— sweat science
Infrared sauna is the contemporary and effective expression of an ancient health practice – the application of heat for both general health and to treat specific ailments. The positive health effects were known as long ago as the ancient Greeks, whose physicians would induce slight fevers to fight a number of different illnesses.
Infrared technology itself didn't appear until the end of the 1800s when Dr. JH Kellogg of Battle Creek Michigan invented something that he called an electric light bath. The cabinet, which Kellogg first displayed a version of at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, was sold all over the globe, with some reports saying that German doctors used the technology to cure the king of England of gout, a development that led to the king having the light bath installed in Buckingham Palace.
The technology for far infrared saunas wouldn’t come until many years later. In the sixties NASA had been doing research into far infrared for the space program, and had discovered how to produce far infrared rays. It was a Japanese doctor, though, who received the first patent in 1965 for a ceramic far infrared heater, which he began to use for healing in the same way one would use a near infrared or traditional steam sauna. Until this point, no one had been using far infrared heat in a sauna setting. For the next 14 years, doctors in Japan were the only ones using this technology, until 1979, when the product was finally released for public use. The technology eventually came to the United States in the 1980s, and it has continued to be refined and made more effective since then.