If you’ve been on the internet for so long or even if you watch a lot of series online, then you indeed should have an idea of what a sauna is. A sauna is a heated room with a temperature of 70° to 100° Celsius (158° to 212° Fahrenheit). In traditional Finnish saunas, dry heat is used with relative humidity levels ranging from 10% to 20%. Meanwhile, the moisture content can be more significant in other saunas. Turkish-style saunas, for example, have a higher humidity level. Sauna usage can boost skin temperature to over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Sweating becomes more intense as the skin temperature rises. As the body tries to stay cool, the heart rate increases. This is why drinking alcohol before or during a sauna is discouraged. While spending a short time in a sauna, it is not uncommon to lose roughly a pint of sweat.
Types of Sauna
Sauna types are categorized according to the ways the room is heated.
As the name suggests, this sauna uses wood and sauna rocks to heat the sauna chamber. These types of saunas have low humidity and high temperature.
Like how wood-burning saunas have high temperatures and low humidity, electrically heated saunas provide high temperatures and low humidity. In this case, the sauna chamber is heated by an electrical heater linked to the floor.
Far-infrared saunas (FIRS)
This type of sauna is different from wood-burning or electrically heated saunas. Far-infrared saunas use lightwaves in unique lights to warm a person’s body rather than heating the entire room as most typical saunas do. This type of sauna’s temperature is lower than most saunas, but the users sweat the same way. Infrared saunas are usually around 60 degrees Celsius.
To clear misunderstandings, saunas are not the same as steam rooms. A steam room uses high humidity and wet heat instead of dry heat.
Benefits of Infrared Sauna
An infrared sauna employs light to generate heat. The term “far-infrared sauna” refers to the wavelengths of infrared light that fall beyond the visible light spectrum. Heat is used in a typical sauna to warm the air. The warm air then does its job of heating your body. The case in Infrared saunas is that these types of saunas heat your body directly instead of going to an extra process of heating the air around you.
Several studies have researched and looked at the use of infrared saunas to treat chronic health conditions.
- High blood pressure
- Congestive heart failure
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Infrared sauna has also shown some evidence of effectiveness. Nevertheless, these findings will need to be confirmed in more extensive, more rigorous research for more substantial credibility. Some of these trials included patients who used a traditional sauna.
Infrared saunas also help detoxify, promote circulation, pain relief, and boost your mood.
According to Kaps, infrared saunas are seven times more efficient in detoxifying the body than regular saunas. One of the main reasons for this is how infrared heat penetrates human tissue rather than merely heating the skin’s surface. Infrared saunas go deeper in and thus, do more significant work than others. “By elevating the body’s core temperature, infrared saunas may create a sweat that contains 20% toxins, compared to only 3% in a typical sauna,” she explains.
According to experts, the infrared lights’ tremendous heat promotes circulation in the body. This process then results in enhanced metabolism, muscle and joint pain alleviation, a more robust immune system, and a mild to a significant decrease in stress and weariness.
Infrared Sauna: Infrared Wavelengths
The sun emits both visible and invisible light. One of the invisible spectrums is infrared rays. Infrared wavelengths, which are invisible to the naked eye, are responsible for the sun’s warmth, while ultraviolet wavelengths make it shine brightly. In the wellness talks, infrared rays are good and provide advantages to the human body. According to scientists, Infrared rays boost the thermal energy in the body, and they can achieve this without emitting any of the sun’s damaging beams. The infrared spectrum can be divided into three main categories, namely:
Near-infrared light has the shortest wavelength out of all the three available categories. However, despite their short wavelength, they have the greatest penetration depth. This light also has the unique virtue of not being trapped by the body’s water. This means it can reach the deepest parts of the body and raise your core thermal energy. Near-infrared is linked to photobiomodulation. Photobiomodulation uses ATP stimulation to create energy within cells directly.
Water molecules absorb mid-infrared wavelengths. This process enhances the circulation via vasodilation, enabling transient increases in blood flow. Additionally, this process causes a temporarily rising heart rate and total metabolism.
Far infrared wavelength
The far infrared wavelength is the wavelength closest to the infrared heat emitted by our bodies. The water molecules in the body rapidly absorb far-infrared and then release their energy. Our bodies can emit far-infrared wavelengths at the range of 9.4 microns. Far infrared wavelength feels extremely normal to humans, and our energy is momentarily enhanced and reinforced.
What to Expect in An Infrared Sauna
When it’s your first time in an infrared sauna, you can expect to sweat profusely and a feeling of awesomeness after. Whether you’re a first-time infrared user or a seasoned pro, it’s never the same experience. According to an expert, “Though it’s one of the most soothing ways to break a sweat and burn calories, the heat may be quite unpleasant for newcomers.” It can be too much or too little for those who are only trying it now. The expert adds, “Also, keep in mind that the goal of this service is to sweat out toxins, so expect to sweat for up to 30 minutes after your session.”
In terms of how long the treatment will run, most studios offer 30 and 60 -minute sessions. Some places even provide longer sessions ranging from 60 and 75 minutes. This gives the users plenty of time to rinse off after.