Saunas are all about detoxifying, relaxing, and cleansing the body. They have been used for centuries (possibly longer), and are very popular in countries like Finland. While they are a little more difficult to find in the U.S., they are gaining popularity once again as a natural health elixir. By encouraging the body to eliminate toxins through the sweat, users are able to reap the benefits of a deep detox in only minutes. But what is an infrared sauna and how does it differ from the traditional ones?
A traditional sauna uses heat to induce sweating, usually generated through electric heaters that warm stones, or sometimes through wood-burning elements. An infrared sauna, on the other and, uses light to induce sweating.
Far infrared technology is a form of light therapy that penetrates the body as much as three inches. The therapy works to heat up the internal organs as well as the muscle tissue while not affecting the surrounding air. Ultimately, the process helps the body expel toxins through perspiration process.
Because the light doesn’t heat the room as much as in a traditional sauna, infrared saunas are great for people who don’t like the heat of a normal sauna—where temperatures can reach close to 170 degrees. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, usually run from 110 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, because it’s slightly cooler, people can remain in the sauna for longer if they choose to.
Many individuals say there are benefits to each—both traditional and infrared saunas—it’s just a matter of preference. Others, however, say the deeply penetrating light technology allows for a better detox and allows for greater toxin release. They allege that their saunas generate sweat containing 20% toxins, while traditional saunas only allow for 3% toxins.
Both, however, have benefits that cannot be denied. Detoxifying the body in general is a great way to reduce fatigue, combat illness, counteract stress, and rid the body of disease-causing contaminants. But even further, research shows how sweating alone is able to kill harmful microbes and even fight those that are resistant to traditional antibiotics. What’s more, several bodies of research confirm that the body loses more than salt and water through sweat – heavy metals and other toxic elements depart from the body as well.