The Benefits Of An Infrared Sauna
The Benefits Of An Infrared Sauna
If you're reading this, there's no doubt in my mind that you've either recently heard of infrared saunas, have purchased one, or you're at least interested in seeing what infrared saunas are all about.
Just like traditional indoor or outdoor saunas, an infrared sauna is designed to create a hot, steamy atmosphere in an enclosed space.
However, the main difference is that an infrared sauna uses far-infrared light to create a hot, steamy atmosphere rather than a traditional heating source, such as sauna rocks placed over a fire and doused with water.
Below, we're diving into everything there is to know about infrared saunas, how they work, their primary health benefits, as well as what most consumers are asking about using far infrared technology to replace their traditional indoor or outdoor saunas.
What Is An Infrared Sauna?
Although they provide the same benefits to your health, infrared sauna baths function much differently than their traditional counterparts.
Rather than using heated rocks and water to create a steamy atmosphere, an infrared sauna uses infrared lamps to heat up and warm up the atmosphere.
While the purpose is the same, the use of electromagnetic radiation makes it so that an infrared sauna user's body is heated directly by the far-infrared lamps, rather than being heated by the steamy air, which is heated by your sauna rocks.
How Is An Infrared Sauna Different From Traditional Saunas?
Infrared sauna manufacturers estimate that roughly 80% of the heat produced by their saunas' infrared lamps goes directly into heating the user, and only 20% goes towards heating the surrounding atmosphere.
In other words, there is less heat loss because the infrared light heats your skin directly before the energy is wasted on heating the air inside the sauna.
Another difference with infrared saunas is that the heat can more easily penetrate human skin and muscle tissue.
This means infrared saunas are slightly more effective at providing the benefits of deep tissue heat therapy.
An infrared sauna is also different from a traditional sauna in the fact that they operate at lower temperatures, usually somewhere between 120˚F and 140˚F, or about 48˚C and 60˚C, compared to conventional saunas, which typically operate at 150˚F to 180˚C.
This allows infrared sauna users to sweat and experience the detoxification benefits of the heat at much lower temperatures, making an infrared sauna more tolerable for those that find the steamy atmosphere of a traditional sauna too stuffy to use.
What Are The Benefits Of An Infrared Sauna?
Just like a traditional sauna, infrared saunas can provide a ton of benefits for both your mental health and physical well-being.
Let's take a look at the most prominent benefits of using an infrared sauna bath.
Studies have proven that far infrared saunas and light therapy can help decrease blood pressure, improve circulation, enhance vascular functions, and even lower a person's overall risk of developing heart-related diseases.
These cardiovascular benefits are due to improved blood vessel dilation, reduced arterial stiffness, and changes in the modulation of the autonomic nervous system.
Decrease Stress And Anxiety
As anyone who regularly uses a sauna will tell you, sitting under infrared heaters can instantly make you feel more relaxed and at ease.
One study showed that light therapy from far infrared saunas could help reduce appetite loss associated with depression. Using sweat treatments can also improve relaxation and relieve many other somatic symptoms, such as overthinking and insomnia.
One of the best benefits of heat therapy is that it can help detox your body.
Essentially, when you use a saw, improved circulation allows your body to pump fresh blood and oxygen throughout your body. In turn, this process can help your system clean itself of any impurities, which are processed by your kidneys and liver and expelled through your skin via sweat.
There are also claims that using either traditional sauna baths or infrared sauna baths can help reduce the signs of again and improve the look of your skin by reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
The light emitted from infrared heaters stimulates elastin and collagen production, leading to firmer, healthier-looking skin.
Sweating in a sauna can also help improve your skin cell turnover rate, which means that you'll shed unhealthy cells quicker, which will be replaced by newer, healthier-looking skin cells.
Finally, IR saunas can also help reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms associated with eczema and psoriasis.
Less-Hassle, More Relaxation
Unlike traditional saunas, with an infrared sauna, all you'll need to do is turn it on and wait for the inside of your sauna to heat up.
In other words, there's no collecting wood to burn, building a fire, or tossing water on your sauna rocks.
Simply set your infrared sauna's timer and heat settings, and then, with less hassle and hard work to operate and maintain your sauna, you'll have more time to relax and enjoy the benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions - Indoor/Outdoor Infrared Saunas
Now that we've covered most of the health benefits of using an infrared sauna, let's look at what consumers usually ask about these miracle devices.
Are there any dangers to using an infrared sauna?
Because these saunas use far-infrared radiation rather than a traditional heating source, people often worry that there might be some health dangers to using an infrared sauna.
However, infrared heat is no more dangerous to your health than the light radiation emitted by your smart devices or an overhead lamp.
Still, just like using a traditional sauna, there are some potential health risks when using an infrared sauna, such as heat exertion, heat stroke, and dehydration.
Doctors also usually recommend avoiding using a sauna if you are under the age of 12, are pregnant, or have certain heart conditions, such as heart failure or high blood pressure.
Therefore, it's a good idea to ask your doctor before using an infrared sauna. We also recommend staying hydrated and only limiting your sauna use for as long as you can stand it.
If you ever begin feeling unwell while using infrared sauna therapy, exit the sauna immediately to allow your core temperature to cool down.
Are infrared saunas better than traditional saunas?
Infrared heat isn't necessarily any better than the heat generated in traditional saunas. Both infrared heat and steam heat offer a ton of benefits to your physical and mental health.
However, infrared heat is produced at lower temperatures and is better at penetrating deep muscle tissue, making far infrared sauna baths more tolerable for some people.
How long should I stay in my infrared sauna?
First-time sauna users should limit their use to no more than 15 minutes per session. Over time, or for those already accustomed to using a sauna bath, you should be able to safely tolerate 20 to 30 minutes in a traditional rock-heated sauna.
However, because infrared sauna baths operate at lower temperatures, users can often tolerate up to 40 to 45 minutes without ill effects.
Still, even though a far infrared sauna can be more tolerable than a traditional sauna, infrared heat may cause certain people to feel unwell.
Therefore, you should never attempt to stay in a sauna any longer than you can physically tolerate.
Are infrared saunas more expensive than traditional saunas?
The average cost to build or install traditional saunas is about $4,500. On the other hand, infrared saunas usually come as ready-to-install prefab sauna kits that can run anywhere between $1,900 to $6,500.
That being said, many factors can influence the cost of building or installing an infrared sauna.
On another note, an infrared sauna bath is often more cost-effective to operate than a traditional electric sauna.
Tips For Using An Infrared Sauna Bath Safely
- Drink up! - Using a sauna can increase your heart rate and elevate your body temperature, causing you to sweat, which may lead to dehydration if you're not careful. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your sweat sessions, especially after long sessions of 30 minutes or more.
- Don't overheat! - For inexperienced users, it's best to start with shorter sauna sessions at lower temperatures. Then, as they become accustomed to the heat, they may increase their session length or temperature. It's also recommended that you limit your sauna sessions to no more than 4 or 5 sessions per week.
- Dress appropriately - While it's perfectly acceptable to wear a bathing suit in a sauna, some people prefer to go into a sauna naked. This is fine if you're using a personal, at-home sauna, but if you're using a public sauna, make sure to inform yourself of the dress code before you drop your drawers.
- Enjoy! - During your sweat sessions, you can choose to simply sit and relax quietly, listen to music, meditate, read, or simply enjoy the company of some family and friends. Either way, make sure to enjoy your sauna and live a happier, healthier life!
Infrared Saunas Vs. Traditional Indoor Or Outdoor Saunas - Which Is Best For You?
In the end, infrared saunas, traditional indoor saunas, and electric saunas all offer a myriad of benefits to your mental and physical well-being.
However, it's essential to realize that there are some critical differences between the designs of each, which offer slightly different benefits and disadvantages.
So make sure to inform yourself about the pros and cons of both infrared sauna therapy and traditional saunas, and then make a decision based on your needs and preferences.
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