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Article: The Healing Spectrum: Exploring the Health Benefits of Infrared Technology

The Healing Spectrum: Exploring the Health Benefits of Infrared Technology

The Healing Spectrum: Exploring the Health Benefits of Infrared Technology

Written by Chris Lang

Health and wellness centers always update their technology to deliver the best results. This new technology has revolutionized the overall experience, from better cardiovascular health to flawless skin. More specifically, infrared has been making massive strides in physical therapy. Today, it's a big part of any health and wellness treatment.

Infrared technology has been especially prevalent with saunas and red light therapy. Some proposed benefits of infrared include cellular boosts, detoxing, anti-aging effects, skin health, and overall relaxation.

Read on to learn all about infrared technology therapy and how it works.

What Is Infrared Light?

Before getting into the exact application of infrared light in health and wellness therapies, it helps to explain what infrared light is.

Infrared light is radiation with longer wavelengths than our visible light spectrum but shorter than radio waves. It's called infrared because it's below color red (the lowest frequency the human eye sees) on the light frequency spectrum.

It's worth mentioning that infrared light is on the opposite side of the spectrum than ultraviolet (or UV) light. Ultraviolet light is invisible because its waves are too short for us to see, but it carries more energy than visible or IR light. Too much exposure to ultraviolet light can cause sunburns, skin damage, cell degradation, and even cancer in certain cases.

Infrared light, on the other hand, is a wave too long to be visible. It's also far from being dangerous to humans. We've been using infrared technology for some time now, and it can even be therapeutic when harnessed properly.

How Does Infrared Work?

Now that you know more about infrared, you might be wondering is infrared light good for you and how does it affect your body? Firstly, infrared waves can directly heat the body. IR waves have longer wavelengths and can penetrate skin, reaching depths that ordinary heat and light can't.

This increases the core body temperature without heating up the surrounding air as much as regular heat sources. Exposure to infrared waves can help relieve sore muscles and tissue, improve cardiovascular health, enhance detoxification, better vasodilation, and even have anti-inflammatory effects.

Types of Infrared Therapy: Near, Far, and Red Light

Infrared lights provide a wide range of health benefits. Throughout the years, many different types of infrared therapies have been developed for maximum effect. Some of the main ones include:

  • Near Infrared Therapy – Near-infrared technology utilizes wavelengths close to our visible spectrum. They penetrate deeply, and the therapy is generally used for overall muscle health, relieving muscle, tendon, and joint pain. It can potentially aid in conditions like arthritis with its anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Far Infrared Therapy – Far infrared technology uses wavelengths on the farther end of the spectrum at 3000 to 1 nm. Because of this, it isn't the best option for penetrating deeper parts of the body for therapy, like muscles, joints, and tendons. Instead, it's best for the outermost layers. Far infrared technology can be used in infrared saunas for detoxification, relaxation, and circulation improvement.

  • Red Light Therapy – Red light therapy is at the end of the visible spectrum at 620 to 700 nm. It's especially useful for penetrating the skin, reaching cellular levels, and aiding with skin problems. Many use red light therapy for wound healing, skin health, hair growth, and mood and sleep improvement.

Choosing the Right Type of Infrared Therapy

There's no doubt that infrared therapy can deliver a wide range of overall health benefits. With many therapies available, you'll want to know which one to choose. This will depend on your comfort level, present health, and goals. It's also best to consult experts like those at Komowa Wellness. However, there are still some general guidelines to consider.

  • Red light therapy is best for skin and rejuvenation. If you have skin issues or want to improve your overall skin health, then red light therapy is the best way. It reduces redness, aging effects, and wrinkles while aiding collagen production.

  • Near-infrared therapy is best for muscle recovery and joint inflammation. Near–red light has a wavelength that penetrates the body deeper than other waves. This makes it great for reaching muscle tissue, joints, and tendons. It does a great job of heating your body and reducing deep inflammation.

  • Far infrared therapy is best for detoxification, reducing stress, and blood flow. Far infrared therapy is your best choice if you just want to relax while sweating out harmful toxins. Therapies using this method are usually infrared saunas. They cause you to sweat profusely, which helps you get rid of toxins fast. It also offers the benefit of advanced blood flow, improving circulation and cardiovascular health.

Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas are some of the main types of far infrared treatments. Instead of using steam to heat the room, they do so directly using the far-infrared wavelengths, as discussed above. They're also increasingly prominent with many long-term infrared benefits:

Β· Β  Β  Β  Β  Deep detoxification – Infrared saunas are especially efficient at making you sweat profusely at lower temperatures. This means that you'll be able to lose all those harmful chemicals and heavy metals. In the long run, this leads to better overall health.

  • Pain relief – While this isn't the main benefit of infrared saunas, they can still relieve pain if you have any muscle, joint, or tendon issues.

  • Better vasodilation – As temperature increases in an infrared sauna, your blood vessels will tend to dilate. Your cardiovascular health may somewhat improve with better circulation and regular sessions. This has made infrared light therapy popular for those who perform strenuous physical exercise throughout the week.

  • Weight loss and metabolism boost – A higher core temperature will increase your heart rate. Though this isn't a substitute for exercise, it can have similar effects and help burn calories. The result would be faster weight loss and potentially improving your metabolic rate.

  • Immune system boost – While this benefit isn't as prominent, it can still be noticeable. Many have noted increased immune health when fighting off sicknesses after spending time in infrared saunas. This could be because the mild increase in temperature mimics a fever. The gradual increase in temperature stimulates your immune system to respond, handling health-related issues more efficiently.

Infrared Saunas vs. Traditional Saunas

Both traditional and infrared saunas can deliver specific health benefits. However, they use an altogether different mechanism when it comes to heating. Typically, traditional saunas will heat the room through a source and sometimes pour water over the source to produce steam. This results in higher humidity, specifically for traditional and steam saunas.

Infrared saunas don't heat the air. They use infrared waves to penetrate the body more thoroughly, causing a faster and more prominent rise in core body temperature. This is why infrared saunas typically can be adjusted at a lower temperature to achieve the same effect as traditional saunas.

Both have their benefits, such as decreasing blood pressure, helping respiratory issues, and increasing cardiovascular health. Komowa Wellness uses both therapeutic tools in their repertoire for a holistic approach to healing.

Infrared Light Therapy for Cardiovascular Health

Regarding infrared light therapy, improved cardiovascular health is one of the most common and desired benefits. Some of ways infrared light improves cardiovascular health include:

  • Improved endothelial function – These thin blood vessels are necessary for circulation and expansion.

  • Better blood flow – Infrared light aids in helping overall blood flow by helping blood vessels dilate.

  • Less inflammation – Some studies suggest that infrared light therapy can help reduce inflammation, which can be a big part of certain cardiovascular diseases.

The Role of Nitric Oxide

Another less commonly known way that infrared therapy delivers cardiovascular benefits is by increasing the concentration of nitric oxide in the body.

This essential molecule aids with many processes in your cardiovascular system, including blood vessel dilation, preventing clots (platelet aggregation), and protecting the inner lining of blood cells (endothelium).

Scientific Evidence Supporting Infrared Therapy

When considering infrared therapy, checking why is infrared good for you with scientific sources for proven benefits and advantages is always helpful. Some additional studies that are associated with supporting infrared therapy include:

  • Fulop et al. (2010) – This meta-analysis confirmed how infrared therapy can help muscle soreness and recovery.

  • Keszler et al. (2018) – A study that observed infrared therapy as a viable option for cardiovascular health, especially regarding endothelial function.

  • Lee et al. (2007) – Published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, this study shows that infrared therapy technology can help skin complexion and reduce collagen degradation.

What Does the Research Say?

There's no doubt that infrared therapy helps with overall increasing health in terms of cardiovascular, skin complexion, and muscle recovery. However, many may ask if infrared helps with other underlying health conditions. Some key examples include:

  • Depression and anxiety – A study by Schiffer suggests that infrared can help patients with underlying depression and anxiety issues. Patients experienced reduced anxiety and depression symptoms when infrared was applied to their foreheads.

  • Arthritis – In the Australasian Journal of Physiotherapy, Bjordal performed a meta-analysis, confirming that infrared helps reduce pain and improves the health status of those with chronic joint problems like arthritis.

  • Wounds – A study by Minatel indicated that infrared help accelerate wound healing.

Risks and Precautions

While infrared therapy can be a good choice, it isn't necessarily best for everyone. There are some small risks involved with the process and this might leave you wondering is infrared therapy safe.

For example, if machines are left on too long, and the temperature is too high, it could lead to mild burning. However, this should never happen if a capable professional handles the devices.

The eyes can also be sensitive to infrared light. This is why it's best to avoid direct exposure to high-intensity devices.

Infrared therapy is, in general, beneficial. However, too much of it can slow down certain healing processes. Hence, it's best to consult with a professional before undergoing treatment.

Who Should Avoid Infrared Therapy?

As mentioned above, certain risks are associated with infrared therapy. Some individuals with conditions should also avoid infrared therapy altogether. Some of them include:

  • Pregnant individuals

  • People who have certain skin conditions

  • People taking photosensitive medicine

  • Those with implants

  • Individuals with fever

  • Those with recent sunburns

  • People with certain eye problems

  • Cancer patients

Children should be supervised to ensure the treatment is working as intended.

Is Infrared Therapy Right for You?

Overall, infrared therapy is a great way to increase health and overall well-being in multiple ways. Some benefits include increased cardiovascular health, better skin complexion, muscle recovery, and stress reduction. Many types of therapies are available depending on your exact physical condition, including near infrared, far infrared, and red light therapies.

As long as you don't have a condition like the ones mentioned above, infrared therapy should be right for you. Notice the benefits may take a few sessions, so consistency is key. Always consult with a health professional first, as they'll be able to provide you with the right therapy for your specific condition. If you're ready for the best infrared therapy, then contact Komowa Wellness.


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