4(1). Available at:

Laukkanen, T. et al. (2018) “Sauna bathing is associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality and improves risk prediction in men and women: A prospective cohort study,” BMC Medicine, 16(1). Available at:

Lee, J.H., Roh, M.R. and Lee, K.H. (2006) “Effects of infrared radiation on skin photo-aging and pigmentation,” Yonsei Medical Journal, 47(4), p. 485. Available at:

Infrared Sauna
Novoa Infrared Sauna