In countries such as Finland, saunas have long been a central part of the culture and daily life. Their use in Finland dates back 10,000 years, in fact, when the earliest saunas consisted of earth pits covered with animal skins. Today, routine sauna use — particularly of a high-quality infrared sauna — is indeed one of the smartest (and most enjoyable) things you can do to look your best, feel your best, and live a long life doing it.
The 4 Basic Types of Saunas
There are four basic different types of saunas:
● Wood-burning or “Finnish” sauna — This is the traditional sauna, often where wood burns in a stove heating rocks above it. Water is thrown on the rocks to control humidity.
● Electrically-heated sauna — As the name implies, this type of sauna uses electricity to generate heat versus fire.
● Steam sauna — Also known as a steam room or Turkish-style spa, the humidity level is 100% and, of course, it’s quite steamy in there.
● Infrared sauna — These are based on radiant heat, where special bulbs are used to reflect the heat directly to your body (rather than heating stones or the air).
Why Infrared Saunas
Unlike other types of saunas, infrared saunas don’t heat the surrounding air. Instead, infrared lamps are used to penetrate the tissues in the body and heat your body directly. Many people find infrared saunas more enjoyable because they don’t experience that “too-hot-stuffiness” that the air in traditional saunas can quickly provoke. Most importantly, because infrared saunas cause your core temperature to rise, they enable you to sweat at lower temperatures.
All 3 Types of Infrared Waves are Important
Owning and routinely using an infrared sauna is still considered a health “luxury” in parts of the world. Whatever infrared sauna you choose should provide all 3 types of waves:
● Near-infrared, the shortest wavelength can benefit cell health, oxygenation of tissues, and wound healing
● Mid-infrared, which can benefit circulation, weight loss, and pain relief
● Far-infrared, the longest wavelength, which reaches deep in the body and supports healthy blood pressure and detoxification
Benefits of Infrared Saunas
Beyond their powerful relaxation and stress-reduction benefits, studies show that sweating from saunas and infrared light may help:
● Promote weight loss
● Reduce pain
● Reduce inflammation
● Combat cognitive decline
● Strengthen the immune system
● Help lower blood pressure
● Promote detoxification of the body
● Boost athletic performance
● Increase blood flow in the body
● Improve the healing of wounds
To learn more about the mental and physical benefits of Sunlighten’s infrared sauna for your health and wellbeing, visit our website or enjoy a range of articles on wellness, the power of detox and post-workout recovery on the Sunlighten blog.
A version of this article was originally published on Sunlighten USA.