Steam saunas, near infrared saunas, traditional dry saunas, far infrared saunas … there are so many options in the sauna sphere that having a good “hot bath” may seem a bit confusing before you even strip down. Indeed, advances in technology are bringing new and exciting ways of boosting your level of personal wellness, even into the age-old tradition of sauna use.
Far infrared technology has swept through the health and wellness community worldwide, offering a compact, cost effective sauna alternative suitable for any average home. But what is far infrared? As space-age as the name may seem, the truth behind far infrared is much simpler than it seems. Let’s take a look and clear up the mystery around this exciting technology.
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What is far infrared?
Far infrared refers to the type of infrared heater used to warm the body during a sauna session. These heating elements use low-power ceramic emitters which produce long wave radiation at low temperatures. The result is a heater that produces no emissions, no smells from heating of materials, and high levels of comfort from the lower sauna temperature.
A distinct advantage of far infrared technology is that it doesn’t heat the room directly. The far infrared radiation targets the skin directly, resulting in higher operational efficiency, lower cost, and a more comfortable sauna experience with better results and fewer risks than traditional saunas. Far infrared saunas are a win-win!
Why is far infrared technology used in saunas?
Far infrared has taken over the world of sauna in recent times, since the technology has become more compact and affordable.
Traditional saunas generally comprise of a heated room fueled by burning wood, a gas stove, hot rocks from a fire, an electric coil, or a gas heater. These saunas operate at high temperatures, require the room itself to be heated, and heat the surface of the human body through convection, an inherently inefficient process.
Far infrared uses space-age radiation technology to deliver better results with less heat and less energy consumption, all in a more compact package. Due to this, saunas are no longer reserved for expensive spas and health retreats. The cost-effective design of far infrared saunas now makes it possible to have one in the standard family home.
How does a far infrared sauna work?
Far infrared saunas differ from traditional saunas significantly, using heat radiation rather than convection – using steam to heat the sauna.
Traditional saunas rely on a heat source to drive steam production, which in turn heats the surrounding room along with everything in it. This method creates an extremely humid, hot, and uncomfortable environment for the average person.
Similar to standing in front of an open fire on a cold winter night, far infrared radiation acts to heat objects in its path instead of the surrounding room. Thus a person sitting in front of a far infrared heater experiences heating from the radiation, but nothing else does. The low frequency infrared heat radiation emitted by the ceramic panels penetrates muscle mass, fat, and stored toxins up to a depth of 4 cm beneath the skin. The heat generates an elevated body tissue temperature that promotes sweating and the release of toxins, a process known as “detox,” or detoxification.
How do they detoxify the body?
Far infrared saunas promote the release of toxins form the body through sweat. Skin is the human body’s largest organ, and sweat is its primary means of toxin elimination. Sweat is generated by the body as a cooling mechanism when the far infrared radiation heats the skin and subsurface layers of tissue. This sweat brings with it toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and waste from the muscle tissue and fat stores. It’s the perfect natural detoxification method.
In fact, far infrared sauna is effective in many ways, and may provide you with extensive health benefits which include:
- Improved blood circulation
- Enhanced immune system function
- Relief of internal bowel congestion
- Relaxing tight muscles
- Cleansing the skin
- Healing mild skin infections
- Improved alkalinity (reduced acidity) of your system
- Decreased joint swelling
- Assisting weight loss through mild exercise symptoms
- Boosting the metabolism and releasing toxins
- Relaxing the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight system)
These detoxification benefits from far infrared sauna generally take around 10-30 minutes to achieve, depending on your level of toxicity and overall fitness. When the body can no longer dissipate the additional heat, the body temperature rises causing the heart rate and sweating to increase as well.
Let the detoxification begin!
Are far infrared saunas better?
You’re probably familiar with traditional steam saunas, and may well be apprehensive about the far infrared craze shooting through the wellness industry. So, are far infrared saunas better than the traditional variety? Well, yes they are.
Far infrared saunas have been proven to provide the same health benefits as traditional saunas, and offer the following advantages as well:
- Operating at close to normal humidity: Less humidity means a higher level of comfort during your sauna.
- Less wait time: The ceramic far infrared panels generate instantaneous heat, so there is a shorter time to readiness for the sauna. You can have a sauna without the warmup wait.
- Lower operating temperature: Far infrared saunas operate at 120-140 degrees F rather than 150-190 F for a traditional sauna. This makes sauna sessions more comfortable, less damaging to the sauna components, and lead to…
- Lower energy consumption: Lower operating temperature means less energy. Less energy means lower operating cost. Far infrared saunas are the most efficient sauna on the market.
- Direct heat potential: Far infrared raises your core body temperature rather than the ambient temperature, as traditional saunas do. Specifically targeting body temperature in this way makes the far infrared sauna more comfortable to use, more effective, and more efficient to use.
Coming in a range of sizes and shapes to suit all budgets, far infrared saunas are the modern day equivalent to the ancient steam baths used by the powerful civilisations before us.
Convenient and cost effective, far infrared saunas are a valuable addition to your health and wellness campaign. Now you’re well informed, it’s time to go out there and start achieving benefits from a far infrared sauna session, and see for yourself the difference it can make.