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How does an infrared sauna work?

Infrared saunas use heaters that emit light from the electromagnetic spectrum. This intense infrared light therapy, or Waon therapy, generates heat that is absorbed by the skin. This is different from traditional steam or dry saunas that heat the air surrounding you.  

It’s A Dry Heat

Steam saunas and dry ‘rock’ saunas heat the room to around 190-220 degrees. An infrared sauna generates heat at a lower temperature that is actually being absorbed into the skin, thoroughly heating your body. This is much more comfortable than higher, humid temperatures of steam or wet sauna because your body is being heated from within rather than from the air.

Infrared Wavelengths

The electromagnetic spectrum includes the entire range of frequencies and light wavelengths emitted. Health Mate infrared sauna heaters can emit three different wavelengths–near-, mid-, and far-infrared. Infrared light is not visible to the naked eye but can be seen with special cameras and equipment.  

Near-infrared light creates a range of 0.76 to 1.5 microns and is of the shorter wavelength on the scale. This type of light penetrates just below the surface of the skin. Near-infrared has many benefits including mitochondria stimulation and activation of anti-inflammatory processes. It’s what you experience during chromotherapy, or light therapy, as it’s commonly known.

Next, mid-infrared light emits a range of 1.5 to 5.6 microns and reaches deeper parts of the body including muscles and joints. One benefit includes improved and increased blood flow and circulation. 

Finally, far-infrared light is the most deeply penetrating, with a range of 5.6 to 1000 microns to reach the core of the body. This type of light stimulates metabolism, can improve internal organ efficiency, and aids cardiovascular health. Another example of far-infrared light is the sun, which emits 50% infrared rays. 

Full Spectrum Infrared

Health Mate saunas provide all 3 kinds of infrared light using patented Tecoloy heaters in order to maximize health and recovery.  For near-infrared, we include LED light panels that also provide ‘light therapy’ or chromotherapy. We call this full spectrum, and it provides the maximum benefits attainable in an infrared sauna.

Learn more about the difference between steam and infrared saunas.