It’s about the Heat
By Coastal Saunas Inc
Every day we get calls from customers who express confusion while shopping for an infrared sauna. I would like to give you a very short explanation which should give you some clarity in your search for an infrared sauna. This article will give you an explanation on why you should focus your research on the heaters themselves, before anything else the sauna has to offer.
This article focuses primarily on the heaters, for an in depth buyer’s guide on the whole sauna please read http://www.SaunaBuyersGuide.info
Many of you have used a traditional or steam sauna in the past and have experienced the overwhelming heat they have to offer. Have you ever gotten dizzy or light headed during your session and had to take a break so you could finish your sauna? This was due to a “fight or flight” response in your system in which your body counters the heat with blood and sweat to keep it cool. Traditional saunas make you sweat because your skin gets hot and it is your body’s natural defense to cool it down by sweating.
Infrared saunas work in a slightly different way. The heaters in an infrared sauna use 100% safe natural heat, as they duplicate the FAR infrared invisible heat from the sun. Think of far infrared heat as the warm good feeling you get from the sun, but without any of the damaging UV rays.
In the last 5 years, infrared saunas have hit the “mainstream” market as one of the best ways to detoxify and heal injuries...but why? If you go to the Doctor with a wrist injury, he may set a small heat gun on your wrist for 5 minutes as part of your treatment. This heat gun distributes the heat up to 2” into your injury expanding the capillaries, pulling in rich healing blood while pushing out scar tissue and lactic acid build up. So while traditional saunas pull the blood to your skin, infrared saunas pull the blood into your joints. Now imagine taking that heat gun and treating all 300 joints at the same time in an infrared sauna.
Injuries are one thing but how about the “sweat factor”. Many of our customers email us and are ecstatic about how much they are sweating in their infrared sauna and want to know why. While your infrared sauna is distributing heat into your joints it is also warming your soft tissue and in turn your core body temperature. When your core temperature starts to raise you will start to sweat and sweat a LOT! Besides this penetrative heat healing injuries, it is also working very hard to drop harmful toxins from your cells as well.
Not all Heaters are the Same…Buyer Beware
Here is your buyer’s checklist and is THE most important four factors which will determine the healing capabilities, sweat factor, and your overall experience in your infrared sauna:
1) The type of heaters
2) The micron range of the heaters
3) The placement of heaters
4) The size of the heaters themselves
The Types of Heaters
Past Technology: The first technology devised to deliver infrared heat in saunas was the ceramic rod and is often what you would find in Sauna #1. This was an incredible breakthrough for the sauna industry, every infrared sauna had them and it was all the rave. I personally owned one and used it every night with good success, but ceramic heaters weren't without their pitfalls. First, ceramic heaters are composed of glass rods which can heat an entire sauna but have to work very hard in the process making them extremely hot (up to 580 degrees!), becoming very uncomfortable to sit against, and in some cases may burn your back. Secondly, ceramic rods have a very limited surface area. This smaller surface area equates to decreased emission of the healing infrared rays. Ceramic heaters worked, just not as efficiently as one would desire. They have come a long way since then, but new technology continues to make ceramic heaters obsolete. Also, if they ever do go out on you they can be difficult to replace. Last but not least, the FDA announced it is considering banning these heaters due to them causing reported fires. Since this announcement, we have decided to no longer carry any ceramic heated saunas.
Out of demand for a more effective way of delivering infrared therapy, came the invention of Carbon-Based heating panels. Although more expensive to produce, they solved both of the downfalls of ceramic heaters. This new carbon technology enabled the heat to be delivered evenly through a large flat panel instead of a small rod. Since this new technology has a 10x larger surface area than it predecessor, it is able to deliver over 10x the healing rays into your body. To visualize this, on a much smaller scale, try the following: Put a pencil besides a napkin (get the picture), the pencil represents the older ceramic heaters and the napkin represents the new carbon heaters. As you can see, the carbon heaters have a much larger surface area, which equates to more infrared rays into your body. What was once only for the elite, now most infrared saunas come with flexible carbon panels. Yes, they all claim to be the best and independently tested to deliver the best infrared heat. Once you can look beyond this aggressive marketing, you will find that most flexible carbon panels use the SAME technology.
In 2010, the ONLY reason a sauna will have smaller heaters, ceramic heaters, or a mixture of the two, is to cut costs on building the sauna.
The Newest Technology: Clinically tested carbon heaters at 8-10 microns
1) Infrared heat is measured in microns.
2) Our bodies emit infrared heat naturally at 9.4 microns.
3) The closer your heaters are to 9.4 microns the more your body will absorb as it strikes a balance resulting in a faster deeper sweat.
Did you know our bodies naturally emit infrared heat? Have you ever seen a night vision picture or video clip (like on the COPS show)? This is their camera picking up infrared heat coming from our bodies. The infrared heat our bodies naturally put out is measured at 9.4 microns. The closer your infrared heaters come to 9.4 microns the more your body will strike a balance with the heaters and in turn, except more of this healing heat.
Always ask the manufacturer your considering what the micron range is of the heaters they sell - This is THE most important variable in the long-term benefits you will receive from your infrared sauna. If they don't know, RUN!
Many manufacturers in the industry give claims that their heaters are the best, and they are the ONLY one to make this technology. A better way to state this would be. "Our heaters are measured at 8-10 microns, clinically tested and utilize the best technology in the industry."
The Size and Placement of Heaters
The next item you will need in your arsenal to become an educated sauna buyer is an understanding the correct size and proper placement of these heaters.
Unlike a traditional sauna using ambient heat to sweat, infrared heat is directional. Where you don’t have heaters, you will not be getting the benefits this healing heat has to offer. Did you know in an infrared sauna if you lean forward you could loose your sweat unless you have a floor heater?
Infrared saunas have anywhere from 1-14 carbon heating panels to deliver infrared heat. When you are comparing saunas ask how many infrared panels the sauna has, the size of the panels, and where they are placed. You want large panels and lots of them. You also want the panels to surround you including; behind, in front, on the sides, on the calves and under the feet will give you the best coverage. The first item a manufacturer does to cut the cost of the sauna besides cheap wood is to make the heaters smaller and less of them.
REMEMBER, you can't put heating panels where you have glass. Glass looks good, but make sure you still have plenty of heating panels directly in front of you, as you want the front of your body to get the infrared benefits as well. Ask the manufacturer how many square inches of surface area heat the heating panels have. If they don't know.... move on, if they do...compare.
A question we are often asked is, "Why don't you carry any one person saunas?"
There is simply no room to put front heaters in it with the door. Front heaters are extremely important to heal your front extremities and you would not have complete infrared sauna without them.
I hope you have found this article useful and it has given you some clarity in your search for an infrared sauna. We know you have many choices when choosing the appropriate sauna for you. We are a family owned business and have been on the forefront of infrared technology for over 10 years. Our staff has vast knowledge of the infrared sauna industry and is always here to answer any questions you may have. We would love to hear from you anytime 800.327.5122.
If you would like to view Infrared Saunas using this technology CLICK HERE
For an Infrared Sauna Buyer’s Guide on the whole sauna including wood, options and safety please visit our Sauna Buyer’s Guide article at http://www.SaunaBuyersGuide.info.
Timothy Davids - Owner
Coastal Saunas Inc.
800-327-5122 press #1