I had my first experience with a far infrared sauna today and I'm a believer. What is a far infrared sauna, you say? This type of sauna creates heat with light and 'far' infrared refers to where the rays fall on the light spectrum. What makes this type of sauna different from the traditional type? A traditional sauna will heat the air around you which in turn will heat your body. A far infrared sauna will heat your body directly with light rays and does not warm the air. What makes this particularly appealing is that it does its work at a lower temperature which makes it more accessible to people who otherwise are unable to use a sauna because of the high heat.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several studies using infrared saunas in the treatment plans for those with chronic health problems like high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, chronic headache, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis and the results look promising, but testing is needed. The really good part is that there are no adverse effects to using this type of sauna, even for those who are unable to use traditional saunas.
My experience today was one of deep relaxation. When my 30 minute session was over, my muscles felt warm and loose. My arthritic neck felt more flexible and was much less tight. Because it was my first experience, I may not have gotten the full benefit of the session as someone who is a regular user but it felt pretty good. I will definitely be back for more.