What is the difference between traditional saunas and infrared saunas?

Published: 11th November 2008
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Recently, we have seen the emergence of a fairly new type of sauna. Far infrared heaters are employed by these saunas for heating, as opposed to the wood or electric stoves used in conventional saunas. The intrinsic difference between the heaters of a traditional sauna and the infrared ones is that the former heats the air of the sauna and not the objects and the people in it, whereas the latter does exactly the opposite.

Far infrared heaters, because no ventilation is required, provide the flexibility of being used anywhere including outdoors. These are utilized in sauna enclosures just to provide an atmosphere; people are familiar with saunas and might feel more at ease in an enclosure than an open space.

A frequency ray of light that is unseen by humans is a good definition of infrared. This kind of heater's heat is referred to occasionally as Infrared Radiation (IR) or radiation of Far Infrared far infraredis not the same as Ultraviolet Radiation which can be the cause of sunburn or radiation. Most of the earth's heat is a result of IR from the sun. IR is actually emitted by both the earth and humans.

Fans of Far infrared saunas believe that they offer more therapeutic benefits than other, more traditional, saunas.

The Health Benefits

The health benefits of using traditional saunas include relieving discomfort and feelings of stiffness caused by arthritis, as well as deep cleaning the skin through intense perspiration. Also, steam given off by traditional saunas may be beneficial in alleviating respiratory issues like congestion or bronchitis.

Infrared saunas are less effective in alleviating breathing problems because they do not generate steam. If you take a look at the products that help you releive arthritis pain, you will notice that they are about the same as your traditional sauna. The radiant heat that is normaly used in conventional saunas does not possess the unique healing properties attributed to Infrared Radiation. The makers of FIR say that it infiltrates into the internal organs and muscle tissue in the body and releases toxins that will strenthen your immune system.

There may be exaggeration in some claims. While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, there is very little medical research to defend them. Certain medical conditions undoubtedly benefit from sauna therapy. In comparison to traditional saunas Infrared saunas seem to have extra benefits.

Over steam, or conventional, saunas, infrared has a number of advantages. Because they work using a lower heat setting some people may find it a more pleasurable and tolerable experience in comparison with regular saunas. It is cheaper to operate a IR sauna because they have lower heat which means a lower consumption of electricity. These saunas heat up much more quickly than conventional ones. This is one of the reasons that they are able to reduce their operating costs.

Traditional saunas produce arid, hot air that is difficult for certain individual's respiration. Since IR saunas don't heat the air, the quality of the air will be much the same within and on the exterior of the sauna.

Water is not used with infared saunas. This eliminates the problems of bacterial build-up that can occur in damp areas because they are more portable and easier to install.

IR saunas have some disadvantages, though, as many people don't think they are as relaxing as regular saunas. Based on what you prefer, the absence of steam in an IR sauna may or may not be a benefit. Breathing the sauna's typically dry air is not comfortable for some people, however steam can be useful for relieving respiratory difficulties.

A connoisseur of saunas might not consider IR saunas to be true saunas. Far Infrared sauna sometimes does not "feel" right for those who love the rituals and preparations that are associated with conventional saunas.

Infrared or Conventional

All sorts of saunas have positive results. You can relax in a sauna and even have the feel of clean smooth skin. Although it has not been determined as a useful treatment, many swear by its therapeutic qualities. While IR therapy has many benefits, some claims made by infrared saunas may be medically impossible.

Regardless, saunas are both invigorating and relaxing. Far Infrared saunas may be more beneficial to your health in comparison to conventional saunas and are easier to operate and cost less to install. These are excellent reasons to give them a try.

Mike Hirn is a longtime steam enthusiast. His website supplies a wealth of information about the construction, use and health benefits of Far Infrared saunas and steam showers.

Visit www.the-home-sauna-center.com

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