Infrared saunas praised for health benefits

Dr. Oz says technology increases blood circulation, burns calories

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - A new kind of sauna is heating up spa-goers in South Florida with infrared lights.

Infrasweat in Delray Beach goes beyond the foggy, sweaty, and sometimes smelly rooms one might expect to find in a health or fitness center. The center, which opened about two months ago, features six private rooms, each with its own infrared sauna.

Owner Kelly Dorsey says typical saunas make users sweat from the outside in, whereas infrared saunas heat from the inside anywhere from 120 to 150 degrees.

"(This) makes it much more tolerable," said Dorsey.

Dr. Oz has praised the benefits of infrared therapy, and what it does to release toxins. In an episode of the "Oprah" show, Oz said infrared saunas increase "blood circulation, and that's important because it gets your heart to beat faster and it burns calories."

According to the Infrasweat web site, "Because infrared sauna therapy heats the body directly rather than simply warming the air like a traditional sauna, it raises the core body temperature and produces a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where most toxins reside."

"It's like the sun rays, minus the UVs," said Dorsey.

Lori Mackenzie said she started feeling the benefits of her 30 to 45 minutes sessions right away.

"I feel great," said Mackenzie. "I sleep better, my sinuses are better, my skin is better. I feel better, I have more energy."

"I think people are really saying to themselves, 'I want to take control of my health and I want to do it in a healthy, alternative way,'" said Dorsey.

Infrared saunas aren't for everyone. Women who are pregnant or anyone with a condition preventing sweat should not use them.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.