THE FAR-INFRARED SAUNA
I am always freezing. Always. Why I live in the winter-is-8-months-of-the-year, freezing-cold country of Canada is beyond me…..oh, fine, I live here because I fell in love with a Canadian some 20 years ago and married him. Silly me. After a while I found that every morning my muscles hurt and I would have to get out of bed s-l-o-w-l-y with a down-filled blanket wrapped tightly around me until I felt human. My sister-in-law, who lives in NY, calls Toronto “The North Pole” and my mother brings her fur coat no matter what month of the year she is visiting. Hmmm, maybe I just come from a family of extremely cold-blooded people…..
Many years ago, my husband brought home a brochure from one of his clients who builds far-infrared saunas and said to me “You know, I think we should get a sauna, I always feel better after I use the one at the gym.” As an ex-competetive martial artist with multiple injuries like a snapped bicep, an 80% torn hamstring, and several degenerated discs, I should have paid more attention. Instead, I said “You think we should put a sauna in our house!? Why? And where, exactly, would we put it?” Fast forward to my own neck disc injury and an obsession with everything health and fitness related, one night on google and a conversation that went like this:
Me: “I’ve been researching muscle and joint pain management. Have you heard of far-infrared saunas?”
Hubby (looking at me strangely): “Are you kidding?”
Me: “Ummm, no, why?”
Hubby: (pause) “Don’t you remember I brought you a brochure because I wanted us to get one, around 8 years ago?”
Me: (longer pause) “Oh, yeaaaaaah…….”
Oops. Well, in my defense, I knew nothing about saunas other than I couldn’t breathe after 10 minutes in the dry ones with the coals, I thought the wet saunas were kinda gross and I had no idea what a far-infrared sauna was but it sounded like a microwave oven to me. Well, everything happens for a reason, I say. For example, If we had gotten one back then, I would have had no idea that poplar wood is the way to go since cedarwood emits unhealthy off-gases. I also wouldn’t have known that ceramic heaters are better and safer than the newer (cheaper) carbon heaters. These are the kinds of things I’ve been telling myself to assuage the guilt of not listening. But don’t worry, I have fully redeemed myself and we now own the 2-person sauna pictured above, placed conveniently in our bedroom and yes, we love it. So much, in fact, that I’m thinking of writing letters to building companies to suggest they build gigantic saunas that people can live in instead of houses. Sure, that might be pretty sweaty and we’d need those athletic water backpacks attached to us 24/7 so we don’t get dehydrated……but I digress.
Saunas in general are great for your health. They increase circulation, can assist with weight loss, decrease muscle pain and detoxify the body through the skin, among other benefits. For the average healthy person (pregnant women and people with medical conditions should ask their Doctor before using a sauna), the only real danger is the possibility of dehyration, but if you do so responsibly by drinking lots of water and not staying longer than you can tolerate, you’ll be fine. So why did we choose far-infrared?
- It is the most economical type of sauna to purchase for home use and requires no plumbing. The smaller sizes use a regular existing outlet in your house.
- The heat penetrates a lot deeper than traditional dry or wet saunas, by warming the body directly as opposed to the warming the air around you (compare to sitting in the sun vs. sitting in a car with the heater on).
- Because the temperature is lower than a traditional sauna, you can stay in it comfortably for longer.
- The analysis of sweat after a traditional sauna indicates 95%-97% water and the remaining 3-5% toxins being eliminated, while a far-infrared sweat is 80-85% water and 15-20% toxins. I feel bad for the guy whose job that was. :-&
- Far-infrared heat is a completely safe form of naturally occuring energy – in fact, hospitals make use of infrared heating systems and therapy lamps in their maternity and baby care units.
- The far-infrared sauna has a cleaner enviroment as traditional saunas (especially wet) are more likely to spread and cultivate bacteria in the humid air.
- It requires a shorter time to heat up than other sauna types.
- Most quality companies give you the option of color light therapy as well a reading light, a sound system and ergonomic back rest so you can truly enjoy the experience…..
……and we certainly do! Read more about the benefits of far-infrared sauna and the company we purchased ours from by clicking HERE.