Benefits of the Infrared Sauna Explained

Before looking at the benefits of the infrared sauna specifically--let's review the general benefits that all saunas and steam rooms have in common first:

• Profound health benefits
(Come back to see our upcoming pages on health benefits of the infrared sauna)
• Powerful relaxation effects
• Beauty enhancement/skin health
• Weight loss and cellulite reduction (through its detoxification effects)
• Enhanced physical conditioning/athletic performance

More on these general sauna benefits. More on sauna vs. steam room.

So what makes the benefits of the far infrared sauna unique, then?

Well, as you'll see, fir saunas have some very helpful advantages over traditional saunas and steam rooms.

Here are many of the major benefits of the infrared sauna that got us interested in owning an infrared sauna rather than a traditional sauna, and why you might, too:

1. The heat penetrates deeper, so the effects reach deeper.
2. You sweat much more heavily and at a lower temperature.

3. The composition of your sweat is different than that produced in a traditional (Finnish-style) sauna —- the sweat produced is loaded down more with toxins, including unwanted chemicals and heavy metals.

4. The heat penetrates deeper, so the effects reach deeper.
5. You achieve -- in less time -- more benefits of the infrared sauna time you put in. (This is one of the most critical benefits of the infrared sauna in our busy world!)

6. People (maybe yourself included) will be able to safely and comfortably use your sauna who can't tolerate a regular sauna.

7. You use up more calories while you’re sweating —- and yes, we're talking about burning calories and not just losing water weight.

8. It won’t raise your blood pressure and may even lower it.
9. It’s easier on your lungs and eyes, and...

You’ll also save on your electrical bill with an fir sauna

On a practical, or economic level, there are two other benefits of the infrared sauna features we found important:

• An infrared sauna will cost you less to run… …nearly a third as much to run compared to a traditional sauna, according to our calculations. And that’s not including the longer warm-up time associated with electric or gas-heated traditional saunas.

• When you move, you can take your infrared sauna with you. Your home infrared sauna is yours forever. Take it with you when you move. Designed to break down easily (the panels just clip together in most cases) if you need to move it (see sauna installation ), a home fir sauna is a one-time investment.

Truly portable saunas do exist, but differ from the wood far infrared saunas in a few important ways.

Sweating is much heavier and occurs at a lower temperature

The sweat production measured from exposure to infrared sauna heaters is 2-3 times more than in a traditional sauna during the same amount time. A person who is a heavy sweater may sweat up to as much as 1 liter/hr (that’s a little over one quart of sweat!). We can vouch for this—we take towels into the sauna with us to wipe down and the towels get soaked through!

Also, because the infrared sauna heaters heat primarily the object (you) in the room, and sacrifice only 20% of the energy they produce to heating the air, the sweating effect occurs at a much lower sauna temperature —- 100-140 degrees —- rather than the 160-200 degrees commonly seen in a traditional sauna.

The composition of sweat is different -- the sweat produced is carries more toxins, including unwanted chemicals and heavy metals

This is another of the critical benefits of the infrare sauna! In the ir sauna you get much more benefit from the time you put into sweating. Why? Because the heat generated by infrared sauna heaters penetrates more deeply (1 ½ inches or more) and is more effective at breaking up clusters of water molecules that may be preventing the release of toxins.

Infrared heat is also more effective at delivering the blood supply to your fat (lipids) necessary to liberate those dangerous lipid-trapped toxins.

If you’re thinking about doing some serious sauna detoxification (come back soon for our upcoming sauna detoxification pages), like we did, since it’s a time-intensive undertaking, you’ll definitely want to get the most out of your sweating time.

More pleasant, comfortable environment

With the air temperature in a far infra red sauna being 20-80 degrees lower than in a traditional or Finnish-style sauna, you can’t help but feel more comfortable and breathe a little easier. Many people find it uncomfortable to breathe or even just sit in the high heats of the traditional sauna.

Heat penetrates deeper

Infrared heaters send out a wave of light in the infrared range which is known to penetrate 1 ½ or so into the body. This wave, once it hits the body, is converted to heat. The heat of the traditional sauna penetrates only about ½ in.

So, in effect, the far infrared sauna produces deep heat, whereas the traditional home dry sauna heats your tissue more superficially. ½ inch doesn’t reach the majority of muscles and connective tissues (and even some organs) that the fir heat can reach.

To summarize the sweat production benefits of the infrared sauna: by penetrating the tissue more deeply, more sweat is produced, more toxins are broken free of the hold of the body, more blood is brought to tissues that don’t always receive a rich flow, nutrients and oxygen are brought to the extremities, and muscles and connective tissues are relaxed.

Achieves more sauna benefits in a lot less time

Minute for minute, you benefit much more from your time in an fir sauna. And since it’s a comfortable experience, you may stay in longer, use it more frequently, and find you can even catch up on your reading in the sauna room…all of which will translate into greater health and well-being.

Can be used by some people who can’t safely or comfortably use a traditional sauna for home use

Not everyone can safely tolerate the intense heat of a traditional sauna —- heart patients, for example, particularly those with angina or arrhythmias. But many of even the most incapacitated heart patients can safely use an infrared sauna, according to Mayo clinic studies. In fact, there are very few health reasons to steer clear of an fir sauna —- read more about cautions for infrared sauna use here.

Uses up more calories

Yes, this is actually true. The reasons are that it takes energy (and energy is known as calories in the body) for the body to produce sweat, and also because when the body temperature rises as it does in the sauna, the metabolic rate is increased (which also uses up more calories).

For sauna users who sweat profusely, the body can produce up to a liter of sweat in an hour and expend close to 600 calories doing so. Details on calorie burning in the sauna.

Doesn’t raise your blood pressure and could even lower it

We all know that high blood pressure is something to be avoided. Raising blood pressure is not a concern for a regular far infra red sauna user. In fact, it seems that regular use can actual help lower your blood pressure -- yet another of the major benefits of the infrared sauna. (Come back soon to read our upcoming pages on health benefits of ir saunas.)

Easier on the lungs and eyes

Ever notice how it feels hard to breathe when you first enter a traditional sauna at the health club? While quite a number of folks do find intense dry heat uncomfortable for their lungs, they can tolerate the lower temperatures of an fir sauna just fine.

Sherry Rogers, MD, a big proponent of far infrared saunas (and noted author on detoxification), believes that the lower temperatures of the fir sauna are not as hard on the corneas of the eyes, either.
Now you can see why so many people are now opting for infrared saunas over traditional saunas!

Move on from benefits of the infrared sauna to dangers of the infrared sauna (and check back for our upcoming pages on health benefits of the infrared sauna).