An infrared sauna employs heat to help you sweat, ease muscular pain, rest, and relax. The approach employed differs. Traditional saunas heat the air in the room to temperatures ranging from 150 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas infrared saunas employ electromagnetic radiation.
Heat is created in a dry-heat sauna using electricity or wood. At the same time, some produce steam by splashing water onto heated rocks. Traditional saunas are extremely hot, ranging from 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
They also lack moisture, with humidity levels ranging from 10 to 20%. An infrared sauna heats the body directly by employing infrared lamps that emit electromagnetic radiation.
Near-infrared and far-infrared saunas release modest quantities of red, orange, and yellow light, which is considered light therapy.
One of the many reasons infrared saunas have grown in popularity is because the wavelengths may enter tissue to heat the body rather than heat the air as regular saunas do.
You may use an infrared sauna at a health or fitness facility or buy your own. You may install a permanent sauna in your house or a portable infrared sauna for greater flexibility.
Infrared Sauna Varieties
The most frequent form of the infrared sauna is far-infrared. However, full-spectrum saunas are also available. These wavelengths vary from near-infrared to far-infrared. Each form of energy is claimed to deliver a different advantage and heats your body without heating the air around you.
However, many of the health advantages claimed for various types of infrared saunas are manufacturer claims that are not necessarily validated by research, notably any weight-loss promises.
Near-infrared combined heat and light treatment, also known as phototherapy, is absorbed just beneath the skin’s surface to promote healing and rejuvenation. It is said to be the finest for wound healing and immunological function.
- Mid-infrared light has a slightly longer wavelength than near-infrared light, allowing it to permeate deeper into the body’s tissue to enhance circulation, release oxygen, and reach wounded regions. This range is thought to calm the muscles.
- The longest wavelength emitting light in the far-infrared spectrum is far-infrared. According to some studies, this wavelength can remove toxins, improve metabolism, and provide cardiovascular advantages.
How to Use an Infrared Sauna
Whether you use an infrared sauna at a health club, spa, or home, it’s important to follow the fundamental safety standards. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
- Obtain medical clearance. Although there is evidence that infrared sauna treatments can be useful, Cook-Bolden recommends consulting your healthcare physician before utilising the sauna. This is especially true if you have any pre-existing conditions.
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol before using a sauna can induce overheating, leading to dehydration, a heat stroke, or heat exhaustion. “Because alcohol is dehydrating, it’s preferable to avoid it beforehand,” explains Cook-Bolden.
- Drink lots of water. Drink lots of water before entering the sauna, throughout your session — especially if you feel light-headed or thirsty, or if you find yourself sweating excessively — and after you exit.
- Begin with mini sessions. Begin with small sessions lasting around 10-15 minutes. As you become more comfortable, increase the length of each session until you reach 20 minutes. Depending on your sauna access and overall objective, three sessions per week appears to be the average quantity for most individuals.
- Avoid using on inflamed skin. Suppose you have sensitive skin or a disease like eczema that can cause skin irritation. In that case, Cook-Bolden recommends waiting for your skin to recuperate before exposing it.
- Pay close attention to specific symptoms. Stop your session immediately if you suffer dizziness or lightheadedness. According to Sharma, this might indicate dehydration or other medical issues. If the symptoms persist, he advises seeking emergency medical attention.
Infrared Sauna Hazards
Although infrared saunas are usually considered safe with no side effects, there are some possible dangers.
Like any other sauna, Infrared saunas risk being overheated, dehydrated or disoriented. You may normally avoid this by drinking enough water before and after your workout. Also, when trying out a sauna, avoid utilising any drugs or alcohol.
Some people should exercise caution when using an infrared sauna. Although infrared saunas are regarded as harmless and even advantageous for patients with heart problems, anybody who has recently had a heart attack or has unstable angina (a condition that limits the amount of blood flow to the heart) should avoid using them.
Far infrared saunas, and saunas in general, provide several health advantages. However, scientific investigations on sauna use are frequently conducted on a modest scale.
Here are some of the advantages in further detail:
Saunas may be beneficial to your heart. Moreover, it’s noted that people who visit saunas regularly can reduce their blood pressure. Other studies demonstrate that symptoms of congestive heart failure are improving.
Health of the Lungs
Sauna users had a decreased incidence of pneumonia in several trials. Other persons reported an improvement in their asthma symptoms.
Another advantage of utilising saunas regularly is that they may help relieve discomfort. Some participants reported decreased symptoms linked with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Saunas may also assist with tension headaches, according to one research.
Warming your body appears to warm your soul as well. Setting aside some sauna time may aid in the reduction of melancholy, anxiety, and tension. Consider it similar to a meditation session in warmer weather.
Multiple research studies have looked at infrared saunas’ use in treating long-term health issues and discovered some evidence that saunas may benefit. High blood pressure, heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, headache, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis are among the conditions examined.
However, bigger and more meticulous research is required to validate these findings. Some of these investigations were also conducted on participants who used a regular sauna.
Infrared saunas, on the other hand, have not been linked to any adverse side effects. So, an infrared sauna may be a good choice if you’re considering using a sauna to relax.