A lot of people love the effects of a sauna, that feeling of detoxification and relaxation that can only come from a good sweat - but sitting in a stuffy room was unbearable for me. At least that's how I used to feel. During a recent visit to the Cliff House in Cape Nadick, Maine, I visited the spa's infrared sauna four times in two days and the results were fantastic. Have I finally found my sauna soulmate?
A traditional sauna heats your body from the outside. However, infrared saunas use infrared light to penetrate your skin and heat your body from the inside. Proponents say this can have a similar or even better effect on our bodies, while keeping the actual sauna itself cooler . Infrared is part of the natural spectrum, but invisible to the naked eye. And there are three types of infrared -- near, mid, and far -- that can all penetrate your body to different depths. General sauna use has scientifically backed heart health benefits, but some say an infrared sauna may be a better way to get those benefits because you don't have to put up with such high heat to get it. The benefits of an infrared sauna don't stop there. Some studies have found that using an infrared sauna can help with muscle recovery, increase flexibility, boost immunity, and may help fight depression.
The sauna even allows you to choose between six personalised settings depending on the effect you want to achieve, such as pain relief, cardio and anti-aging. These settings use a specific combination of time, temperature and infrared waves to control and optimize the effect on your body. It's this unique personalization and control that makes the sauna a favorite of celebrities like .