Is it helpful to use an infrared sauna if you have Crohn’s or Colitis? YES. The only caveat is if you are malnourished/underweight, then you should only do 5-10 minutes at a time, as it can result in weight loss.
Most naturopathic clinics have infrared saunas that you can pay to use, but of course you can also buy your own, if you wish. I purchased my own a few of years ago and my whole family loves it – really helps us get through the winter feeling great. Either way, check to make sure the sauna you use fulfills the following specifications:
- Ceramic heating element
- Glass windows – not plastic
- Solid wood only – there is some debate over whether cedar is a good idea or not due to the terpenes (volatile oils) released during heating. Some say this is harmful to the lungs, others say it is beneficial.
- Low EMF/EMR radiation levels
If you’re sensitive to microwave radiation, then you can’t trust the manufacturer’s information – you need to actually take your radiation meter, put it inside the sauna when it’s running and see what reading you get.
If you tend to get really cold or chilled in winters, then an infrared sauna can warm you from the inside out – and the extra warmth lasts a long time. If you’ve gotten injured from sports or an accident, an infrared sauna can help you heal in literally half the time.
I think it’s most useful for people with IBD (Crohn’s, colitis, diverticulitis) as a therapy that promotes cellular-level health and detoxification. But again, make sure you proceed slowly and gently to avoid detoxing too fast and triggering a flare.