List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Conventional Steam Saunas vs. Infrared Saunas
The health benefits of steam saunas have been recognized for centuries, beginning with sweat lodges, traditional Finnish saunas, and other methods of heating the body and producing perspiration that cleanses the cells and pores. Typically, a heat source such as a wood, electric or gas sauna stove is used to produce the heat in a sauna. But in recent years, a technology known as far infrared has been used to replace the traditional steam sauna with infrared saunas, and some people feel that the result is superior.
How Does A Far Infrared Sauna Work?
Manufacturers say that far infrared saunas use infrared light to heat the skin directly, rather than warming the air first. In an infrared sauna, a heater produces this radiant energy, which is similar to the heat from the sun. Most of these heaters draw on technology developed in 1965 by Dr. Tadashi Ishikawa, a member of the Research and Development Department of Fuji Medical.
Infrared sauna promoters state that unlike UV radiation or atomic radiation, infrared radiant heat is safe and beneficial. When infrared rays hit your skin, they transfer heat energy, which proponents say penetrates more than an inch and a half into the body to heal and stimulate tissues, making it an effective therapy for arthritis and tissue injuries.
In addition, the heat causes you to sweat, thus achieving health benefits similar to those from a conventional steam sauna. In fact, some say that the more penetrating and intense heat of a far infrared sauna makes you sweat 2-3 times more, resulting in more comprehensive cleansing.
Reasons to Choose a Far Infrared Sauna
Those who favor the use of the far infrared sauna say that the right frequency of infrared rays triggers a process called resonant absorption, wherein toxins are removed from the cells in our bodies at a higher rate than with a steam sauna. When comparing infrared saunas to standard indoor or outdoor saunas, infrared has several other advantages.
Perhaps one of the most important differences between conventional saunas and far infrared saunas is that they function at a lower heat setting. Standard U.S. saunas typically operate at temperatures ranging from 180F to 190F. This high heat can be uncomfortable or even dangerous for some people, especially those with cardiovascular problems.
In addition, the heavy, thick air can be difficult to breathe, and the evaporation can dry out membranes in the nose and eyes. Sometimes the exceptionally high temperatures make the wood benches and any metal surfaces extremely hot as well, creating potential for burns.
A far infrared sauna functions between 100F and 130F. Claims state that less than 20% of the infrared energy from the heater goes into the air, so not only does the body receive 80% of the heat benefits, some people find that the air is more tolerable. And other than the heaters, there are no hot surfaces to worry about.
Another claim of infrared sauna manufacturers is that an infrared sauna heater uses considerably less electricity than indoor or outdoor saunas that use electricity to heat. Plus, the sauna is usually warm within 10 or 20 minutes, whereas a conventional sauna can take over an hour to reach optimal temperatures.
And infrared uses no water, so you don't have to plumb pipes or pay for that additional expense. In fact, many feel that infrared saunas are easier to assemble and they can be moved to a new location with relative ease.
The Other Side of the Sauna Story
On the flip side of the comparison, many people feel that a steam sauna provides benefits that can't be matched by a far infrared sauna. Their main position is that the steam produced by a conventional sauna is essential to the healing process, especially in regard to respiratory health.
In response to those who say a steam sauna will dry out membranes, supporters of Finnish and other conventional saunas state that the steam is beneficial to those with sinus conditions and add that because they operate without steam, infrared saunas are drying and can irritate nasal and lung passages. In addition the dry heat from infrared saunas can cause hair to dry out and skin to become itchy and flaky.
Supporters of conventional saunas feel that information about the health benefits of saunas that operate with infrared have been exaggerated or claimed without proof. They refer to different studies that show a traditional sauna produces more sweat and removes more toxins.
And some say that any radiation, even infrared, is unhealthy and should be avoided. An infrared sauna has several heaters, and bathers must sit within a foot of the heat source in order to gain full benefits. In some cases, this has caused people to feel sunburned following an infrared sauna.
Others who prefer conventional saunas feel that a steam sauna simply feels more healthy and refreshing. And because you can control the steam, heat, and humidity by adding more water or moving to a higher or lower bench in the sauna, you can tailor the experience to match your needs and preferences.
Some people prefer a sauna that is heated with wood, allowing a traditional heat source as well as the option to add smoke to the sauna for additional purifying features. Others add aromatherapy oils to their sauna steam to create a dual cleansing and healing effect. This is typically not possible with an infrared sauna.
And there is the tradition and ritual that comes along with certain aspects of a sweat lodge or Finnish sauna that have been a part of different cultures for hundreds of years. For many people, a sauna is not only key to a healthy physical life, it is also important to overall spiritual health, and making the steam, or löyly (lou-lu), is an important part of that ritual.
Gain First-Hand Knowledge Before Choosing
When it comes to choosing between an infrared sauna and a steam sauna or one that operates with more conventional technology, it is best to try each type yourself and to talk with people who own them. Take time to fully research your options and talk to your doctor about health concerns with either type of sauna. In the end, the choice may come down to limitations in budget, space available, preferences in heating sources, or other personal factors.
No matter which you choose, you will be joining the ranks of millions of people who use and enjoy saunas to improve their health, provide relief and relaxation from life's stresses, socialize with friends and family, and even find spiritual peace.
About the Author:
Summer Is Here! Consider Tackling Key Home Improvement Projects While The Weather Is Good!
Summer time means barbeques, baseball, camping, and yes, Home Improvement Projects! As the weather gets nice and the days get longer so do lists of home improvement projects. Here are a few projects which are best done in the summer maximizing the long days and the good weather!Gardening/Landscaping: Depending on which part of the country you live in it may be too late to plant a garden from seed, but you most likely still have time to get your garden going using starters.
How To Identify A Quality Interior Shutter
1. Shutters have proper louver tensionThe shutters louvers should be smooth and stay in the desired position throughout the lifetime of the shutter.
Create a Luxurious Laundry Room
Give your home a luxurious feel with a beautiful laundry room. Even if you hate doing the laundry, you cannot deny that there IS a certain amount of satisfaction from transforming a bunch of dirty things into fresh and fragrant clothes! Put these items in your laundry room and feel the difference!-a few plants-adequate shelving-a rug or piece of carpet to stand on-an ironing area-large folding table-music-framed art or prints-a pretty dish to catch clutter and extraneous pocketed items-a trash can (continually clean the lint from the dryer)-GOOD LIGHTING, lamps, etc.
Discovering Fiberglass Roofing Panels for Your Roofing Needs
Roofs are an integral part of the house. The design of a roof tells a lot about the structure.
10 Common Uses for Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great household cleaner. Here are ten ways to clean your home with baking soda:1) Make a paste of baking soda and water and rub on insect bites to relieve itching.
Kitchen Cabinets are The Soul of Your Kitchen
Kitchen cabinets reflect the heart and soul of the homeowner. The cabinets you have in your kitchen have the greatest impact on a kitchen's look.
Thinking of Remodeling Your Kitchen?
If you like to cook, or even if you just do it from necessity, having a homely, organized, and modern kitchen is probably important to you. Although, the traditionally kitchens are still out there, there are so many new, modern elements that can add luxury and class and convenience to any home.
Chiminea - Buy It for the Versatility of Enjoying Both Fireplace and Grill!
I recently visited friends who served me a dinner of grilled salmon and baked potatoes, done to perfection in their chiminea. The sun was setting and it was cooling down but overall a wonderful summer evening.
Do You Have a Master Bedroom? You Shouldnt! Tips for Remodeling Your Bedroom
The word "master" is an antiquated term that suggests control, domination, and inequality, and in today's cooperative partner and/or single parent household, the label "master suite" has become obsolete. In that light, master bedrooms would more properly be called "main bedrooms" in today's society.
Bamboo Flooring for the 21st Century
Bamboo flooring has emerged as a new material for the commercial design market. It's unique look and earth friendly properties have made it popular for flooring and panels.
Why Should You Need Tools for Everyday Living
How often you have used tools for your everyday living? The advantage for having power tools, automotive tools or garden tools in your house is really awesome. In an emergency condition, you might need tools to repair your things.
Remodeling Your Kitchen Cabinets
While remodeling your kitchen, install only the essential cabinets, so you can spend on quality rather than quantity. Look for durability, and specify plywood panels rather than particleboard.
What Does It Take To Be An Interior Designer?
When trying to decide if Interior Design is right for you, it helps to know what that really means. Interior Design is not simply the profession that "makes rooms and places pretty"; it takes a little bit more than that.
A Healthy Home
Your home is your castle. You decide, possibly together with family members, what to make of it.
Got Attic Mold? Lets Talk Energy Conservation!
It happens to countless homeowners around the end of the year - you make the annual visit to your attic to collect the holiday decorations and what do you find? Spots and blotches covering the bottom of the roof sheathing.Worse yet - it turns out to be attic mold!What does energy conservation have to do with mold in the attic? Well if you take a step back and consider how the house behaves as system, they are often directly related.
Roof Cleaning - Making Your Old Roof Look Like New!
Many Florida residents that have come from the North are surprised by the idea of roof cleaning - and even more surprised by the fact that many communities here in Florida require it. Reasons for cleaning include aesthetics, property values, energy efficiency, and increased longevity of the roof.
Popular Trends in Home Technology
As a former home automation installer and a former manufactures rep, I have observed many trends. The following items are certainly the hotest trends this year in home technology.
What Are Light Fixtures Used For?
Light fixtures are something not many of us think about. But, the way we light a room can cause us to feel a certain way or enhance what we want to accomplish in that room.
Learning Interior Design
Learning interior design can be a simple or complicated task depending on a wide variety of factors including exposure, ability, creativity, and willingness to learn. This article is dedicated to explaining the basic elements that interior design is based upon so that you will have the ability to go out and research these elements on your own in order to advance you ability and perspective of the interior design world.
Log Homes - Finding the Perfect Log Home Plan
One of the first steps in building a log home is deciding on a floorplan. Many people spends months, or even years, searching for the perfect plan.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !