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WASHINGTON Chiropractor | WASHINGTON chiropractic care | PA | Infrared Sauna

DR. ANNETTE M. CLEMENTE

 Certified Medical Examiner

Certified Chiropractic Wellness Specialist

Infrared Sauna
 
Infrared saunas vs. Conventional Saunas
An infrared sauna is an enclosed room kept at high temperatures characterized by the use of infrared heaters that give off infrared heat which is absorbed by the body. The temperature in a room ranges typically between 60  to 100 degrees Celsius. This high temperature/heat is then absorbed by the skin.
Conventional steam saunas have adapted technology that was used years ago by warming the air in a room. But recently, a new form was introduced, the infrared sauna. Unlike the conventional types which only warms the air, infrared saunas emit heat that is directly absorbed by the body causing the skin to release sweat.
In an infrared sauna review, it was said that the infrared sauna is also more energy efficient operating on a much lower heat than conventional saunas. Without the heavy heat and moisture that is present in the air, people who will be using the sauna will not experience any heaviness in breathing. It does not make the eyes water and dry out the nasal passages. There are also no hot surfaces that may burn the skin.
 
Technology
So how does an infrared sauna work? The heaters in an infrared sauna convert infrared light into heat, which is then absorbed by body. The temperature in the room does not increase despite the heat that produced by the infrared heater because the heat is absorbed by the body instead of being dispersed through the air. Infrared heat is not dangerous for the skin. The technology is known as far infrared, and subsequently a sauna built using this technogy is known as a far infrared sauna or a FIR sauna.
This type of heater is much more convenient as it only takes about a couple of minutes to produce heat not unlike the conventional saunas where it usually takes about 20 minutes to an hour. And because the temperature in the room does not rise, people with respiratory problems and those who often experience congestion can easily enjoy far infrared saunas. In other words, these saunas will render more benefits compared to conventional steam saunas but you do not have to bear the high heat of steam in an infrared setting in order to reap the benefits.
Health benefits
There are many noted benefits of using infrared sauna. The first of which is that it provides a soothing relief for arthritis and rheumatism. Because the heat penetrates the body, it reaches problem areas such as joints. The warmth absorbed by the body reduces the pain and stiffness in these areas, allowing the joints to have more mobility.
The infrared heat also allows the pores in the skin to open. The skin then produces sweat which is necessary in order to cleanse clogged pores, creating a rejuvenating effect on the skin, leaving it looking younger, firmer, and more radiant.  Since saunas increase perspiration, they purportedly liberate undisclosed "toxins." Saunas have been recommended for this ostensible reason to people who are told they have high levels of "toxicity" in their body, although the supposed, offending toxins are rarely identified. Saunas may be useful to those who cannot sweat from exercise due to their health problems, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The infrared sauna is an effective method for considerably raising body's basal metabolic rate. The Journal of the American Medical Association states: "A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams in a sauna, consuming nearly 300 kcal, which is equivalent to running 2–3 miles. A heat-conditioned person can easily sweat off 600–800 kcal with no adverse effects. While the weight of the water loss can be regained by drinking water, the calories consumed will not be." This statement is based on the amount of energy absorbed by sweat evaporating from the skin. It is equivalent to the latent heat of vaporization of water, which is 539 kcal/kg (2260 kJ/kg). The source of this energy is then confused to be body energy stores, while the source is in fact the excessive heat absorbed from the sauna. The body reacts to the excess heat flux by increasing the body's perspiration. This does not increase body heat generation and calorie burn.

It is also believed to aid common respiratory conditions like the common cold. The heat can help clear up the nasal passage in order to improve the air flow and remove congestion while breathing.
Infrared sauna is also beneficial in improving the circulatory system as well. By improving circulation, the infrared suana can help lower blood pressure and aid in better production of plasma and red blood cells, promoting a healthy heart. This, in turn, results to a strengthened immune system and an increase in the body’s endurance.  Of course, infrared saunas are best known for its ability to relive the body from stress.
References:
1.  Oosterveld FG, Rasker JJ, Floors M, et al. (January 2009). "Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. A pilot study showed good tolerance, short-term improvement of pain and stiffness, and a trend towards long-term beneficial effects". Clin. Rheumatol. 28 (1): 29–34. doi:10.1007/s10067-008-0977-y. PMID 18685882. 

3.  Searle AJ (January 1982). "Effects of the sauna". JAMA 247 (1): 28. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320260016012. PMID 7053434. http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/247/1/28.pdf.  – letter

 
 
 
WASHINGTON Chiropractor | Infrared Sauna. Dr. DR. ANNETTE CLEMENTE is a WASHINGTON Chiropractor.