About an infrared sauna
Infrared sauna uses light to create heat. Known as a far-infrared sauna – “far” describes where the infrared waves fall on the light spectrum. A traditional Finnish sauna uses heat to warm the air, which in turn warms the body. An infrared sauna heats your body directly without warming the air around you. The effect is like sitting in the sunshine, where a person may feel quite warm even though the room temperature itself is cold. The dangers of infrared saunas are generally the same as those of wet saunas and involve excess heat. An infrared sauna produces same results at lower temperatures than a regular sauna, which makes it accessible to people who can’t tolerate the heat of a conventional sauna.
Benefits of infrared sauna
Several studies have looked at using infrared saunas to treat chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, headache, type II diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and found some evidence of benefits. However, larger and more rigorous studies need to confirm these results. There are no adverse effects reported with infrared saunas. So if you’re considering trying a sauna for relaxation, an infrared sauna might be an option.
While using the sauna, be cautious
Be aware, even if the air is not hot, there are some risks when using the infrared sauna if you don’t respect the rules.
Overheating and Dehydration
The primary risk of either a dry or steam sauna is overdoing it, as explained by physician Andrew Weil. Overheating can lead to fainting and dehydration. Elderly people are more prone to overheating, as sweat gland function decreases with age. A child’s body temperature also rises more quickly than that of an adult, so parents should consult with a pediatrician before allowing a child to enter the sauna. If you are taking antihistamines, barbiturates, beta-blockers or diuretics you should be cautious about using an infrared sauna. These drugs can impair the ability to perspire and may cause dehydration. If not sure, ask the doctor.
Combination of alcohol drinks and sauna is forbidden
Drinking alcohol before or in the sauna might be risky. Blood pressure can drop very low. People with high blood pressure have to be careful with any form of sweat-including heat.
One potential danger particularly associated with an infrared sauna compared to a wet sauna regards silicone implants of any sort. Silicone absorbs infrared heat. Anyone with a silicone implant should ask a doctor before using an infrared sauna.