Far Infrared Saunas – What is Infrared?, Evolution, and History

A Little History

The health advantages of saunas are not a contemporary discovery. Historical confirmation and reports show that the Finns constructed the first wooden saunas over 2000 years ago. The primitive or first saunas were dug into a hill or mound. As tools and methods progressed, they were constructed above ground utilizing wooden logs. Rocks were heated in a stone fireplace with a wood fire. The smoke from the fire encompassed the room as the air warmed. As soon as the temperature reached preferred intensity, the smoke was permitted to clear and the patrons entered. The wood smoke scent still remained and was part of the healing ritual. This particular form of traditional smoke sauna was referred to as a savu, which translates into, “smoke” in Finnish.

Sauna Evolution

In time, the sauna developed where it utilized a metal woodstove, or kiuas (ke-wus), with a chimney. The temperature within the sauna was around 180 degrees Fahrenheit, but frequently surpassed 200 degrees in a traditional Finnish sauna. Steam vapor, also referred to as loyly (lou-lu), was generated by splashing water on the heated rocks.

The steam and high heat triggered the users to perspire, therefore eliminating impurities and toxins from the body. In addition, the Finns also incorporated vihtas (veh-tas) or bunches of birch twigs to lightly smack the skin and generate further stimulation of the pores and cells.

The Finnish culture also employed the sauna as a location to cleanse the mind, rejuvenate and refresh the spirit, and get ready the dead for burial. The sauna was a key part of their daily lives and families used it to bath together within the home. Oddly enough, the sauna was frequently the cleanest building and possessed readily available water—so Finnish woman also gave birth there.

When the Finnish people journeyed to new areas of the world, they took along their sauna designs and customs with them. They familiarized other cultures to the pleasures and health benefits of saunas, which then lead to further evolution of the design. All of this brought about the invention of the electric sauna stove in 1950 and finally the Far Infrared saunas in the last several decades. The Far Infrared sauna has now become one of the most powerful tools in toxin and heavy metal elimination available.

The Different Types of Saunas:
• Wet Saunas
• Dry Saunas
• Steam Saunas
• Infrared Saunas

Hyperthermic Effects

Overheating treatments have been recognized throughout history. Quite simply it is hyperthermia utilized as a healing technique. Ancient healers were aware that a slight fever was a potent healing tool against various illnesses. Greek physicians elevated body temperatures in therapeutic gathering places as an immune defense against infection, and that concept still holds true even today.

Although Far Infrared saunas are substantially lower in temperature than traditional stove or rock saunas, hyperthermic procedures are therapeutically making a come back as health care professionals realize that a non-life-threatening artificially induced fever can have extraordinary healing activity. Slightly raising body temperature produces a natural biological defense and healing force by the immune system to rid itself of destructive pathogens…in effect, to literally burn out foreign or invading microorganisms.

Ancient herbalists incorporated additional heat producing botanicals as protective healing procedures against colds, simple infections, and even against severe degenerative disease. Nowadays, some holistic and alternative clinics use artificially generated fevers to treat infections such as acute bronchitis and pneumonia, arthritic conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Lupus, and even more severe diseases such as cancer and HIV.

So, What Is Far Infrared Anyway?

Inside the electro-magnetic spectrum, Far Infrared heat is manufactured by the sun. It is a portion of the sun’s invisible band. Even though the band of light is not detectable to your eye, you feel the heat sensation. This is the heat you feel infiltrate your skin when you are out in the sunlight. You could compare it to sitting in a car on a chilly day and being able to feel the sunlight come through the window. In addition, infrared energy is also produced as body heat. You know that natural warmth you feel when you are sunbathing? Even your sunscreen can’t stop that, as it only blocks UV light from penetrating your skin—not FIR (far infrared) light waves. In fact, you can experience Far Infrared heat for hours and it will never damage your skin.

Far Infrared energy heats things by direct, molecular excitation, without heating the air between the spaces. Far Infrared rays infiltrate your body’s tissue much deeper than near infrared rays do. Your body absorbs Far Infrared heat waves that encourage the transfer of water across cellular membranes. Once this happens, and the cellular membranes are hydrated, your blood flow is enhanced and ultimately assists with an assortment of biologically beneficial healing functions.

The most notable characteristic of Far Infrared heat is its exceptional ability to penetrate far below superficial skin layers. When this occurs, it constructs a natural resonance, which has numerous advantageous properties. Infrared energy is measured in wavelengths as microns, and the human body can best absorb infrared energy in the 3- to 50-micron range—with the best absorption occurring at 9.4 microns (the same as the human body). These rays penetrate deep into the body where they gently elevate the body’s surface temperature and assist in expanding capillaries which stimulates blood circulation. By elevating the sub-surface tissue temperature, a series of continual changes constructive to human health will be instigated.

Do you recall how we mentioned above that infrared energy is also produced as body heat? Have you heard the statistics on married couples living longer versus single people? We are certain that there are a number of emotional advantages to help them, but another reason may be that while they are sleeping together, they act as transmitters and receivers of FIR waves to each other.

Think about that next time he or she makes you mad and you want to sleep on the couch!