What is an Infrared Sauna
An Infrared Sauna is a device used to create radiant heat from a spectrum of light through a process called conversion. The spectrum of infrared light used in an Infrared Sauna is 7-14 microns which is the same radiant heat emitted from the earth, but is only a small and highly beneficial segment of the light spectrum emitted from the sun. The infrared segment of light occurs just below the visible level and has the ability to penetrate the body up to 3 inches where it converts into heat for deeper detoxification and other healing benefits.
What is the difference between an Infrared Sauna and a steam sauna?
The traditional sauna was invented in Finland in the 5th Century A.D. It uses a heating element and water poured over it to create steam. This steam heats the skin and respiratory system. More recently, scientists discovered the healing benefits of far infrared light and saunas were designed to use the infrared light to heat the body as opposed to steam.
One of the main differences between an infrared sauna and a traditional steam sauna is the temperature of the sauna. A steam sauna operates between 180°f and 220°f whereas the infrared sauna operates between 110°f and 150°f. This difference in temperature of up to 110°f has proven to be favorable to the infrared sauna as it drastically reduces the dangers of over-heating. The greatest reward of the lower temperature is that a person can remain in the sauna longer and receive more of the healing benefits. The reduction in heat does not make the infrared sauna any less effective. In fact, it has been found that a person will sweat more toxins in a lower temperature infrared sauna than a higher temperate steam sauna.
Another difference in the use of infrared light over steam is that it penetrates the skin up to 10 times deeper than steam can. Steam simply hits the skin and transfers the heat to the outer layers of the skin. Infrared light penetrates the body up to 2 inches where the light converts to radiant heat and exhibits far greater detoxification attributes. The deep penetration has many positive effects including, melting fatty acids, cholesterols, and saturated fats which increases the elasticity of arteries making it so that the heart doesn't have to over-exert itself in regulating blood circulation.
Some of the other benefits that an infrared sauna has over a steam sauna is that it has the ability to reduce inflammation in joints, help regenerate damaged tissues, increases metabolism, and increase core temperature which is helpful to the immune system by weakening and killing cancers cells, bacteria, and viruses that are all susceptible to heat.
Do I Have to Drink Water Before Using the Infrared Sauna?
It is very important that one hydrates thoroughly before and during use of the Infrared Sauna. As the body heat increases and the body begins to sweat, the loss of water can change the electrolyte concentration and can have harmful effects. Furthermore, as the toxins are released through the sweat, they are, to a lesser extent, released in the body and hydrating helps the body flush them out.
How Does the Infrared Sauna Detoxify the Body?
We currently live in a relatively toxic environment and these toxins are stored in our fat cells. Many of the toxins include mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, sulphuric acid, and more. When the infrared light penetrates the body and converts to heat, this heat has the ability to melt the fats holding the toxins and also activate the detoxification mechanisms which then purge the toxins through the skin.
Does the Infrared Sauna Strengthen the Immune System?
Sick or diseased cells and bacteria have a lowered resistance to heat. A fever is a natural way for the body to increase its temperature to kill off these cells. While sitting in the Infrared Sauna, the body's temperature increases several degrees and further weakens these cells and bacteria. The heat also triggers the production of white blood cells and NK cells (Natural Killer) which then seek out these weakened cells and bacteria and kill them. The result is a strengthened immune system.
Does the Infrared Sauna Have Any Effect on Pain?
There is anecdotal evidence where people who have used the sauna say that their pain is diminished. The researched effects of an Infrared Sauna on pain are lesser known and much of the research is directed towards inflammation and arthritis. What we do know is that when muscle fibers are heated, inflammation is reduced and the joint and muscle pain is reduced.
Will the Infrared Sauna Help Me Lose Weight?
It has been shown in research that a 30 minute session in an Infrared Sauna will cause a person to burn 500-800 calories. This is equivalent to running 3-5 miles. Much of the weight that is lost directly in the sauna is water weight, which needs to be replenished with fresh water, but the calories that are burned will not be replenished with water and serve to increase a body's metabolism. This increase in metabolism has many effects that help weight loss including increasing digestion function which efficiently converts the food you eat into energy.
How Does the Sauna Affect My Cardiovascular System?
Research has shown that the cardiovascular system is strengthened through repeated Infrared Sauna use. When the light penetrates the body and converts to heat, the hypothalamus responds and increases heart rate and volume. This is an effective way for heart training and conditioning. The infrared light produces another effect which increases cardiovascular function. When the body increases heat, the fatty acids and cholesterols melt. Many of these fatty acids and cholesterols are hardening the arteries and keeping them from expanding and contracting as necessary for proper circulation. This hardening of the arteries causes the heart to work harder at circulating the blood and when the fatty acids and cholesterols melt, it increases the elasticity of the hardened arteries which takes much of the burden off the heart and, therefore, decreasing the chance for heart failure.
How Does the Infrared Sauna Affect My Skin?
The Infrared Sauna has many researched effects on the skin. Sebum is a waxy substance produced in the skin which can block pores and cause acne. Infrared light melts the sebum and unblocks the pores. Another effect the Infrared Sauna has is that it increases blood circulation to the skin which means that the body has the ability to deliver the necessary nutrients to the skin as well as remove the metabolic byproducts. The heat from the Infrared Sauna also has the detoxifying effect which purges the toxins from the skin as well as melts the cellulite trapped in pockets below the skin producing clean, smooth-looking skin. Finally it increases healing of damaged tissues which causes scars and keloids to be reduced. Some of the other effects on the skin are improvements with rashes, burns, eczema, and psoriasis.
Who Shouldn't Use the Infrared Sauna?
There are some conditions that may be adversely affected by the use of an Infrared Sauna. If you have any of the following conditions, please consult with your physician before use. Adrenal suppression, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematous), Multiple Sclerosis, Hyperthyroidism, Hemophilia, acute joint injuries, enclosed infections (dental, joints, tissue), artificial joints, metal pins, or any other implants, or during menstrual cycle. Also, check with your physician or pharmacist for any possible effects that infrared radiation may have on how the drug interacts with the body. If, at any point during your session in the Infrared Sauna you stop sweating, your skin becomes clammy, you feel weak, tired or nauseous, LEAVE THE SAUNA IMMEDIATELY.