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  • Dr. Miki Gordon

What an Infrared Sauna can do for your respiratory issues will surprise you.

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

We already know the wonderful effects of breathing in salt air for respiratory ailments (more on that to come….), but did you know that infrared sauna use has also been shown to alleviate respiratory symptoms? There have been multiple studies showing the beneficial effects of infrared sauna use on our breathing.

Two different studies involved COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) patients. The first used a control group that used only regular medical interventions, while the experimental group used the infrared sauna for 4 weeks. The sauna group had significantly improved “forced expiratory flow” (the speed of air coming out of the lungs), a measure often used to assess lung function (Kikuchi et al, 2014). The second study showed that after 4 weeks of sauna use, COPD patients had a decrease in overall symptoms, improved exercise tolerance, and improved oxygen saturation (Umehara et al, 2008).

Infrared sauna use can also benefit those with allergies. A study of people with allergic rhinitis found that after 6 weeks of regular infrared sauna use, the sauna users had significantly better nasal and lung breathing measures than the control group (Kunbootsri, et al, 2013). Even the frequency of the common cold can be affected by sauna use. Having a sauna session twice weekly on a regular basis can decrease the occurrence of the common cold by 50% (Ernst et al, 1990). However, you should avoid the sauna in the acute phases of a respiratory illness - so if you have a fever, you should probably stay home.

The Salt Oasis Kingsport has an infrared sauna in addition to the wonderful salt room, so you can double the impacts on your health!


All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition. Do not make any changes to your healthcare or treatment without consulting your physician.


Kikuchi H., Shiozawa N., Takata S., Ashida K., Mitsunobu F. 2014. Effect of repeated waon therapy on exercise tolerance and pulmonary function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a pilot controlled clinical trial. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 2014;9:9–15. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S50860.

Umehara M., Yamaguchi A., Itakura S., 2008. Repeated Waon therapy improves pulmonary hypertension during exercise in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Journal of Cardiology. 2008;51(2):106–113. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2008.01.004.

Kunbootsri N., Janyacharoen T., Arrayawichanon P. 2013. The effect of six-weeks of sauna on treatment autonomic nervous system, peak nasal inspiratory flow and lung functions of allergic rhinitis Thai patients. Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology. 2013;31(2):142–147. doi: 10.12932/AP0262.31.2.2013.

Ernst E, Pecho E, Wirz P, Saradeth T. 1990. Regular sauna bathing and the incidence of common colds. Annals of Medicine; 22:225-227.

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