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Have we gone too far in abusing the sun's powerful UV rays?

I felt it was important to write this article as I have noticed that in the last few years tanning beds have become an epidemic or even an addiction with some. In talking to many people relating to tanning beds I have surprisingly discovered that many of them are not using them primarily to achieve a tan. Many people today are using the tanning beds in an attempt to stay warm in the winter time. They feel that this is the closest that they can get to the sun's heat, while its exposure is more limited during the long winter months. I have found that this is particularly true of many of the baby boomers that are using tanning beds.

Unfortunately for them they may not be fully aware of all of the long term repercussions that these beds may have on their general health as well as their skin after prolonged use. The World Health Organization strongly advises against the use of tanning beds for many reasons. Of course we all know about the increased risk of developing Melanoma, Basal, or Squamous cell skin cancer. Some other risks may include suppression of the immune system, damage to the cornea of the eyes, burns to the skin and the promotion of premature aging due to severe dehydration of the skin.

In some types of tanning beds the UV rays are much higher then that of the sun itself and a short time in them can be like lying on the beach in the sun for an entire day. For many young girls today tanning has become a part of their weekly routine. Some Medical Centers are finding that there is an increase in cases of Melanoma and Non Melanoma skin cancer in much younger people. There is question as to whether they are related.

With all this being said there is a healthier alternative to finding your place in the sun in the winter time, or any time. This can be done by way of Far Infra-Red Sauna Sessions. The Far Infra-Red Sauna is similar to the sun's radiant heat, the safe and healing part of the sun. People who need the sun's warmth in the winter can start to achieve this through these Sauna sessions, all the while making improvements to their body and their skins health.

Many people suffer with cold dampness in their body which can slow the circulation of blood and energy to the various tissues, making them feel cold most of the time. Infra- red Sauna's can help to expel cold damp from the body by promoting warmth to the under active tissues and increasing blood circulation. Infra- Red Sauna's can also improve immune system function to strengthen your resistance to colds and flu's. Some other benefits of these Sauna's are; reducing pain and inflammation in the body, improving digestion, improving the skin and anti-aging, helping with winter blue's and depression, detoxification of heavy metals and other toxins, helping with weight and cellulite reduction, relaxing the body and reducing stress. There are many more benefits.

The Infra-Red Sauna is a dry heat sauna, which promotes sweating while relaxing in it for 30 minute sessions. Depending on how active your body is, in one thirty minute session you may burn from 300 to 600 Calories, and have a cardiovascular workout as if you have run 3-6 miles. There have been studies using Infra-Red Sauna's with many people suffering from Fibromyalgia. A great number of people with this conditions have showed a marked improvement, with alleviation of the some of the symptoms and pain resulting from this disorder. They are now conducting studies with relation to Infra-Red sauna's and cancer patients.

Far Infra-Red Sauna's have been used for 25 years as an integrated part of a healing plan in many countries including, China, Japan, and Europe. Fortunately for us today in the Western World, we are now becoming aware of the Far Infra-Red Sauna's many health and beauty benefits.

Before you decide to try sessions in an Infra-Red Sauna or to purchase one it might be a good idea to check with your doctor or a practitioner whom is aware of your health issues. Infra-reds may be contraindicated for people with certain health conditions. You need to be responsible as the heat has a deeper penetration then standard sauna's or steam rooms.

My hope is that in the near future we make more educated choices to find our right place in the Sun.

This article is in no way meant to replace sound medical advice from your doctor. If in doubt consult your Physician.

An edited version of this article was published in "It's your life magazine" 2006

Clinic for Health and Energy Restoration offers individual Infra-Red Sauna Sessions/consultations, and monthly or yearly sauna membership options also..