Although infrared saunas have been on the market for over 20 years, many people don’t know what an infrared sauna is or the many health benefits it provides especially to those diagnosed with chronic conditions. In this post, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions we hear from people interested in buying an infrared sauna.
What is an Infrared Sauna?
The sun emits both visible and invisible rays of light. Invisible light rays (infrared wavelengths) causes sunlight to feel warm against our skin. Scientific research has found that infrared waves benefit our overall health by stimulating our cardiovascular, immune, and lymphatic systems. This stimulation assists in removing toxins from the body and promotes relaxation. Unlike harmful ultraviolet light rays (known to increase your risk of melanoma and other types of cancer), infrared rays are harnessed and generally beneficial and delightful.
Instead of using steam or a physical heating element, an infrared sauna utilizes infrared wavelengths of light. Your body readily absorbs infrared heat, which allows your core temperature to increase slowly and induces a relaxing, healthy sweat.
What are the Health Benefits of an Infrared Sauna?
There are many health benefits from using infrared saunas, including both long term and short term benefits. Take a look at some of the ways infrared sauna use has been shown to help with:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: one study found that chronic fatigue syndrome patients benefited from having regular infrared sauna sessions as part of their overall treatment plan.
Muscle Soreness: according to this study, researchers found infrared sauna heat helped reduce muscle soreness/painful spasms and decreased recovery times following rigorous physical activity.
Blood Pressure: a meta-view of infrared sauna health benefits reports that infrared saunas may help regulate high blood pressure by inducing a deep sweat that makes the heart pump faster. Increased heart rate improves blood flow and strengthens the circulatory system by potentially lowering blood pressure.
Skin Cleansing: in addition to deep-cleansing your skin, infrared sauna heat stimulates collagen and elastin production to improve skin suppleness, elasticity, and tone. Increased blood flow also enhances the delivery of nutrients to help moisturize and heal damaged skin.
Stress Relief: infrared saunas deliver soothing, gentle, therapeutic heat that helps you relax and de-stress. Traditional saunas operate at extreme temperatures that tend to stress the body, not relax it.
Body Detoxification: sweating is your body’s natural method of eliminating toxins responsible for recurring illnesses and infections. By heating your body’s core, infrared saunas work to detoxify your body at the cellular level. Detoxification not only enhances your immune system, it also improves certain biochemical processes in your body that contribute to better digestion and absorption of nutrients from foods.
What are the Differences Between an Infrared Sauna and a Traditional Sauna?
The primary difference between infrared and traditional saunas is the method by which they produce heat. Traditional saunas use water and heated rocks to produce steam. The combination of the rocks and the steam can heat the room to higher temperatures than infrared. Whereas an infrared sauna relies on infrared spectra of light to produce deeper sweats at reduced ambient air temperatures.
The next way in which these saunas are different has to do with you. All you need to do stop by The Sundance Spa Store and compare, within a few minutes you will have a clear picture of the difference. The heat that is produced by an infrared sauna produces a unique experience and the same is true for the traditional sauna; they really feel different. The feeling has to do with the way your body reacts to heat. Infrared heat has been described as a dry and penetrating heat whereas a traditional sauna with hot rocks can be moist or dry depending on the bather’s preference. Both have similar physiological effects and raise your body temperature.
Although traditional Finnish and infrared saunas differ in the way they deliver therapeutic heat, they both provide the exceptional health benefits associated with sauna usage and may help reduce the severity and symptoms of a variety of chronic conditions.
Is Infrared Heat Safe?
Yes. Infrared saunas use harmless infrared light (the same kind emitted by the sun) so they do not pose a health risk to children or adults. The light used in your infrared sauna does not contain harmful ultraviolet rays.
How Do I Clean My Infrared Sauna?
Infrared saunas are made to be cleaned quickly and easily. Use only environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products to clean your sauna. Never use bleach or other harsh chemicals to clean your sauna. To prevent accumulation of germs or sweat stains, sit on towels when relaxing in your infrared sauna. You may also want to see our guide to cleaning saunas.