What is a Near Infrared Sauna?
A near infrared sauna is an indoor sauna that is powered and heated by the “near” portion of the infrared energy spectrum. Widely recognized for its healing and therapeutic value, near infrared provides an alternative to steam, conventional
electric, and far infrared saunas. This exciting addition to the world of sauna therapy offers many new, different and wonderful types of healing not available with other saunas. Near Infrared is a shorter wavelength of infrared energy that carries 10 times the energy of far infrared. It is also closer to the visible spectrum.
Near infrared saunas are also known as electric lamp saunas since they are powered by wide spectrum near infrared lamps. In these pictures, you can see the near infrared heat lamps in some of our custom built wood cabinets.
Near infrared heat lamps emit visible light in the red/orange range, lots of near infrared and a little middle infrared. In the last 40 years, research has shown the amazing therapeutic healing power of near infrared.
Why is Near Infrared So Effective?
It’s basic biology, really. Our sun emits 37% of its total energy in the near infrared range. By contrast, only 3% is in the far infrared range. Much like sunlight is needed to produce vitamin D, we are equally biologically hardwired to use near infrared. In fact, it is now understood that the human body is partially photosynthetic. In other words, we NEED sunlight AND near infrared for optimal health.
Near infrared light has dozens of biological effects on the body that you can harness now to dramatically improve your health and well-being. Near infrared easily and effectively penetrates deep into the human body where it directly stimulates cell structures. The most basic premise of near infrared sauna use is the simple, straight-forward understanding that the human body is evolved to need near infrared stimulation, as we have spent millions of years receiving and evolving with it.
As evidence, our bodies have intracellular components inside the mitochondria of every cell called chromophores. Chromophores absorb red and near infrared wavelengths and are located at the end stage of the chain of reactions in the mitochondria that synthesize the energy molecule ATP. The effect of near infrared on the mitochondria is a net increase in cellular energy production that can then be used to repair and rejuvenate at the cellular level. Studies have shown increases in muscle protein synthesis, collagen and skin protein synthesis, angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels), and other beneficial rejuvenate effects. Far infrared does not have the same cellular effect in the mitochondria. People have experienced skin regeneration, reduced wrinkle, fine lines and age spots along with boosts in energy levels when using near infrared saunas.
Many far infrared websites claim that near infrared does not penetrate into the skin. I ask you this simple questions: why would nature place near infrared receptors (chromophores) INSIDE the body, if near infrared couldn’t get through the skin to reach them? Subsequent research by N.A.S.A. has shown certain wavelengths in the near infrared range can penetrate more than 5 inches into the body. Wavelengths between 630-800 nm can travel 23 cm through the surface tissue and muscle. The light is absorbed by mitochondria where it stimulates energy metabolism in muscle and bone, as well as skin and subcutaneous tissue. Once the light enters the body, it naturally disperses and delivers healing energy to the entire body. Near infrared is an amazingly simple and effective healing tool that is available now to you.
Long Life Saunas strives to provide the best information about near infrared light and infrared sauna use. If you have any questions, please contact me at your convenience and I would be happy to speak with you.