If you keep up with the latest health and wellness news, you’ve probably heard something about infrared saunas. Proponents say they’ve got advantages over traditional saunas, but maybe you’re still a little confused. If you’re wondering, “What is an infrared sauna?” then this article will help you to sort it all out.
Saunas have been used for centuries by people around the world. The holistic health benefits of the sauna are almost too numerous to mention. Saunas induce perspiration, which purges impurities and toxic substances from our bodies. Users report lower stress levels, clearer skin, increased energy levels, and a better mood. People can effectively use saunas to manage their weight and burn calories.
Traditional saunas are enclosed in a wood-paneled room with a box in the corner. The box is filled with hot coals that heat up the air, which in turn heats up the people in the room. It’s vital to keep the door tightly closed so none of the hot air escapes. Some people call these “steam saunas” because pouring water over the coals fills up the room with hot steam that may speed up the warming process.
However, this is a highly inefficient way to heat up the human body. So much energy is wasted heating up the air in the entire room, and that heat is a low-quality type of heat that can’t penetrate very far into the skin. It produces benefits, but usually only skin-deep ones. Enter the infrared sauna. Infrared saunas are a cutting-edge technology that allows people to experience the health benefits of the steam sauna on an entirely new level.
Infrared saunas don’t rely on heating the air in a room in order to heat the people in it. They directly heat people, effectively eliminating the middleman. They are more efficient than traditional saunas and produce a heat that penetrates several inches into the skin for deeper and more lasting benefits. They are called ‘infrared’ saunas because of the innovative new type of heating element they use.
If you are still having a hard time understanding the difference between traditional steam saunas and infrared saunas, try visualizing the difference between a convection oven and a microwave oven. A convection oven heats up the air, and the air heats up your food. It takes a long time to preheat, and cooking your food may take hours. A microwave, on the other hand, doesn’t heat the air. Because it directly heats your food, the process is much quicker and more energy-efficient.
The oven and microwave example is only for illustrative purposes, of course. Microwaves do not work exactly the same as infrared saunas, though they are similar. It may help to look at the spectrum of light. Microwave ovens use microwaves, while infrared saunas use infrared light waves to operate. Infrared light is a form of invisible light is very similar (though not exactly identical) to sunlight. If you imagine feeling the warming action of the sun, you can visualize the effect of the far infrared sauna. Even when the air around you is not hot or humid, you can still feel very warm in direct sunlight. Infrared saunas harness the warming power of the sun but none of its harmful components, such as dangerous UV rays.
The emergence of the infrared sauna on the market has certainly caused a lot of people to sit up, read a few essays and research papers and take notice. They want to know what is an infrared sauna, and for good reason. Infrared light gives people a whole new way to experience the benefits of the sauna for their physical and mental health.