So what exactly does far infrared mean? Why is this type of sauna superior to other types of saunas? Far infrared sauna health benefits are very different than your standard moist heat sauna. I guess you can say this is not your grandmother’s sauna!
For a little history of saunas and more information on how saunas can improve gut health, read more here.
Saunas have been used for centuries and it’s a practice that is still used today because there are definite health benefits when the body is heated and sweating.
Types Of Saunas
- Wet Sauna This is also called a ‘traditional sauna’. A room constructed of softwood which contains a single, electric heater. Temperatures can reach 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Water goes over the rocks in the heater which creates steam and moisture. This super hot air creates a very hot environment that is well tolerated due to the lack of humidity and the softwood does not get hot. This type of sauna aids in perspiration and a deeply cleansing experience. You can also use this type of sauna without pouring water over the heater and thus experience a more dry climate for the user. It’s personal preference.
- Far Infrared Sauna An infrared sauna is also a room constructed of softwood. This type of sauna has anywhere from 4 to 7 heating panels surrounding the user. The temperature does not get as hot as a traditional sauna with temperatures that generally do not exceed 140 degrees. There is no steam or water used in the infrared sauna.
Wet saunas and far infrared saunas are actually very different types of therapy and to get the intended benefits the user should understand what results they are looking for.
What Does Far Infrared Mean?
- Far Infrared rays are the invisible rays of the sun. These rays were first discovered in 1800 by a scientist named Sir William Herschel. He discovered that the sun emitted not just visible rays like red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet – but there were also invisible rays named infrared.
- You’re probably thinking that the rays of the sun are dangerous and not healthy for our skin, but far infrared rays are healthy rays and are responsible for photosynthesis used by plants for energy and for humans, research has shown that these types of rays stimulate metabolism. Far infrared rays DO NOT damage the skin or cause sunburn like ultraviolet light from the sun can.
- Far infrared rays can penetrate human tissue and are responsible for deep healing.
Healing, penetrating, soothing…sounds wonderful!
Far Infrared Sauna Benefits
A study published in Photonics Lasers Med. found far infrared rays as a promising treatment modality for certain medical conditions. Below is a list of conditions that far infrared therapy can help with.
- Pain relief: deep heat that penetrates the tissues increases blood circulation. This increase in blood circulation detoxifies the body by eliminating waste products and increasing oxygen to muscles. This relaxes the muscles relieving muscle tension due to any chronic autoimmune condition, a hard workout or fibromyalgia. Infrared heat reduces nerve ending pain and muscle spasm.
- Strengthens the immune system. Deep infrared heat increases core body temperature that mimics a ‘fever’. A fever is the body’s response to strengthen the immune system and accelerate the immune response. Regular far infrared sauna use will boost your immune system and increase your resistance to illness
- Stress relief and sleep like a baby. Far infrared saunas activate the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest part of your autonomic nervous system) that allows your body to relax. A relaxed state will help your sleep.
- Weight loss. Far infrared heat can burn over 500 calories in a 30 minute session! What a great way to drop unwanted pounds without exercising like a maniac!
- Younger looking, wrinkle free skin. Far infrared heat renews elastin and collagen production which can dramatically reduce lines and wrinkles. Some users claim that pigmentation problems are also lessened and resolved. Varicose veins and stretch marks will benefit from the deep penetrating heat. What a great anti-aging tool!
- Cancer therapy. Far infrared therapy has been used for over a decade to increase white blood cells and killer T-cells that fight cancer. The benefits of increasing the immune response is another benefit in the fight against cancer. Strengthening the immune system helps your body fight cancer naturally.
- Heal your gut. The increased circulation to the gut area is healing to the lining of the stomach. Improves digestion and can calm inflammation. If you suffer from any intestinal disorder, an infrared sauna is a wonderful healing therapy tool to have.
In conclusion, far infrared saunas are a type of sauna that delivers the invisible and therapeutic rays of the sun to your body. These rays have a deep healing effect on the body relieving a range of conditions. As opposed to traditional saunas that use water to heat the air, infrared rays used in saunas are a dry, penetrating heat and actually get deep into your tissues.
With all these wonderful and documented health benefits of infrared sauna therapy, wouldn’t you LOVE to have one in your own home? I bet you think it’s completely unaffordable, but it’s not! Infrared saunas are completely affordable. You can check out more information on some brands here. I’ve also listed another couple of my favorites below.
Radiant Saunas 1 person. $972 dollars. (Radiant also makes 2 person, 3 person and 4 person saunas) Are made of hemlock wood, which is a quality wood preferable for infrared saunas. Radiant Saunas products are safe to use even by people who have a low tolerance to heat. Radiant saunas emit low levels of EMF so you are guaranteed a safe experience. It’s carbon heaters are strategically placed for maximum health benefits. You can easily adjust the LED control panels so you have the most comfortable heat settings. This brand also offers a sound system with built in speakers to help you relax.
Dynamic Saunas 2 Person. $1369 (also available in a 3 person) This unit is made with quality materials and wood. It offers 4 ceramic heaters which heats to maximum of 130F. This makes the Dynamic brand a very safe experience in comparison to traditional saunas. The dual control panel located inside and outside the unit features an LED display which makes the internal temperature perfect for your individual sauna session. This unit also has an MP3 Aux connection with speakers. The built in lighting makes this a truly enjoyable sauna experience!
For more information on infrared saunas click here.
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