How Does an Infrared Sauna Work?
Saunas have a long-standing history, dating back centuries to the year 1112 AD in Finland. In fact, the third-largest city in Finland, Tampere, has been declared the ‘Sauna Capital of the World.’
Saunas, in Finland, were originally made from dug up holes in the ground as a means to provide the people with an area to stay warm during the winter months.
Hot stones would be heated up to extreme temperatures with fire, and then once ready, would be splashed with water in order to create steam. Such a simple concept, but an effective one to stay warm and enjoy the heat in the cold weather.
As the years went on, the popularity of the sauna increased. Even to this day, if one were to enter a steam bath with hot rocks, the same concepts would apply.
Even after almost 1000 years, not much has changed in the way people enjoy their sauna sessions.
However, due to advancements in technology, availability of materials, and other factors, there are updated ways that people can enjoy a sauna.
One of those ways, although not a traditional steam sauna, is an infrared sauna.
How Does An Infrared Sauna Work?
An infrared sauna is a modality that uses infrared heaters to emit light from the electromagnetic spectrum, including near, mid, and far-infrared light. Infrared light therapy, or Waon therapy, uses light to create heat that is absorbed by the skin instead of traditional saunas that use steam or hot air to create heat the air in the room.
The electromagnetic spectrum represents the entire range of frequencies and wavelengths that light emits.
Infrared saunas work by emitting infrared light, which is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
This type of light is broken down into three categories of infrared, which are called near-infrared, middle infrared, and far-infrared.
Near-infrared light has a range of 0.76 to 1.5 microns and is of the shorter wavelength on the scale. This type of light penetrates below the surface of the skin. Near-infrared has many benefits including mitochondria stimulation and activation of anti-inflammatory processes.
Middle infrared light has a range of 1.5 to 5.6 microns and reaches deeper parts of the body including muscles and joints. One function includes improving and increasing blood flow and circulation.
Far infrared light has a range of 5.6 to 1000 microns and reaches the deepest parts of the body. This type of light stimulates metabolism, can improve internal organ efficiency, and aid with cardiovascular health. An example of far-infrared light is the sun.
These types of light are not visible to the naked eye but can be seen with special cameras and equipment.
In a traditional sauna, you are just sitting in a hot room which can get to around 190-220 degrees.
In an infrared sauna, the heat from the light is being absorbed into the skin and heating your body.
Health Mate saunas utilize all 3 kinds of infrared light using patented Tecoloy heaters in order to maximize health and recovery.
Why Choose An Infrared Sauna Over A Traditional Sauna
While each type of sauna has its own unique qualities and benefits, as well as their own set of risks, there has been extensive research done on infrared saunas and shows that in many cases is the superior option.
The reasons why you should choose an increased sauna over a traditional sauna is for one, safety.
In a traditional sauna, temperatures can surpass the 200-degree mark. This type of heat can cause negative effects on the human body including severe dehydration due to expelling fluids faster than you can get them in your body and a sudden drop in heart rate.
Another reason why an infrared sauna should be chosen over a traditional sauna is that since a traditional sauna heats the air in the room as opposed to heating the body, it can make for a more uncomfortable environment.
With any case of sauna use, it’s important to be mindful of how much time you spend in it.
Even for an infrared sauna, too much time in their can have some negative consequences.
As we compare the new age infrared saunas with the older, more traditional models, we see that there have been major upgrades due to material availability and technology.
While traditional saunas are still a popular option this day in age, infrared saunas have provided us with a safe, efficient, and easy way to elevate one’s physical and mental health.