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Article: Unlocking the Potential of Infrared Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide

Unlocking the Potential of Infrared Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide

Unlocking the Potential of Infrared Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by Chris Lang

Therapy methods utilizing light have been around for some time, but infrared therapy turned out to be a genuine breakthrough. Why? According to the research so far, infrared (IR) light seems to be safer, non-invasive, and very helpful. By numerous accounts, infrared treatment could represent an ideal solution to issues like inflammation, muscle pain, and injuries.

Of course, it’s natural for people to be a bit skeptical when a new healing method appears, which is why “Is infrared therapy safe” appears more often among recent online searches. This article will explore this question in more detail, give you an overview of the greatest IR benefits, and serve as your complete guide to infrared therapy.

How Infrared Therapy Works

Before getting into the actual therapy, it would be best to address the name and meaning of infrared. The question of safety pops up relatively frequently in online searches, but keyword analysis shows another trend, too: that of getting the therapy name wrong.

Common mistakes in this regard include “infared therapy,” “infared treatment,” and “infra red therapy.” The actual name is “infrared” therapy or treatment – infrared as one word. But what does it mean?

“Infrared” is a compound word consisting of the terms “infra” and “red.” Of course, red is easier to explain since it refers to the color. However, in this case, it’s worth noting that the term actually refers to the frequency of light waves that make the color red.

“Infra” is a Latin term meaning “below” or, in some uses, “beyond.” This ties in with the meaning of the complete term “infrared,” which is a frequency range below or beyond the frequency of the color red. It is also the last color in the visible spectrum.

Now that the name is clarified, it’s time to discuss how infrared therapy works.

Essentially, the therapy uses directed infrared light to address specific health issues. Since the therapy is natural and non-invasive, it proves especially useful in healing injuries and conditions that would otherwise call for medications or invasive methods.

Most importantly, infrared light doesn’t provide healing on its own. Rather, it boosts the body’s natural mechanisms and promotes specific metabolic action. In a sense, infrared treatment helps your body make the most of its natural capabilities.

The next question here is: Why infrared? The answer has everything to do with how specific frequencies affect your body.

The Role of Wavelengths

Infrared radiation has a longer wavelength than visible light, which allows it to go beyond the surface skin layers. The frequency band of infrared continues after the visible spectrum and ends where microwave frequencies start. This range provides infrared light with special therapeutic properties.

If you’re taken aback by the mention of radiation, you can be at ease since infrared is a completely natural and harmless form of electromagnetic radiation that occurs everywhere. For instance, sunlight contains infrared rays that your body absorbs in large amounts whenever you’re out on a sunny day.

More than that, any material hotter than absolute zero (which is pretty much everything) is a source of infrared light, and the same goes for heated bodies. Simply put, infrared is all around you every day. If you’ve been wondering, “Is infrared light safe?” this fact alone should provide an answer.

It’s worth mentioning that infrared light can be divided into three bands, depending on how far it occurs from the visible spectrum. Therefore, you have near, mid, and far IR. Interestingly, all three bands have different healing properties, which this article will explore next.

Medical Applications of Infrared Therapy

In terms of medical application, you should learn how different IR bands are used. First, near IR is almost visible as it gives off some light you can detect. This band can penetrate tissues deeper and heat larger areas. It also has the most photon energy of the three.

Mid-infrared is the least commonly mentioned band in terms of infrared therapy. This band is mainly used in spectroscopy since it provides precise and accurate results. Mid-infrared is also used in laser surgery and microscopy.

Finally, far-infrared radiation can be absorbed through the skin and penetrates about 1.5 inches beyond the skin surface. The heat produced by far IR is gentle, so the method doesn’t cause discomfort. On the other hand, therapy uses of this band are quite common and cover a broad range of health issues.

Chronic Low Back Pain

Chronic low back pain is a growing issue in the modern world. It’s a persistent pain in the lower back area that the sufferer feels constantly for three or more months. The pain remains even if its cause has been remedied. As a result, anyone suffering from chronic lower back pain will have problems with movement or even still positions like sitting, lying, or standing. Furthermore, bending, carrying anything, or making sudden moves can make the problem worse.

Infrared therapy has been shown to be helpful with this issue, alleviating the pain with regular use. However, it’s worth noting that chronic low back pain can’t be removed completely, so managing one’s expectations is a key part of any therapy, infrared or otherwise.

Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain

Similar to chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis causes severe discomfort, and joint pain can prevent you from performing everyday tasks. These issues are very disruptive, which is why it’s good news that infrared therapy can be of assistance. Infrared light heats up the painful spot, which provides some relief from pain immediately. However, what happens next is likely more important.

Namely, raised temperature boosts circulation, whether applied to the entire body or a specific area. Improved circulation means better nutrient supply and support from the immune system. As a result, the body can combat inflammation, which is often either the underlying cause or the additional factor in joint pain.

Skin Conditions and Wound Healing

Infrared therapy can indirectly boost the regenerative traits of skin and other tissues by improving blood flow. The more blood gets through an injured area, the more helpful compounds can reach the wound and promote healing. And if you consider relatively shallow skin cuts, the possibilities get even greater.

Infrared light incentivizes collagen production, which is essential for skin health. Collagen makes the skin overall healthier, giving it more flexibility and vitality. As a result, exposure to IR light can not only rejuvenate the skin but also help with particular conditions like psoriasis. Of course, the improved circulation is a massive plus here, too.

Benefits and Risks of Infrared Therapy

Infrared therapy has numerous benefits in terms of health beyond the mentioned applications. For example, infrared treatment has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system because it tackles cardiovascular health from several sides. Naturally, increased circulation is the first thing to mention, but it’s not the only helpful factor.

Your body produces nitric oxide, a potent molecule that regulates everything from blood clumping and clotting to artery behavior and oxidative stress alleviation. Infrared light boosts nitric oxide production, allowing it to fulfill its purpose to the fullest. Sufficient quantities of nitric oxide mean healthier blood vessels.

Detoxification is another massive benefit of infrared lights, although it’s not universal. Rather, this advantage will be accessible mainly through infrared saunas, also called dry saunas. Since infrared light also warms up the body, it can boost sweating, which expels toxins from the skin and the body. When talking about detoxification, you should note that infrared treatment doesn’t represent a complete detox solution but will come in quite handy, nevertheless.

In terms of risks, it’s safe to say that infrared radiation is nearly harmless. The most common risks mentioned are those from thermal injuries, which can occur with any energy source that produces elevated temperatures. Yet, infrared light can cause thermal injuries without causing pain, making it relatively riskier compared to, for instance, open flame.

Certain sensitive groups are advised against infrared therapy. These include pregnant women, currently ill people, and anyone suffering from heart disease.

With all of the above in mind, please note that the most significant risks from infrared don’t come from the radiation itself but rather from overuse or severe misunderstanding of this healing method. Namely, more isn’t better in infrared treatment, and the principle applies to practically all therapy types. In terms of understanding what infrared therapy can do, it’s crucial not to take it as a complete solution, especially when it comes to chronic problems.

This aspect can be particularly harmful to people who forgo all other treatments for their chronic ailments and opt to do infrared therapy exclusively. While the therapy is beneficial, it shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement for other proven methods.

Efficacy and Limitations

Infrared therapy is quite efficient but within certain boundaries. For instance, this method can promote circulation, wound healing, and skin health, to name a few. Yet, it can’t heal chronic diseases, eliminate pain, or resolve cardiovascular issues at its core.

Simply put, infrared, like many other therapy methods, doesn’t represent a magic pill. To the extent its uses are understood today, IR is limited and best used as a complementary therapy. That doesn’t mean there’s no reason to include infrared treatment if possible, as it will undoubtedly provide further support in combating a specific health issue. However, infrared can’t be the sole solution for a health problem.

Another limitation of infrared comes from its ability to penetrate deeper beyond the skin. As mentioned, this radiation type can get up to 1.5 inches beneath the skin. Although this reach seems impressive for a non-invasive method, it also means infrared light can’t be applied to most internal organs. In other words, it will likely provide little to no help with health issues affecting those organs.

To summarize this section, infrared light is very efficient in what it’s proven to do. It will represent an excellent addition to other therapy or lifestyle choices if used with respect to its possibilities and limitations. And if you use a tried product like those found with Komowa Wellness, the positive effects will be all but guaranteed.

Types of Infrared Therapy Devices

There are two primary forms of infrared therapy: specialized IR lamps and infrared saunas. Infrared lamps are often handheld devices that vary in size and power. These are applied to a specific spot on the body and are used primarily in treating joint or muscle pain.

Infrared lamp treatments usually follow a specific procedure. First, the patient is tested for any response to the temperature change or skin reactions. Then, the lamp is activated at a certain distance, which depends on the lamp size. Finally, the lamp is directed at a right angle to maximize penetration.

Infrared or dry saunas are frequently used outside therapy for relaxation and general wellness improvement. These saunas don’t focus on a particular body part and provide similar benefits as traditional saunas. It’s worth noting that an infrared sauna has certain advantages compared to the traditional or steam variant. Primarily, an IR sauna will be more comfortable due to lower humidity, which can be a deciding factor for many people.

Choosing the Right Device

The choice of an infrared device will depend on what you want to achieve. If you’re interested in getting reinvigorated after a gym session, relaxing, or improving your overall condition, an infrared sauna will be the right solution.

If you’ve wondered, “Is sauna good for your skin?” and “Does sauna lower blood pressure?” infrared or dry sauna will give you an answer. To be specific, the answer to “Is the dry sauna good for you?” is yes.

However, people with particular pain issues, chronic or acute, would benefit more from an infrared lamp.

The Future of Infrared Therapy

While infrared therapy already offers numerous advantages and health benefits, this therapy type is still in its early days. Research is still pending regarding specific health effects, and new uses for infrared are being explored constantly.

Infrared holds plenty of promise as a practically risk-free, non-invasive, and natural therapy method. As the technology and methodology keep evolving, new applications might become available, expanding the scope of IR therapy. Furthermore, we have yet to explore in detail how infrared works with other therapy types. Given enough time, IR could become a necessary addition to healing methods for numerous ailments. Dive into the world of saunas and learn more about its benefits at Komowa Wellness.

 

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