HOW TO BUILD A SAUNA: DIY INFRARED SAUNA TIPS

From commercial use to home saunas, Clearlight offers all the components you need to build your own custom sauna for to fit your needs. This blog will cover tips to make the building process as easy as possible, along with things to consider prior to building your own from an infrared sauna kit.

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Is a Business or Home Sauna DIY Right for Me?

Before starting your DIY journey, it is important to be realistic with yourself first. Adding an infrared sauna to your home or business is an exciting decision, but make sure the installation process isn’t biting off more than you can chew with a new project. Installing an infrared sauna is typically done in one of three ways:

  1. Ground-Up: User builds a new infrared sauna out of lumber and tools by following blueprints or creating a new DIY sauna plan from scratch. This method can be extremely time-consuming and requires meticulous attention to detail. While it is the most hands-on method, it does allow for high levels of customization and a sense of pride in the end.
  2. Custom Infrared Sauna Kits: Designing your own sauna with custom infrared sauna kits is the happy medium between the ground-up and base model options. These kits can be modeled to fit your space perfectly and are easily installed. By using DIY infrared sauna kits like these, you get to design many aspects and still put your building skills to work, but with less pressure.
  3. Base Model: User purchases a base model sauna that is easy to install, but with lower customization opportunities. For those wanting a more hands-off approach to adding a sauna to their home or business, this route is ideal for high-quality results with less effort.

Sauna DIY Kit Considerations

If you’ve read the above and have decided that a DIY infrared sauna is right for you, great! After the first step of deciding which sauna installation is right for you, there are a few more steps in building the sauna of your dreams. When building your own sauna, you must consider these four components: type of sauna, size, wood type, and accessories.

Type of Sauna

There are two main types of sauna, traditional and infrared. Traditional saunas use high heat and steam to create the hot environment. Using this system requires more maintenance in the long run, as the wet-dry system has more opportunity for wear and bacteria collection if not cleaned properly.

Infrared saunas, on the other hand, use radiant heaters to warm the interior. These infrared systems require less energy to heat and penetrate the body, which makes the experience more comfortable and lowers your electric bill. There are plenty of infrared sauna benefits that are more pronounced than when using a traditional sauna.

People pursuing healthy lifestyles relaxing in sauna

Sauna Size

Once you’ve decided on which type of sauna to build, it’s time to decide which size is best for your needs. Consider the number of people who will be using the sauna at a time, how big of an area your space allows, and if the sauna will be used for any activities such as hot yoga.

For personal use, 1-2 person saunas may be ideal to save space and energy. Larger families and businesses will benefit from the space of a 4-5 person sauna models. Custom saunas typically range between 25 and 80 square feet, but can be designed to fit a much larger capacity. We recommend a sauna ceiling no higher than 7 feet to keep heat close to the occupants.

Wood Type

Now that you’ve decided how big to build your sauna, the next necessary step is choosing the type of wood to use in construction. The type of wood you choose makes a considerable impact on the construction of your custom sauna. Avoid woods that get too hot to the touch, contain high levels of sap, and are easily damaged by heat or water.

Instead, choose woods that are soft, resilient, and are visually appealing. Basswood, birch, and spruce are the three most popular woods for building a DIY infrared sauna for your home or business.

Accessories & Amenities

Finally, the last decision to make when building a custom sauna is the fun part: choosing your accessories and amenities! While this step doesn’t require building, it is an exciting part of customization. The sauna health benefits in its base form are wonderful, but why not kick it up a notch with some upgrades for the ultimate personal sanctuary?

Building a sauna from scratch may make it more difficult to add in extra amenities. However, DIY infrared sauna kits allow you to include a range of accessories already built in. Some of these upgrades include halotherapy generatorschromotherapy lights, digital keypads with smartphone control, and audio sound systems.

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How to Build a Sauna

You’ve made all your decisions for your perfect custom sauna, and now it’s time to build it! Depending on if you decide to build from scratch or build from a DIY infrared sauna kit, your process will be slightly different.

Building from Scratch

When building from scratch, your building process will start with collecting the measurements of your space and gathering materials such as lumber, tools, and hardware. Cutting your lumber to the precise measurements of your space is imperative, as an improper fit will result in a poorly-functioning sauna that may not retain heat.

There are plenty of online tutorials and blueprints to help you plan the design and construction process. If you are feeling unsure, cross referencing a few plans can give you more clarity on which techniques work best.

Building from Infrared Sauna Kits

Using an infrared sauna DIY kit, the building process is much easier. The initial steps include simply filling out a form with your specifications and ordering a kit. The prefabricated kits come with all the materials necessary to assemble your sauna, and simply mount to the wall and most plug in to a standard 110V/220V outlet.

No matter how you decide to add an infrared sauna to your home or business, it is a wise decision to make! Building from scratch, building from a kit, or ordering a base model will all give you a product that is sure to create a sanctuary that will keep you happy and healthy for years to come.

INFRARED SAUNA CLEANING 101: SAUNA MAINTENANCE & CARE TIPS

Investing in an infrared sauna is the ultimate step toward investing in your health. Just like you need to take care of your body to keep it running smoothly, you need to take care of your infrared sauna. Making sure you take proper care of your infrared sauna ensures you’ll be able to enjoy its benefits for years to come. Read below to find tips that cover maintenance, cleaning, and care tips to keep your infrared sauna performing optimally!

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Infrared Sauna Cleaning Tips

Because Jacuzzi® infrared saunas provide dry heat, they require very little cleaning. The interior can typically be cleaned with a simple wiping down with a damp cloth. Do a light cleaning after every use, and aim to do a slightly more thorough cleaning every two weeks or so to maintain optimal cleanliness.

When more than water is needed for a more thorough cleaning, you may use a sauna cleaning solution or make your own. To make your own sauna cleaner, diffuse a few drops of high-quality essential oil in water and lightly wipe down the interior of your infrared sauna for a mild clean and refresh. You can also make a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a gallon of water to lightly scrub the wood and rinse for a deeper clean.

Using pure water will help reduce future maintenance as it avoids any minerals that may cause buildup in your infrared sauna. While unfiltered water is fine for cleaning, you can save yourself some additional work down the road by using filtered or distilled water.

How to Clean a Sauna Bench

Your sauna bench is the area that gets the most use during your sauna sessions. Because of this, you will need to take extra care to keep them clean. After each use, wipe the area down with a damp cloth. Perspiration stains are common to form from your body, and are nothing to worry about. If stains appear, remove them easily removed by lightly sanding the area.

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How to Clean a Sauna Floor

Aside from the bench, the sauna floor is the most trafficked area of your sauna and can easily trap debris and bacteria. Use a vacuum hand attachment once per month to clean dust or dirt from your sauna that may have collected over the course of use. It is beneficial to mop your sauna floor from time to time with a sauna cleaning solution for a more thorough cleaning.

How to Clean Sauna Walls

The interior walls of your infrared sauna can be cleaned with the sauna cleaners mentioned above. For exterior walls, treat the wood like you would any piece of fine furniture. If using a polish (NOT paint or varnish) on the exterior wood, reapply when needed to maintain shine. Outdoor infrared saunas will require more exterior maintenance, and a periodic pressure washing will help keep the outside looking pristine.

How to Clean a Sauna Heater

Our Jacuzzi® infrared saunas naturally produce negative ions that help purify the air through the ceramic compound in True Wave heaters. Even so, your sauna heater may need an occasional wipe down. Simply use a damp sponge to wipe off any debris, fingerprints, or other buildup that may have collected over time. Just be sure the heater has cooled down prior to cleaning to prevent burns.

Infrared Sauna Maintenance Tips

Clean Yourself

Your body is the only way moisture, dirt, and dust can enter your infrared sauna. Because of this, you can minimize the chances of dirtying up your sauna by taking a quick rinse and dry before heading into your sauna session. If you cannot rinse off before entering, take extra care to clean away any debris you may have tracked in.

Use a Towel

When using your infrared sauna, use a towel on the bench and under your feet. On top of it adding another layer of comfort, this prevents stains forming in the wood from sweat, body oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. While the stains don’t affect performance, they can affect appearance.

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Go All-Natural

Never varnish or paint your sauna. While you may want to match the wood to your decor, paints and stains prevent the natural wood from breathing. Breathing allows the wood to stay clean and feel “soft” with the heat.  You may, however, use furniture polish on the exterior.

Stay Dry

If you notice excess moisture after a session, wipe off any excess perspiration with a hand towel. You can also crack the door or roof vent and keep the sauna running for a few minutes once your session is over to evaporate any remaining moisture. This helps air out the sauna to keep it fresh.

Don’t Overdo It

Infrared sauna maintenance is quick and easy, so don’t worry about spending large amounts of time to clean. Taking the little steps after each use will minimize your work even more, so make the above sauna cleaning tips a habit.

With the proper care and attention, your Jacuzzi® infrared sauna will give you stellar performance for years to come. Make your sauna cleaning easier by taking the small steps along the way to prevent any issues from forming. Learning how to clean a sauna takes no time at all, and has long-lasting results.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE BUYING AN INFRARED SAUNA

If you’re in the market for an infrared sauna, there are several key considerations to make to ensure you select the perfect sauna for your home

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Numerous health gurus, fitness experts and medical doctors all agree – saunas, specifically infrared saunas, can deliver a whole host of important health and wellness benefits for people of all ages. From chronic illness to minimizing stress, improving the effectiveness of a workout to cleansing and purifying the skin, modern saunas combine today’s leading technological innovations with centuries-old wellness principles to deliver real, tangible health benefits for the sauna enthusiast. If you’re considering buying an infrared sauna for your home, make sure you ask the following questions:

  • What type of heating system is best?
    Traditionalists will always seek a way to tout the benefits of a “hot-rock-and-steam” sauna, but the majority of new saunas produced today are outfitted with infrared heating elements – not the old-school heaters that create extraordinary amounts of steam within the sauna. Near-infrared and far-infrared only heating elements are available, but saunas that use Full Spectrum Infrared (near, mid and far infrared) are generally considered the best. This heating system promotes sweat and deep-body infrared wave penetration to eliminate toxins as efficiently as possible. One of the biggest benefits of an infrared sauna versus the traditional sauna is the lower operating temperatures afforded by the infrared heating element.
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  • What size sauna should I be looking for?
    This obviously depends on your intended use.  If you will mostly be using the sauna by yourself, a compact sauna model might seem like the logical choice.  Many health-minded individuals use their sauna as a contained exercise room. You can add a different dimension to your yoga routine by doing it in a sauna, or add a twist to other exercises in your repertoire. Bottom line? Select a sauna that fits your home and your lifestyle, but make sure to account for future needs when narrowing down the overall dimensions.
  • What are the real-world health benefits of an IR sauna?
    Your new infrared sauna will provide a host of tangible health and wellness benefits, with the eight most important sauna health benefits being:
  • Muscle pain relief
  • Immune system boost
  • Weight loss and increased metabolism
  • Detoxification
  • Joint pain and stiffness relief
  • Improved appearance of cellulite
  • Reduction in fatigue and stress
  • Improved skin tone and clarity
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  • What kind of warranty does my sauna include?
    Though a warranty is only one part of the equation, you’ll want to investigate the company and the warranty offered with each sauna. The warranty should cover the heater, electrical system, controls and other peripherals. Better companies will even cover accessories like audio and chromotherapy systems.Also, determine if the warranty will cover the sauna if the unit is used in a commercial location. If you’re looking for a new sauna for your office or commercial building, this is an important consideration. Most warranties are designed for home use and provide coverage in normal operating modes. Spend some time online, and research any consumer’s feedback of the company, including warranty-related issues.

When researching buying an infrared sauna for your home or office, there are various models available for your consideration that will perform admirably and last for years to come. Clearlight Infrared Saunas are wildly popular today and combine several unique benefits for the discerning shopper. Clearlight Saunas combine Full Spectrum Infrared heaters with kiln and air-dried wood structures for superior durability and performance. Clearlight Saunas can also be enhanced with a number of options, such as chromotherapy lights, custom interiors, sophisticated electronics packages, and more. And it’s all covered by the Clearlight incomparable Limited Lifetime Warranty for residential use. Even commercial-level users enjoy a robust 5-year warranty.

For more information on Clearlight Saunas full line of infrared saunas, contact us today to see why no one builds saunas like Clearlight Infrared.

WHY QUALITY CONSTRUCTION MATTERS FOR YOUR SAUNA

An infrared sauna can provide you with a transformational experience that can become an integral part of your wellness routine. As awareness of the numerous physical and psychological benefits of sauna use grows, so does the popularity of investing in a sauna. When shopping for the best sauna, make sure to research the sauna materials and its structural qualities to ensure your investment is safe and long-lasting.

While some sauna construction is completed using cheap materials in order to keep production costs down, the benefits of sauna use may be offset by other health issues that stem from those unsafe materials. Look for saunas crafted with toxin-free, sustainably sourced materials. The following are factors you should take into consideration when browsing the sauna market.

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Wood Quality

Infrared saunas are typically constructed with spruce, redwood, hemlock, poplar, basswood or cedar. The most quality, benefit-rich types of wood are North American Basswood and Western Red Canadian Cedar (WRCC). Both of these woods have distinctive features that result in varying styles and benefits.

Basswood is a white wood and features a fine, even texture. It is hypoallergenic, making it the best option for those with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). With its rich, warm tones and tight, straight grain, Western Red Canadian Cedar (WRCC)  is also a great option for use in a sauna. WRCC runs from a lighter honey color to a richer red color and is also naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.  The oils in the cedar wood will help keep your sauna clean for many years.  WRCC is considered non-aromatic cedar and this mild cedar aroma will enhance sauna experience. Both types of wood are resistant to splitting and will provide you with a long-lasting investment piece for your home.

Low Electromagnetic Fields

The average person is exposed to small amounts of EMF every day, which is not considered to be a health risk. However, once these levels reach a certain range, they are considered dangerous and can cause health issues. When perusing the market, take this into consideration and look for a low EMF https://infraredsauna.com/true-wave-low-emf infrared sauna. Clearlight Infrared Saunas use True Wave™ infrared heaters which have eliminated this concern by developing patented technologies that cancel out EMF and reduces the Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) to safe levels.  In addition, these saunas are constructed with electrical wiring shielded in grounded metal conduit to eliminate any residual harmful wavelengths. This allows you to confidently enjoy your sauna, knowing it is completely safe.

Sauna-Features

Infrared Heaters

The infrared heaters in your saunas are the most critical aspects when making your sauna purchase choice. Typically, sauna heaters belong to one of two categories: ceramic and carbon. Both types of heaters have their strengths and weaknesses.

Ceramic heaters are better at producing larger amounts of heat, but they produce a shorter, less beneficial wavelength.  They also tend to distribute the heat unevenly. On the other hand, carbon heaters tend to produce less infrared heat but produce a longer infrared wavelength for more benefit.  The heat is also distributed more evenly. Look for a sauna that utilizes a combination of both types of heaters to take advantage of both strengths. A state-of-the-art TrueWave™ infrared heater is comprised of micro-thin carbon fibers combined with a patented ceramic compound. The result is an increase in the emissivity of the infrared wavelength, meaning your body is heated evenly throughout. A TrueWave™ infrared heater will provide you with the most effective heat therapy benefits.

Combining both of these technologies into one heater gives you the best of both worlds. Our Clearlight True Wave infrared heaters are the only combination carbon/ceramic infrared heat and are comprised of micro-thin carbon fibers combined with a patented ceramic compound. The result is you will receive the long wave of a carbon heater with the high output of a ceramic heater combined into one heater.  You will receive more benefit faster.

Structural Design

The first step in finding a quality sauna to invest in is to research the sauna materials used. Once you confirm quality materials, the next factor to consider is how those materials are crafted to create the sauna.  Jacuzzi® Saunas set an example of refined craftsmanship. Furniture quality construction, smart modern construction techniques, and rigorous sauna safety testing are some of the factors that characterize a sauna that is built to last.

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Choosing a Quality Sauna

An investment in an infrared sauna is an investment in your health and well-being. When searching for the right sauna for your home, make sure to take into consideration the quality of the materials and level of craftsmanship used to construct it. Longevity, safety, and sauna experience are all dependent upon what the sauna is made of and how it is built. Take advantage of the relaxing, therapeutic benefits of an infrared sauna by investing in one that is created with your well-being in mind.

CLEARLIGHT INFRARED AND JACUZZI INC. FORM A LICENSING PARTNERSHIP FOR JACUZZI® INFRARED SAUNAS

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Clearlight Infrared and Jacuzzi Inc. today announced an exclusive licensing partnership for infrared saunas. Clearlight Infrared will manufacture and market a premium line of infrared saunas under the Jacuzzi ® brand. This will include the Clearlight Sanctuary™ Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna models and the Clearlight Premier™ Far Infrared Sauna models.

“We are pleased to be working with such a great company,” said Dr. Raleigh Duncan, founder of Clearlight Infrared. “Infrared therapy is a natural fit to help people live more vibrant, productive and balanced lives.”

“The partnership fits well with our company’s focus on well-being, and commitment to improving the lives of our customers,” states Jacuzzi Group Worldwide CEO Bob Rowan.

Throughout its 60 year history, the Jacuzzi® brand has maintained its status as an icon and innovator. The Jacuzzi® brand products are legendary for performance, reliability, and ease of use. Jacuzzi® infrared saunas are exceptionally engineered with the best materials to ensure a superior product. With continuous quality checks and outstanding inspection standards, Jacuzzi® infrared saunas continue this reputation for dependability and effectiveness.

The Importance of Greater Health and Wellness

Infrared saunas are effective at improving one’s overall health and wellness by helping to boost the immune system, aiding with detoxification, improving sleep, reducing stress, increasing metabolism, and improving heart health among other health and wellness benefits.

Design, Quality, and Effectiveness. From trend-setting design, exceptional furniture grade sauna cabins and state-of-the-art infrared heater technology, Jacuzzi® saunas deliver the ultimate infrared therapy experience.

FINNISH SAUNA VS. INFRARED SAUNA: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Finnish Sauna Vs. Infrared Sauna: What’s the Difference?

Two primary choices exist when selecting a sauna – Finnish (traditional) or Infrared… Which one is right for you?

The health and wellness community seem to unanimously agree that spending time in a sauna delivers real, tangible health benefits. Saunas have been used for hundreds of years by communities all over the globe to detoxify and cleanse the body, as well as provide a sense of calm, relaxation and boosted vitality.

Today’s sauna enthusiasts have a choice to make between the traditional sauna, called a Finnish sauna, or an infrared unit. Let’s look at both and uncover why an infrared sauna is generally the preferred choice for today’s health-conscious individual.

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Traditional Finnish Steam Saunas Vs. Infrared Saunas

Space Considerations

If you’ve spent much time looking at the size variances between Finnish saunas and infrared saunas, you’ll probably notice that most infrared saunas can vary in size from small to quite large. Some can accommodate a couple of people or may be large enough to practice hot yoga in, but infrared units tend to have a smaller footprint than a traditional sauna. The reason being, Finnish saunas tend to devote a lot of space to the actual heating element. This can make them quite ungainly for home use.

Maintenance

Infrared saunas (and their heaters) require almost no maintenance versus the traditional heating elements in a Finnish sauna. Unlike Finnish saunas, infrared saunas don’t employ excessive amounts of heat and steam to create the sweat-inducing environment inside the space.

Finnish saunas generally consume about three times as much energy to operate as an infrared sauna, as they require to 45 – 60 minutes to just reach their optimum temperature. Infrared saunas only require a warm up time to allow the infrared heaters to come up to their optimal temperature (usually about 15 minutes). Infrared saunas use about ⅓ of the electrical as compared to a Finnish sauna.

Finnish saunas utilize great quantities of steam and heat to create the sauna effect. This proves to be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and mold, all of which pose a greater risk of infection and illness. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, are dry saunas and have been shown to reduce the level of surface contaminants on the sauna bather’s skin, while clearing up blemishes and improving overall complexion.

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Temperature Tolerance

If you’ve ever used a Finnish sauna, you’re well aware of the intense heat. Most experts recommend a temperature setting between 180 degrees and 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Throw in a serious dose of humidity and this environment can be quite unmanageable for many of us.

A dry infrared sauna operates differently, producing a therapeutic effect via the infrared waves generated from the heating element, all without the heat and humidity of a Finnish unit. Infrared sauna temperatures usually range from 110 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, much lower than a traditional Finnish unit. You’ll still produce plenty of cleansing perspiration, but without the discomfort of the oppressive heat of the Finnish design.

Heating Action

Traditional Finnish saunas, like those that have been in use for hundreds of years, incorporate a basic heating design that is simple, yet not as efficient as infrared sauna design. A Finnish design will often draw about 6 kw to maintain its high temperatures, while an infrared sauna draws roughly 1-2 kw of power.

When you consider how long you must pre-heat the Finnish sauna, which also draws about three times as much energy, it’s obvious the infrared design has won the war on efficiency. The most compelling difference between the two heater designs is the temperature at which they operate. Infrared saunas, as stated earlier, don’t subject the individual to as much heat as the Finnish sauna, therefore enhancing the overall experience.

Health Benefits

The excessive heat and humidity of a Finnish sauna triggers profound perspiration, which further triggers detoxification and weight loss (though often temporary). An infrared sauna works in a similar fashion, but instead, incorporates IR waves that penetrate the body to raise the core temperature from within. These waves are totally safe, and measure from 6 to 12 microns in wavelength, ideal for absorption by the body. Additionally, infrared units are more efficient at warming the muscles and joints of the body.

From a scientific standpoint, it has been proven that an infrared sauna produces sweat comprised of 80% water and 20% toxins, while the traditional Finnish sauna produces sweat consisting of 97% water and just 3% toxins. When weighing the detoxifying benefits, there is no comparison. The infrared unit wins every time.

Convenience Factor

Undoubtedly, many are fans of the more social aspect of Finnish saunas, as they can sometimes accommodate as many as 10 – 15 people. But there is no denying the convenience of an infrared sauna. You simply turn on the heater and step inside, and there is no need to preheat the sauna. Infrared saunas warm the body from within, therefore, splashing water on heated rocks or managing steam levels is a thing of the past. From a maintenance standpoint, Finnish saunas require preventative measures and vigilant cleaning to keep mold and bacteria at bay. This is not required with an infrared unit.

When shopping for a sauna, for home or light commercial use, definitely consider all the practical applications of the infrared sauna. While the iconic Finnish sauna has greater social potential due to its larger sizes, the infrared sauna outranks all other models when it comes to efficiency, affordability, performance, and comfort.

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SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER TREATMENT WITH SAUNAS

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was officially named in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and his contemporaries at the National Institute for Mental Health. Since then, the condition has transformed from an easily-discarded mood issue to a commonly accepted disorder that now resides in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It tends to affect those that reside in areas that have more pronounced seasons. Only about 1.4% of Florida residents report a prevalence of SAD where Alaskans are diagnosed with SAD at a rate of 9.9%. As winter approaches, it’s important to know Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment options.

The simple math shows that as you stray farther from the equator you see increased cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Knowing this, individuals who want to improve their mood and overall sense of wellbeing should consider infrared saunas as an effective and healthy way of treating Seasonal Affective Disorder.

What Causes SAD?

Most researchers point to several causes for Seasonal Affective Disorder, but even after 30+ years of research, most theories are still just theoretical. There is a lot of research on the topic, but most of them point to a disruption in our circadian rhythms due to changes in atmospheric lighting. When the winter months arrive, the days tend to get shorter, sunlight is in shorter supply, the environment is colder, and Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms arise. These natural habitat changes reinforce the correlation between location and Seasonal Affective Disorder prevalence.

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Some researchers point to the fact that we may be hard-wired to experience the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder due to early human’s need to conserve energy during the food-scarce winter months. A lack of food and substantially colder temperatures may have caused our ancient relatives to go into a sort of hibernation mode, where a low mood and lack of desire to complete tasks may have been a life-saving temperament.

Other researchers talk about the depression that comes from the amount of serotonin in our systems. Melatonin production is essentially regulated by our circadian clocks, but it can be affected by exposure to bright light. Seasonal Affective Disorder is, by most accounts, a direct correlation to the amount of light we’re exposed to, and at what specific duration.

What are Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatments?

Most therapists agree that the safest and most effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder is light therapy. While there are drug-based options and cognitive-behavioral therapy steps that can be taken, light therapy for SAD is often considered to be the safest and quickest way to shake the symptoms of this seasonal depression.

So you may be asking yourself, how exactly does light therapy work? Can I simply stand outside and increase my exposure to the sun? Or, do I need to go to a doctor’s office to receive treatment? While standing outside in the sun can increase levels of Vitamin-D production, mainly due to exposure to UVB rays, employing this method increases your risk of skin cancer. As a result, this should be done in moderation. Going to a doctor’s office isn’t really a viable option unless you have a lot of time on your hands and have no access to light therapy equipment. A great option for most people is to spend time in a sauna that has chromotherapy lighting. This is generally considered to be a great way to address Seasonal Affective Disorder and its related side effects.

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Have the Blues? Consider Red or Green!

Toward the end of December each year, our days get to their shortest point and some major cities in the US see only 9-10 hours of sunlight per day. Barrow, Alaska sees none! This is the time of year when most symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder develop, and understanding the value of light therapy can truly help to stave off the most debilitating side effects of SAD.

According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, bright light can stimulate cells in the retina that connect directly to the hypothalamus, a portion of the brain that controls circadian rhythms. By using light therapy to stimulate this part of the brain, a normal circadian rhythm can be obtained and Seasonal Affective Disorder will be minimized.

How Can a Sauna Help?

Many of today’s better saunas come equipped with built-in lights that are designed to deliver a calming and therapeutic effect. This process of light therapy for SAD is called chromotherapy, and refers to the use of lights to create changes in mood in the person using the sauna. If you find that Seasonal Affective Disorder is a reality for you or a loved one, try to find time to get in an infrared sauna with LED color lights that can help in a variety of ways. Each color has been shown to help elicit specific changes in the body and mind:

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  • Red: Shown to boost energy and promote faster healing when used in tandem with infrared sauna therapy.
  • Orange: Sparks greater mental activity and can induce an uplifting sense of cheerful emotions.
  • Yellow: Shown to create feelings of optimism, good humor, and positivity.
  • Green: One of the best light therapy hues for combating Seasonal Affective Disorder, as it can calm one down quickly and directly counteract the side effects of SAD.
  • Blue: Minimizes the feelings of anxiety and depression. Blue light has even been shown to improve the look and health of one’s skin!
  • Purple: Delivers a calming effect that can even help to overcome feelings of pain. Purple is a tranquil color that stimulates white blood cell production.
  • White: By combining red, green, and blue, white light delivers a triple-threat of healing power.

If you find that Seasonal Affective Disorder has become a reality in your life, don’t suffer any longer! You’ll discover that the wellness and health benefits of infrared saunas with chromotherapy can help as an effective Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment and improve your quality of life in no time. That, plus the extensive list of other health benefits related to consistent sauna use, makes spending time in the warm, cozy confines of an infrared sauna a practical and intelligent idea.

HOW TO BUILD A SAUNA: 4 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF FIRST

How to Build a Sauna: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself First

Adding a sauna to your home can be incredibly beneficial for you and your family. The overall sauna health benefits – long recognized by cultures around the world, can deliver a therapeutic and relaxing way to sweat out the stresses of the world. However, are you knowledgeable in how to build a sauna?

Think long and hard about the pros and cons, if you’re considering building your own sauna as you really need to sweat the details! Ask yourself: Should you buy a pre-assembled sauna? Is a pre-fab kit the way to go? What about a custom builder? Or, should you attempt to build your own sauna to save money? There is no simple or quick answer, but let’s take a look at what to consider before getting started.

To Build or to Buy or Sauna?

Are you a confident builder?

If you’re considering building your own sauna, you can attempt the project by purchasing the lumber and general building materials, or you can opt for one of the better pre-fabricated kits on the market today. If you have a good understanding of common building practices, have access to a range of hand and power tools, and are confident creating something from scratch, you can give it a shot.

If you’re like most of us however, you would be better off buy a sauna kit.

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You might be able to save some money by following a set of blueprints and using your own materials and tools, but building a sauna from basic lumber is quite a bit harder than crafting a bookcase or other simple piece. You’ll be working with expensive pieces of cedar, and any mistakes can be costly. If you’re not 100% confident in your building skills, elect a kit – with instructions on how to build your sauna – instead of building from scratch.

What size do you need?

Average custom home saunas measure between 25 and 80 square feet, though some can go significantly bigger if designed for a high number of occupants. If most of your sessions will be solo or with just one other person, try to keep the sauna on the compact side with a one person sauna or two person sauna.

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You don’t want a lot of wasted space, as you’re going to spend money heating the entire sauna each time. You’ll also want to be conscious of the height of the unit, since heat lofts up to the ceiling and you don’t want it sitting higher than the occupants.  We generally recommend a maximum ceiling height of 7 feet.

In terms of building versus buying, you certainly do have more control over the specific size of the sauna if you build it yourself. That said, there are a wide range of kits available today that can be adapted to an existing space with ease. Most sauna kits are pre-tested, run for a specific amount of time to ensure proper functionality of the unit, and then disassembled for easy shipping.  Better kits require nothing more than an allen wrench and screwdriver to assemble. You can also order custom-sized sauna kits that are designed to work within an existing space – using your particular room dimensions. This option enables you to personalize your sauna to your home or commercial facility.

What sauna style are you considering?

While traditional saunas use large amounts of heat and steam to create the sweat-inducing environment within, modern saunas tend to favor an infrared heating system.  These radiant heat units are considered superior to standard saunas for three main reasons. First, they offer more therapeutic benefits than a traditional sauna, they are more comfortable to use as they run at lower temperatures, and they are dry saunas so they don’t have the bacteria and upkeep issues related to using water and steam.

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If you are considering building your own sauna, an infrared sauna is the preferred choice because it is generally easier to install than a wet-dry sauna system and uses about 1/3 of the energy as compared to a traditional sauna. Infrared heaters simply mount to the wall of the sauna and most plug into a standard 110V/220V outlet.

The better kits on the market today include the wood panels and interior fitments, infrared heating unit, digital keypad (some with a smartphone app controller!) and the power supply, making it easy to get started.

Once assembled, you’re ready to experience a host of important health benefits. Infrared saunas:

  • Helps to create a stronger immune system
  • Assist dieters to more easily lose weight
  • Flush toxins from the body through sweating
  • Make your hair look incredible
  • Keep muscles and joints loose to aid recovery from workouts
  • Keep the skin looking great

Adding a sauna to your home or business isn’t difficult and with the availability of numerous kits on the market today, you’re bound to find the perfect model for your unique needs. By contacting Clearlight Saunas®, you can speak with sauna experts and learn how to build a sauna using a pre-fabricated kit, perfect for transforming your home into a therapeutic spa in no time!

KNOWING YOUR SAUNA: NEAR INFRARED VS. FAR INFRARED HEAT

You’ve made the wise decision to add a sauna to your home or business, and now it’s time to consider the details. What size sauna will best fit you? Where should you place the sauna? What style will fit most elegantly with your existing décor? And, what heat source do you want to use for your new sauna. While that last one seems like a no-brainer, this consideration is probably the single most important element to decide upon before purchasing the sauna. Sauna heat sources can take many forms, but we’ll focus on the differences between near infrared and far infrared heating elements, as infrared is truly the new standard in sauna heating systems today.

What Exactly Does Near Infrared Mean?

Near infrared light is contained within the spectrum of natural sunlight. The sun emits nearly half of its total energy in the near infrared (NIR) spectrum. We are biologically wired to use near infrared energy, much like sunlight is needed to produce vitamin D. Our bodies require this energy from sunlight to survive and to thrive.

Near infrared systems are effective at rejuvenating the skin, help raise core body temperature, improve circulation and can provide pain relief.

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What Is a Far Infrared System?

Far infrared, now considered to be one of the leading heat sources for contemporary therapeutic saunas today operates in a similar manner to near infrared but differs in terms of wavelength. Science aside, the tangible benefits of far infrared are significant, as this system heats the body from within and produces the kind of profuse sweating normally only seen with traditional wet-dry sauna systems.

Most clinicians who recommend infrared saunas for healing or wellness purposes will tout the health benefits of a far infrared system.  The additional benefits of far infrared saunas are detoxification, increasing your metabolism, weight loss and stress reduction just to name a few.

How Do Benefits Compare for Near vs. Far Infrared?

Detoxification

While both near and far infrared systems can detoxify the body, they go about it quite differently. Near infrared systems provide topical relief for skin issues and shallow body pain. The results are often less dramatic than what one would expect to see when using a far infrared system.

Far infrared systems can detoxify the body as much as seven times more effectively than standard sauna units because they produce heavy natural sweating that moves harmful elements out of the body quite quickly and also mobilizes toxins by inducing a fat based sweat.

Relaxation

Many sauna users report relaxation is one of the biggest reasons they purchased their new unit or visit their local sauna. Infrared sauna therapy, especially far infrared heating units, promote relaxation by balancing the body’s levels of cortisol – an important hormone in the body that regulates stress.  The infrared heating units help muscles to relax and loosen, and since far infrared wavelengths mimic the body’s own emissions, they tend to impart a sense of rejuvenation in most individuals.

Weight Loss

According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled Effect of Sweating, researchers discovered a simple half-hour sauna session could burn as many as 600 calories. This study was conducted using an infrared sauna system.

Near infrared saunas effectively raise your core body temperature to help burn calories.  Far infrared saunas stimulate your metabolism, lower cortisol levels and slightly raise HGH to help with weight loss as well.

Due to the fact that far infrared sauna units tend to more effectively increase the body’s core temperature and safely increase heart rate, they may burn calories more easily than a near infrared unit or traditional sauna.

Skin Rejuvenation

One of the most exciting benefits of using a sauna is the glowing skin you’ll witness after just a few sessions. Two basic things have to happen in order to rejuvenate the skin – improving the body’s circulation and eliminating toxins from the pores of the skin.

Saunas, especially those using infrared technology, accomplish both of these. A near infrared system will effectively improve the topical surface of the skin, while the far infrared units help to promote toxin release through profuse sweating. Most sauna users will find that the sweating component helps to cleanse the skin quite effectively, thereby improving skin tone from the inside out.

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Improved Circulation

While all saunas can therapeutically improve circulation and enhance blood flow to key areas of the body, infrared saunas do an impressive job of boosting circulation, all while keeping the user comfortable. Middle to far infrared heating units penetrate deeply and help to stimulate blood flow, minimize pain, reduce inflammation, and enhance muscle recovery.

Are Near & Far Infrared Saunas Safe?

The answer is – yes! Think about it this way, hospitals use infrared heating lamps to warm newborn babies. Unlike exposing yourself to UV rays from the sun or a tanning bed, you cannot burn yourself with infrared heat. There are no known dangers to using an infrared heat source in your sauna.

As always, you’ll want to monitor your body temperature to ensure you don’t overheat. Keep adequately hydrated, too. And, check with your doctor to make sure you are medically cleared to use a sauna and that you don’t have any preexisting conditions that would make sauna use inadvisable. Saunas are incredibly safe, and infrared units provide real therapy without the oppressive heat of a traditional sauna.

Now that you have a good understanding of near infrared vs. far infrared heat, which sauna type do you feel will serve you best? Near infrared units tend to promote topical healing and mild pain relief quite effectively, but far infrared heating units are incredibly effective at removing toxins, improving circulation, and relaxing the muscles. Most experts agree that if you’re really looking to get the maximum therapeutic benefits from your sauna session you’ll want to go for a unit that offers all three spectrum.  These are called Full Spectrum saunas and offer near, mid and far infrared.

WHY SAUNA MATERIALS MATTER

Far infrared or FIR saunas vary in shape, size, material, and construction. Every element that makes up your sauna will have an effect on the level of health benefits (or risks) it provides. Some saunas contain potentially harmful materials as a cheap alternative to more quality sauna materials. These types of shortcuts aren’t worth investing in for the sauna you choose for your home or business.

Sauna Wood

First, consider the wood used in the sauna. FIR saunas are often made of spruce, redwood, hemlock, poplar, basswood or cedar. Cedar has long been the go-to choice and continues to be the top option of infrared saunas today. The best type of cedar is Western Red Canadian Cedar. Be sure the cedar used in the sauna is sustainable sourced and eco-friendly.

Cedar is resistant to cracking and splitting when heated and cooled since it’s a soft wood. It’s also the longest lasting sauna wood available. It naturally eliminates the presence of molds and bacteria – and important consideration as you decide on sauna materials, since the warm and moist area of a sauna is a prime environment for both.  Finally, Western Red Canadian cedar is non-aromatic cedar and has a very faint cedar smell so even the most sensitive people will love their cedar infrared sauna.

Sauna Heaters

The heater in your sauna is an important sauna material for obvious reasons, since it will be responsible for the type of experience you receive in your sauna. There are two main types of heaters to consider: carbon and ceramic. Carbon panel heaters are larger in size,  distribute infrared heat more evenly, and produce high quality, long wave infrared heat, but typically, at a weaker level.

Ceramic-based heaters emit a greater amount of infrared heat than carbon panels, but create hot spots in the sauna and produce lower quality shorter infrared waves. A combination of the two provides the best of both worlds providing beneficial long wave infrared heat and a lot of it.

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Electromagnetic Fields or EMFs

Consider the amount of electromagnetic fields (EMF) when researching the varying factors and sauna materials for your FIR sauna. Continual exposure to high levels of EMFs can be harmful to the health.

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In everyday life, we are subject to EMF from the moment we turn on the lights in the morning to our time spent in front of a computer during the day. Fortunately, the level of EMF exposure is relatively low in normal work or home environments, but adding any exposure puts us at risk for reaching a dangerous level. A low EMF infrared sauna ensures exposure rates stay within the threshold of what is considered safe.

Infrared heat has been used as a therapeutic benefit for years with the quality of sauna materials improving over time. As a result, you benefit from a better product and more optimal experience. This makes all the difference when choosing the sauna best suited for you.