The Latest In Saunas: Infrared

Recently a new type of sauna has emerged. Unlike the traditional sauna that uses a wood-burning stove, or the former technology leader, the electric stove, this new sauna uses an infrared heater. While a traditional sauna heater heats the air inside the sauna, infrared heaters heat the people and objects, not the air.

Because the air is not heated, infrared heaters can be used anywhere, even outdoors. They are used in sauna enclosures simply for the atmosphere: people are used to going into saunas, and may be more comfortable in an enclosure than in an open space.

What is Infrared?

Infrared is simply a certain frequency band of light that is invisible to the human eye. The heat from infrared is sometimes called Infrared Radiation (IR), very different from Ultraviolet Radiation, which can cause sunburn. Most of the heat that warms the earth is IR from the sun, and IR is given off by the earth and even the human body, so this is not a new, nor dangerous phenomenon.

Health Benefits Of Infrared

The health benefits of traditional saunas include alleviation of pain and stiffness from arthritis, and cleansing of the skin by induced heavy sweating. In addition, the steam of traditional saunas can help relieve respiratory problems such as congestion and bronchitis.

Proponents of infrared saunas claim that they have even more therapeutic properties than traditional saunas.

In addition, Infrared Radiation is said to have unique healing properties that cannot be found in the radiant heat in conventional saunas. Proponents say that it can penetrate into the body’s internal organs and muscle tissues to release toxins and strengthen the immune system. Though there is little medical research to support some of these claims, there is no known danger associated with infrared saunas, so you can try it for yourself and see.

Infrared Advantages

Infrared saunas have a number of advantages over steam saunas. Since they operate at a lower heat, some people may find them more comfortable than regular saunas. The lower heat also means less power consumed, so infrared saunas are cheaper to operate. Infrared saunas heat up much faster than conventional saunas, another factor in reducing operating costs.

Traditional saunas create hot, dry air, which some people find uncomfortable to breathe. Infrared saunas do not heat up the air, so the air quality will be similar inside and outside the sauna.

Infrared saunas don’t use any water. This makes them more portable and easier to install, and eliminates the problem of bacterial build-up that can occur in a damp area.

Some Disadvantages

Infrared saunas generate no steam, so they are less effective in relieving breathing problems. When it comes to building up a sweat and easing the pain of arthritis, though, infrared saunas have the same benefits as traditional saunas.

Some people say that infrared saunas don’t provide the feelings of relaxation and refreshment of a conventional sauna. The lack of steam in an IR sauna may be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your preference. Steam can be useful for relieving respiratory problems, but on the other hand, the normally dry air of the sauna is uncomfortable for some.

Infrared or Conventional?

Each type of sauna has beneficial effects. Saunas are relaxing and make the skin feel clean and smooth.

Whether they can be useful in treating disease remains an open question, but many people swear by their therapeutic qualities. Whether or not some of the medical claims made for Infrared saunas are exaggerated, there may nevertheless be some special benefits to IR therapy.

In any case, saunas are enjoyable and provide a great way to unwind. Infrared saunas are easier to use and cheaper to install, and may have additional health benefits over conventional saunas. So try both out — one is likely to feel just right.