Far infrared is a special kind of heat that uses energy from natural sunlight without damaging ultraviolet rays. Also known as FIR, the light energy can’t be seen by the naked eye, just like UV rays. It is believed to quite essential for human health, and we have created technologies such as saunas to harness that heat.
Our bodies absorb FIR, which penetrates much further than the skin, deep into tissues well below the surface. It is during this penetration that FIR transforms from light energy to heat energy. It’s believed this helps blood vessels to dilate and thus helps the circulation of blood. The heat also helps the body sweat, the key effect of all saunas, and moves wastes and toxins from deep in your body out through your skin’s pores.
If at a gym or buying a sauna, you should know how a FIR sauna differs from a conventional one. The latter makes the air very hot, which heats your body. A FIR sauna, though, uses the rays to penetrate a few inches into your body, making you feel warm and sweat heavily, but doesn’t hurt the skin with hot air. If you can wrap your head around it, the air inside the sauna stays a normal temperature, but your body warms rapidly. The basic benefits are that heavy metals and toxins stored below skin level are more likely to be sweated out using a FIR sauna. Many experts believe this is a more effective and safer way to sweat than steam baths, hot tubs, sweat lodges, and hard exercise.
Deep-striking rays make FIR saunas potentially useful for arthritis and injuries to tissues. The makers of these saunas cite other health benefits, including boosting the immune system, burning calories, detoxifying heavy metals, relief of stress, treatment for psoriasis, acne, cellulite, and eczema, and relief from fibromyalgia, arthritis, and chronic pain.
Some doctors believe a jaunt in the sauna can potentially protect against cancer. Several trials have found beneficial results. Matter of fact, regarding cancer, there have been results that suggest sauna therapy could protect against oxidative stress, also known as “free radicals,” that lead to a whole bundle of trouble.
The only conceivable risk at the moment is getting dehydrated. Here are some tips for safety in any sauna, FIR or otherwise:
— Don’t stay in sauna for more than a half-hour
— Rest still for 10 minutes afterward
— Drink mineral water before and after using it
— If you have a chronic condition, have a friend close by for assistance
— Obviously, the FIR sauna won’t work through clothing
— Men should wear a towel to block their testicles
— Ensure the sauna room is ventilated
— Take a warm or cool shower afterward; don’t bother with soap