You probably already know that infrared waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation, but did you know that there are actually three types of infrared waves - near, mid, and far?
Each type of infrared wave has its own unique properties and benefits. Here we will discuss the differences between near, mid, and far infrared waves, and how they are used in a sauna for maximum efficacy.
Near Infrared Waves
Near infrared waves have the shortest wavelengths of the three types of infrared waves, ranging from 0.75 to 1.4 microns. They are often referred to as "red light therapy" because of their reddish hue.
Near infrared waves penetrate the skin deeply, making them beneficial for promoting wound healing, reducing inflammation, and improving skin health. Near infrared waves are also thought to increase collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
In a sauna, near infrared waves are typically produced by using incandescent bulbs or LED lights. The heat from the bulbs or lights penetrates the skin, producing a warming sensation and promoting relaxation. Near infrared saunas are often used for localized treatments, such as targeting specific areas of the body that are experiencing pain or inflammation.
Mid Infrared Waves
Mid infrared waves have slightly longer wavelengths than near infrared waves, ranging from 1.4 to 3 microns. They are often referred to as "far red" or "vitality" light because of their ability to penetrate deeper into the body than near infrared waves. Mid infrared waves are beneficial for promoting circulation, reducing inflammation, and relieving pain.
In a sauna, mid infrared waves are typically produced by using ceramic or metal heaters. These heaters emit a lower temperature than the incandescent bulbs used for near infrared waves, but they still penetrate deeply into the body, producing a more intense sweating response. Mid infrared saunas are often used for full-body treatments, as they can provide a more balanced and overall therapeutic effect.
Far Infrared Waves
Far infrared waves have the longest wavelengths of the three types of infrared waves, ranging from 3 to 100 microns. They are often referred to as "far" or "radiant" heat because of their ability to penetrate deeply into the body and produce a warm, comforting sensation. Far infrared waves are beneficial for promoting detoxification, improving circulation, and reducing stress and fatigue.
In a sauna, far infrared waves are typically produced by using carbon heaters. These heaters emit a lower temperature than the ceramic or metal heaters used for mid infrared waves, but they produce a more even and gentle heat. Far infrared saunas are often used for full-body treatments, as they can provide a more relaxing and restorative experience.
Full Spectrum Infrared
By combining all three types of infrared waves, full spectrum saunas offer a more comprehensive and effective therapy. Full spectrum infrared saunas are typically designed to operate at lower temperatures than traditional saunas, which can make them more comfortable for many users.
How to Use Infrared Waves in a Sauna
Now that we have explored the differences between near, mid, and far infrared waves, let's discuss how to use them in a sauna for maximum efficacy. It is important to note that each type of infrared wave produces different effects, so it is best to choose a sauna that offers all three types of waves for a comprehensive therapeutic experience.
To begin, start with a lower temperature (around 120-130°F) for a more gentle heat. As your body acclimates to the heat, gradually increase the temperature to your desired level. It is important to stay hydrated throughout the sauna session, as you will be sweating and losing fluids.
For localized treatments, such as targeting specific areas of pain or inflammation, use a near infrared sauna. Position yourself close to the heat source and stay in the sauna for 15-20 minutes, taking breaks if necessary.
For full-body treatments, you can use a sauna that produces mid or far infrared waves. Mid infrared saunas typically operate at a temperature of around 140-150°F, while far infrared saunas operate at a lower temperature of around 110-130°F. In either case, it is important to start with a lower temperature and gradually increase it to your desired level.
During your sauna session, it is important to relax and breathe deeply. As your body heats up, you may begin to sweat and release toxins. This process can help to detoxify your body, improve circulation, and reduce stress and fatigue.
To enhance the benefits of your sauna session, you can also incorporate aromatherapy, meditation, or other relaxation techniques. Some saunas come equipped with speakers or Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to listen to calming music or guided meditations while you relax.
Overall, infrared saunas offer a variety of health benefits, and the different types of infrared waves provide unique therapeutic effects. By using a sauna that produces near, mid, and far infrared waves, you can enjoy a comprehensive and rejuvenating experience that promotes overall wellness and relaxation.