Very few people know that steam saunas date back quite a few centuries. In fact, sweating has been a major part of the Greek, Roman, and Turkish civilization. If you have ever been to a modern-day sauna, you know how incredibly relaxing the experience can be.
In the last few years, the sauna scene has witnessed quite a few important changes. Earlier, saunas used hot stones that were heated to a very high temperature. When you would throw water on the stones, the heat would convert the water into steam.
In most saunas, in place of stones, steam generators are used and in place of traditional log cabins, you have glass compartments. Yes, you read that right. The earliest saunas were made from big pieces of wooden logs. There is a new entrant on the sauna scene- Infrared Sauna.
What are Infrared Saunas?
Many experts have pointed out that it was never the steam that was beneficial. It was the heat. This is what led to the creation of the infrared sauna. The focus and output of an infrared sauna are directed more towards the generation of heat. Since there is no heat involved, the surrounding air does not get warm. In place of the air, the heat is directly transferred to the body.
Although there are many health benefits associated with any type of sauna use, infrared saunas are thought to have some exclusive additional health benefits. For example, according to this blog post, infrared heat can help individuals who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.
There are two major types of infrared saunas that you are going to find in many modern centers. You either have Far Infrared Saunas or Near Infrared Saunas. The first one is not strong enough in terms of the wavelength of their rays to penetrate the human body and skin tissues.
The second one has powerful rays that are emitted at a higher wavelength. When this happens, the rays are able to penetrate your skin’s tissues providing a far deeper and more relaxing experience. This means that near-infrared saunas are more effective and provide greater benefits.
Differences Between Traditional and Infrared Saunas
In this section, we are going to list down the major differences between traditional and infrared saunas-
1.The Temperature of the Heat-
We have already pointed out how traditional saunas heat the surrounding air, which in turn heats the body. For this to happen, traditional saunas operate at a very high temperature of over 185 Degrees Fahrenheit. While some people can withstand such high temperatures, for the vast majority, this becomes overwhelming. As against this, infrared saunas operate at a relatively comfortable temperature of 150 Degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it easier to use.
2.The Levels of Humidity-
Advocates of traditional saunas point out that it is the steam that plays a major beneficial role. They say that the steam and humidity help in opening up the pores, allowing the cells on the skin tissues to hydrate better. As opposed to high levels of humidity, infrared saunas cause sweating by simply raising the temperature. In other words, the steam or levels of humidity are not there. Many individuals cannot withstand high levels of humidity at any point in time.
3.The Energy Requirements-
You need to understand that traditional saunas consume nearly four times more power than infrared saunas. This is because traditional saunas need to keep boiling water at a high temperature to produce steam. A standard sauna uses 6KW of power for a single session. On the other hand, an infrared sauna simply needs the energy to power its heating. This means that the same session can be completed by using 1.5KW of power! This is a major difference.
The Final Word
Saunas can be incredibly relaxing and come with a host of health benefits. Whether you are looking to reduce stress levels or want your body to remove toxins, saunas can help you. While traditional saunas have been around for the longest time, infrared saunas are becoming popular in fitness centers, hotels, resorts, and gyms. If you have any more questions on the either traditional or infrared sauna that you would like us to address, please let us know in the comments below.