- November 24, 2021
- Comments: 0
- Posted by: WP Developer
Saunas are at least 2,000 years old, and have been a popular social activity in many cultures. The European type has become the traditional sauna we know today – a room with wooden walls and a large stove. The main characteristic is the use of water to create steam over a pile of hot sauna rocks.
Today, traditional saunas can be heated most commonly by electricity with sauna stove. They’re typically heated between 70º-90ºC. Standard practice is to sit in the heat for 10-20 minutes, take a break (including a plunge in cold water if available), and then get back into the sauna; sometimes repeating the cycle multiple times.
How does infrared sauna compare?
Infrared technology is not new, but infrared sauna has only gained popularity in recent decades. Designed to look like traditional saunas, the modern infrared sauna includes heating panels in the walls (no sauna stove). The ambient temperature is normally much lower, between 40º-60ºC. However, the penetrating nature of infrared heat makes you sweat profusely, and your thermoregulatory system responds in a similar (but not identical) way.
Typically you will begin to sweat quickly, but the lower temperature means a lower heart rate. Sessions in an infrared sauna can often last for around 30-45 minutes. This is why some people suggest that it is more comfortable, and potentially safer.
Any sauna is better than no sauna
While infrared is gaining popularity, research is lacking, and the vast majority of published research relates to traditional sauna (which itself is limited in terms of strong evidence).
There is much still to be explored on the health benefits of sauna. In the meantime, the take-home message is to use whatever sauna you like. Try different things, and listen to your body. Maybe you prefer the calm, private, softer nature of infrared sauna. Or maybe you prefer the fuller sensory experience of traditional sauna, including the heat, the steam, the smell, and the people.
Whatever the case, you will feel good afterwards. So get out there, and start sweating.
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