Saturday, Aug, 21, 2004

"Far-infrared saunas are making waves "
Saunas have been proved to alleviate some ailments. But regular saunas are a problem for some and perhaps a health threat to others.

Not to worry. Another type of sauna is safe: the far-infrared sauna, also known as FIRS.

What exactly is a far-infrared sauna ? Let's start with describing the energy that comes from the sun. that energy is measured in various wavelengths. The shortest are the gamma rays, the most damaging. At the other end of the spectrum are the infrared and radio waves.

At the end of the infrared rays are the longest and most healing rays, the far-infrared rays. Those rays are the ones responsible for photosynthesis, without which there would be no life on Earth. FIR saunas makes heat via far-infrared rays.

There are many health and beauty benefits to using a FIRS unit, and without the dangers the regular heat saunas. In studies published in Journal of Cardiology, Mayo Clinic physicians tested patients with congestive heart failure on the FIR sauna.

As we know, those with high blood pressure cannot use a regular heat sauna because it would cause an increase in systemic blood pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance. In other words, it would cause more work for a failing heart.

Mayo Clinic physicians found that in a regular sauna, the arrhythmias will increase by 20 percent. In the FIR sauna, arrhythmias decrease or disappear entirely. That means the blood pressure or disappear entirely. That means the blood pressure went down. Not only did the heart patients tolerate the FIR sauna, their condition improved with no side effects.

What are some of the other benefits? Weight loss, cleans out toxins, lowers lactic acid (that muscle pain when you overdo the exercising), stimulates endorphins (happy hormones in the brain) and kills bacteria ¡¦ to mention a few.

Check with your doctor before trying a FIR sauna. But even before that, get more information on the FIR sauna and take it to her or him. You and your doctor might be amazed at the health benefits produced by a FIRS unit.
What do FIRS cost ? Anywhere from $600 to $6,000, depending on size and type. There are little fold-away ones you can sit in or lie in and there are large ones for more than one person, like traditional heat saunas.

If you consider adding a sauna to your house, think about having it be a far-infrared sauna. If you think of using some space in your home for exercising, think also of including a FIRS unit in that space. The health benefits will speak for themselves.

By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann

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