Far Infrared Sauna
Far Infrared Sauna
Far Infrared Sauna by Heavenly Heat.

We are thrilled to have found the space for a far infrared sauna in the studio! We’ve been wanting to have one of our own for years, but just couldn’t figure out how to fit it into our apartment…

Here in the studio, we rent out time in the sauna throughout the day. Here’s the low-down on what makes it so special:

Far Infrared Radiation (FIR) is a form of electromagnetic light energy that is invisible to the human eye. When it penetrates through the skin into subcutaneous tissues, it is naturally converted from light energy into heat energy in a process called direct light conversion. The thermal effect deep within the layers of tissue causes blood vessels and capillaries to dilate, improving blood circulation and helping the body to get rid of toxins and metabolic wastes through sweating.

Traditional saunas use various types of heating mechanisms to warm the air and stones enclosed in the room. They are often called stone or Finnish saunas. Typical temperatures in these saunas range from 169 to 190°F (76 to 88°C). Because infrared saunas heat the user directly, not the air, temperatures in infrared saunas typically do not rise as high (110 to 130°F, or 43 to 54°C). Since the sauna is not as hot, mucous membranes do not dry out and water or steam does not need to be introduced. The perspiration thus contains less water and more toxins, and the additional toxins will also be expelled through your kidneys, liver and even hair.

The primary natural source of far infrared radiation is the sun. However, sunlight also contains other types of radiation, such as ultraviolet (UV) light, that can be damaging to the skin. Using a far infrared sauna can also confer some of the benefits of sun exposure without the UV damage that can cause skin to prematurely age.

Far infrared therapies are used all over the world (for example, hospitals use far infrared in incubators to keep babies warm and NASA has used far infrared to warm their astronauts in space) and have been studied extensively for several decades.

Far Infrared Sauna Health Benefits: Quick List (More Below)

  • Speeds up metabolism
  • Increases detoxification
  • Improves cardiovascular system
  • Relieves pain (great for achy muscles, joints)
  • Aids in weight loss and removal of cellulite
  • Benefits skin (great for acne, eczema, psoriasis, rough skin)
  • Strengthens immune system

One of our very favorite benefits is this: In an infrared sauna, the average person sweats out 20% toxins and 80% water, whereas only 3% toxins and 97% water in a conventional sauna. One of our very favorite physicians, Dr. Mark Hyman, author of endless New York Times bestsellers, writes: “I’m a long-time believer of infrared sauna therapy for natural healing and as a powerful tool for weight loss, blood pressure reduction, pain relief and detoxification (7 times more effective than traditional saunas for detoxification).”

PRICING

 

30-Minute Sauna Session: $25 for one person, or bring a friend and pay $15 each to share the sauna. It’s a bit tight for two if you don’t know each other! : )
Sauna 5-Pack: $117.50
Sauna 10-Pack: $225


RESERVATIONS & APPOINTMENTS

  • Pre-booking of sauna sessions is required, especially since we need at last an hour to warm it up ahead of time. The easiest way to set up your appointment is to call 212.595.2221. You may also email us at info@uwsyoga.com, but you may not get as quick a response as from a phone call.
  • If your plans to use the sauna change, please cancel your appointment so that another can use that slot. Cancellations and schedule changes received less than 24 hours before appointment time will be charged in full.
  • Sauna sessions are available in 30-minute increments, which is the recommended duration for optimal benefits.


SAUNA USAGE TIPS

  • Far infrared penetrates through clothing. You may wear clothing or, if not, please wrap yourself in and sit upon a towel for modesty and hygiene. Although a curtain protects the sauna room, there may be a little peek room.
  • Arrive at least 5 minutes before your session, as your session end time does not change if you are late. Sign in at the front desk, before your session starts.
  • Place your personal belongings in the changing room by the sauna.
  • Be sure to open the top air vent inside the sauna, which is kept closed during pre-heating.
  • Bring one or two bath towels from home or use two of ours. Kindly use one to sit on.
  • Use of the sauna is highly beneficial before or after exercise, but evidence shows more metabolic benefits if used immediately following exercise.
  • No cell phone conversations in sauna, please. Use personal electronic devices at your own risk. Magazines or books are fine. Or, best of all, use the time to practice meditating.
  • Exit immediately and alert staff if you begin feeling uncomfortable, lightheaded or sleepy.
  • Check with your doctor before using the infrared sauna if you are pregnant, ill or receiving ongoing medical treatment.
  • Drink plenty of water or fluids before, during and after your sauna session. This will aid with detoxification and keep you hydrated. Bring a water bottle or purchase a beverage onsite.


CONTRAINDICATIONS

It’s important to note that there are some contraindications for any sauna use. Here is a thorough listing for you to consider. If you are ill, be sure to consult with a primary care physician concerning the usage of a far infrared sauna.

  • Prescription Drugs  If you are using prescription drugs, check with your physician or pharmacist for possible changes in the drug’s effect due to an interaction with infrared energy.
  • Certain Ailments  According to some authorities, it is considered inadvisable to raise the core temperature of someone with adrenal suppression, systemic lupus erythematosus or multiple sclerosis.
  • Joint Problems  If a person has a recent (acute) joint injury, it should not be heated for the first 48 hours or until the hot and swollen symptoms subside. Joints that are chronically hot and swollen may respond poorly to vigorous heating of any kind. Vigorous heating is strictly contraindicated in cases of enclosed infections, be they dental, in joints or in any other tissues.
  • Pregnancy  In pregnancy or the suspicion of pregnancy, discontinuation of sauna use is recommended. Finnish women use traditional saunas that don’t heat the body as deeply as an infrared sauna for only six to twelve minutes and reportedly leave at that time due to perceived discomfort. Their usage of traditional saunas at this low level of intensity is not linked to birth defects. Infrared sauna use may be two to three times more intense due to deep tissue penetration, and comparatively shorter 2 to 6 minute sessions hardly seem worth any minimal risk they may present.
  • Surgical Implants  Metal pins, rods, artificial joints or any other surgical implants generally reflect infrared rays and are not heated by an infrared heat system. Nevertheless, a person should consult his or her surgeon before receiving such therapy. Certainly infrared therapy must be discontinued if a person experiences pain near any implants.
  • Silicone  Silicone does absorb infrared energy. Implanted silicone or silicone prostheses for nose or ear replacement may be warmed by infrared rays. However, since silicone melts at over 392°F/200°C, it should not be adversely affected by an infrared heat system. It is still advised that a person check with his or her surgeon, and possibly a representative of the product manufacturer, to be certain.
  • Menstruation  Heating of the low-back area of women during the menstrual period may temporarily increase menstrual flow. Once a woman is aware that this is occurring, she can choose to allow herself to experience this short-term effect without worry. Or she may simply avoid using an infrared heat source at that time in her cycle.
  • Hemorrhage  Hemophiliacs and anyone predisposed to hemorrhage should avoid infrared usage or any type of heating that would induce vasodilatation that can lead to the tendency to bleed.
  • Worsened Condition  Should any condition worsen with the use of an infrared heat system, the use of the system should be discontinued.
  • Pain  Pain should not be experienced when using an infrared heat system. If one does, the use of radiant heat is clearly inappropriate for the person at that time.
  • Do not attempt to self-treat any disease with a far infrared sauna without direct supervision of a physician.

 

MORE INFORMATION ON FAR INFRARED SAUNAS 
Some of you want more info, so here it is. More links are available at the bottom of the page for new far infrared geeks.

Oprah and Dr. Oz Dig the Sauna
Here’s a link to a video of Dr. Oz with Oprah, where he explains how a far infrared sauna works: Dr. Oz explains infrared sauna on Oprah

What is Far Infrared Heat?

The electromagnetic spectrum is divided into three segments by wavelength, measured in microns. 0.076 to 1.5 microns is “near” infrared, 1.5 to 5.6 microns is “middle” infrared and 5.6 to 1000 microns is “far” infrared. This invisible band of light warms objects without warming the air between the source and the object. The best example of this is the sun. Recall standing in the sun on a cold day. You felt warmth from the sun even though the air temperature was cold. This warmth you feel is far infrared penetrating your body 1.5 to 3.5 inches. Infrared heat is, therefore, a completely safe energy that raises the temperature in objects without having to heat the air in between. Approximately 80% of the sun’s rays fall into the infrared range. (This should not be confused with ultraviolet rays, which are harmful to the skin.) It is not visible to the human eye but can been seen with special cameras that translate the light into visible colors.

Our bodies also radiate far infrared energy through the skin at between 3 and 50 microns. Our palms emit energy between 8 and 14 microns, which you can experience by holding your palms near each other without touching. Palm healing, with a 3000-year history in China, is based on the natural healing properties of far infrared.

How Does Far Infrared Work?
A far infrared sauna duplicates these healthy far infrared frequencies. The tissues selectively absorb these rays as the water in the cell reacts in a process called “resonant absorption.” This “resonant absorption” occurs when the frequency of the far infrared matches the frequency of the water in the cell, causing toxins to be released into the blood stream and excreted in sweat, feces and urine. Radiant heat is efficient because it warms you, not the air. The body absorbs as much as 93% of this heat, causing perspiration and producing a vast array of healthful benefits.

The sauna employs an infrared heater that radiates heat penetrating the skin to a depth of 1.5 to 3.5 inches. It operates at the relatively low recommended temperatures of 100 to 130°F.

Detoxification
Detoxification from an infrared sauna is reported to be 7 to 10 times greater than conventional saunas because it operates more effectively at temperatures 60 to 80 degrees lower than conventional saunas. In an infrared sauna, the average person sweats out 20% toxins and 80% water, whereas only 3% toxins and 97% water in a conventional sauna.

Relaxation
Scientific evidence shows that far infrared therapy helps the body maintain healthy levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone.”

Assists in Weight Control and Removing Cellulite
“Saunas are an important aid to weight loss and thyroid repair because as you lose weight, fat tissue releases stored toxins such as PCBs and pesticides,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of the NY Times best-selling book “Ultrametabolism.” Studies have shown a 30-minute far infrared sauna session can burn 200 to 600 calories. Weight loss occurs because body fat becomes water soluble at 100°F and the body will remove it through sweat. The far infrared sauna assists in weight loss in three significant ways:

  • It reduces heavy metals, which have been directly related to metabolic imbalances in the body, causing poor digestion and weight gain.
  • The far infrared sauna decreases fat stored (lipophilic) toxins. Often, weight loss cannot be accomplished unless these toxins are removed first.
  • Although weight loss due to perspiration (water loss) is quickly regained, sending more blood to the capillaries and converting fats and carbohydrates results in as much as 600 calories burned during one short sauna session.

Pain Relief
New clinical research on pain offers evidence to establish a new class of “heat-responsive pain” or HRP, which encompasses several common pain conditions that can be treated with the use of heat therapy. Research shows relief of chronic aches and pains, including back pain, muscle soreness, stiffness, menstrual pain, headache, cramps, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and others.

Lowers Blood Pressure
Repeated far infrared sauna treatment improves impaired blood vessel functions in patients with high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Improved Blood Circulation
Heating of muscles with far infrared produces an increased blood flow level similar to that seen during exercise. Body temperature elevation also produces an increase in blood flow.

Skin Purification
Evidence shows that infrared sauna treatment can help reduce/improve inflammation, acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns and other skin conditions. Users report firmer skin tone and improved elasticity, as well as reduced cellulite.

Toxicity Symptoms
The following symptoms are often related to toxicity: allergies, acne, anxiety, burning skin, brain fog, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, depression, eczema, frequent colds or flu, feeling “sick all over”, insomnia, loss of dexterity, low body temperature, memory loss, mood swings, muscle/joint pains and poor concentration. If you have three of more of the above symptoms, you should strongly consider the far infrared sauna.

Infrared Heaters and Electromagnetic Fields
Recently there have been reports detailing the hazards of exposure to certain kinds of electromagnetic fields, such as those from high-tension power lines, cell phones or from computer display terminals. Infrared heating systems have been tested in Japan and found free of toxic electromagnetic fields. The Swedish National Institute of Radiation Protection has also concluded that infrared heaters are not dangerous. Instead, Japanese researchers have reported that infrared radiant heat antidote the negative effects of toxic electromagnetic sources.

Stress Reduction
Continuous strain on the autonomic nervous system often leads to a high level of stress, one of the elusive causes of many chronic diseases. By facilitating the expansion of capillary vessel and thus improving circulation, stress levels are reduced.
The most immediate and noticeable effect is tremendous relaxation. Relaxation alone can have a profound impact on your health. While in the sauna, read, listen to music or meditate. Take time to settle down.

International Infrared Therapy Use
Dr. Tadashi Ishikawa, a member of the Research and Development Department of Fuji Medical, received a patent in 1965 for a zirconia ceramic infrared heater used in the first healing infrared thermal systems. Medical practitioners in Japan were the only ones using infrared thermal systems for 14 years. In 1979, they were finally released for public use. In Japan, there is an “infrared society” composed of medical doctors and physical therapists dedicated to further infrared research. Their findings support the health benefits of infrared therapy as a method of healing. The technique has been further refined into infrared thermal systems that have been sold in the United States since 1981.

There have been over 700,000 infrared thermal systems sold in the Orient for whole-body treatments. An additional 30 million people have received localized infrared treatment in the Orient, Europe, and Australia with lamps, which emit the same 2 to 25 micron wave bands as employed in a whole-body system. In Germany, physicians have used whole-body infrared therapy for over 80 years.


RESOURCES
Even more information can be found in Dr. Aaron M. Flickstein’s article on infrared sauna therapy entitled Infrared Thermal System, 1994. http://www.migunofgreenville.com/pdf/Research_on_Far_Infrared_Rays_by_Dr_Aaron_M._Flickstein.pdf

More great information at: http://www.thebowentherapyclinic.com/sauna.html

Just for Kicks:
The German Wikipedia site for Infrared is highly detailed and mentions infrared for medicinal uses. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrarotstrahlung