Picture of Sunlighten Posted by Sunlighten on 11 May 2015

A brief history of the infrared sauna

For thousands of years, sauna culture has stood the test of time.

The next step on the journey of sauna technology is our patented Solocarbon™ heating technology, but where did it all begin?

Thousands of years ago

Before infrared technology, electrical circuits, automobiles, industrial factories and even metal, it is likely there were saunas.

In 2011, archaeologists in England uncovered what they believe could be a neolithic "sweat lodge". This supposed purification room overlooked a prominent Stone Age temple area, and was nearby the River Avon (a water source for the room).

Following this period, as man developed, it is said that nomadic tribes from near Tibet traveled westward to where Finland is now, bringing with them their culture of portable saunas. It is believed that these rooms were used for a variety of medical procedures, such as curing the ill, delivering children and drawing blood.

Moving forward

Other instances of saunas and similar styles of bathhouse appear throughout history all over the world.

For example, many believe the ancient Mayan people used sweat therapy for some of their rituals. There are instances in China, too, where an early form of spiritual infrared heat therapy is said to have been practised around 1,000 BC.

It is well-known that the Native American people also used transportable saunas in their travels - generally dug-out pits that were heated and covered with animal skins.
As cultures began to mingle for the first time, and technology was traded, sauna culture expanded throughout Europe, Asia and, later, the Americas during the Middle Ages and beyond. A famous illustration, created in 1496 by Albrecht Durer, depicts women bathing in a wooden bathhouse that appears to be heated by hot stones - an early sauna.

Dawn of infrared

Infrared technology itself didn't appear until the end of the 1800s. In its early form, it was known as a 'light bath', and was designed by a man called Dr J H Kellogg. An upgraded version of this strange new cabinet was brought to the 1893 Chicago World Fair, where an investor from Germany picked up the idea and promoted it in Europe.
A columnist from the 1916 Battle Creek Enquirer, a newspaper from the town where Kellogg invented his machine, wrote about its success.

"It now finds place in every down-to-today hospital, sanitarium and physician's office. It has found its way also in to many clubs and private homes as a hygienic appliance far superior to the Turkish bath in attractiveness and healing power. Indeed, it has come to be classed with the necessary equipment of every modern day home."

Sunlighten saunas now feature the latest evolution in sauna heating - Solocarbon™ full-spectrum infrared heating. Our mPulse series saunas utilise this innovative technology, as well as Android touch screens to help truly customise and harness the power of full-spectrum infrared heating, helping you achieve targeted health and wellness results.

The same philosophies that have driven sauna culture for hundreds of years continue in every Sunlighten sauna today.

If you're interested in a piece of healing history, call to speak with a Sunlighten sales consultant or enquire online.

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