Far Infra-Red Sauna

New Image Day Spa

What Is Far Infrared?

Far infrared saunas heat the body directly rather than heating the air around your body. These rooms are often described as infrared heat therapy rooms because heating elements reflect heat in the form of light that is emitted directly onto the body.

In a far infrared sauna, about 20% of the heat goes to heating the air and the other 80% heats your body. This radiant heat penetrates the skin more deeply than traditional saunas.

Because the air around your body is not heated, infrared saunas are often more tolerable than traditional dry or wet saunas. The temperatures in far infrared saunas are typically much lower.

Types of Infrared Saunas

Far infrared is the most common type of infrared sauna, but full-spectrum saunas are also available. These range from near, mid, to far-infrared wavelengths. Each type of energy warms your body without heating the air around you and is said to provide a different benefit.

Potential Benefits

There are myriad health benefits associated with far infrared saunas and saunas in general.

While not all of the health claims about saunas are supported by high-quality scientific evidence, it doesn't mean that you won't experience the benefits.

Far infrared saunas may provide pain relief, stress reduction, beauty benefits, and other advantages that can help those with medical conditions.

Better Skin

Claims about skin benefits, cellulite reduction, and other beauty benefits are commonly associated with far-infrared sauna use.

Blood Pressure

Both far infrared and other types of sauna are said to improve blood flow and circulation. Emerging research shows a link between sauna and decreased blood pressure in patients with hypertension.

For instance, a 2009 review suggested that far infrared sauna use was associated with beneficial effects on systolic hypertension, but noted that most studies are limited by several factors including small sample size.


It is widely believed that sweating helps rid the body of toxins, though many health experts would point out that toxins are eliminated from the body through the liver, intestines, and kidneys. However, a 2012 review published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found that certain chemicals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) are actually prominent in sweat. These findings suggest there is possibly some merit to the sweat-to-detox theory.

Another study published in the same journal showed that induced sweating appears to be a potential method for the elimination of BPA. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical contaminant that has been associated with adverse effects on human health.

Heart Health

The research on reduced blood pressure, weight loss, and stress relief associated with far infrared saunas led some researchers to investigate the potential heart health benefits as well.

A study investigating the health benefits of sauna use conducted by researchers in Finland found that more frequent sauna use was associated with a decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke. Men in the study averaged 14 minutes per visit to a 175-degree sauna. The men who visited the sauna four to seven times each week had the lowest mortality rates.

Another study investigated the relationship between the regular use of far infrared saunas by men with coronary risk factors. Researchers concluded that the treatment provided improvements and suggested a therapeutic role for sauna treatment in patients with risk factors for atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease of the arteries.

Managing Medical Conditions

Since far infrared saunas are more accessible to those who cannot tolerate extreme heat, they may offer pain relief and other benefits to people with certain medical conditions.

    • Chronic fatigue syndrome: A small study conducted on women with chronic fatigue syndrome who were treated with sauna therapy experienced less pain after the treatment, as well as improved mood, and reduced anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
    • Type 2 diabetes: There is some evidence that far infrared sauna use may provide benefit to people with type 2 diabetes by reducing blood pressure and waist circumference, according to a 2009 study. The author also notes that people are more likely to stick to a plan to use an infrared sauna than they are to a plan that includes traditional lifestyle interventions.11
    • Chronic respiratory conditions: A large study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that frequent sauna baths may be associated with a reduced risk of acute and chronic respiratory conditions in middle-aged men. Those conditions included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, or pneumonia.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Another study investigated the use of far infrared saunas in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Researchers concluded that infrared treatment has statistically significant short-term beneficial effects and no adverse health effects.

Pain Relief

One of the most commonly cited health benefits of infrared saunas is improved muscle recovery after exercise. Anecdotal reports suggest a decrease in pain and inflammation after intense when a workout is followed by a session in the sauna.

There is some evidence to support this benefit: A small study conducted in Finland on ten men found that far infrared sauna use helps to speed recovery from strength and endurance training sessions.

Stress Relief

This is another area where anecdotal claims are substantial but scientific evidence is lacking. However, anyone who has used a sauna can attest to the fact that time spent in a quiet space away from an electronic device is rejuvenating. This can encourage mindfulness practices such as meditation and deep breathing—restorative body processes that are backed by substantial science.

Weight Loss

Another key factor regarding the use of far infrared saunas to lose weight is the confusion between water loss and fat loss. Sweating causes water loss, so it is no surprise that people often weigh a little less after a sauna session. But any weight loss experienced from water loss is likely to be regained.

Weight loss is likely to occur when using a far-infrared sauna due to water weight lost through excessive sweating. However, water loss is not sustainable weight loss and should not be confused with fat loss.

Risks and Side Effects

Most researchers investigating the health benefits of far infrared saunas note that few side effects are associated with their use. However, to stay safe, there are some factors to keep in mind.

  • Dehydration: It's possible to become dehydrated if you don't drink enough water. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your session to stay hydrated. Try our Hydro-Quench Electrolyte Replacement Dring while at New Image Day Spa.
  • Lightheadedness: Even if you hydrate properly, lightheadedness may occur. It's recommended to move slowly both in the sauna and as you move out to prevent falling or collapsing.
  • Overheating: If you are not used to using any type of sauna, there is a risk of overheating. That's why it's important to keep sessions short when you begin.

If you start to experience any of these side effects, exit the sauna immediately. Drink plenty of water and cool off with a cold plunge shower. Drape a cold washcloth over your head to bring your core temperature down. If your heart is pounding or racing and you still feel dizzy or lightheaded, seek emergency medical attention.

Who Should Avoid Far Infrared

Certain people should exercise caution when using any type of sauna, including a far infrared sauna. These include:

  • People with certain medical conditions: Even though far infrared sauna sessions may provide benefits to people with medical conditions, particularly high blood pressure and heart conditions, you should speak to your health care provider before using it for enjoyment or as treatment.
  • People who are taking certain medications: Talk to your doctor about using a sauna if you're taking diuretics, barbiturates, or beta-blockers, since they may hinder your body's ability to produce enough sweat to regulate your core temperature. Those taking medications that cause drowsiness should also seek medical advice before using a sauna.
  • People who are under the influence of substances: You should not use any type of sauna while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • People who are pregnant: If you're pregnant or think that you might be pregnant, you should avoid steam rooms or saunas until you receive personalized advice from your health care provider.89

People with health concerns should always talk to their health care provider before trying a far infrared sauna.

How to Prepare

You'll use the infrared sauna the same way that you would use a traditional sauna, except that the temperature most likely won't be as high.

Before you try an infrared sauna for the first time, follow these steps to stay safe and make the most out of your session:

  • Drink plenty of water beforehand: Hydrate before the session to avoid lightheadedness.
  • Shower before you go: Please remember that our sauna is a public sauna booked as individual treatment sessions, it's a good idea to shower before using a shared sauna.
  • Schedule a shorter session: Those new to infrared saunas should start with shorter sessions.
  • Move slowly during and after: Be sure to give your body time to adjust after use. Moving too quickly from the sauna room can result in lightheadedness.
  • Hydrate afterward: Remember that you will lose water during the sauna, so it's important to replenish that water so that your body can recover effectively.

To make your far infrared sauna experience more enjoyable, we provide music but you may bring your favorite book with you. Towels and water are provided, plan to take another shower afterward. And of course, you can also bring a friend along so you have someone to chat with during your session.

What to Expect

If you're ready to try a far infrared sauna but still have a few lingering questions, here's a rundown of what you can expect.

  • How warm will it be? Most far infrared saunas will have temperatures ranging from 100˚F to 150˚F. At New Image Day Spa our sauna is set to 140˚F.
  • How long will it last? Beginners should start with 10–15 minute sessions and build from there. Experienced sauna-goers will stay anywhere from 20–45 minutes.
  • What should you wear? Wear loose, breathable clothing that you don't mind sweating in such as a t-shirt and baggy shorts. You can also wear a bathing suit. At New Image Day Spa, we have spa robes and wraps that you can use.
  • How often can you go? For your first few visits, it's a good idea to stick to just one visit per week.
As you get comfortable with the treatment, gradually increase the time, temperature, or frequency of visits.