There is no doubt about the health benefits of saunas. They are good for the circulation, keep the skin soft and supple, and promote relaxation. Are there any drawbacks? Yes! They are not accessible enough! To use a sauna you either have to go to a health club or have one installed in your home.
There's an alternative, though. Portable saunas allow you to take a sauna almost anywhere - in your home, on business trips, on vacations, even in your office!
Portable saunas come in two basic styles. The first, which is truly portable, is a folding box-like structure that one person can sit in. There are also portable saunas that look like traditional saunas - they are wood-lined and have doors and benches. This second type is portable in the sense that a bed is portable - you can take it with you when you move, but you wouldn't want to take it on a weekend excursion.
The folding sauna is economical and practical. The folding sauna folds up into a compact package that can be carried anywhere. It sets up quickly and doesn't need any special plumbing or electrical connections. Just plug it into a wall socket.
You sit in the folding sauna with your head and hands protruding from the unit. It fits snugly around your neck and has slits for your hands. This allows you to read, watch TV or talk on the phone when taking a sauna - things that are impossible with regular saunas.
The folding sauna uses Far Infrared (FIR) as the heat source. FIR is different from convective heat sources because it heats people and objects without warming the air in between. Infrared is a natural spectrum of light. It is completely natural and is the type of heat that provides most of the warmth from the sun.
FIR heat passes deeply into the body tissues where it can promote increased blood circulation and metabolism. Many proponents of FIR say that it allows the body to break down toxins and promote healing. Whether or not this is true, FIR offers an efficient heat source that is ideal for portable saunas.
There's no doubt about the convenience of portable saunas but there are times when you want a 'real' sauna experience. Luckily you don't have to go through the hassle of having a sauna permanently installed in your house to experience a 'real' sauna.
Pre-built saunas are two or three piece units that can be put together in less than half an hour and can be placed almost anywhere. They offer the look and feel of traditional saunas right down to the wooden benches. They simply plug into a regular wall outlet to supply electricity for the heaters and the lights.
Like portable saunas, pre-built saunas usually use Far Infrared (FIR) heaters as their heat source. Pre-builts are available in a variety of sizes suitable for one person or up to 4 or 5 people. Many manufacturers include accessories such as CD players.
The advantages of portable saunas are obvious - you can have a sauna anywhere you go. When used at home they are tremendous space-savers. When you are finished your sauna you can fold it up and store it under the bed.
Pre-built saunas also have their advantages. Even though they are less portable than true portable saunas they still offer the possibility to take the sauna with you if you move.
Disadvantages? Well, the heat build-up of portable saunas can't compare to regular saunas. The thin walls just won't support the same level of heat. Pre-built saunas are insulated so their heat build-up is similar to regular saunas, but the box-like structure (especially of the one person units) may make some people feel claustrophobic.
Still, if you don't want the expense and hassle of installing a permanent sauna in your home, portables and pre-builts allow you to get all the sauna benefits with very few drawbacks.
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