Infrared: Warm On The Inside

For millennia, humans have enjoyed the health benefits of heat on the body by sitting in an enclosed space and sweating in temperatures of 65 to 90 degrees centigrade. The sauna itself is thought to have been invented by the Finns around 2,000 years ago – and they may have been deliberately enduring extreme heat for thousands of years before that too! Burning fuels such as wood or coal, sometimes to heat stones, was the sole approach to heating saunas  – until electricity arrived in the 19th century, offering new ways of generating extreme heat. The origins of the infrared sauna can be traced back to the sixties, when NASA discovered the near, mid and far infrared wavelengths. Five years later a Japanese doctor sought a patent on the first ceramic infrared sauna – one that only emitted far wavelengths. It wasn’t until 1979 that the first full spectrum infrared saunas became available in the US and since then, they have been continually refined…

But what’s the big deal about infrared? And how does it differ from a regular sauna? Well, infrared saunas use light to make heat – which means that they heat your body directly, rather than heating the air around you. They also confer the perceived benefits of saunas – such as the increased heart rate and profuse sweating that you usually get from moderate to intense exercise – at much lower temperatures. Besides that, research suggests that infrared saunas may help with a range of health conditions from headaches to heart failure, dementia to diabetes – though more studies need to be carried out.

We’re big fans ourselves – as anyone who’s visited Karma Kandara will know. Our infrared sauna has another added benefit – it’s perched 85 metres above the Indian ocean on the edge of a limestone cliff at Bali’s southernmost reaches, with magical views of the Indian Ocean. We invite you to experience it through Karma Spa – who knows, you might become a long-therm enthusiast!   

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