If you are interested in purchasing an infrared sauna for your home it is likely that you will need to choose between a full spectrum sauna and a far infrared sauna. How can you make the right choice for you?
The simple answer to this question of full spectrum versus far infrared is a matter of determining your wellness goals. Some education on the differences between the spectrum’s of infrared light and how they affect the human body will help to determine the correct choice for you.
Depending upon your individual health concerns, the type of infrared light in your sauna matters. The spectrum of invisible light called infrared differs in its impact on human physiology and so the type of sauna you choose will depend upon your personalized health goals.
Understanding Infrared Light: Invisible, Powerful, and Healing Rays
For those of you who are not well acquainted with the vast spectrum of light that is naturally emanating from the sun itself, it is well worth understanding (in brief) what these vibrational frequencies look like and how they impact the human body.
Light is measured in nano-meters (nm), similar to how we measure distance with feet or meters, weight with pounds, and time with seconds, minutes, and hours etc. Before reaching the visible color light spectrum that begins at 400 nm, there exists the ultraviolet spectrum of light which is vital for humans in the production of vitamin D with short periods of exposure. The UV spectrum of light can burn the skin, or tan it. After UV light comes the visible color purple and the entire spectrum of rainbow color that humans can see. (1)
As nano-meters increase eventually the color red is found on the spectrum, and this is where the story of infrared light begins. Notice that infrared light is far from the potentially dangerous UV light on the other side of color light? UV light is found in tanning beds and is entirely different from infrared light which neither burns nor tans the skin.
After 700 nm the color red blends into the invisible frequencies of near infrared light, that then gives way to mid and far infrared light.
Just as blue presents different wavelengths from yellow so does near infrared light from far. Since infrared light is invisible to the human eye it is more difficult to discern where near infrared light ends and the mid to far infrared wavelengths begin. Nevertheless, the impact on the human body from one end of the infrared spectrum to the other varies significantly.
A sauna that is full spectrum includes heaters that emit near infrared light as well as far infrared light. A sauna that is just far infrared light will not include the near infrared light or the specific panels required to produce that frequency.
While all of this may seem like erroneous theoretical information it does become important when choosing what sauna is best for you and your loved ones.
Full Spectrum Saunas Include Near Infrared Light: What Makes Near Infrared Light Special and Who Should Include Near Infrared Light In Their Sauna?
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Thyroid & Adrenal Gland Imbalances
- Athletic Recovery
- Heart Related Disease
The near infrared light spectrum is special among light because it has a very unique ability to positively affect mitochondrial function. At the heart of many disorders of the body many professionals would argue that these energy plants of the cells are not functioning to their full potential. Meaning that energy conversion is not happening at the highest possible level and many of the body’s systems suffer as a result.
Surrounding the mitochondria is a very thin membrane that contains photo receptors that are sensitive to red and near infrared light. As these spectrums are absorbed into the mitochondria, a chain of phenomenal microscopic occurrences takes place. The red and near infrared light begins to change the conversion rate of ATP, in short, more oxygen is produced and proliferated into the bloodstream of the body. This process is called photobiomodulation. (2)
Most folks would do well to get a dose of red and near infrared light, however it is not necessary to achieve more general health benefits from infrared sauna bathing.
If you or a loved one is living with a serious condition and you are considering including sauna bathing into treatment, it is well worth paying the additional cost to have the near infrared spectrum included.
Far Infrared Saunas: Who Can Benefit From This Spectrum?
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Augmented circulation
- Weight Loss
- Muscle Recovery
- Improved Immunity
Far infrared light abides further down the infrared spectrum and is measured between 950-1200 nanometers and remains within a safe zone for human use. In fact, it is particularly useful for heating the core temperature of the body to induce copious amounts of perspiration. (3)
If you are not living with an acute condition, then a far infrared sauna may be all that you need. Ultimately, the far infrared light is able to penetrate into the soft tissues of the body to increase the core temperature of the body. As this occurs the entire cardiovascular system is summoned to begin the process of perspiration.
Simply put, with far infrared light heart rate will increase to induce the sweating mechanism of the body which in turn enables better circulation and provides a similar effect to moderate jogging. Individuals will sweat tremendously in a far infrared sauna even without the near infrared light spectrum.
Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) are produced whenever the body is subjected to higher or lower temperatures than normal. This fact makes regular heat therapy of any kind wildly compelling in producing heightened immunity. HSPs are involved in the production of T-cells which are necessary for fighting foreign pathogens in the body. (4)
If you are looking to improve fitness, quicken muscle recovery, lose weight, increase circulation, and boost your immune system a far infrared sauna will do the trick and save your pocket book.
What Are Your Health and Wellness Goals? The Answer Will Guide Your Sauna Purchase
Take some time to figure out what you or your family is hoping to achieve from regular sauna bathing. If you are just looking to detoxify the body from harmful chemicals and heavy metals, lose weight, or improve overall fitness then most likely a far infrared sauna is all that you will require.
If, however, there is a more serious health concern such as an autoimmune disorder then the body will respond well to the inclusion of near infrared light into your sauna and make a full spectrum sauna the best choice for you.
Always consult with a primary care physician before beginning a sauna program while using other treatment methods for more serious health concerns.