What is An Infrared Sauna and is It Safe for You to Use?

By Heat Master

What is An Infrared Sauna and is It Safe for You to Use

Saunas have been used all over the world because of their many benefits, however, not all people are able to tolerate the traditional sauna and not all people have easy access to one. If you love saunas and their benefits, you might just want to try an infrared sauna.

What is an Infrared Sauna?

It sounds scary, but infrared saunas are pretty safe to use. This device heats your body using infrared light. These saunas are also referred to as far-infrared saunas or Far. The far indicates where the infrared waves are on the light spectrum.

A traditional sauna heats the air and this warmed air is used to heat your body. An infrared sauna, on the other hand, bypasses that method by heating your body directly. However, it is still able to produce the same results as a traditional sauna session including sweating and increasing heart rate.

Infrared saunas are generally well-tolerated compared to traditional saunas because infrared heat is able to penetrate deeper than warm air. This results in a more vigorous sweat even at a lower temperature compared to traditional saunas.

Is it the Same as Any Other Infrared Saunas?

There are two types of light-emitting saunas: The far infrared and the near infrared. The former emit far light waves and commonly use ceramic, black carbon, or metallic elements for heating. The latter type uses incandescent reddish heat lamps to achieve heating. This is relatively less inexpensive and readily available at most hardware stores.

What Benefits Can You Get from an Infrared Sauna?

Infrared saunas, as well as traditional saunas, are said to be able to give you several health benefits. Although there is little scientific research to back these claims, many people still use it today for its contributions to overall health. Here are some of the benefits of the infrared sauna you might want to know about.

  • Detoxification through sweating. Sweating is the most natural way for the body to release toxins. Compared to a traditional sauna, infrared saunas helps to eliminate up to seven times more toxins.
  • Weight loss through increased heart rate. The heat from an infrared sauna will help to increase your core temperature, which leads to increased heart rate. This is a similar experience as to when your heart speeds up through exercise. Your body will work hard to lower your core temperature or keep up with the increased heart rate, resulting in more burned calories. One study shows that a 30-minute infrared sauna session results in 600 burned calories.
  • Skin clearing. This is also a result of the toxins released from the body. Toxins are released from your pores, blood circulation is improved, and the skin will become clearer, softer, and healthier.
  • Improved circulation. Many people get a massage to help improve their circulation. Infrared saunas can deliver the same effect. When the core body temperature increases because of the heat from the infrared sauna, circulation will also increase. Improved circulation helps with pain reduction, decreased inflammation, and improved muscle recovery.
  • Pain relief. Thanks to improved circulation, inflammation also decreases and pain from muscle and joints decrease as well.
  • Last but not the least, infrared saunas are able to promote relaxation by balancing the body’s level of cortisol. Muscles relax throughout the body, allowing you to relax and de-stress.

How Long Do You Have to Use an Infrared Sauna?

Infrared sauna sessions will usually work effectively after just 15 or 20 minutes. You can get infrared sauna treatments in clinics or spas, or you can have this done in your own home when you order a light-emitting sauna device.

Are There Any Dangers Related to Infrared Sauna Use?

Generally, infrared saunas are safe to use. However, care is required when using it. Here are some safety tips to make sure your sauna use is safe and you can reap many of its benefits.

  • You should not use a sauna while you are drinking or just after drinking alcohol.
  • You should not use a sauna within 48 hours after experiencing an acute injury.
  • You should not use the sauna for longer than 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Hydrate well after sauna use.

There are also some physical conditions or illnesses that will not allow sauna use, such as in the case of stroke, severe aortic stenosis, a recent myocardial infarction and certain other conditions. If you have a physical condition, you may want to clear sauna use with your attending physician first if before you use an infrared sauna.