Saunas and all their iterations have deep historical roots that reach across several countries and many millennia. However, because the word “sauna” is of Finnish origin (it means “earth pit” or “snow pit”), it is most closely associated with Finnish culture. In fact, the oldest-known saunas in Finland were pits dug into a slope in the ground and they were typically covered in animal skins.
A fireplace heated stones to a high temperature and water was thrown onto the hot stones to produce steam and create the sensation of increased heat. This general practice has remained a mainstay of Nordic culture, and Finns today own more saunas per capita than any other country in the world. Finland is also currently ranked the happiest country in the world. Cozy coincidence?
While the classic sauna design—relying on a wood or gas fire to heat up rocks for a radiating heat—has endured through to current times and is certainly not poised to disappear, modern upgrades have made sauna company Sunlighten an industry-leader in accessible and healing personal saunas.
For more than a decade, Sunlighten founder, Jason Lincoln Jeffers, suffered from chronic illness. He relied on traditional medicine to manage his condition, but it was only when he discovered infrared saunas that he truly began to heal. Wanting to share this beneficial technology with the world, Jason founded Sunlight Saunas (now Sunlighten) in 1999 to broaden the awareness of the healing power of infrared light treatments with portable saunas.
A passion for technological innovation led to the birth of Solocarbon® infrared technology. With three separate heating elements that also emit near, mid, and far infrared energy at the optimal wavelength, the first-of-its-kind carbon heater disrupted the industry by combining high infrared emissivity with large surface area. Sunlighten proved that traditional sauna’s ceramic heaters were a thing of the past.
Once their portable infrared saunas hit the market, testing revealed a statistically significant rise in core body temperature with a Solocarbon® heater. This increase in body temperature is a key component of a deep detoxifying sweat, and a clinical study also showed that regular use of Solocarbon® infrared therapy lowered blood pressure. (The American Heart Association loved this finding and is now partnered with Sunlighten!)
You can truly relax knowing that Solocarbon heaters are not only the most effective infrared heater on the market, they are also the safest. Sunlighten’s proprietary heater design produces virtually no electro-magnetic field (EMF). When levels are measured inside the sauna around the seating area, EMF levels are virtually undetectable. Sunlighten’s saunas have also been electrically certified to meet safety and performance standards, and they have also been environmentally tested and approved for no off-gassing.
Only Sunlighten infrared heaters have been tested by independent engineers who concluded that their proprietary heating technologies meet the most rigorous standards for safety, emissivity, and power for infrared heater applications. This is one of the reasons why Sunlighten is the number one sauna brand recommended by health experts! In fact, after appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and The Price is Right, Sunlighten’s patented innovation solidified itself as an in-demand health and healing product in America. Many professional athletes across the country even use Sunlighten saunas to recover from training sessions and injuries.
When considering which sauna to purchase for yourself, the single most important element to consider is heater emissivity. This determines the efficiency of infrared heat conduction and emission. If a sauna is not efficient at emitting infrared, you will not receive the full health benefits. For example, generic carbon-blend heaters are less than eighty-five percent effective, while Solocarbon® heaters are ninety-five to ninety-nine percent efficient at emitting infrared. (If you’re in the market for an infrared sauna, always request emissivity data on the specific heater you are considering!)
Last year, Sunlighten answered their customers’ call for more near infrared energy, and the current mPulse 3-in-1 saunas now have larger, more powerful LEDs. The mPulse offers full-body absorption with LEDs on all three sides and back walls, and has the capability to target specific areas with larger LED boards positioned next to the body. Near infrared (NIR) is the shortest infrared wavelength and it more effectively penetrates the skin’s surface than mid or far infrared.
Wavelengths greater than 900nm do not penetrate as deeply and are absorbed by water, thus reducing the reach to cells within the dermis layer of skin. When delivered at the optimal therapeutic wavelength of 880nm without extreme heat or light, scientific research has shown that NIR can assist with recharging cells’ mitochondria; cell regeneration; a reduction in body fat, inflammation, and pain; faster wound healing; and anti-aging and collagen production. Near infrared (NIR) light therapy is a form of photobiomodulation that uses invisible, near-infrared wavelengths to deliver energy to cells.
Scientific research shows that when delivered at the vital wavelength of 880nm, without extreme heat or light, NIR promotes skin renewal, cell health, wound healing, tissue growth, circulation, blood vessel health, sleep quality and daytime energy, and relaxation. It can also decrease fatigue, pain and discomfort, stress, and inflammation.
So, what’s the big deal with LED lights, anyway? Traditional halogen bulbs do emit some near infrared light, but they produce a broad spectrum of light across the full visible spectrum. However, LED bulbs deliver pure NIR at a singular wavelength and are therefore more effective because they trigger a natural photo-biochemical reaction similar to the way in which plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into plant tissue.
In fact, Sunlighten used NASA research to develop an LED array that provides NIR at a singular wavelength with minimal variability and virtually undetectable heat and light. Because LED does not emit heat, it makes for a very comfortable and enjoyable environment in which to sit and receive therapeutic NIR. Also, proximity matters! The ideal distance from the light source is one to two inches, so cozy on up inside your sauna of choice and soak in the benefits of NIR therapy!
Thanks to Sunlighten’s range of infrared light, no matter what you might be looking to heal, improve, ease, or invigorate, a therapeutic sauna session will give you the improvements you seek. For instance, mid-infrared spectrum best penetrates joints and improves flexibility, far infrared therapy helps with muscle soreness, and near infrared helps with tissue regeneration. Infrared penetration can help reduce blood sugar and increase blood flow and perspiration, and because sweating is one of the body’s safest and most natural ways to heal and maintain good health, toxic heavy metals, drug residues, and hormone disruptors can be naturally released. Just like a fever, heating the body from the inside can also improve immune function and stave off common illnesses like colds and the flu. Thanks to the increase in blood flow, inflammation will decrease along with aches and pains, including those associated with fibromyalgia and autoimmune conditions.
Sluggish metabolisms will also see a boost and improvement in fat-burning for energy production. Increasing core body heat can also increase caloric burn and eliminate toxins that contribute to fat storage.
The elevation in core body temperature produces an increase in blood flow that mirrors the benefits of a passive cardio workout, and heat-shock responses are like exercises that help your body function as new. This can improve skin renewal and slow down aging. And just like after exercise, you’ll also enjoy the endorphin release and accompanying refreshing relaxation. In fact, Sunlighten is the first sauna company to recognize the importance of sound to healing and tranquility. With the introduction of Acoustic Resonance Therapy to their sauna experiences, Sunlighten has created a musical massage that brings participants into a deeper state of relaxation.
All the amazing technological nuances aside, Sunlighten saunas are purely and simply well made! Hand-selected, eco-friendly wood from premium sources is kiln-dried to add heat and moisture. This process takes weeks but is essential to produce wood that won’t crack. On top of the functionality, you’ll also get a stunning product because Sunlighten matches the color, hue, and grain-direction of each piece of wood to ensure that every single sauna is visually beautiful.
The framework is constructed with one hundred percent solid, non-toxic wood, making it twice the weight of any competitor’s saunas, and the exterior is sealed with a natural finish. Flush design elements add to an unparalleled level of detail, accented by Magne-Seal—Sunlighten’s patented magnetic locking system that eliminates unsightly clips, buckles, and screws. Hidden magnets in the sauna walls snap together, making set-up and take-down a quick and easy process. This system also creates a better seal between the walls than traditional fasteners, ensuring heat stays in and cold air stays out. And, the lifespan of the wood is extended as the magnetic system prevents untimely cracking and warping by allowing the wood to expand and contract as the sauna heats and cools.
For a moment of rejuvenation and rest, invest in your mental and physical health, connect with the traditions of our collective past, and enjoy the technology of our present in a Sunlighten sauna. Whatever you’re looking for—healing, relaxation, a quiet moment, a soothing sound—Sunlighten Saunas literally has you covered.