frequently asked questions
What is a FAR Infrared Sauna? What is FAR Infrared?
A FAR Infrared Sauna is a sauna that employs FAR infrared light to heat you up instead of using conduction (through the hot wood) or through convection (heated air or steam.)
Infrared light is part of the sun's invisible spectrum. Our visible spectrum as humans goes from red up through violet, the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Infra-red means "below-red" just like ultraviolet (UV) means "above-violet." A FAR Infrared Sauna uses the far part of the infrared spectrum. Our infrared sauna emits waves between 8-11 microns. The human body best absorbs infrared at approximately 9.4 microns. In either case, infrared or ultraviolet, we cannot see what appears in that part of the light spectrum.
These two parts of the spectrum, though they are both invisible, have very different effects on the body. Ultraviolet (UV) light has been associated with many health risks whether it is from laying out in the sun too much or from going to tanning salons. Infrared light is the exact opposite end of the light spectrum and is associated with many positive and healthful effects.
How hot does it get and how long do I have to stay in there?
Our FAR infrared sauna operates at a maximum of 140 degrees as opposed to a traditional sauna which can be as hot as 190 degrees or more. Even though the temperature is so much cooler (and more comfortable) you will probably sweat more than you ever have before. The radiant FAR infrared rays penetrate into your body and heat you up from the inside out.
The room is available for 40 minutes. Most folks feel that being in the infrared sauna for longer than 40 minutes isn't necessary. Trust us, in 40 minutes you'll sweat more than you've ever sweat before.
How is a FAR Infrared Sauna different from other saunas?
Regular saunas heat the skin superficially with a high wattage heater, causing opening of the sweat glands and allowing excess water to escape. The 180-degree-plus heat of the air in the sauna room heats up your lungs very quickly and shocks the body. Because the FAR penetrates to a depth of 5-7 cm or 1.5 inches, your sweat glands are pouring out water even before the core body increases to the point of discomfort. At the depth of 1.5 - 2 inches our fat cells are stimulated which causes a release of toxins to the surface.
How safe is the FAR infrared sauna? Are there any side effects?
The FAR infrared sauna is completely safe. This is the exact opposite end of the spectrum from ultraviolet (UV) waves and is nothing like microwaves. UV overexposure has repeatedly been shown to be bad for your skin whether from regularly going to tanning salons or laying in the sun until you burn.
FAR infrared waves are the healthful part of going into the sun. We all need a bit of sun exposure for vitamin D production and other reasons. But when we get too much exposure, the UV damage far outweighs the infrared benefits. With an infrared sauna you can gain the beneficial exposure and not be exposed to the UV at all.
Has there been any research or studies about FAR Infrared Saunas?
For years, the average consumer's familiarity with FAR-infrared came from the use of infrared heat lamps - which produce radiant heat. In the mid 1960's NASA discovered that a number of mineral oxides were also capable of generating FAR waves. NASA began utilizing FAR in the 1980's as an effective way to maintain cardiovascular conditioning for astronauts during long space flights.
Over the past 25 years, Japanese and Chinese researchers and clinicians have conducted extensive research on infrared treatments and report numerous benefits. An infrared society has been established in Japan, composed of medical doctors and physical therapists, to further research and support the health benefits of radiant infrared therapy as a method of healing.
How does a FAR sauna increase detoxification?
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. The subcutaneous fatty layer is located just below the skin. An infrared sauna emits rays that penetrate into the tissues to a depth of 1.5 inches. This heat stimulates our fat cells to release the accumulated debris that they have been holding on to.
The infrared sauna also stimulates the sebaceous glands to release harmful toxins such as petrochemicals, mercury and other heavy metals. Since humans are bio-accumulators, toxins that cannot be expelled immediately after entry are stored in our bodies. One of the reasons infrared saunas are so beneficial with a variety of different illnesses is the ability of the FAR waves to accelerate the removal of toxins that are often at the core of many different health challenges.
When toxic substances encounter large H²0 molecules in our body, they are encapsulated by water clusters. This accumulation of toxins blocks blood circulation, oxygenation, nutrient supply and waste removal. When the FAR emitted by an infrared sauna hits these water molecules, they begin to vibrate. As the bonds which hold clusters of H²0 molecules together are dissolved, the toxins they are holding are released.
The specific wave range of a the FAR infrared sauna is 7-14 microns, the frequency that H²0 resonates with. This resonance releases all manner of toxins such as sulphur, formaldehyde, heavy metals and more. The increased depth of penetration provides pain-relief, detoxification and increased circulation.
How do people become toxic? How do toxins especially impact men or women?
Modern food production, processing and farming can contain all sorts of toxins such as pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, industrial chemicals, petrochemicals, preservatives and more. A bit of any one of these toxins while not good for you, probably won't have much impact. When you ingest food products that contain multiple different toxins and do so on a regular basis, your body does not have the time or resources and gradually becomes overwhelmed by the burden. The infrared sauna can really accelerate your body's ability to get rid of these poisons.
Men tend to be exposed to more industrial chemicals via working on their car or other gadgets. There can also be pesticide exposure from taking care of the lawn and garden. Historically, men have a much higher rate of smoke inhalation and alcohol ingestion than women.
Women can be exposed via makeup, nail polish, nail polish removers, other beauty products and household cleaning agents. Though the average person, man or woman, is exposed to 60-70 chemicals every day by diet alone, women have a higher BMI (body mass index - the ratio of lean tissue to fat) than men and because of this can store more toxins. Some people estimate that as much as 50 percent of women have an overloaded liver and lymph system, the systems of the body responsible for processing fats, fluids and toxins. In some cases this can lead to weight gain, brain fog and fatigue. Many of these symptoms can be substantially improved by a series of infrared sauna treatments.
How much water should I drink? Can I become dehydrated?
Plenty. We'll have water available for you both before and after your session. We haven't seen anyone become particularly dehydrated while in the infrared sauna or afterwards because everyone tends to drink plenty of water. Theoretically, if you spent an excessive amount of time in the infrared sauna you could become dehydrated, but nobody has had that issue.
How often can I use the infrared sauna?
Anywhere from several times a week to once a month, whatever you enjoy. Even if you are not on a cleanse or have an injury or pain, sauna is relaxing, healthy, and meditative.
What kind of conditions can be helped by the infrared sauna?
- Psoriasis and other skin conditions: According to many forms of holistic medicine, psoriasis and many other skin disorders actually originate in the liver. When certain toxins are ingested, the liver does not have the ability to break down, metabolize and excrete the toxins. The toxins are sent to the skin for elimination via sweat. When the toxins hit the cells just below the skin, the body overproduces skin cells by a factor of 10,000. The toxins come out on the dead skin cells. By sweating regularly and profusely, the toxins are eliminated via the sweat and sebaceous glands as opposed to through the shedding of skin. The dramatic increase in circulation to the skin that comes with infrared sauna use is also a major factor in toning, tightening and rejuvenating the skin.
- Weight Issues: Weight loss from perspiration is quickly regained. However, being in a hyperthermic state due to the increased core body temperature increases blood circulation, especially to the capillaries, converts fat and increases heart rate. It is possible to burn 300 - 600 calories in a single session in an infrared sauna. Some infrared sauna proponents claim that a 30 minute sauna session is equivalent to jogging or rowing for thirty minutes. The removal of heavy metals that were contributing to metabolic imbalance and weight gain can also improve the basal metabolic rate and normalize body weight. The decrease of toxins stored in the subcutaneous fat goes a long way towards increasing a feeling of lightness in the body and willingness to exercise. Also increasing circulation and oxygenation to the glands improves their health and their ability to keep the body balanced.
- Heart Disease: Studies done at the Mayo Clinic in the 1990's were performed on 37 congestive heart failure patients. All 37 displayed improvement and some even got off their medications after 6 weeks of low heat infrared sauna therapy.
- Arthritis: In our infrared sauna, the model most therapeutic studies have been performed with, you are surrounded by the carbon heating element which produces the FAR infrared waves. This allows the heat to penetrate deeply into the joints and muscles to break up lactic acid deposits and to increase circulation to the joint capsules which accelerates soft tissue repair and increases the suppleness, flexibility and pliability of the connective tissue.
- Asthma: During the 1980's infrared sauna therapy studies demonstreated that industrial chemical exposure was alleviated in about 4 weeks. Some regular infrared sauna aficionados claim that inhaler use dropped from 3x / week to 3x / year.
- Fibromyalgia (chronic pain disorder): Many holistic doctors and more and more traditional medical doctors are beginning to believe that these types of patients have a very large toxic burden. It is also the case that for many of them, the liver (the major detoxification organ) and the kidneys (the major organ of filtration and excretion) are not functioning optimally. Oftentimes when their toxic load begins to lighten up, many of their symptoms begin to decrease. The infrared sauna is invaluable for accelerating heavy metal and petrochemical excretion.