Have you ever been in a hot steamy sauna and felt like a minute was an eternity? But you wanted the health benefits of a sauna so you endured the uncomfortable experience, while the whole time questioning how it could be good for you? Well, we have good news for you … the infrared sauna experience is nothing like that!
While all saunas have great health benefits, the primary difference between an infrared and traditional sauna is the method of heating and how it is absorbed by your body.
A traditional sauna heats the air around you and usually incorporates hot rocks that you pour water over to create steam. The heat is more intense, averaging between 150-190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even though the heat is good for you, some people can find it feels difficult to breathe in a steamy sauna.
An infrared sauna uses panels that emit infrared light waves. These light waves penetrate your skin and raise your core body temperature without drastically raising the temperature of the air around you. This is what makes the infrared sauna experience more comfortable and easier to breathe in. The average infrared sauna temperature is between 120-150 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can adjust it to be much higher or lower; it is completely up to you.
The key to infrared therapy is heating your body directly so you want heat on the front of your body and on the back of your body. The infrared sauna at Move It Studio has heaters on the front wall, back wall, side walls, underneath the bench, next to your calves and in the floor.
So, while we know that an infrared sauna heats your body instead of the air around you, there are differences in the types of infrared heaters based on the energy/light wavelength they emit. The three different wavelengths are known as near infrared, mid infrared, and far infrared.
“Near infrared” light is closest in wavelength to visible light and “far infrared” is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer, far infrared wavelengths are about the size of a pin head and the shorter, near infrared ones are the size of cells, or are microscopic.NASA Education
Near infrared light is contained within the spectrum of natural sunlight. The sun emits nearly half of its total energy in the near infrared (NIR) spectrum. We are biologically wired to use near infrared energy; our bodies require this energy from sunlight to survive and to thrive. According to NASA, shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you usually cannot even feel them.
However, near infrared light penetrates your body’s tissues the deepest — up to 5 mm. It is the lowest light spectrum and the lower the light spectrum, the deeper the penetration.
The 810-830nm NIR range has been studied extensively for its effects on ATP production, the molecule necessary for our cells to function. This range stimulates cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) activity, which is the last part of the electron transport chain through which our cells make ATP.Provided by “Prime”, based on multiple medical studies
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the source of energy for use and storage at the cellular level. The benefits of near infrared are due to the ability to stimulate cellular ATP production:
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, far infrared is mainly absorbed by the water within our bodies and for that reason penetrates only 0.1mm beneath the skin. Through this method of absorption, far infrared light reaches different areas of your body and can cause changes to the protein structures.
Multiple studies indicate that FIR’s benefits include:
Mid infrared offers tissue penetration of about 0.5 mm and is believed to have the best benefits for the circulatory system. MIR helps expand blood vessels and increase circulation so more oxygen can reach injured areas of your body.
Multiple studies indicate the MIR’s benefits include:
Move It Studio uses a Clearlight® Sanctuary Sauna, which features True Wave® Full Spectrum infrared heaters. True Wave™ Full Spectrum heaters emit about 1/3 near infrared, 1/3 mid infrared and 1/3 far infrared. So you are getting the best benefits of all infrared saunas!
According to Clearlight, the following are some of the benefits of full spectrum infrared therapy:
• Near Infrared is the shortest wavelength but penetrates the deepest. It has the distinct property that it is not captured by water allowing it to penetrate the deepest to increase you core thermal energy. It also does not cause the “resonant frequency” associated with far infrared so using near infrared alone is not the best way to detoxify. Near infrared is associated with photobiomodulation which may produce energy within the cells through ATP stimulation.
• Mid infrared wavelengths are also captured by water molecules while temporarily increasing circulation through vasodilation, promoting temporary increase in blood flow and temporarily elevating heart rate and overall metabolism.
• Far infrared is the closest of the wavelengths to the infrared heat given off by our own body. Far infrared is readily captured by the water molecules in the body and releasing its energy. Our bodies actually give off far infrared wavelengths at about 9.4 microns. Since far infrared wavelengths feel very natural and normal to us, our energy is temporarily enhanced and strengthened.
Because of the lower surface temperature of the True Wave® Far Infrared Heaters, you will find the experience of our Sauna Sanctuary much more enjoyable and gentler than a traditional steam sauna. The heat is absorbed directly into your body instead of through the air. And the full spectrum infrared heaters give you the most positive benefits possible.