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by Alex Medin December 29, 2022
At our Wellness & Retreat center, we offer a variety of treatments and therapies to help our clients achieve optimal health and well-being. One treatment that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of a Far Infrared Sauna.
Far infrared saunas are a type of sauna that uses far infrared heaters to produce heat, rather than traditional steam or hot rocks. Far infrared heaters emit electromagnetic waves that are longer in wavelength than traditional sauna heaters, which allows them to penetrate deeper into the body and produce a more intense heat. Far infrared saunas are popular for their ability to provide a variety of health benefits, including improved circulation, reduced muscle soreness, and increased relaxation.
If you’ve ever used a Finnish/wet sauna, you’re well aware of the intense heat. That is because traditional Finnish/wet saunas need to heat the air first in order to heat your body to produce a sweat. The excessive heat and humidity of a Finnish sauna triggers perspiration, supporting detoxification and weight loss (though often temporary). Most experts recommend a temperature setting between 180 degrees and 190 degrees Fahrenheit for wet saunas.
A dry infrared sauna operates differently. Instead of heating the air, it produces infrared waves that penetrate the body to raise the core temperature from within, producing a deep therapeutic effect directly into the body, all without the excessive heat and humidity of a Finnish unit.
Infrared sauna temperatures usually range from 110 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, much lower than a traditional Finnish unit. You’ll still produce plenty of cleansing perspiration, but without the discomfort of the oppressive heat of the Finnish design.
These IR waves from far infrared saunas are totally safe, and measure from 6 to 12 microns in wavelength, ideal for absorption by the body. Infrared saunas are more efficient at warming the muscles and joints. The light of infrared saunas travels much deeper into the body, meaning they are to cause a more vigorous sweat, despite the lower (and more comfortable) temperature.
From a scientific standpoint, it has been proven that an infrared sauna produces sweat comprised of 80% water and 20% toxins, while the traditional Finnish sauna produces sweat consisting of 97% water and just 3% toxins.
Studies show that infrared saunas can help boost heart health and reduce blood pressure. The improved blood circulation brought on by an infrared sauna session can help speed up muscle recovery following physical activity.
Other studies have shown that deep penetration of infrared heat (approximately 3-4 cm into fat tissue and neuromuscular system) with mild temperature (35-50°C), and light humidity (25-35%) during far infrared sauna bathing appears favorable for the neuromuscular system to recover from maximal endurance performance. FIRS bathing is a very light loading for the body and provides a comfortable and relaxing experience.
Researchers have also found that infrared sauna therapy “may be a promising method for treatment of chronic pain.” The determination followed a two-year study where people showed improved outcomes with the treatment.
There’s also evidence that regular sauna use can help you avoid the common cold. Saunas also reduce oxidative stress, which is associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and degenerative diseases like dementia.
Studies have shown that saunas were well tolerated and posed no health risks to healthy people from childhood to old age but please always consult your doctor before using a sauna.
Relaxation and stress relief: Far infrared saunas may help relax the muscles and reduce stress, which can improve overall well-being.
Improved cardiovascular function: Far infrared saunas may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, which may have benefits for heart health.
Detoxification: Far infrared saunas may help the body eliminate toxins through sweat, which may have potential health benefits.
Improved circulation: Far infrared saunas may improve circulation, which may help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.
Improved skin health: Far infrared saunas may improve skin health by increasing blood flow and promoting the production of collagen, a protein that helps keep skin smooth and elastic.
Improved immune function: Some research suggests that far infrared saunas may boost the immune system, potentially helping to reduce the risk of illness.
Pain relief: Far infrared saunas may help reduce muscle and joint pain.
Weight loss: Far infrared saunas may help increase metabolism and burn calories, potentially leading to weight loss.
Improved sleep: Far infrared saunas may help improve sleep quality.
Improved athletic performance: Some athletes use far infrared saunas as part of their training regimen, as they may help improve recovery and performance.
It's important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of far infrared saunas, and the effects may vary from person to person. If you are interested in using a far infrared sauna, it's always a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider before starting a new treatment. They can help you determine whether a far infrared sauna is appropriate for you and advise you on the appropriate frequency and duration of use.
Regular infrared saunas use infrared heaters that emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs) to produce heat. These EMFs can be emitted at different levels and frequencies, and some people may be sensitive to high levels of EMFs, which can cause discomfort or other health concerns.
In contrast, near zero EMF infrared saunas are designed to minimize the levels of EMFs emitted by the heaters. These saunas use special shielding or low-EMF heaters to reduce the amount of EMFs emitted, which may be beneficial for people who are sensitive to EMFs or want to minimize their exposure to EMFs.
These are the key differences between regular infrared saunas and near zero EMF infrared saunas:
EMF levels: Near zero EMF infrared saunas have significantly lower levels of EMFs compared to regular infrared saunas.
Price: Near zero EMF infrared saunas may be more expensive than regular infrared saunas due to the additional shielding or low-EMF heaters used to minimize EMFs.
Overall, the choice between a regular infrared sauna and a near zero EMF infrared sauna will depend on your personal preferences and concerns. If you are sensitive to EMFs or want to minimize your exposure to EMFs, a near zero EMF infrared sauna may be a good choice for you. However, if EMF levels are not a concern, a regular infrared sauna may be a more cost-effective option.
There are a several contraindications for using a far infrared sauna, including:
Pregnancy: Expectant mothers should avoid using a far infrared sauna, as the heat can cause an increased risk of birth defects or miscarriage. Pregnant women should consult a physician before using an infrared sauna. A doctor’s consent is required. If breastfeeding, do not use the infrared sauna. A detoxification process will produce the expelled toxins into your breast milk.
Menstruation: Heating of the low back area of women during the menstrual period may temporarily increase their menstrual flow.
Elderly: The body must be able to activate its natural cooling processes in order to maintain core body temperature. As we mature, our bodies naturally lose this capability. Guests over the age of 70 will be permitted for infrared sauna use, however, at a lower temperature and with their doctor's consent.
Cardiovascular Conditions: Individuals with cardiovascular conditions or problems (hypertension/hypotension), congestive heart failure, impaired coronary circulation or those who are taking medications which might affect blood pressure should exercise caution when exposed to prolonged heat. Heat stress increases cardiac output and blood flow in an effort to transfer internal body heat to the outside environment via the skin (perspiration) and respiratory system. This takes place primarily due to major changes in the heart rate, which has the potential to increase by thirty (30) beats per minute for each degree increase in core body temperature. In general, people with heart conditions or high blood pressure should consult their doctor before using a far infrared sauna, as the heat can put additional stress on the heart.
Alcohol/Alcohol Abuse: Contrary to popular believe, it is not advisable to attempt to “sweat out” a hangover. Alcohol intoxication decreases a person’s judgment; therefore, he/she may not realize when the body has a negative reaction to high heat. Alcohol also increases the heart rate, which may be further increased by heat stress.
Chronic Conditions/Diseases Associated With Reduced Ability to Sweat or Perspire: Multiple Sclerosis, Central Nervous System Tumors and Diabetes with Neuropathy are conditions that are associated with impaired sweating.
Hemophiliacs/Individuals Prone to Bleeding: The use of infrared saunas should be avoided by anyone who is predisposed to bleeding.
Fever: An individual who has a fever should not use an infrared sauna until the fever subsides.
Insensitivity to Heat: An individual with insensitivity to heat should not use an infrared sauna.
Medications: Some medications, such as blood thinners, can increase the risk of bleeding or bruising when used in combination with a far infrared sauna. Diuretics, barbiturates and beta‐blockers may impair the body’s natural heat loss mechanisms. Anticholinergics such as amitriptyline may inhibit sweating and can predispose individuals to heat rash or to a lesser extent heat stroke. Some over‐the‐counter drugs, such as antihistamines, may also cause the body to be more prone to heat stroke.
Sunburn: People with sunburn should avoid using a far infrared sauna until their skin has healed.
Joint Injury: If you have a recent (acute) joint injury, it should not be heated for the first 48 hours after an injury or until the swollen symptoms subside. If you have a joint or joints that are chronically hot and swollen, these joints may respond poorly to vigorous heating of any kind.
Implants: Metal pins, rods, artificial joints or any other surgical implants generally reflect infrared waves and thus are not heated by this system. Nevertheless, you should consult your physician prior to using an infrared sauna.
Pacemakers/Defibrillators: The magnets used to assemble infrared saunas can interrupt the pacing and inhibit the output of pacemakers. Please discuss with your doctor the possible risks this may case.
In the rare event that you experience pain and/or discomfort, immediately discontinue sauna use, and exit the sauna.
It's always best to consult with your doctor before using any new treatment or therapy, including a far infrared sauna.
If you're in or planning to visit South Florida, we have some exciting news for you! Our Wellness & Retreat center is now offering our brand new next generation near EMF Far Infrared Sauna that can be used on its own, as part of our Detox Day Spa program or within our Personalized Private Wellness Retreat. So give us a call today!
On the other hand if you're in the market for having your own this is the brand we recommend.
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