Infared Saunas – what is an infrared sauna?

I suppose we’d better start out the infared sauna category with a post about what infrared saunas are all about.

Most people are aware of the traditional sauna and how it works by producing a really steamy environment in a wooden box – those crazy Fins. Regular pouring of water over heated rocks is continued until the required temperature in the sauna is met. Instead the far infrared sauna heats its occupants with infared heaters that emit far infared radiation (more about far radiation another time). An infrared sauna does not heat the surrounding air only the skin of the saunas occupants thus making it a more efficient mode of sauna over the traditional variety which can waste energy heating the surrounding air. An infrared sauna is typically a cedar wooden box containing several infrared heaters.

Infrared sauna are claimed to be safe and beneficial by their producers and promoters. In fact there are numerous claimed benefits to using an infrared sauna one being that it’s ability to allow heat to penetrate more than 1.5 inches into the body which is reputed to heal and stimulate tissues providing an effective therapy for arthritis and tissue injuries. Producers claim that using infrared saunas allows one to achieve health benefits similar to those from a conventional steam sauna. Such benefits may include: regularly sweating in a far infrared sauna can help excrete toxins, giving a full body detox, from the body through the skin and also give a workout for your heart. As the biological process of producing sweat consumes calories, it’s claimed that typical sauna session could be the equivalent to running 2-6 miles and losing as much as 600 calories (calorie loss is dependant upon your current level of fitness). If true this is a great low impact method of lowering weight for those unable to do regular exercise. It’s also claimed that the use of far infrared saunas has a benficial effect on your skin as the flow of sweat to the surface of the skin is claimed to open up the pores and in turn, cleanse the pores.

There has never been a better time to buy an infrared sauna as prices have tumbled and their popularity has grown. So perhaps it’s time to put these claimed far infared sauna benefits to the test. If you own an infared sauna please comment on your experiences with it so far.