The sauna has its origin in Finland, more than 2000 years ago. The purpose then and now remains the same: eliminate toxins, relaxation, muscle relief, etc., but technology has evolved a lot in all this time. Below we explain how an infrared sauna works, the latest in heat therapies.
Different between the infrared sauna and steam one?
The traditional sauna emits steam that heats the air and then your skin. Temperatures can reach 90ºC or even more.
The infrared sauna heats your skin directly. There is no steam! The air temperature does not rise to extreme temperatures, allowing you to breathe normally and stay longer inside.
This type of saunas transform the energy of light into heat energy. This heat is distributed evenly throughout the body and penetrates deeper into the skin, dilating blood vessels, increasing blood flow and facilitating oxygenation of tissues.
The time needed to heat the panels can range from 10 to 20 minutes (much less time than in a steam sauna). The feeling that one has when entering, it is as if nothing happened.
It is necessary to wait 3 or 4 minutes inside the cabin until you begin to notice the symptoms of heat. You will feel that the temperature of your body rises without the temperature of the air has risen.
What is infrared radiation?
The solar radiation that reaches the surface of the earth is composed of ultraviolet light, visible light and infrared radiation, which is invisible and is responsible for transporting heat.
Solar radiation is the source of all life on earth. Everything that lives, grows and flourishes needs the radiation of the sun. The treatment of a sauna is used to solve arthritis problems, muscle disorders, reduce stress or improve mood (among other things).
We have all heard about the ” thermal sensation“, that is, the perception of cold or heat regardless of the environmental temperature. Well, the infrared radiation that we receive from the sun has a lot to do, since it is the cause that we perceive more or less heat in our bodies. To measure it, a formula is applied in which temperature and wind speed are taken into account. For example, on a sunny January day, without wind and at 15ºC we can have a high thermal sensation and be in short sleeves. However, with the same temperature but in the shade or with a wind of 80 km per hour, we will feel a sensation of intense cold.
Infrared radiation can be found in many of the activities we do every day. For example, with the remote control of the television or the garage door, the wireless computer mouse, etc. It is also used for night vision equipment to be able to see hot objects when there is no light (for the rescue of people, for example).
How was infrared light discovered?
In 1800, the astronomer William Herschel conducted an experiment by placing a glass prism to decompose sunlight into a rainbow. Then he wrote down the temperature of each colour. He realized that when he placed the thermometer in an area where, at first glance, there was no light (under the red), the thermometer indicated a higher temperature. This is how thermal radiation was discovered, which we now know as infrared radiation, where the prefix “infra” means “below.”
Is infrared radiation dangerous?
In general, no. It can be harmful if it is concentrated in a very narrow beam of great power (the principle on which the laser beam is based). But infrared radiation is nothing more than heat and that which emits this type of saunas is totally harmless. In a hot furnace, the radiation is high and could be dangerous, but nobody thinks of reaching into a hot oven. Well, unless it’s to prepare food and go protected with a glove!
Advantages of having your sauna at home
There is a large number of people who would like to perform sauna sessions on a regular basis. However, their lifestyle makes it impossible to go to a place specializing in this type of service (a gym, a hotel, an aesthetic centre) or simply prefer to do it privately.