How the evolution of infrared therapy saunas might affect your sauna experience.
You've probably already read some of the articles on our site that discuss the health benefits that infrared therapy saunas provide. If you haven't, we urge you take a few minutes and read some of those articles, because they explain how infrared sauna sessions can help a tremendous number of people with a wide assortment of health issues.
In the days when infrared saunas first came out, you could buy a sauna cabin that was well-constructed and used either ceramic, incoloy (a high-strength alloyed material that resists oxidation, carburization and certain other harmful effects of exposure to high temperatures) or carbon infrared heaters. To add a degree of luxury to their infrared sauna cabins, some manufacturers incorporated one or more additional features to their units. These luxury features included things like heat-resistant glass windows and/or doors, stereo systems to provide the user's choice of music or soothing sounds, and color LED lights inset into the cabin's ceiling (these color-changing LED ceiling lights were often promoted as a form of light-therapy). Some infrared therapy saunas even featured ionized air purifiers to enhance the interior air quality.
Some of the state of the art infrared therapy saunas that are now on the market have attractive touch-screen control panels, similar to those we use on our smartphones and other electronic devices that feature high end touch-screens displaying millions of colors. In addition to providing an easy, visually attractive way to operate infrared saunas, these new touch-screen control panels are often accompanied by small devices you can strap onto your body for purposes of monitoring vital signs such as your blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. Once you attach the device, the results of these measurements will be continuously displayed on your sauna's control panel, allowing you to always know how your body is responding to the heat being produced by your sauna's heaters.
Naturally, the more of these extra features your sauna includes, the more expensive it will be. After all, high technology like touch-screen operation, displays in millions of colors and monitoring of vital signs isn't something that comes for free. So, you might want to think twice about dashing out to buy one of the latest, ultra-high-tech infrared therapy saunas with all the flashy displays and fancy gadgets. But, their additional cost isn't the only reason to be cautious.
It's not that we believe these extra features don't add any value to your infrared sauna experience. To the contrary, helpful displays that are easy to operate and provide valuable information represent the wave of the future, and that trend is far from being limited to infrared saunas. We are, after all, living in the "Information Age."
So, we're not necessarily suggesting that you skip all these fancy features and get a more basic infrared sauna. But, we do want you to be aware of two important aspects of these ultra-high-end infrared saunas: 1) they will cost several hundred dollars more than basic units that omit these features; and 2) the more sophisticated the sauna's controls are, the more components there are that could break or fail. Making things worse, electronic components (whether they're in an infrared sauna, a smartphone or some other electronic device) don't like high-temperature environments. No matter what the salesperson says, the electronic component that thrives in heat has not yet been invented. That's why businesses with dedicated computer rooms always maintain the temperatures in those rooms far below what most people would consider a comfortable room temperature.
By their nature, infrared therapy saunas generate heat, and too much heat is capable of damaging the delicate electronic components that control the touch-screen display and other bells and whistles of the ultra-high tech models that are now being sold. Although it would be useful to see your vital signs displayed on the control panel, using the money those features would cost to instead buy a set of high-quality infrared heaters and a well-constructed cabinet is also worth considering. A solidly-built, high quality infrared sauna will give you many years of service.
After all, if you're using one of these high quality (but not necessarily high-tech) infrared therapy saunas, you'll be able to monitor your pulse manually without needing a touch-screen, million-color display. You won't, however, be able to experience any therapeutic benefits if your flashy, fancy control panel gives up the ghost and the infrared heaters never activate.
More on infrared therapy saunas.
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