Far Infrared Sauna
What is it? And what are the health benefits?
A far infrared sauna (also known as an IR or FIR sauna) is basically the same as a traditional sauna - they're both rooms made out of wood, right? The difference is the method used to heat the occupants.
A traditional sauna uses an electric, wood, or gas heater and stones.
FIR saunas use
infrared heaters to make you sweat. Far infrared energy is emitted from several heaters made of a ceramic or metallic material. Sounds a little like a giant microwave, doesn't it? Anyway... here's the interesting part...
Infrared energy (or rays) heats people and objects directly.
exactly does this mean to you?
Because your body is heated directly, the surrounding air will be much cooler.
This image perfectly illustrates the difference in heating method between traditional and IR saunas. Notice how the infrared rays heat your body directly. This means the surrounding air doesn't reach extreme temperatures. As you can see, traditional (or hot-air) saunas heat the air – mainly by convection. That means the operating temperature needs to be much higher than far infrared saunas to cause the heavy sweating that is so beneficial. The temperature difference Although millions of people enjoy the sauna experience, some do feel uncomfortable breathing in the extremely hot air. Some people even feel a bit suffocated.
Someone even used the word "overwhelming" describing her own experience to me.
Part of the appeal of a sauna is that it’s so relaxing. But if you feel like you're being suffocated, it's probably not too easy to relax.
The average air temperature in a traditional sauna ranges from about 150 to 200° F closer to the ceiling (since heat rises). A far infrared sauna usually operates at an average temperature of about 110 to 140° F. Now, try to imagine how much different it feels to breathe in air that is 50 to 100° cooler! In case you’re wondering if the lower air temperature will prevent you from working up a good sweat, don’t. You will sweat plenty. In fact, many people report heavier sweating using an IR sauna.
Because of the penetration of the infrared rays, your body is literally
heated from the inside out. The depth of penetration is reported to be around 1.5 inches into the body. Sauna experts and even some medical doctors claim that FIR saunas are very effective for detoxification because of the infrared rays. My personal belief? I think there's enough information from unbiased resources to warrant many of the claims. You can read about two unique benefits of infrared saunas here. Infrared Sauna vs Traditional Hot-Air Sauna
I think this is mostly a matter of individual preference depending on two factors…
1. Which type of heat you prefer – the softer heat of an infrared sauna or the higher temperatures of hot-air saunas. 2. Your reason for taking saunas. If detoxification is important to you for example, the claim made by many health professionals is worth consideration - that FIR saunas are better for detoxification. So which type of sauna is better? I came to one conclusion after all the material that I’ve read: you’ll have to decide for yourself.
There are some strong views out there about this topic.
Of course, the answer to the "which one is better" question somewhat depends on what country you’re in when you ask. Here in the U.S., there are some doctors, sauna enthusiasts and experts that can give convincing arguments in favor of infrared saunas. On the other hand... If you ask the people of Finland, most likely you’ll hear strong arguments for the good ole fashion hot-air sauna. Once again, you'll have to decide for yourself on this one. Leave a comment.
Portable Infrared Saunas Infrared sauna health benefits Infrared sauna heaters - including the different types and selecting quality heaters Benefits of IR Saunas - any better than regular saunas?
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