Infrared saunas use light that's outside of our vision spectrum to create radiant heat. Our eyes are not able to see colors with a wavelength longer than red or shorter than blue. Infrared waves fall just outside of the red spectrum. Although, we may not be able to see the light generated by infrared waves, but we can certainly feel the heat.
How Infrared Saunas Work
When you're in an infrared sauna, the infrared waves are heating the body directly and the air secondarily. Infrared saunas heat our body, regardless of the temperature of the surrounding air.
When you're in a traditional steam sauna, the air is heated. As the air in the sauna warms, our body temperature also increases. Our body is warmed because the temperature of the surrounding air is warm.
The reason infrared suana users have a more comfortable environment than traditional saunas is because of radiant heat. Radiant heat is simply a form of energy that heats objects directly without the need to heat the air.
Not to Be Confused with Other Types of Radiation
Radiant heat has nothing to do with ultraviolet radiation, which can damage the skin and cause sunburns. It also doesn't have any relation to atomic radiation, which is the kind of radiation you'd experience from a nuclear bomb.
Its simply a form of energy with the ability to directly heat an object. In fact, we experience radiant energy daily from the sun. A good example of radiant heat is to think of a time when you were outside on a cool day, yet you weren't cold. However, when the sun moved behind a cloud, you found yourself needing a coat.
The air temperature didn't drop, but as the cloud blocked the warming rays from the sun, you no longer felt warm. An infrared sauna works in exactly the same way. It warms our body directly without the need to warm the air.
Traditional Healing with Infrared Rays
Our body radiates infrared energy through our skin, and our palms emit the largest amount. This is why for over 3,000 years, palm healing has been a tradition in China.
Yogis of India have used palm healing for centuries, especially for relieving eye strain. Hospitals even use panels that produce infrared rays to warm newborn babies. These traditional practices are based on the healing properties of infrared rays.
The electromagnetic (light) spectrum is made up of many segments that are defined by the length of the waves within the individual segments.
What we're able to see is only a small portion of the light spectrum. The infrared band of light is up to 1,000 times wider than the light we're capable of seeing.
What is a Far-Infrared Sauna?
When light waves are short, we see them as blue. As the waves become longer, they become red. Since infrared light is just outside of the red spectrum, we are unable to see it because we are unable to see beyond the color red on the light spectrum.
Within the infrared segment itself, there are 3 segments: Near, Middle, and Far. So a far-infrared sauna uses the infrared rays on the far edge of the infrared segment of the light spectrum.
Our bodies not only produce infrared energy, they also use infrared energy to help repair itself. The energy produced by an infrared sauna is so closely matched to the healing energy our body produces, that our tissues are able to absorb up to 93% of the infrared waves that come into contact with our skin.
When we take advantage of using an infrared sauna, we're assisting our body in the healing process by boosting the healing energy to the maximum level. When our body "hits its limit" of infrared rays, our tissues simply allow the remaining rays to pass harmlessly away.