Far Infrared Saunas
It is estimated that over one million infrared thermal systems have been sold in the Orient for whole-body treatments. In addition, lamps tuned to the 2 to 25 micron wave band, are used for localized treatment and relief of pain by over forty Chinese Medical Institutions.
In Europe and Australia, lamps tuned to the same 2 to 25 micron wave band are employed together with whole-body Thermal Systems for the removal of toxins. These lamps are also used to promote the natural healing of soft tissue injuries. Practitioners use them to provide relief in chronic or intractable "permanent" cases and to accelerate healing in newer injuries. Whole-body infra-red therapy, with different technologies, has been used for over eighty years by German physicians.
How Infrared Saunas Differ From Conventional Saunas
IR Thermal Systems use infrared energy to penetrate the body's tissues to a depth of over 1 1/2". Tests have shown that the energy output is tuned so closely to the body's own radiant energy that our bodies absorb close to 93% of the infrared waves that reach our skin. By comparison, conventional saunas must rely only on indirect means of heat: first, on convection (air currents) and then, conduction (direct contact of hot air with the skin) to produce its heating effects. The IR sauna operates at temperatures of 110° to 130°F versus 180° to 235°F for hot-air saunas. Since conventional units require 30 to 90 minutes of warm-up before use, electricity costs are reported to be somewhat higher than those of IR units which warm up in 5 to 10 minutes.
Benefits of Saunas
Medical research has shown a vast number of benefits associated with the use of saunas such as improved circulation, cardiovascular conditioning, muscle relaxation, improved skin conditions and burning of calories.
Cardiovascular Conditioning: As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate. Blood flow during whole-body hyperthermia is reported to rise from a normal 5 to 7 quarts per minute to as much as 13 quarts per minute. This benefit was recognized in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association as long ago as August, 1981:
"Many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of a Sauna imparts a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, as regular exercise."
- Caloric Consumption: "A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams of sweat in a sauna—the equivalent of running two to three miles. While the weight of the water lost can be regained by rehydration with water, the calories will not be." Since IR Thermal systems are reported to help generate two to three times the sweat produced in hot-air saunas, in a thirty minute session, the implication is that they may also produce increased caloric consumption.
- Improved Skin Conditioning: Increased blood circulation and deep cleansing of impurities improves skin tone and elasticity. Research reports improvements in acne, rashes, burns and skin lesions. Users describe skin as "more youthful and glowing."
- Removal of Toxins: In one study performed by American researchers, the sweat of people using a conventional sauna was found to be 95 to 97% water while the sweat of those using an infrared thermal system was 80 to 85% water with the non-water portion principally cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, toxic heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia and uric acid. This unusually high concentration of heavy metals and other fat-soluble toxins is not found in the sweat from normal exercise.
Information taken from "Complementary Healing".