If you want to know how do infrared saunas work, let’s embrace the electromagnetic spectrum. In other words, you need to try to understand the electromagnetic spectrum a bit to grasp the functionality of an infrared sauna. In this article, I will first try to cover the spectrum part before moving to the working principle of infrared saunas.
What Is the Electromagnetic Spectrum?
Though the electromagnetic spectrum is a well-known term of both physicists and chemists, It’s an abstruse term for general people. The spectrum represents all electromagnetic waves. Every electromagnetic wave travels at the speed of light in a vacuum. But they have different frequencies, wavelengths, and photon energy. Another way to understand the electromagnetic spectrum is as a collection of radiations -ultraviolet radiation, visible light, X-rays, gamma rays, radio waves, microwaves, and infrared radiation.
Understanding each type of radiation is a complex matter since each type of radiation is divided into several portions. I would like to limit our discussion only to infrared radiation since infrared saunas use this radiation.
Infrared radiation is divided into three parts which include near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared. The far-infrared portion of the radiation has heating capacity. And all infrared saunas of different models use a far-infrared portion of the infrared radiation to warm the human body.
The Basic Working Principle of Infrared Saunas
At this point, you have some cursory ideas about what is electromagnetic radiation and infrared radiation. At least, you can say that infrared radiation is part of electromagnetic radiation. The sauna in our discussion uses FIR or infrared radiation. The infrared saunas mechanism is designed in such a way that it can emit the same infrared frequency that is emitted from the sun. The absorption process of infrared radiation emitted by the sauna by our body is another complex process. The process is called resonant absorption.
It involves when the frequency of water molecules in our body matches the frequency of FIR or far infrared, absorption of energy taken place in our body. The energy causes toxins present in the body to release into the bloodstream which eventually flushed out from it. What is more interesting about FIR is it warms up the body, not the air. So the body starts to perspire quickly and expels toxins as early as possible.
How Do Infrared Saunas Function?
As you know and see infrared saunas are wooden boxes. Infrared heaters are installed inside the boxes. These heaters emit far infrared or FIR to warm up the object without heating the air.
One example will clarify how the system works. Think about a cold but sunny day. In this weather, if you huddle up, you will feel chilly. But if you stand out in the sun, you will feel warm and comfortable. It is because the sun ray’s warm up your body without heating the air surrounding your body. Interesting, approximately, 80% of sun rays are infrared. The energy coming from infrared light is not visible to human eyes. Infrared energy is detectable by infrared cameras.
There are different models of saunas out there. Not all saunas use the same type of heaters. In some units of saunas, your body will not receive sufficient amounts of infrared but your body will be heated up. But getting high heat is not necessary. Receiving high heat is an uncomfortable experience and may result in breathing problems. One interesting fact about far-infrared radiation emitted by the heaters of infrared saunas is its ability to penetrate deep inside the body to raise the body’s core temperature and not the skin. Traditional saunas, on the other hand, can only warm up the surface of your skin.
Mild Hyperthermia and Infrared Sauna
When you sit inside an infrared sauna, the radiation inside the box will cause the dilation of your blood vessel which in turn will increase your heartbeat and the final outcome will be that your blood circulation will be better.
Why Do Infrared Saunas Are Better Than a Traditional Sauna
Before starting the comparison between infrared saunas and traditional types I would like to give you a brief history of saunas.
Saunas were first introduced to the world by Finish in 1112AD. Not only sauna, but this great nation is also credited to many other amazing inventions like the Internet browser we are using today for surfing the net, heart rate monitor, and ice skates. Well, these are the common things that we use every day. Besides, there are many other things that Finish people can undoubtedly claim that they are the sole inventors.
A traditional sauna produces heat which is as high as 220 degrees. But it’s an intolerable heat. No one can endure such high heat. Let alone expect comfort and relaxation. An infrared sauna, on the other hand, can produce 100 to 130 degrees, which is much more comfortable and relaxing. In a freezing cold evening, people get more comfort when they take shelter inside a sauna instead of sitting beside their fireplace.
Health scientists also found that exposing your body to moderate heat like the Infrared sauna produce can flush out your body’s toxic materials with your perspiration. Infrared saunas are believed to offer many other health benefits like improving blood circulation, reducing pain, losing weight, and reducing stress. To sum up, Infrared saunas are not only relaxing but also beneficial for your health.