Most of us are familiar with saunas—those hot little rooms you sit in to make yourself sweat. People have been intentionally sweating it out in some way or another for much of human history. But what are the benefits of using a sauna, and is there a better way to induce sweating? Let’s take a look.
Traditional saunas heat the air around the person, which causes their body temperature to rise and their body to sweat. But scientists have discovered a different kind of sauna that helps people sweat without making them feel uncomfortably hot: an infrared sauna.
This improved sauna uses far-infrared light to heat the body from the inside out.
Infrared light is a type of radiant energy that we can’t see with our eyes—but we can detect it as heat. Think of how the sun warms your skin, or how the heat from a campfire radiates warmth.
Infrared light was discovered by British astronomer William Herschel in 1800, when he was measuring the temperature of colors on the visible spectrum. He found that there was a higher temperature reading just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum. Some common places infrared light is used are in our toasters, in neonatal units to keep babies warm, and in saunas!
Differences Between Traditional Sauna and Far Infrared Sauna
While a traditional sauna will use hot rocks, smoke, or steam, the more recent sauna on the scene is using far-infrared light – first used in Japan beginning in the 1970s. A typical sauna will heat the air around you to high temperatures, causing your body to sweat. But far-infrared light heats your body gently from within.
Take a look at this side by side comparison:
|TRADITIONAL SAUNA||FAR INFRARED SAUNA|
|* Heats the air around you|
* Results take longer at a higher temp
* At least 150 degrees
* Intense heat, uncomfortable to some
* Heat only
|* Raises body temperature directly|
* Results in less time at a lower temp
* At least 120 degrees
* Relaxing warmth, more comfortable
* Heat and light
Using a sauna can be incredibly beneficial to your health and wellbeing, no matter which kind you decide to use. It’s great for your skin, your cardiovascular system, your metabolism, your immune system, your sleep, and your mood! However, far infrared saunas boast even more benefits than the traditional sauna.
Benefits of Infrared Sauna Use
- Faster recovery time. The infrared light penetrates up to an inch and a half into your body – very soothing for sore muscles and joints.
- Deeper relaxation. Those who don’t enjoy the intense heat of a traditional sauna usually prefer heat from an infrared sauna may be preferable, which allows for deeper relaxation.
- Greater pain relief. People with chronic fatigue, nerve damage, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, and other painful conditions can experience more relief from their pain after infrared sauna sessions.
It’s pretty incredible that you can shine a little light on your body and so many good things happen. Whether you’re pursuing healing from an injury, relief from chronic conditions, or simply want to increase your overall wellness, the far infrared sauna is a wonderful way to do it!
Book a private sauna session in Downtown Madison. Afterward, rinse off in the shower. Towel service is provided. Save on your sauna sessions by purchasing a sauna package.