If you have been to the sauna, then you know just how calming the experience can be. Some people cannot quite handle the heat, thus they prefer the infrared sauna. However, there are some hidden dangers of infrared sauna that may just make you stick to the the traditional sauna.
TYPES OF SAUNA
The types of sauna vary depending on the form of heating that is used and its origin.
These are some of the types of sauna:
TRADITIONAL FINNISH SAUNA
This sauna is also referred to as the traditional sauna. This particular sauna has its inside smartly finished with wood.
Inside the traditional sauna you find a bucket of water and some heated rocks. The temperature and humidity of the sauna is controlled by pouring water on those heated rocks.
When water is poured on the heated rocks, steam is produced and the temperature increases leading to a subsequent decrease in the humidity.
The steam bath is also known as the Turkish bath. The level of humidity in the Turkish steam bath is 100% and the temperature inside is much lower compared to that of traditional sauna.
There is a thermostat that controls the temperatures in the range of 40 to 60°C. Due to the high level of steam, you sweat and the skin gets hydrated.
The dry sauna and the traditional Finnish sauna have one thing in common – they both have heated rocks inside.
The difference is that there is no water hence the name dry sauna.
This sauna releases electromagnetic radiation via infrared lumps to warm the body up directly. There is no humidity in the infrared sauna.
An infrared sauna operates at lower temperatures of 120 °F to 140°F while the traditional sauna operates 150 °F to 180 °F.
Only 20% of the heat produced goes into heating the surrounding air but the rest of the 80% goes into warming up the body. There is no humidity nor steam to heat the room, just infrared bulbs that warm up the body without increasing the room temperature.
There are two kinds of infrared sauna:
Near infrared sauna: The sauna has rays that can penetrate the tissues of the body by some inches to warm up it up.
Far infrared sauna: The sauna uses rays that cannot penetrate the skin.
Infrared sauna is a much more recent technology compared to the other types of sauna. It sprang to popularity because it could bypass the soft tissues and warm the body up directly. People who cannot stand the high temperatures of the traditional sauna also prefer this.
HOW DOES INFRARED SAUNA WORK?
The body is warmed up using electromagnetic radiation. Unlike the UV rays, the wavelength of infrared rays are long and their frequency is short.
Infrared sauna operate at much lower tolerable temperatures, this makes it possible for heat-sensitive people to be incorporated into the program.
The infrared sauna has benches and mats on the floor that you can sit or lie on. Inside the infrared sauna there are infrared bulbs which produce heat.
When you enter the traditional sauna or the steam bath, you start sweating immediately. This is not the case when you enter an infrared sauna.
Here you take about 15 minutes before you start sweating, though by the end of the session, you shall have sweated just as much as you would have in a steam bath.
BENEFITS OF INFRARED SAUNA
The infrared technology has been used for a long time in various fields but, the infrared sauna is a new concept that has not fully been unpacked. Here are some of the benefits of the infrared sauna.
Sweating is an incredible way of releasing built up toxins from the body. When you enter the sauna, your blood circulation increases and sweat glands are stimulated.
Detoxification is the process by which harmful substances and chemicals are expelled out of the body like dead skin cells, dirt, alcohol, nicotine,
According to Dr. Rachel West, detoxification strengthens your immune system and enhances the efficiency of biochemical processes of the body.
Health experts recommend that adopting practices that support and maintain your weight is important for your general health.
Sunlighten, a sauna company, says that by using infrared heat technology, their saunas burn calories which aids in weight loss.
This study, it was found that infrared sauna helped in reducing waist circumference and weight loss.
MUSCLE ACHES AND JOINT PAINS
Infrared sauna aids in warming muscles for better flexibility and motion. It also takes care of pain and tension of the muscles.
A few minutes under the warmth of an infrared sauna can help you feel better and significantly reduce stress.
Infrared sauna can help in improving the tone of your skin. Your sweat carries a lot with it including dead skin cells and dirt that may have clogged your sweat pore.
When these unwanted substances are removed, your skin glows and becomes much smoother.
10 HIDDEN DANGERS OF INFRARED SAUNA
Despite the numerous health benefits that have been alluded to infrared sauna, there have been reports that show the hidden dangers of infrared sauna.
These are some of the dangers of infrared sauna:
REDUCTION OF SPERM COUNT
A 2013 study made some stunning discoveries about the dangers of infrared saunas. It was found that continuous use of infrared sauna led to a distortion in the sperm count. If you are somebody who is still intent on getting offspring, you might want to avoid infrared saunas.
The clouding of the lens of the eyes is associated with old age. These clouds are referred to as cataracts.
An article by the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology suggested that continuous use of near infrared sauna may lead to formation of cataracts.
There are studies that have shown that continuous exposure to infrared heat may cause your skin to lose its elasticity and start forming wrinkles.
Due to excess sweating, the body may lose a lot of water. If you have to go to the sauna, see to it that you take plenty of water to stay hydrated.
You may sometimes feel a bit light after your session. This might be a result of too much heat and loss of water through dehydration. When you get that kind of feeling, you first relax until you feel you are good to go.
REACTIVE OXYGEN SPECIES (ROS)
In this study that was conducted by the Danish Council for Independent Research, it was found that near infrared causes production of ROS.
ROS take up some of your body’s antioxidants, so you are at risk of being affected by other toxins. ROS like Superoxide can cause harm and should be detoxified.
BLOOD PRESSURE RISK
There are studies indicating that if you come from that sauna heat then you jump in a cold pool, your pressure can shoot.
According to Dr. Ashish Sharma, a physician at Yuma Regional Medical Center, the dry heat that is produced inside the infrared sauna can get you overheated.
Due to intense sweating, prolonged sessions in the sauna may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Sauna may also trigger underlying medical conditions that can prove fatal. It may distort the body’s’ natural ability to lose heat in people who have diseases such as diuretics, beta-blockers and barbiturates.
There are some over-the-counter drugs like antihistamines that may put your body at the risk of heatstroke.
You cannot rule out the benefits of infrared sauna when it comes to detoxification and muscle relaxation. However, you can also not deny some of the dangers of infrared sauna.
Making a choice that will impact your health positively now and in future is key to a progressive health life.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]