When it comes to toxin removal, the usual treatment is the use of herbal concoctions. However, other individuals turn to saunas. Saunas have long been used for detoxifying the body and healing it of its ailments. However, there are various types of saunas, one of which is the near infrared sauna. Between the near and far infrared sauna, which is better?
What is a Sauna?
Saunas are rooms heated between 80 to 100 degrees Celsius. This high temperature leads to sweating which can help remove toxins from the body.
Types of Saunas
Before jumping into the difference between a far and near infrared sauna, it is essential to know what the three main types are.
1. Traditional Sauna
These saunas produce heat through electricity or by wood. It can be wet or dry. A wet type of traditional sauna produces heat and steam by placing water on hot rocks. Another way is the use of a steam generator. This type of sauna can create extremely high levels of heat.
a) Wood-Burning Sauna
This traditional sauna makes use of wood to heat the room. It usually produces a high temperature but low humidity.
b) Electrically-Heated Sauna
This is quite the same as the wood-burning sauna where it produces high temperatures but low humidity. However, it does not make use of wood but instead uses electrical heaters which are installed in the floor to heat the room.
2. Infrared Sauna
An infrared sauna makes use of lamps that emit light waves which heat the body. It can be differentiated into two types: near infrared and far infrared.
a) Infrared Sauna (NIR)
This type of sauna is a combination of light and heat therapy. According to studies done by NASA, a near infrared sauna’s light penetrates the body by approximately nine inches. Moreover, it emits a low level of electromagnetic fields or EMFs.
b) Far Infrared Sauna (FIR)
An FIR sauna makes use of light to heat the body. However, unlike a NIR sauna, it emits harmful quantities of EMFs. It also does not penetrate as well as a NIR sauna.
Difference Between NIR and FIR
There is a significant difference between an FIR and a NIR sauna. As far as users and researchers claim, a NIR sauna is better and safer than an FIR sauna in the following factors.
A. EMFs Emitted
EMFs are emitted by electronic devices and can interrupt the cell’s normal functions. Excessive exposure to EMFs may cause the following symptoms.
- A static or buzzing feeling in the brain
- A prickling or burning sensation on the skin
- Chronic headaches
- Constant ringing in the ears
- Difficulty sleeping
- Extreme fatigue
- Feeling tired or stressed
When it comes to the amount of EMFs emitted, an FIR sauna gives off a lot of it. This is due to the wiring in the sauna where the wires are scattered all throughout an FIR. Compared to a NIR sauna, the wiring is located only on one side.
B. Level of Penetration
According to research, the energy from a NIR sauna penetrates the body by approximately 4 inches. This is a higher level of penetration compared to an FIR sauna.
C. Radiation Emitted
The radiation emitted by a NIR sauna stimulates the liver, large intestines, kidneys, and adrenal glands. These are organs that help eliminate and detoxify wastes from the body. Research also claims that the radiation emitted by a NIR sauna helps the regeneration and healing of the organs, glands, and cells. Furthermore, the study suggests that a NIR sauna relaxes the body better than an FIR sauna.
D. Use of Electricity
Compared to an FIR sauna, a NIR sauna works at a lower temperature. Thus, it only uses up a fraction of the electricity, unlike an FIR sauna. Moreover, when it comes to the costs of creating one, a NIR sauna is cheap since an individual can make use of infrared light bulbs. A NIR sauna is also portable, unlike an FIR sauna.
E. Active Movement
Since an FIR sauna has infrared lamps and wires installed all throughout its walls, an individual is unlikely to move or rotate. Chances are, the heat does not penetrate as deeply as it should. On the other hand, the light in a NIR sauna is concentrated on one side so it can penetrate the body deeply. Also, since the light is focused on one side, an individual in a sauna has to actively move to get the other part of the body heated by the light source.
Active rotation or movement in a NIR sauna helps in even sweating and even heating. This, in turn, guarantees total blood circulation in the body which aids in cell healing and regeneration.
Benefits of a Sauna
As mentioned, a sauna helps the body get rid of toxins. Other than that, the use of saunas offers numerous health benefits. Some of it includes the following.
1. Eases Pain
Due to the increase of blood circulation, it reduces soreness in the muscles, relieves the pain brought about by arthritis, and improves movement of the joints.
2. Improves Cardiovascular Health
According to a study done in Finland, the use of a sauna is linked to a low risk of getting cardiovascular disease. Studies also claim that the use of a sauna may reduce stress, enhance heart function, and lower blood pressure. However, further research is still needed to verify these effects.
3. Relieves Asthma
The steam and heat from a sauna helps loosen phlegm and opens the airways. This offers relief in individuals suffering from asthma.
While the use of a sauna may offer the health benefits mentioned above, there are also some risks associated with the use of a sauna.
1. Blood Pressure Drop
The use of a sauna lowers blood pressure which may cause further health problems in people with low blood pressure. It is also inadvisable for individuals who had a recent heart attack to use a sauna.
Saunas cause extreme sweating due to the heat which may lead to dehydration. It may also cause nausea and dizziness in other individuals.