Infrared Heat Eases Winter Blues and Joint Aches

Yam_Yoga (20)

Winter is upon us and with it comes sunshine scarcity and bracing weather. Hopefully you are already applying generous amounts of therapeutic hot cocoa to keep your core warm and spirits lifted. Whether the cold, gray days of January and February make your joints ache with arthritis or your soul ache with the blues, or your just dad-blamed sick and tired of being cold, we should all be taking advantage of the far-infrared heat at YAM. Aside from the obvious benefit of getting to hang out in a luxuriously warm room for an hour and a half, far infrared is a special form of heat that has targeted benefits for boosting physical and mental health during winter months. If you’ve still got cold feet about trying hot yoga, we encourage you to warm those feet up by giving it a try. Yoga stretches and far-infrared heat—the most gentle and natural form of heat—are complementary therapies that reinforce one another, yielding exponentially healing effects on body and mind.

Infrared & Happy Mood

One of the primary reasons you feel so happy and glowy at YAM (aside from Averee’s infectious bubbly mood) is that infrared heat stimulates endorphin production, as does yoga. Studies also attribute the mood-lifting effects of infrared heat to its facilitation of increased availability of BH4 (aka tetrahydrobiopterin for the geeks among us), which plays a key role in serotonin production. Seasonal depression is linked with a lack of BH4, making far-infrared heat a great therapy for lifting the winter blues. It truly does warm you from the inside out.

Infrared & Happy Joints

Infrared heat is widely used to treat various types of arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders. Stiffness, soreness, and aches that come with aging can be significantly minimized with a combination of infrared heat and yoga. Of the many forms of light, infrared penetrates most deeply, warming tissues, muscles, joints and organs, stimulating cell regeneration, blood flow, and metabolism, and relieving both temporary aches and chronic pain conditions. A 2009 review of clinical studies found that people with chronic pain who spent 90 minutes per week in this type of heat showed improvement in their symptoms. Another study published in 2009 found that arthritic patients saw improvement in pain and stiffness when exposed to far-infrared heat for an hour per week. Twice as many studies speak to the benefits of a regular yoga practice in managing chronic pain, arthritis, and many musculoskeletal ailments. Infrared heat will drive out the cold in your joints, but combining heat with yoga stretches will keep your joints mobile, well lubricated, and happy.