Nothing can compare to the feeling you get after a 20-minute sweat session in a sauna.
You come out fresh, invigorated, and optimally relaxed.
Heat therapy also helps you relieve, destress, and be healthier overall.
Nevertheless, saunas can be detrimental for some people.
For instance, people who have experienced a recent heart attack, low blood pressure, and pregnant women should avoid using a sauna.
Besides the health issue, traditional saunas can be a bit too hot for some people.
And this is where infrared saunas come in.
What are Infrared Saunas?
Unlike traditional saunas, infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you.
Instead, they use infrared lamps to heat your body directly.
Infrared saunas can operate at lower temperatures (120˚F to 140˚F) compared to traditional saunas (150˚F to 180˚F).
Nevertheless, since infrared saunas use penetrating heat rather than warming the air around you, they are more intense even at lower temperatures.
Essentially, an infrared sauna is like any other sauna, except they use infrared waves to heat your body.
Infrared saunas are wooden/ceramic/metal boxes equipped with infrared heaters.
Infrared heat is also very gentle.
According to experts, the infrared sauna experience is similar to lying under the sun on a hot day and feeling the heat reach your body's core.
You use saunas to elicit the experiences you get after moderately exercising, i.e. sweating and increased heart rate.
Infrared saunas offer the same experience at lower temperatures, making them more accessible for people vulnerable to the high heat of traditional saunas.
How Does an Infrared Sauna Work?
To understand how infrared saunas work, we will first have to understand infrared rays.
Our sun emits a combination of visible and invisible lights.
Two of the invisible rays that come out of the sun are ultraviolet and infrared.
The infrared rays make the sun warm, and the ultraviolet rays make it bright.
According to scientists, infrared rays are beneficial for us as they increase the thermal energy in the body.
There are three main categories of the infrared spectrum: Near-Infrared, Mid-Infrared, and Far-Infrared.
Near-Infrared is the shortest in terms of wavelengths, but it penetrates the deepest. It can transverse the water content of our body and penetrate deep to increase the core body temperature.
Mid-Infrared is at the middle. Our body’s water content can absorb mid Infrared wavelengths. It increases circulation through vasodilation (the process of your blood vessels widening), promoting blood flow, elevated heart rate, and improved metabolization.
Far Infrared is similar to the infrared heat given off by our bodies. The water content in our body readily captures far-infrared wavelengths, increasing and strengthening our energy levels.
Most infrared saunas use far-infrared wavelengths.
Far infrared waves go deep into our bodies to stimulate sweat glands.
Our body uses sweat glands to eliminate toxins out of our body.
Since infrared saunas reach deeper into our tissues, they tend to make us sweat more compared to other saunas.
And, as a result, we are more relaxed and stress-free after using infrared saunas.
Then we have full-spectrum infrared saunas, which use all three spectrums: near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared.
Full-spectrum infrared saunas provide all the benefits of exposure to natural sunlight without radiation or other dangerous effects.
While far-infrared wavelengths help make you feel energetic and rejuvenated, near and mid-infrared wavelengths enhance these benefits.
Full-spectrum infrared wavelengths work together to penetrate deeper into your body and increase your core body temperature.
This increase in core body temperature helps you sweat more, relieve stress, increase blood circulation, and reduce pain and inflammation.
Advantages of Infrared Saunas
Compared to traditional saunas, infrared saunas are more comfortable, accessible, cheaper, and easier to use at home.
Nevertheless, regarding overall effects and benefits, infrared saunas don’t differ a lot from traditional saunas.
With that being said, here are some of the benefits that infrared saunas offer:
Infrared saunas can increase blood circulation and stimulate sweat glands, which helps your body extract toxins through sweating.
Daily infrared sauna therapy can help your body release heavy metals, alcohol, nicotine, sulfuric acid, and other harmful chemicals.
Not unlike traditional saunas, infrared saunas use heat therapy to help you feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.
Infrared saunas put you in a parasympathetic state by affecting the autonomic nervous system, letting your body heal and restore itself.
Another great benefit of using an infrared sauna is pain relief.
Whether you inflict the pain upon yourself through rigorous exercise or suffer from a painful condition, infrared sauna therapy can help relieve inflammation, stiffness, and soreness.
The deep penetrating infrared rays increase blood circulation through vasodilation, relaxing the muscles and allowing your body to carry off metabolic waste products while providing oxygen-rich blood to the muscles.
According to studies, sauna therapy can also help alleviate different forms of arthritis.
Moreover, regular sauna therapy can also relieve the aches and pains that come with older age.
According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, regular use of an infrared sauna provides the same boost to the cardiovascular system as running.
While relaxing in the gentle heat of the infrared sauna, your body produces more sweat, pumps more blood and burn more calories.
This process is called “passive aerobic workout”, which means experiencing the results of a vigorous workout without participating in any physical activity.
As the heart pumps more blood, your body secrets more sweat to cool itself, which increases metabolism.
A typical 30-minute infrared sauna can burn up to 800 calories.
Improved Heart Health
According to two 2018 systematic review of clinical trials and observational studies, infrared saunas and Waon therapy (a type of infrared therapy in Japan) improves some markers associated with chronic health issues.
Moreover, the Department of Family Practices at the University of British Columbia also found that infrared saunas can help lower cholesterol, reduce chronic pain, and control blood pressure levels.
How to Use an Infrared Sauna?
You can do infrared sauna therapy at your nearest health club, spa, or clinic.
You can also buy an indoor infrared sauna for your personal use.
Whatever way you choose to go, there are certain things that you must take care of before entering an infrared sauna.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Make sure to drink enough water before getting into an infrared sauna.
Drink a glass of water before your sauna session.
Moreover, carry a bottle of water with yourself, especially if you are sensitive to high heat.
Set the temperature
Typically, you set an infrared sauna anywhere between 100-150 degrees.
If you are a beginner, you should go with a lower temperature.
Experienced people can start with higher temperatures.
As a beginner, you can increase the temperature with each session until you can bear 150 degrees.
Choose your timing
Next up, select the length of time you would want to use the sauna.
Beginners should start with 10 to 15 minutes and gradually add more minutes with each session.
A typical infrared sauna session lasts 20-30 minutes.
Choose your clothes
What you wear inside an infrared sauna is your choice.
Some people prefer bathing suits while others choose to go naked.
Finally, kick back and relax and let the gentle heat do the trick for you.
Take a cold shower afterwards
When you are in a sauna, your pores are opened, your system is cleansed, and your blood is pumping.
When you come out of a sauna, you need to close those pores and rinse away the sweat.
And the best way to do it is to take a cold shower after a steamy sauna session.
How to Buy an Infrared Sauna?
Investing in an infrared sauna is one of the best decisions you can take for your health.
However, don’t just go out there and buy any infrared sauna you come across.
An infrared sauna can cost you somewhere between $3000-$5000.
That’s some serious money, and therefore you must think before buying an infrared sauna.
To add to that, different heating technologies, timbre options, the risk with toxins, and EMF.
Here is a quick overview of what to look for when buying an infrared sauna:
Material and build quality
Most of the infrared saunas are made of ceramic or metal, with ceramic being the preferred material for high-quality saunas.
However, over time, the infrared sauna market has grown, and so have the options.
Now, we have wooden infrared saunas.
When buying a wooden sauna, make sure it is made from natural wood. Avoid infrared saunas that are made of plywood as they have a history of dysfunctionality.
Heater panel type and positioning
Infrared saunas typically come with carbon heaters.
If you are looking for more advanced options, go with nano-carbon heaters as they are more efficient and powerful.
Next up is heater positioning.
The positioning of the heaters determines how much heat is aimed at your body.
A good infrared sauna will have heaters positioned so that the heat will focus on the most essential parts of the body, which is the core of the body.
Infrared saunas with heaters above the head are not effective and potentially wastes infrared energy.
Look for infrared saunas that have heaters positioned low, so it focuses on the core of your body.
EMF and ELF levels
EMF stands for the electromagnetic field.
According to studies, high EMF levels can biologically affect our cells.
An infrared sauna without patented EMF mitigation can cause serious health issues.
Moreover, high ELF (extremely low frequency) is also known to cause several health impediments such as sleep disruption and agitation.
Look for infrared saunas with low to none EMF and ELF levels, so you don’t develop any health issues due to radiation.
Infrared saunas come in different sizes. Some are made for single person use, while others can accommodate up to 6 people at once.
Look for saunas that aptly provide for your particular needs.
Most additional features on infrared saunas are attempts at selling more. Don’t fall for them.
However, some sauna accessories can be useful and can help you make the best out of your sauna experience.
So, make sure you are only getting the additional features you will use to your benefit.
We hope this piece of content answered all your questions about infrared saunas.
Infrared saunas are new to the sauna market, but they are quickly becoming a much sought out trend.
Many celebrities have also vouched for the benefits of infrared saunas and their efficiency over traditional saunas.
So, if you are looking to buy an infrared sauna, now is the right time and Sauna & Steam Center is the right shop.
We have more than 17 years of experience designing, installing, and repairing saunas and steam rooms in and around South Florida.
When you are purchasing with us, you know you are getting the best sauna deal in the market.
We have worked with designers, homeowners, and developers to produce, modify, and design complicated sauna solutions as Seminole Hard Rock Casinos saunas, steam rooms, and ice fountains.
We also offer ADA compliance services to help you develop unique solutions for your sauna and steam room spaces to minimize installation challenges.
We can also guide you to choose the best sauna for your particular needs.
So, whenever you are ready, reach out to us, and we will build a perfect sauna for you.