Infrared saunas are increasingly popular in the health and wellness community for a number of reasons including the numerous health benefits and they just make you feel good! What exactly is an infrared sauna? Before we dive into what infrared saunas are, we should first understand infrared wavelengths.
The sun produces a combination of visible and invisible light, and one of those invisible spectrums is infrared rays. Invisible infrared wavelengths are what makes the sun feel warm (and ultraviolet wavelengths are what makes it bright). Scientists have established that infrared waves are beneficial to the human body because they are easily absorbed, stimulating the lymphatic, immune and cardiovascular systems and also help remove toxins. Infrared does all of this without any of the harmful rays of sunlight.
There are three main categories of the infrared spectrum: near infrared, mid infrared, and far infrared.
Near Infrared is the shortest wavelength but penetrates the deepest. It has the distinct property that it is not captured by the water of the body allowing it to penetrate the deepest into the body and very effectively heat your body core. It also does not cause the “resonant frequency” associated with far infrared so using near infrared alone is not the best way to detoxify.
Near infrared is associated with photobiomodulation which directly produces energy within the cells through ATP stimulation. Not surprisingly, near infrared helps wound healing and increases cellular repair.
• Mid infrared wavelengths are also captured by water molecules while increasing circulation through vasodilation, bringing oxygen to areas needing healing, increasing heart rate and overall metabolism.
• Far infrared is the closest of the wavelengths to the heat given off by our own body. Far infrared is readily captured by the water molecules in the body and releasing its energy. Our bodies actually give off far infrared wavelengths at about 9.4 microns. Since far infrared wavelengths feel very natural and normal to us, our energy is enhanced and strengthened.
If a good portion of the far infrared from a high quality sauna heater at this 9.4 micron range, a subtle “resonant frequency” or vibration is set up within the cells of the body that increases the expulsion of toxins. The toxins are then eliminated either through the three main organs of elimination (urine, feces and exhalation) or directly through the skin, the largest organ of the body.
Far infrared activates sweat glands eliminating these chemicals directly through the skin. Expelling toxins through the skin is advantageous because it relieves the liver of having to process quantities of these fat soluble compounds. Sweating alone through infrared sauna usage can be quite efficient at removing unwanted chemicals.
What is an Infrared Sauna?
While we call our Clearlight Infrared models “Saunas”, they are really infrared therapy cabins. It just so happens that the sauna environment is a great environment to deliver infrared as you are not wearing any clothing and you are surrounded by the infrared heat. The black panels you see inside the sauna are our True Wave® far infrared heaters. In our Sanctuary sauna models, the silver front heaters are our True Wave full spectrum heaters offering near, mid and far infrared.
Rather than use steam or the traditional “box of hot rocks” heating elements, the infrared sauna heaters use the infrared spectrums listed above to promote relaxation and other health benefits. In an infrared sauna, the air temperature is less important than the quality of the infrared heat. Just warm up your Jacuzzi® infrared sauna for about 15 minutes and get in. You will warm up with the sauna. As your body absorbs the infrared heat, this will increase your core body temperature inducing a deep and relaxing sweat. Using your infrared sauna at lower temperatures means you can stay in longer and get more benefit.
Infrared Saunas vs Traditional and Steam Saunas
The main difference between infrared saunas and traditional saunas is how they use heat. Traditional saunas use a single heater that is heating the air and this hot air heats the user. In contrast, infrared saunas use advanced therapy to heat the user directly with only a small percentage of the heat heating the air. This results in a deeper sweat and at a lower ambient air temperature. In fact, infrared saunas usually operate between 115° – 135°F, while traditional saunas can get up to 195°F.
You will get all of the relaxation benefits of a traditional infrared sauna along with the increased health benefits that infrared offers all at a much more comfortable temperature. Infrared saunas are also dry saunas and many users find this makes for a more comfortable sauna session.
Not only are infrared saunas extremely beneficial, but they are also more efficient and require less electricity (according to Livestrong.com, a traditional sauna is almost three times as expensive to run as an infrared sauna). That also means that the warm-up time of an infrared sauna is much quicker than a traditional sauna.
Our Sanctuary Full Spectrum Saunas offer near, mid, and far infrared technologies and our Premier Far Infrared Saunas offer all of the benefits of far infrared heat. Surround Yourself In Wellness in a Jacuzzi® infrared sauna. Click here to see our full line of indoor and outdoor infrared saunas.