In Australia controversy reigns regarding the health benefits or otherwise of both traditional hot rock saunas and infra red saunas with one infra red sauna company even promoting its product as “The detox box”.
Wikepedia has even become involved and has published an article on the differences between the two.
The following is an extract from that article:
A number of mainstream and alternative health doctors promote infrared sauna use for the purpose of detoxification, via an acceleration of the body’s natural sweat mechanism as well as stimulating circulation. No double-blind studies have demonstrated that infrared sauna use eliminates harmful chemicals from the body.
The simple facts are that there has been no research which concludes the health benefits or otherwise of either style of sauna.
So let’s look at the facts that we do know:
Firstly, the traditional hot rock sauna promotes sweat by heating the air surrounding the body to typically between 76°C and 93°C while infra red saunas achieve the same result by artificially inducing the sweat with infra red rays which are the same as sunlight minus the ultraviolet but to greater levels than natural sunlight.
Secondly, the traditional hot rock sauna has been used for centuries in Europe and some other parts of the globe in one form or another with the only thing changing being the way the rocks are heated. Infrared saunas were invented as recently as 1965, well after things such as Thalidomide, Agent Orange, Creosote and DDT which were used for decades until eventually banned.
Thirdly the only saunas you will find in Finland (the home of sauna) are the traditional hot rock saunas and here they are widely known as a “Natural detox”.
The fourth consideration is that a natural hot rock sauna of necessity has to be built from solid toxin free timber whereas infra red saunas are often from very cheap light weight materials which are full of chemicals and from cheap components which are prone to breakdowns.
This article has obviously been written with a degree of bias but it is a subject which it is impossible to write about without having experienced both, so we leave you to consider the facts and draw your own conclusions.
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