So How Do Infra-Red Saunas Work?
Why are they so effective?
Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you. Instead, they warm your body directly.
Why is this difference important?

Heating your body directly, means that Infra-Red saunas can be both more gentle as well as more effective for your body. The direct heat means the sauna is effective at a lower temperature (usually between 40˚- 60˚C / 105˚-140˚F rather than the traditional 65˚- 80˚C / 150˚-180˚F), which feels more comfortable for longer periods of time.

This lower temperature means that Infra-red heat may positively impact the health of your cells and organ systems in a way traditional heated saunas can’t.

According to Dr Marc Cohen, the lower temperature is significant, because it makes saunaing pleasant. This means two things, one that because it’s enjoyable, you are more likely to actually do it, and two, this means you can comfortably sauna longer, which means you are likely to experience more of benefits.

Staying longer in the sauna, may increase your core body temperature by 2-3 degrees. Which physical therapist, Vivian Eisenstadt, MAPT, CPT, MASP, suggests could be enough to take your health results to the next level, as compared to conventional saunas.

Dr. Michael A. Schmidt agrees, explaining that the lower temperatures of the Infra-red sauna, can stimulate the release of toxins, stored in fat, by inducing a fat sweat, as opposed to a water sweat, which is what the higher temperatures induce.

These are just some of the health benefits of Infra-Red saunas. Some others may include improving your general health and wellbeing, from relaxation, to relieving your tight muscles and stiff joints, improving your circulation, boosting your immune system, and even assisting in weight loss. You can find more about all these in our blog: 5 Reasons the Infra-Red Sauna can change your health!

So how does an Infra-red sauna actually work?

Let me explain.

Infra-Red saunas predominantly use either carbon or ceramic panels, which produce invisible, infrared radiant heat. Rather than heating air or steam to heat up your body, this is a gentle heat, that is easily and directly absorbed by your body. Primarily by conduction and convection, via the surface of your skin, to a depth of up to 3.8 cm (1.5 inches) into the skin.

One explanation for the efficiency of Infra-Red saunas, is given by Ben Greenfield, who suggests that as much as 93% of the Infra-Red waves that reach your skin, are absorbed because of their similarity in length and behaviour, to the waves we emit from our own body, naturally.

Not only does this make Infra-Red saunas very effective in their heating process, Ben also believes that this could be why most people complete their Infra-Red sauna session feeling rejuvenated and revitalised, compared to the more traditional feeling of being drained and de-energised.

One article we found, describing this, was by Jessica Wang, who reported “Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as well. I found the ‘dry heat’ created by the infrared light to be much more tolerable and less overwhelming than the steam-filled variety which can often leave me light-headed”.

So if you’re looking for more energy and rejuvenation, check out an Infra-Red sauna in a gym or health provider, near you.
Have you experienced both an Infra-Red and a more traditional style sauna?
How would you compare your experiences?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.