As of May 2014, there have been no adverse health effects associated with infrared saunas, according to Mayo Clinic. Several studies have been done on infrared saunas to determine the extent of their health benefits for chronic problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It was concluded that there are some minimal benefits, but additional studies need to be done.
Mayo Clinic notes that infrared saunas create heat from infrared waves that come from the light spectrum, which directly heats the body. People sitting in one of these saunas experience heavy sweating and an increased heart rate. This physical reaction is similar to performing moderate exercises.
An article in Scientific American reports that infrared saunas are being touted as a body detoxification treatment. A press release issued by a sauna company made claims to the effect that infrared saunas could eliminate cholesterol, heavy metals, uric acid and other toxins. However, these claims are in dispute by other medical professionals.
In the same article, an analytical lab director, Roger Clemens of the University of Southern California, states that the best detoxification for body toxins is the kidneys, liver, intestinal tract and natural immune system. Therefore, anyone interested in using an infrared sauna to cure chronic health conditions may find that this method does not live up to the hype.