Infrared Sauna

A different type of sauna has become known in recent years. This unit uses an infrared heater unlike traditional saunas that use wood or electric stoves. While traditional saunas heat the air of the sauna an infrared saunas heat only the people and objects in the sauna.

Since this type of heater does not heat the air it can be used anywhere and still have a heating effect on the human body. This type of heater is used in a sauna enclosure simply for the atmosphere - people are accustomed to going into a sauna to steam bath and it may be more comfortable for them in an enclosure rather than an open space.

Infrared is a frequency band of light invisible to the human eye. The heat from this light is sometimes called Infrared Radiation (IR) which does not cause any type of harm with human use. Much of the heat that warms the earth is IR from the sun, and the earth and humans also give off IR.

Fans of infrared saunas say that this type of sauna has even more therapeutic properties than a traditional sauna.

Health Benefits

Traditional saunas are known to alleviate pain, stiffness, cleanse the skin and relieve respiratory problems. Infrared saunas are a bit different. This type of sauna generates no steam so it is not effective in relieving respiratory ailments. It has about the same affect as a traditional sauna on stiffness, pain relief, and cleansing the skin. In addition, IR is said to have unique healing properties not found in the heat of traditional saunas. Proponents of IR say that it penetrates into the body's internal organs and muscle tissues to release toxins and strengthen the immune system.

While these claims may be exaggerated and there is relatively little research to back them, there is little doubt that saunas of any type are beneficial for some medical conditions. Infrared saunas may have unique benefits that traditional saunas do not offer.

There is no danger associated with infrared saunas. The same precautions should be taken with this type of sauna as would be taken with a traditional sauna.

Advantages

Infrared saunas do have advantages over steam saunas. Many bathers find infrared saunas to be more comfortable because of the lower temperature. The lower temperature also uses less electricity so this type of sauna will be less expensive to operate. They also heat up faster than a traditional sauna which also reduces energy uses and expense.

While traditional saunas create hot dry air, IR saunas do not heat the air meaning the air quality will be similar both inside and outside the sauna. Those that do not like the hot dry air of a traditional sauna will prefer an IR sauna.

Infrared Saunas also do not require any water. This makes them more portable, easier to install, less costly and also eliminates bacterial infestations that can occur in traditional saunas when not cared for properly.

Disadvantages

Some bathers feel that IR saunas do not provide the feelings of relaxation and refreshment of a conventional sauna. Depending on preference the lack of steam may be an advantage of disadvantage. Traditional saunas are useful in relieving reparatory problems, but the normally dry air of the sauna is uncomfortable for some users.

A sauna purist would state that IR saunas are not 'real' saunas. For those who enjoy the ritual and preparation of conventional saunas, an IR sauna just doesn't 'feel' right.

Infrared or Conventional

All saunas have beneficial effects. They are relaxing and make the skin feel clean and smooth. Whether or not they are useful in treatment of disease is unknown, but many users swear by their therapeutic qualities. Some medical claims made for infrared saunas border on quackery, but there may indeed be some added benefits in IR therapy.

All saunas are enjoyable and provide a sufficient way to relax. Infrared saunas are generally cheaper to use and also easier. They may have additional health benefits over traditional saunas. These are all very good reasons to try out an IR sauna.


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