From ancient times in many cultures, heating the body to relax and sweat was known to have therapeutic effects – dry saunas in Finland, banyas (steam rooms) in Russia, Roman baths, Native American sweat lodges, Japanese bath houses. In recent years infrared therapy has been gaining momentum in the realm of holistic wellness.
What is Infrared Light?
The Latin word infra means “below”. Red represents the longest wavelength of the visible light spectrum. Infrared light has a longer wavelength than red light and lower frequency (‘below’ red). Infrared light is not visible to the human eye, but we all encounter it on a bright sunny day as we feel the warmth.
The first doctor to use light therapy was Danish physician Niels Ryberg Finsen who in 1903 was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to the treatment of diseases like tuberculosis by using concentrated light radiation.
The Infrared Light spectrum consists of red light, near infrared and far infrared light and each has specific benefits.
Red light (Wavelength 620 – 780 nanometers).
Red light therapy (RLT) uses low wavelength and makes mitochondria in the cells work more efficiently, boosting new cell growth, enhancing skin rejuvenation. It is mostly used in medical and spa settings.
Red light therapy can help stimulate collagen production, increase blood circulation and reduce inflammation. It can even help reduce hair loss.
Near Infrared Light (Wavelength 780 - 2,500 nanometers)
Also known as photobiomodulation, when it hits the body it activates a protein in the mitochondria (the cell’s ‘power plant’) which starts producing more energy (or ATP). Increased energy production in turn leads to a number of beneficial effects including tissue healing, inflammation reduction, and pain relief. Near infrared light (NIR) can also penetrate through the scalp and and increase cerebral blood flow.
Far Infrared Light (Wavelength 15,000 – 1,000,000 nanometers)
The effects of far infrared light (FIR) action are poorly understood. FIR can penetrate almost 4 cm through the skin surface and increases the blood flow and enhances nitric oxide production.
In Japan FIR therapy is also known as Waon meaning "soothing warm therapy," which includes a person sitting in FIR sauna at 60°C for 15 minutes following by resting on a bed with warm blankets for another 30 minutes.
What are the Known Health Benefits of Infrared Light?
Pain Relief: One of the most renowned benefits of infrared therapy is its ability to alleviate pain. The heat generated by the infrared rays penetrates deep into muscles, joints, and tissues, promoting relaxation and reducing tension. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, muscle strains, and joint discomfort. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated near infrared therapy used on 21 patients and found a considerable reduction in lower back pain after the seven-week long experiment with no adverse effects.
Improved Circulation: Infrared therapy induces vasodilation, which means that blood vessels expand. This expansion enhances blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. Improved circulation is not only essential for healing injuries but also for overall cardiovascular health. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition where the heart is not pumping enough blood leading to excess fluid in the lungs and legs. Patients with CHF usually have shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen ankles, and a poor quality of life. A randomized controlled study of over 140 patients with CHF participating in Waon therapy for 10 days found significant improvements in shortness of breath, an increased ability to walk for six minutes, and decreased BNP marker (commonly elevated in CHF patients).
Detoxification: Sweating is one of our body's natural way of eliminating toxins. Infrared saunas, which operate at lower temperatures than traditional saunas, promote more profuse sweating. This can aid in the removal of heavy metals, chemicals, and other toxins from the body, thereby supporting the detoxification process.
Stress Reduction and Relaxation: The gentle heat of infrared therapy induces a state of relaxation by promoting the release of endorphins, the body's natural "feel-good" hormones. This can be a valuable tool for managing stress, anxiety, and even improving sleep quality.
Skin Health: Infrared therapy has shown promise in enhancing skin health. The increased circulation and collagen production stimulated by the therapy can contribute to improved skin tone, reduced signs of aging, and even the treatment of certain skin conditions like acne and eczema. This study found positive effects on the rejuvenation of skin damaged by prolonged sun exposure.
Weight Management: While not a replacement for a healthy diet and regular exercise, infrared therapy can support weight management efforts. The increased heart rate and sweating during a session can help burn calories and boost metabolism. In this study it was found that phototherapy enhances the physical exercise effects in obese women undergoing weight loss treatment.
Wound Healing: Studies have suggested that infrared therapy can aid in wound healing by enhancing blood circulation and promoting the growth of new tissue. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals recovering from injuries or surgeries. (Yadav et al., 2016).
Hair Growth: NIR therapy has been explored as a potential treatment for androgenetic alopecia (hair loss) by promoting hair follicle growth. A study in "Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology" (2020) discussed its efficacy in promoting hair regrowth (Leavitt et al., 2020).
Can you get all These Benefits from a Lamp Sauna?
According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson, near infrared lamp saunas use incandescent reddish ‘heat lamps’ for heating which emit mainly near infrared energy, with a bit of middle infrared as well.
This type of light also provides warming and stimulating color therapy. The lights emit a small amount of red, orange and yellow visible light. These particular frequencies can assist the digestive and eliminative organs to some degree.
While traditional saunas require high temperatures for copious sweating, infrared penetrates the skin and heats from the inside as well as on the skin. This means the air temperature in the sauna can remain much cooler, yet one sweats plenty at this more comfortable temperature (drwilson.com).
Our 4 bulb infrared unit penetrates deepest due to the fact that the heat source is all concentrated in a small area, and not due to the frequencies of the energy used. Near infrared activates the cells, supports metabolism and helps detoxification. Near infrared frequencies can also act as amplifiers of other frequencies that are in the vicinity of the heat lamps.
Our Portable Infrared Lamp
Introducing our newly-designed portable infrared 4 bulb unit that can easily fit into your home for extra relaxation and self-love. Designed for your convenience, this innovative sauna can be effortlessly hung on the wall or placed on any flat surface, making it a versatile addition to your home or wellness spa. Harness the power of near-infrared light therapy with four incandescent bulbs that emit a gentle, penetrating warmth, enveloping you in soothing comfort. Whether you seek to unwind after a long day, rejuvenate your skin, or promote muscle recovery, our portable sauna delivers an all-encompassing experience. Elevate your well-being and transform any space into your personal sanctuary with the 4 Bulb Infrared Portable Sauna – where relaxation and revitalization meet the eye pleasing design. Discover the radiance that rejuvenates you whenever you are ready to unwind and get cozy.
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