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In this post we’ll be looking at Home Infrared Saunas, what they are and how using one can be of benefit to you.
What is an infrared sauna
If like me your first thoughts about saunas include a wooden room with benches in it and lots of steam that makes you sweat then you are only partly right when you’re thinking about infrared saunas.
Typical saunas are made of wood with a bench to sit on but after that is where an infrared sauna differs from what we know about steam saunas. Both saunas use heat to give health benefits but a steam sauna heats the air around you warming you from the outside and an infrared sauna uses the natural heat from far infrared light rays, which are invisible to the eye but heat deep inside the body to warm from the inside out.
When you use a sauna it heats you up raising your heart rate and causing you to sweat, this can make you feel like you’ve done some exercise, but the steam sauna can be hot to sit in an you may find it much more uncomfortable than the lower heat of an infrared sauna.
When you sweat it’s your body’s natural way of eliminating toxins from the body and that is one of the benefits of using a sauna.
What types of infrared?
You may have heard of far-infrared when talking about saunas but there are options of full spectrum infrared saunas, so what does it all mean?
Sunlight provides radiant energy, not all of it beneficial in large quantities like ultra-violet, but infrared is the rays from the sun which provide warmth without radiation. You have 3 types of infrared rays,
Near-infrared which is a shorter wavelength so can’t penetrate the skin very far, it’s often used for beauty treatments on the skin.
Mid-infrared rays which are a bit longer in wavelength and can penetrate further into the soft tissues of the body helping to increase the circulation and oxidise the cells.
Far-infrared is the longest wavelength and in turn can penetrated further into the body helping your body expel toxins and improve metabolism aiding in weight loss.
What are the benefits of infrared sauna
Helps to detoxify the body
Improvements in your skin
Help fight colds
Infrared saunas help to detoxify the body by making your body sweat. Our body is pretty clever all on it’s own and it will use any means it can to dump toxins from it. One of the easiest ways is through our sweat. When your body heats up whether you are exercising, sitting in the sun or as in a sauna it triggers the sweating mechanism to work and in turn detoxifies you.
Infrared rays improve circulation because it can permeate into the body, the heat created expands the walls of the blood cells increasing the blood flow and allowing more oxygen to move around the body. This can be especially good if you have problems in your hands and feet due to poor circulation.
Infrared saunas can aid in pain relief because of the increased blood flow at the inflamed area pushing out acidic wastes that cause pain and stiffness.
Because the heat in an infrared sauna is not as high and difficult to sit in as a steam sauna it gently penetrates the body giving relaxation and stress relief. The temperature can be controlled so you can set it at the temperature that suits you. Even though you can build up a sweat at a lower heat you will still feel invigorated afterwards.
Infrared Saunas have been shown to help you lose weight by burning 400-600 calories in an average session of 30 minutes. This is different to just sweating off weight which you can replace with a drink of water. When your body burns calories that goes towards your daily expenditure and this is done because of the increase in body heat and heart rate working your body as if you were doing exercise.
Infrared saunas can benefit the skin because the sweating forces impurities out of the pores to help keep your skin clear and studies have shown that infrared rays can help increase the amount of collagen and elastin in the skin to help smooth out wrinkles.
Infrared Saunas bring the temperature of your body up internally to a level that kills off viruses so using it regularly is good for fighting a cold but more importantly killing of the virus before it gets chance to take hold.
Some things you need to be aware of when using a sauna
When you start using a sauna it’s best to start of slow and build up. Be aware of how your body feels, you might only be able to cope with 10 minutes at a time but you can use it more than once in a day so you can build up that way. The average session is around 30 – 40 minutes and the temperature can be adjusted to suit your own tolerance.
Don’t presume if you don’t sweat the first few times you use it that it isn’t working, sometimes It can take a few sessions before you start sweating. Let your body cool down naturally when you get out then be sure to shower off to wash any toxins removed off your body.
Most importantly drink plenty. Make sure you have a drink before you sauna and take something in with you to drink during, you can lose a lot of water from sweating so don’t let yourself get dehydrated. Have a good drink afterwards too.
Can everyone use an Infrared Sauna?
There are conditions where it is not recommended to use an infrared sauna. If you have any of the following conditions and want to use an infrared sauna you must consult with your physician first.
SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematous)
Acute joint injuries
Enclosed infections (dental, joints, tissue)
Artificial joints and/or metal pins
Also if you are on any medications.
If you use an infrared sauna and feel ill or dizzy, don’t stay in, just get straight out of the sauna. It’s meant to be beneficial to your health not detrimental, for some people it is not going to work.
What is a home infrared sauna?
The saunas that you buy for your home look similar to what you might expect from a sauna, it is usually made of some kind of wood, it can come in various sizes depending on the space you have available, it is usually made in a modular way so that you can install it yourself, it has built in infrared heating panels and is plugged in to a normal electrical outlet.
These infrared saunas come in sizes ranging from a one person sauna to a 4-5 person sauna. Most saunas are for indoor use and can be built in a spare bedroom. The size of the space available along with how many people are likely to use it will help determine the size you want. Some suppliers have a choice of they wood that it’s made from as well as the sizes. You may want to look for how many glass panels are in it if you don’t like to feel too enclosed although most offer glass doors.
You can choose corner units if that is more space efficient for you and although most are low EMF you can buy some that offer no EMF. Some saunas offer ceramic heaters and some offer carbon heaters. You might want to look at the controls and where they are situated, what the temperature range is and if they offer the ability to listen to music so that you can have some entertainment while you are sitting. There are also accessories available like backrests.
Where to buy your infrared sauna
There are a few places that you can visit online to buy an infrared sauna but our main recommendation is with Amazon.com. You have a 30 day return policy so if there are any issues it can be sorted quickly, you can get good delivery times especially if you have prime and they offer a great choice in one place so you can compare price and features.
Check out Infrared Saunas at Amazon.com