This is my blog. These are my opinions. I am not some yahoo. I lived in Nordic Europe. I have been taking saunas for over 25 years. I know saunas. I am not Finnish, I am half Italian and a 1/4 German, so I talk half the time and analyze 1/4 of the time.
If you own an infrared, one day you may wish to recycle the wood paneling for a real sauna. If you are thinking of buying an infrared, think twice. Do your research. You are smarter than that.
- You avoid tanning salons, they give you cancer and turn your skin a weird color.
- You don’t smoke tobacco cigarettes, same thing.
- You don’t sweat by stuffing yourself in a microwave oven.
Imagine for a moment you are a sauna enthusiast from Finland, a country with more saunas than cars. You have grown up with sauna, a centuries old cultural tradition. Now, you read and hear about $499 microwave boxes you can assemble in your living room called “infrared saunas.” I am waving this flag for all the polite Northern Europeans who may only speak up on this topic after 3 sauna rounds and a few beers. Infrared is not a sauna.
Wood sauna is preferred. Electric sauna is ok, but Infrared is NOT a sauna. Infrared is marketing manipulation. Infrared hucksters make unrealistic claims to lure consumers. Infrared is fueled by light bulbs and sold by guys that used to sell mops and knives at state fairs. Infrared hucksters hitch their wagons to weight loss, pain relief, homeo whatever therapy, detoxify, and it’s all horse shit. They have taken real benefits of a Finnish sauna and packaged them up to try to sell their high margin light bulb closets. But you know this already, you are smarter than this.
Below is the headline for an advertisement:
“2-Person Natural Wood Home Sauna” Therasage 2 Person Infrared Home Sauna is perfect for one or two people!
We have one question for the marketer behind this shill: what would a 2-Person UNnatural Wood Home Sauna look like? I haven’t seen any UNnatural wood lately. Have you? Unless the manufacturer was considering using poly decking instead of tongue and groove cedar. We wouldn’t be surprised.
We can only surmise that the marketer of this ‘sauna’:
- Is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
- Is clever enough to web the terms ‘natural’ and ‘wood’ together to try to create a false image.
- Is scammy enough to try to hitch their wagon to the benefits of an authentic Finnish sauna, to their infrared light bulb closet.
Bunch of ‘therasage’ right upside the head. Once and awhile, it’s good to call out the hucksters.
PS: This light bulb closet sells for $4,660.00. This is the same website that sells a towel warmer for $79.99. Step Right Up!
Imagine a recently published study preaching health benefits of swimming, something along the lines of: “participants who swam half a mile in a pool, 3-4 times per week, had a 30% decrease in heart related illnesses.” Then imagine a company that sells large bathtubs and hot tubs, but calls them pools. Then, imagine that same company laying claim to the health benefits of pools to their products.
Now we understand why we need to be careful with marketing hucksters hawking infrared light bulb closets.
We are funny people here in the USA. We purchase free range organic eggs in plastic cartons. We take yoga, a centuries old wellness practice, and bring in goats (and package the franchise for Shark Tank). We encourage indoor tanning beds, and disregard medical research associating tanning bed use to melanoma, the deadliest version of cancer.
Is it any wonder why we authentic sauna enthusiasts are chagrined to see “sauna” being packaged, bastardized, exploited as an infrared light bulb closet? I hope we are careful about what we are claiming, what we are promoting and selling, and where we are going. Here in the USA, as people debate on how to pronounce the word “sauna”, we are on the cusp of losing its meaning.
On the Ellen show, actor Colin Farrell explained why he prefers the authentic sauna experience, a more penetrating heat where one can toss water on sauna rocks. Ellen DeGeneres is hot on the infrared light bulb closet.
Both Farrell and DeGeneres agree that sweating is good for you, ridding toxins (questionable!). Colin Ferrell refers to the “primal” experience of an authentic sauna. Farrell, Prince Andrew, Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, the list goes on, and it’s funny because after someone famous acknowledges AUTHENTIC sauna, folks then begin to become aware of the difference.
Like yoga or Greek Yogurt, folks have been tuned into sauna well before someone with a pretty face said it’s a good thing. And like yoga or Greek Yogurt, folks engage in sauna because it resonates and works for them. So, hats off to Colin Farrell. He’s probably a great guy. Famous people endorsing authentic sauna is a building block towards the growth and awareness of the authentic sauna experience. This is a good thing.