The Mental Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas

At Thrive for Life Counseling, we are committed to exploring and integrating holistic approaches to mental well-being. One such approach that has garnered significant attention in recent years is the use of infrared saunas. The soothing heat and therapeutic benefits of infrared saunas extend beyond physical health, offering profound mental health benefits. Our founder, Wendy Galyen, has personally experienced these benefits and incorporates them into her holistic vision for mental wellness.

The Science Behind Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas use infrared light to penetrate the skin and heat the body directly, unlike traditional saunas that heat the air around you. This deep-penetrating heat helps to detoxify the body, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation. But what makes infrared saunas particularly beneficial for mental health?

  1. Stress Reduction: The heat from an infrared sauna promotes the release of endorphins, the body's natural "feel-good" chemicals. This process helps reduce stress levels and promotes a sense of calm and well-being.

  2. Improved Sleep: Regular sessions in an infrared sauna can improve sleep patterns. The relaxing effect of the heat helps to regulate the body's circadian rhythm, leading to better and more restful sleep, which is crucial for mental health.

  3. Mood Enhancement: Infrared saunas can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. The increase in core body temperature can mimic the effects of physical exercise, which has been shown to release mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin.

  4. Detoxification: Sweating in an infrared sauna helps to detoxify the body.  A less toxic body can lead to a clearer mind and improved overall mental health.

A Personal Experience

Wendy Galyen, the founder of Thrive for Life Counseling, has always been a proponent of integrating holistic practices into mental health care. Her journey with infrared saunas began a few years ago when she was seeking natural ways to manage stress and improve her overall well-being.

Wendy shares, “I was initially skeptical about the benefits of infrared saunas. But after just my first session, I noticed an immediate improvement in my mood and energy level for the remainder of the day.  With future sauna visits, I felt an improvement in my sleep quality. The deep sense of relaxation I felt after each session was unparalleled.”

Inspired by her own positive experience, Wendy decided to delve deeper into the research behind infrared saunas and their mental health benefits. She found a growing body of scientific evidence supporting their use for stress reduction, improved sleep, and overall mental wellness.

“Integrating infrared sauna sessions into my routine has been transformative. It’s not just about the physical detoxification but also the mental clarity and emotional balance it brings,” Wendy adds. Her personal experience has influenced the holistic approach we advocate at Thrive for Life Counseling.

Integrating Infrared Saunas into Your Mental Health Routine

At Thrive for Life Counseling, we believe in a comprehensive approach to mental health. Incorporating practices like infrared sauna sessions can complement traditional therapy methods, providing a holistic path to mental well-being. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Start Slow: If you’re new to infrared saunas, start with shorter sessions (10-15 minutes) and gradually increase the duration as your body acclimates to the heat.

  2. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during  and after your sauna session to stay hydrated and help flush out toxins.

  3. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how you feel during and after your sessions. If you experience any discomfort, reduce the session length or the temperature.

  4. Combine with Other Therapies: Infrared sauna therapy can be an excellent complement to other mental health treatments, such as counseling, meditation, and physical exercise.


The mental health benefits of infrared saunas are numerous and well-supported by both scientific research and personal testimonies. Wendy Galyen’s positive experience with infrared saunas underscores their potential as a valuable tool in promoting mental well-being. At Thrive for Life Counseling, we encourage you to explore holistic practices that resonate with you and support your journey towards a balanced and healthy mind.

If you’re interested in learning more about incorporating infrared sauna therapy into your mental health routine, feel free to reach out to us at Thrive for Life Counseling. Together, we can create a holistic wellness plan tailored to your needs.