HOUSTON (KTRK) --One of the "hottest" treatments in Hollywood is an infrared sauna. In fact, Jennifer Aniston loved sitting in the sauna so much, she now has one in her own gym. Now, these infrared saunas are popping up in Houston. They're different than regular saunas. They use infrared light to create heat, and the benefits far exceed just sweating.
"Other saunas heat the air, and you get hot because the air around you is hot. The infrared sauna heats your body. It goes deep into your skin and penetrates into your cells, and really activates your sweat glands, which is why it's good for you," explains Grace Carter, Spokesperson for Advanced Laser Solutions.
What's penetrating deep into our skin are infrared rays. They're the sun's healthiest rays that don't harm our skin but help eliminate toxins.
"Some of the research shows you can burn up to 600 calories in 30 minutes in this thing. It doesn't replace exercise, but it does burn calories, so over time, you might see a little weight loss," Carter adds, but burning calories aren't the only health benefit.
"It's really great for pain relief because the warmth helps your muscles. This really helps with stiffness and inflammation," says Carter.
While Kristina Fields lost some weight from using the infrared sauna, that wasn't her main goal.
"Even though I'm young, I have high blood pressure, and so the red light, it helps de-stress you a lot," says Fields.
As Carter explains, that's another benefit of the infrared saunas. "The infrared waves really heat your core temperature. When you're temperature rises, your heart rate goes up, that increases your blood flow, it increases your circulation."
Some infrared saunas also include other light therapies that are good for our skin. The saunas we used for this story also included LED lights with eight different color settings. The different LED lights help with everything from vascular issues to pigmentation, to stimulating collagen.
While some LED light and infrared sauna therapies are FDA approved, we wanted to learn more about the infrared sauna's impact on blood pressure and circulation. We asked Dr. Daniel Hermann with Memorial Hermann Memorial City for his medical opinion.
"There are some theoretical benefits of infrared saunas, but it is certainly something that isn't well studied. And I wouldn't recommend that in place of something that's proven therapy, proven medical therapy for known cardiac disease and risk factors," explains Hermann.
For Fields, she says she'll keep coming back for more.
"Just from being stressed every day just from my 9 to 5, and I feel a lot better. The blue light - especially the blue light, it really relaxes me," she says.
These saunas range between 110 and 150 degrees, so make sure to hydrate prior to entering one and start slow. Using the sauna ranges in price. The one we found was $1 a minute and $99 for a month unlimited.