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Far-infrared VS Near-infrared

What is the Difference Between Far-infrared and Near-infrared or Full Spectrum Saunas?

What the Scientific Studies Show.

Not all saunas are created equal. While many saunas make look similar or have fancy wood or all natural canvas tents ,it is the quality of infrared generated that counts. That is what you feel and where the health benefits come from. People are shocked by how they feel after using the Relax sauna because the far infrared is so much more powerful.

Now, all saunas do have health benefits, but the majority of research studies on the benefits of infrared are actually done on far infrared.

Generating far infrared that is at high levels is not easy and the Relax sauna has patented ceramic chips in the generator which emit over 95% far infrared which is the highest in the industry.

Other saunas which do not generate this level of far infrared revert to marketing tactics of calling their saunas "full spectrum" infrared or they put forward the case that near infrared is better than far infrared. This is because their saunas only produce 40-50% far-infrared in the case of most wooden saunas and about 30-36% far-infrared for the cheaper portable saunas. We are not saying there are no benefits to these other saunas, but if you have driven a Corvette you will not want to switch to a Chevette. Similarly, people who rave about their near infrared sauna have not experienced what the Relax far infrared sauna feels like.

People who have tried the Relax sauna and others will tell you that there is a huge difference. But don't take our word for it, here are many videos of people comparing saunas.

The woman in the video below compares our sauna to near infrared bulb saunas, which by the way, use heating bulbs which are similar to the ones used to keep food warm in restaurants! They cost about $10 each and yet they charge up to $3000 for saunas that use these bulbs. So while they look nice, you are not getting anywhere near the quality of infrared as the Relax sauna.

Another advantage of the Relax Sauna is that the tent is designed with embedded materials which act like a mirror and so the far infrared rays are bounced all around you unlike most saunas which only have the infrared coming from one side and so you must continuously turn.
Below are exerts from studies which prove far infrared's deeper penetration and healing properties. Only Far Infrared Energy Pulsates the Water Molecules!

Relax Far Infrared Energy

More effective than Near Infrared! 

Far-infrared rays penetrate deeper into mammary tissue and induce a higher skin blood flow in comparison to infrared irradiation. Click here to read the report.

Far-infrared rays penetrate deeper into mammary tissue and induce a higher skin blood flow in comparison to infrared irradiation

This study compares far-infrared and non-far-infrared(near infrared and "full spectrum infrared"). It proves that far-infrared penetrates the skin deeper than near-infrared.  In the study they compared the near infrared bulbs you see in the light therapy saunas such as Sauna Space saunas, and compared the penetration of the infrared to the Relax sauna far infrared generators.

The near infrared Phillips Lamps are from .7 microns to 2 Microns.  (700 - 2000 nm  (nanometer))

This was compared to the Relax Sauna radiators in 2004 at the Pacific Rim 2nd Annual conference on Biophotonics ...  a paper presented there, and then published which was made using the Relax Sauna radiators and comparing it to a Phillips Heat Lamp  (Near Infrared Bulb).
Here is the website referring to that study
Click here to download the study extract
Here is the original study
A one page summary
Below is an excerpt;

Abstract: Far-Infrared rays (FIR) and infrared rays (IR) generate heat and were claimed to be benefit to wound healing. We compare the differences of light penetration and human skin blood flow between FIR and IR irradiation. 


Earlier studies have shown that FIR and IR radiation could promote wound healing in mice, increase skin blood flow and a deeper light penetration. However, no comparison data exist in the English literature. We compare the light penetration in excised porcine tissue and in mice, and the human skin blood flow affected by FIR and IR.


Experiments setup FIR heaters which emit 4-14gm rays was a gift from Chung Cheng Electric Heating Co., Taiwan. PAR38 infrared lamp (wavelength of 700-2000 nm, Philips, Holland) was used for IR irradiation. During irradiation, multiple channel measuring system with 14 thermocouple inputs (PCI4351, National Instruments, US) were attached onto skin and provided a continuous records of skin temperature. An area of 22 cm was irradiated during all experiments by blocking with an aluminum foil with a square opening. Determination of light penetration in vitro Thermal couples were inserted into different anatomical layers (skin surface, dermoepidermal junction, upper- , middle- and lower- layer of the subcutaneous fat, middle of the muscular layer) of excised domestic pig skin with underling muscle. It was placed in 37! water bath to mimic constant temperature in vivo. Radiators (IR or FIR) were set at a distant to kept skin surface temperature at 47!. Determination of light penetration in vivo To prove whether FIR could penetrate deeper in live tissue, BALB/c mice were irradiated with FIR and IR. Thermal couples were put into mouse anus or skin surface to monitor temperature. Skin surface temperature was kept at 40! for 20 minutes. Laser Doppler measurements of human skin blood flow Periflux 4001 (Perimed AB, Sweden) was used to measure forearm, inner aspect blood flow in 4 volunteers. Data was collected before and immediately after irradiation until the temperature dropped to the baseline. The skin surface was kept around 40-42! by adjusting the distant of the lamps to skin. All experiments were repeated at least twice.


FIR rays penetrated deeper in isolated skin tissue Only FIR irradiation could penetrate 3cm depth from skin surface (middle of subcutaneous fat) as revealed by an increment of 2! from the baseline (Fig. 1). The results implied that FIR has better penetration in pig skin than IR. FIR rays penetrated deeper in mice. In FIR treated group, the difference was about 1! higher than the IR group (Fig. 2). The results suggested FIR irradiation could penetrate deeper and induced a systemic regulatory effect on body temperature. FIR irradiation enhanced skin blood flow in human skin Fig. 3 showed the skin blood flow measured by laser Doppler was increased in both FIR and IR treatments. However, it took a longer time for the skin blood flow back to baseline in the IR irradiation group (Fig. 4). The results showed that FIR and IR might cause different biological effect in mammary tissue, both in vitro and in vivo. FIR increase more blood flow in human skin than IR irradiation. The deeper vessels might be heated and dilated by FIR irradiation. The results suggested FIR irradiation might benefit to patients with poor wound healing due to compromised circulation. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT- Published in APBP, 2nd Asian & Pacific Rim Symposium Biophotonics - Dec. 14-17, 2004  The study was granted by the National Science Council NSC93-2622-E-006-012-CC3, Taiwan.(R)

Biological effect of far-infrared therapy on increasing skin microcirculation in rats

A study on far-infrared radiation(FIR) increase the microcirculation in the skin of rats. The interesting part was that the increase was not during the exposure to FIR but afterwards. This shows that it was not only the heat that  caused the increase of circulation.

Background/purpose: Insufficient microcirculation of skin leads to acute and chronic tissue ischemia in cases of trauma, reconstructive surgery, diabetes mellitus and peripheral arterial occlusive disease. The autonomic nervous system and nitric oxide (NO) play important roles in maintaining blood perfusion of the skin. Far-infrared (FIR) therapy provides low energy of light emitted from an artificial radiator and has been used to treat many vascular-related disorders. Nevertheless, the mechanisms through which FIR works remain unclear. The present study aims to test the hypothesis that the effect of FIR is through increasing skin microcirculation by a mechanism other than its thermal effect.

Methods: Sixty rats were used in the present study. A WS TY301 FIR emitter was placed 20 cm above the rats. Skin temperature and blood flow were continuously measured by a K-type thermocouple. Under laboratory control, the abdominal skin temperature steadily increased from 3839C, and was kept at constant temperature. Skin microcirculation was measured with a continuous laser Doppler flowmeter.

Results: There was no significant change of skin blood flow during FIR treatment. Skin blood flow increased significantly soon after the removal of the FIR emitter. The stimulating effect on skin blood flow was more significant in the rats treated with FIR for 45 min and could be sustained as long as 60 min. These findings suggested a non-thermic biological effect of FIR on skin microcirculation. The promotive effect of FIR on increasing skin blood flow was not influenced by pretreatment of APP (atropine, propranolol and phentolamine), but was suppressed by pretreatment with NG-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (an endothelial nitric oxide synthase inhibitor).

Conclusion: In conclusion, FIR therapy exerts a NO-related biological effect to increase skin microcirculation in rats. This might bring into perspective the clinical application of FIR to treat ischemic disease by augmenting l-arginine/NO pathway.(R)

Promotive Effects of Far-Infrared Ray on Full-Thickness Skin Wound Healing in Rats

This study proved the increased speed of wound healing in rats after far-infrared(FIR) treatment. They found increased collagen production and increased growth factor. This shows FIR's properties are good for not just wound healing but also increasing skin health/beauty as well.

The biological effects of far-infrared ray (FIR) on whole organisms remain poorly understood. The aim of our study was to investigate not only the hyperthermic effect of the FIR irradiation, but also the biological effects of FIR on wound healing. To evaluate the effect of FIR on a skin wound site, the speed of full-thickness skin wound healing was compared among groups with and without FIR using a rat model. We measured the skin wound area, skin blood flow, and skin temperature before and during FIR irradiation, and we performed histological inspection. Wound healing was significantly more rapid with than without FIR. Skin blood flow and skin temperature did not change significantly before or during FIR irradiation. Histological findings revealed greater collagen regeneration and infiltration of fibroblasts that expressed transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) in wounds in the FIR group than in the group without FIR. Stimulation of the secretion of TGF-β1 or the activation of fibroblasts may be considered as a possible mechanisms for the promotive effect of FIR on wound healing independent of skin blood flow and skin temperature.(R)

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