Recently I wrote a blog describing how I felt taking an old-fashioned steam sauna. I really do remember it being so hot inside I could barely breathe. When I did take a breath and tried to close my mouth, my teeth were so hot it was uncomfortable. Usually at that point I would exit the steam sauna and find myself cooling off in the ice-cold swimming pool. As an adult I now have a Far Infrared sauna that I use daily. Due to the difference in the way it heats my body, not the surrounding air, there is no discomfort like I felt in the steamy, hot, uncomfortable and humid traditional sauna.
I’ll give you this; some people simply prefer the feeling of relaxing in hot, moist air. The mist is sort of mysterious and intriguing. To me it’s just hot air! Still many people prefer it. Others, like myself, are inclined to enjoy drier air, finding steam rooms too hot and totally stifling. The controversy continues. There are really only a couple of essential differences I can see between the two. In a steam sauna the humidity level is 100%. This huge level of moisture can be highly soothing and beneficial for many respiratory conditions. If you’re a parent, you may remember the doctor asking youth bring a baby with a croupy cough into a bathroom you’ve filled with hot steam from the tub. It does aid in reducing coughing and respiratory ailments. It loosens secretions from the linings of the throat, sinuses and lungs. It can alleviate cold symptoms and help to open up congested nasal passages. Steam relieves throat and nasal dryness and irritation by moistening the air. Steam can soothe the spasmodic breathing of croup and asthma along with helping to rid in the discomfort of sinusitis. Also, it helps you sleep better and can be wonderful for the skin; hydrating.
The other major difference between traditional steam sauna heat and Far Infrared heat is simply the way it heats the air or your body. Steam heats the air whereas Far Infrared heats your body. First, let’s look at why you might utilize a Far Infrared sauna. Your body is a repository of over eighty thousand chemicals and metals found in our food, water, air and soil. Getting into the habit of a daily regimen of Far Infrared sauna therapy is a valuable way to achieve and maintain your personal health and vitality. Some of the more common symptoms caused by various environmental toxins include acne, allergies, arthritis, bacterial infections, Alzheimer’s, cancer, digestion issues, depression, eczema, fatigue, fibromyalgia, heart problems, infertility, insomnia, muscle fatigue and viral infections. The single most effective way to thwart complications from toxins is to sweat. The most efficient way to produce a comfortable and productive sweat is through the use of a reputable and safe Far Infrared sauna. When your body temperature increases by even three degrees white blood cells and killer T cells are produced and mobilized. The natural healing mechanisms kick in and hyperthermia is achieved. This is an ‘artificial fever’ and when this occurs the heart is strengthened, damaged cells are repaired, calories are burned and not only are you detoxing you are also relaxing and relieving stress.
Either way I recommend you try both types of either a wet or dry sauna. See what feels best for you.
However, if you’re planning on long term sauna detoxification or sauna therapy that involves heat exposure for more than fifteen to thirty minutes, I still believe you’d be better off going with a Far Infrared sauna, than a traditional steam room. It’s true both a Far Infrared sauna and a steam bath produce the same basic effect; an excellent sweat. This sweat is achieved in completely different ways. For people with respiratory complaints, steam rooms do offer some unique benefits, they both cause you to sweat and they both increase circulation to the surface of the skin.
I simply believe, after using both types of heat, that Far Infrared sauna therapy is better all around. It’s more comfortable thus you will stay in it longer enjoying it’s many benefits. The Far Infrared rays penetrate your body at a much deeper level than steam. Normally our bodies pump ten to fourteen pints of blood per minute. Far Infrared sauna rays increase the blood flow up to twenty six pints per minute. When blood flow is increased you have additional oxygenation assisting the body to repair cells and tissues. The Far Infrared sauna also stimulates the sebaceous glands to release harmful toxins such as petrochemicals, mercury and other heavy metals. Toxins that cannot be expelled immediately after entry are stored in our bodies. The Far Infrared not only boosts the metabolism but is also extremely effective at aiding the upturn of immune function. Ultimately it is a very personal choice; steam versus Far Infrared. I know mine – do you know yours?