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Infrared Saunas: Relax at Home from the Inside Out

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I remember taking a ferry between Finland and Sweden. As we pulled away from the dock, I exchanged friendly waves with stark naked Finnish families who’d jump into the frigid Baltic Sea, screaming, and then dash into their sauna.

I later learned that there are 2.3 million saunas in Finland (population 5 million) – almost one sauna for every two people.

While Finns have been reaping the benefits of saunas since around 7000 BC, the home sauna trend is just emerging in the U.S. Since it’s so affordable and easy to assemble a free-standing infrared sauna, homeowners are eagerly installing them in nooks and crannies.

In this article, you’ll discover the benefits of relaxing in an infrared sauna, and we’ll introduce you to our favorite saunas by Health Mate, available from Rich’s for the Home.

Infrared vs. Traditional Saunas

You’ve probably sat in a traditional dry sauna, or in one where you pour water over hot stones to create steam. In a traditional sauna, as the air warms, your body warms up.

An infrared sauna uses various wavelengths of light to heat the body in the form of near-, mid-, and far-infrared, which target different parts of the body.

Diagram of near- mid- and far-infrared wavelengths in a sauna

From the moment you step into an infrared sauna, a series of chemical changes begins to occur within your body.

Infrared sauna wavelengths, particularly far infrared, penetrate the muscles deep within the body. Your core body temperature increases, allowing the blood vessels to expand and circulation to increase. This stimulates the release of ‘feel-good’ endorphins, which helps you relax from the inside out.

Because infrared saunas operate at lower temperatures than traditional steam- or convection-heated saunas, they’re a great choice for people who can’t tolerate high heat.

8 Health Benefits of Saunas

Numerous studies tout the health benefits of saunas. Regular sauna use is linked to:

1. Improved circulation

As your body warms up, its natural cooling system activates and you begin to sweat. Sweating helps increase heart rate, which then increases blood circulation.

2. Lower blood pressure

As your heart rate increases to that of a moderate-paced walk, far infrared heat therapy acts as a cardiovascular workout, aiding in healthy levels of blood pressure.

3. Expedited weight loss

Because infrared saunas raise your core body temperature – which boosts cardiovascular function and creates a fat-based sweat that helps your body burn calories – regular use of an infrared sauna can kick start weight loss without the negative side effects that often accompany high-impact workouts.

4. Detoxification

Your body continuously battles a wide range of toxins, including pesticides, toxic metals, PCBs in plastics, environmental pollution, and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). As the near-, mid-, and far-infrared light from a sauna penetrates deep tissues and other areas of the body, you can sweat out harmful toxins.

One reason we, at Rich’s, love Health Mate saunas is because their patented Tecoloy™ heaters increase toxin removal from 3% to a whopping 15% when compared to conventional saunas. That’s a significant sauna benefit!

5. Enhanced immune system

The heat generated by an infrared sauna naturally triggers an artificial fever, mimicking the body’s response to infection. This, in turn, promotes cell repair, which enhances the body’s immune response and can reduce inflammation and expedite the natural wound healing process.

6. Natural pain relief

In conjunction with enhancing your immune system, mid-infrared light penetrates into muscles, providing joint and muscle pain relief for conditions such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) & Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sports injuries
  • Ongoing discomfort and other forms of chronic pain

7. Brighter skin

Cleansed pores are a natural byproduct of sweating. Infrared sauna therapy stimulates collagen production, which can help reduce acne and can improve your skin’s smoothness and elasticity.

8. Reduced stress and anxiety

Stress often manifests itself as headaches, muscle stiffness, or panic attacks. As infrared heat penetrates deep within your muscles, the stress of life begins to melt away.

Inside your sauna, you can stretch, meditate, sit in silence, read, or listen to music. You can even add a few drops of essential oils to the Aroma Therapy cup inside your Health Mate sauna to enhance your experience.

The deep sense of relaxation can last for hours, and may even help you get a good night’s sleep.

3 Types of Health Mate Saunas

At Rich’s, you can currently order three types of Health Mate saunas: Enrich, Inspire, and Essential. Here are the key features of each series:

Enrich

The Enrich series includes 2-person and 3-person saunas.

Crafted of sustainably sourced 100% Eucalyptus wood, this sauna features inside/outside touch-sensitive control panels.

There's a gorgeous, wood-surround glass door:

  • Reflective privacy glass
  • Bluetooth audio
  • Ergonomic bench
  • Towel rack
  • Magazine holder
  • Exterior lighting

The heaters deliver mid- and far-infrared for high-density heat with a 96-diode near-infrared color light LED panel (including red light therapy) to ensure full spectrum coverage.

The Enrich 2 sauna plugs into a standard 120v 15a outlet, while the Enrich 3 plugs into a standard 120v 20 amp outlet.

Inspire

The Inspire series is Health Mate’s most innovative line, combining state-of-the-art technology with enhanced luxury. The series includes 2-person and 3-person saunas.

The patented Tecoloy Max dual-range heater and a 96-diode LED near-infrared panel provide full spectrum heating and a safe, low EMF experience. The Inspire 2 includes eight high-efficiency heaters, while the Inspire 3 has 12 total heaters.

An app-based control panel lets you pre-heat your sauna, so it’s warm and toasty the minute you step inside. Via your smartphone, you can set the sauna start time, temperature, and lighting. Using the app, you can adjust the temperature from 86-167 degrees and set the time for up to 60 minutes.

A high-grade stainless steel control box lets you select 7 colors of chromotherapy and adjust the brightness to 8 different levels.

Other features of the Inspire series include:

  • A-grade western Canadian cedar wood
  • Glass entry/exit door with chrome hardware
  • Double durable tempered glass on front and side of the sauna to maintain the thermal barrier while also giving you an open feeling.
  • Bluetooth audio system
  • Ergonomic backrest
  • Magazine rack
  • Exterior lighting
  • Designed for two adults to assemble the sauna within 30 minutes.
  • Easy-mount aromatherapy cup

The Inspire 2 sauna plugs into a standard 120v 15a outlet and the Inspire 3 plugs into a standard 120v 20 amp outlet.

Essential

The Essential series features two innovative saunas: a half sauna (Essential Lounge), and a dome sauna (Essential Comfort).

Essential Lounge

If space is at a premium, the exterior dimensions of this infrared sauna are 29"W x 46"L x 32"D. It’s portable and storable – small enough to move from one room to another or out of the way to make space for guests.

Constructed of solid eucalyptus wood, the sauna features a unique reclining backrest and enclosed seating design.

The Essential Lounge provides the same infrared benefits of a walk-in model at a fraction of the cost. The sauna’s three heaters, controllers, and electrical components are equipped with low EMF technology, ensuring you get the greatest infrared benefits at the safest levels possible.

The sauna plugs into a standard 110v 15a outlet.

Essential Comfort

Designed for a single user, this portable dome sauna lets you enjoy the full benefits of infrared heating anywhere there’s space to lie down. Adjustable up to 69’’ x 28’’ x 18’’, it’s the perfect size for apartment dwellers and home gyms.

The sauna collapses to half its size (19” x 27” x 37”) for easy storage. Its packing weight is 37 lbs.

The Essential Comfort sauna features low-EMF technology from 7 heat pads that connect to 2 heat sources, a separate controller for time and temp, along with comfortable, contoured cushioned padding with a memory foam headrest.

Ready to enjoy the healing warmth and invaluable benefits of infrared therapy? Stop by Rich’s and ask about our Health Mate saunas.