Infrared saunas have overtaken traditional saunas in the last few years. They can be found in most well-equipped gyms, and more and more people decide to install them in their homes or home gyms.
Infrared radiation is emitted by almost everything, including human bodies. It has many purposes and it works on different levels, according to the need. Infrared saunas use heaters that emit a type of radiation called far infrared radiation, or FIR for short. A similar technology is used in newborn incubators in hospitals.
Differences between infrared and traditional saunas
A traditional sauna, which is derived from the original Finnish sauna, is a closed room lined with wood that uses heated rocks and stones. The water is poured on hot rocks and this warms the air inside the room. Today, the rocks are still in use, but they are sometimes replaced with outer heat sources, such as electric devices or wood burning stoves.
An infrared sauna looks much like a traditional sauna from the outside. However, it does not use rocks or stones, nor the water. Instead, an infrared heater emits far infrared radiation towards the body of a person using the sauna, through a process called conversion.
Traditional saunas use temperatures up to 200 degrees to warm the body up from the outside. Infrared saunas use lower temperatures but still achieve the same effect as the traditional ones. They warm the body up from the inside, they are more energy efficient, and they are even more sanitary, because there is no steam and hence less chance of bacterial infestation.
Infrared saunas are considered safe for everyone, and they are safer than sunbathing, because there is no ultraviolet radiation involved.
Benefits of infrared saunas
Relaxation and stress relief are the greatest benefits one can reap from using an infrared sauna. The heat penetrates deep inside the body and promotes waste and toxins elimination through perspiration. It also stimulates the blood circulation, which is important from the medical point of view and it also helps against cellulite. Infrared saunas are beneficial for people who want to lose weight, as they burn at least 1.000 calories per hour.
Infrared sauna can be used as a complementary treatment for a number of diseases and health problems, such as arthritis, stiff joints, sore muscles and deep tissue injuries. It is particularly recommended for athletes, especially after workout, when the muscles need to be relaxed and soothed.
Compared to traditional rock saunas, infrared sauna is more cost-effective, the gear takes up much less space and it is more sanitary.