You cannot replace exercise with sauna bathing but it is a wellness trend that has a special place in the routine of those who have been doing weekly sessions. It is said to provide great relief and relaxation. And regular sauna bathers stand by that analysis. But if you want to get a piece of the action for yourself, you need to know a few things.
Infrared saunas, as opposed to traditional saunas, are much preferred, especially if you want to buy one for home use. IR saunas use infrared radiation to heat your body and make you sweat. When you put a device like this in your home, you want to make sure you know the levels of electric, magnetic and radio frequency it emits and to what extent it is safe for you. One of the key factors that determines this is the electromagnetic field (EMF) of the IR sauna. What are they and why are they important? Let’s see.
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Electromagnetic field is the presence of electric waves at a frequency below 300 cycles per second. Human beings typically find these waves in hundreds of devices like power lines, mobile phones, television and computer screens, fluorescent lights and even the electrical wiring of your house. The electric field of a place is in voltage and its strength increases with an increase in the voltage. It is measured in volts per meter.
Magnetic field (MF) is produced when current flows through the wires of electrical devices. This gets stronger with an increase in the current. MF is measured in Gauss (G) or Tesla (T). For a magnetic field to exist, the device needs to be switched on. But an electric field is present as long as the device is connected to a source of power.
You can reduce electric fields by using materials like trees, buildings and human skin. Magnetic fields pass through most materials and are tough to shield. But you can use distance to reduce the strength of both.
These are fields that we are exposed to everyday and cannot really avoid it but we must limit the exposure for the sake of safety. We can do this by putting physical distance between ourselves and the devices. While we can do that with devices like cell phones, it is slightly trickier to do the same with an infrared sauna, right? So, what we must do is get a sauna that has low levels of EMF.
Well, for one educate yourself before buying the device. To support that, the California Public Utilities Commission or CPUC has created the California Electric and Magnetic Fields Program. This helps with additional research and gives warnings about possible negative health effects in case of excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields.
Now, choosing an infrared sauna with low EMF is critical for the well-being of everyone in the vicinity. Infrared saunas use light to heat your body. For that purpose, all of them have heaters that are made of carbon or ceramic. This is one of the factors in deciding the amount of EMF emitted by an infrared sauna.
Carbon emits higher EMF than ceramic even though it has a lot of other advantages over the latter. Now, when you look at the specifications, you will often find zero EMF saunas. Don’t buy into that because that’s just not possible. But manufacturers have been working on and have succeeded in reducing the amount of EMF emitted by carbon heating panels.
In the United States and in Sweden, the government’s environment agencies have said that EMF levels under 3.0 mG are safe. Regardless, several brands have EMF levels from 10 to 30 mG. Extended exposure to so much EMF is dangerous to your health.
Typically, every infrared sauna will have EF, MF and RF readings. You will also find EMF/EMR readings which are the electromagnetic field/electromagnetic radiation readings. When it comes to modern saunas, you must worry about magnetic field levels. MF levels drop quickly as you move far away from the source but that is not always possible. Most people are worried that circumstantial evidence shows that high MF levels may cause cancer or other health risks. Now, this is not recognized in the US but some other countries do.
Some sauna manufacturers have arranged the carbon or ceramic heater panels in the IR sauna in such a way that the different elements in the sauna cancel each other’s MF out. This is done through wiring and the arrangement of those elements. This also makes sure that a sauna meant for five to six persons stays fit for five to six people.
Ideally, you must be about two feet away from the panel. If the manufacturer has made no effort to bring the EMF levels down, you will see that the magnetic field strength at one to six inches is about 50 mG or higher. This is more common in far-infrared saunas. Also, remember to check RF numbers if the sauna you want to buy has an entertainment station that hooks you up with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi instead of wired options.
There have been a few studies on the subject and while a lot of them have been inconclusive, it is not difficult to check the accepted levels of EMF as dictated by the Environment Protection Agency and cross check the specs of your IR sauna.
Whether you are getting a full-spectrum sauna or a near, mid or far-IR sauna, low EMF is one of the things it must absolutely advocate. Their levels must range within 30 to 175 mG for the sake of safety. If you are buying a cheap sauna, it is likely to have carbon panels made of cheap materials which compromise your health. If you are buying a budget IR sauna for one person, you run the same risk. EMF is likely to be higher in these cheaper models.