How Does Infrared Work?
Unlike traditional saunas (a high heat, low humidity environment), Infrared saunas use infrared rays. Infrared rays heat the body directly and the air secondarily. Infrared waves are part of the invisible Electromagnetic Spectrum. The human body sends and receives far-infrared waves. When these rays are absorbed by living things the temperature of the body rises but not the surrounding air. Thus you sweat and feel hot from the absorption of the rays, but the surrounding air remains at relatively low temperatures (typically between 115 and 135 degrees F).
Sweating is the body’s safe and natural way to heal, stay healthy and detox and in today’s lifestyles, most of us don’t actively sweat on a daily basis. Sweat carries toxins out of the body and pushes it through the pores thus detoxifying the body. Detox therapy can be useful for people suffering from different conditions including: Allergies, Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Digestive disorders, Obesity, Environmental illness/multiple chemical sensitivity. A deep sweat in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper ,zinc, nickel and mercury, all toxins commonly picked up from our environment.
Relaxation is more important to your health than most people realize. The more stressed you are, the more cortisol your body will produce. Cortisol is a “fight or flight” hormone made in the adrenal glands that raises heart rate, blood pressure, and encourages the deposit of excess calories in to the midsection. Scientific evidence shows that far infrared therapy helps the body maintain healthy levels of cortisol. Cortisol levels stay the same or rise slightly during a session, they drop afterwards.
Under high heat, the body releases endorphins – the body’s naturally produced pain relieving chemical. Endorphins can have a mild and enjoyable tranquilizing effect and the ability to quell pain. New Clinical research on pain offers evidence to establish a class of pain “heat responsive pain” which encompasses several common pain conditions that can be treated with the use of heat therapy. Researchers have observed remarkable therapeutic benefits by using continuous low level heat therapy for treating lower back, upper body and menstrual pain.
Also following sporting activities or workouts use the heat of a sauna for muscle relaxation by helping to reduce muscle tension and eliminate lactic acid and other toxins.
Infrared light is part of the sun’s invisible spectrum. One of far infrared light’s characteristics is the ability to easily penetrate human tissue. When this happens, it creates a natural resonance, which has many beneficial properties. Open wounds heal quicker with reduced scarring. Helps to reduce wrinkles and make skin look radiant. Firms and improves skin tone and elasticity. Burns and incisions may heal significantly.
Individuals who are using prescription drugs should seek advice for possible changes in the drugs effect when the body is exposed to Far Infrared waves or elevated body temperature. Diuretics, barbiturates and beta blockers may impair the body’s natural heat loss mechanisms. Some over the counter drugs such as antihistamines may also cause the body to be more prone to heat stroke.
The core body temperature of children rises much faster than adults. This occurs due to a higher metabolic rate per body mass, limited circulatory adaptation to increased cardiac demands and the inability to regulate body temperature by sweating.
The ability to maintain core body temperature decreases with age. This is primarily due to circulatory conditions and decreased sweat gland function. The body must be able to activate its natural cooling processes in order to maintain core body temperature.
Individuals with cardiovascular conditions or problems (hypertension/hypo tension), congestive heart failure, impaired coronary circulation or those who are taking medications, which might affect blood pressure, should exercise extreme caution when exposed to prolonged heat. Heat stress increases cardiac output, blood flow, in an effort to transfer internal body heat to the outside environment via the skin (perspiration) and respiratory system. This takes place primarily due to major changes in the heart rate, which has the potential to increase by thirty beats per minute of each degree increase in core body temperature.
Chronic Conditions/Diseases associated with a reduced ability to sweat or perspire
Multiple Sclerosis, Central Nervous System Tumors and Diabetes with Neuropathy are conditions that are associated with impaired sweating.
The use of Infrared Saunas should be avoided by anyone who is predisposed to bleeding.
An individual that has a fever should not use any sauna.
Insensitivity to Heat
An individual that has insensitivity to heat should not use any sauna.
Pregnant women should consult a physician before using any type of sauna because fetal damage can occur with a certain elevated body temperature.
If you have a recent (acute) joint injury, it should not be heated for the first 48 hours after an injury or until the hot and swollen symptoms subside. If you have a joint or joints that are chronically hot and swollen, these joints may respond poorly to vigorous heating of any kind. Vigorous heating is strictly contra-indicated in cases of enclosed infections.
Metal pins, rods, artificial joints or any other surgical implants generally reflect Far infrared waves and thus are not heated by this system, nevertheless you should consult your surgeon prior to using an Infrared Sauna. Silcone does absorb Far infrared energy. Inplanted silicone or silicone prostheses for nose or ear replacement may be warmed by the Far infrared waves. Since silicone melts at over 200o C (392oF), it should not be adversely affected by the usage of Infrared saunas. It is still advised that you check to be certain.