Infrared light therapy is a means of harness one of the most resonant frequencies of light in order to promote healing on a cellular level. Light is made up of many different frequency ‘bands’ which are separated into what we see as different colors. This spectrum of light is what is referred to as the ‘visible’ spectrum. Just below the lower end of this spectrum is infrared light, which isn’t visible to the human eye except under certain conditions. Research has shown that this particular frequency of light offers a powerful healing boost to your body on a cellular level.

This particular frequency of light offers a powerful healing boost to your body on a cellular level

This is the type of energy that is produced by heat lamps, infrared saunas, and of course—our sun! Infrared light therapy is able to affect very positive reactions in your body on a cellular level, and is now being used by many doctors for the treatment of many different health conditions. Common consumer products that utilize this type of energy for health benefits are cold laser devices, infrared saunas, and heat lamps. These types of products allow anyone to harness the power of infrared light therapy in their own homes, and have become a wildly-popular form of alternative medicine.

What is Infrared Light

Most of the energy in our world that can effect us falls somewhere on the electromagnetic spectrum. This is a spectrum which classifies everything from radio waves to xrays, with visible light falling somewhere in the middle. What separates the different frequencies of light are their frequency of oscillation, which can be imagined as how far apart the tops of waves are. The lower on the electromagnetic spectrum, the longer the wavelength and vice-versa. Another term for the infrared spectrum is thermal radiation, in that it induces and transfers heat energy very well. Microwaves, for example, also fall within the thermal spectrum of radiation and are very useful for heating things up.

electromagnetic-spectrum

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The classification of this type of energy has come from many years of focused scientific learning. Before modern measurement devices were available however, societies around the globe had already figured out that heat therapy was very beneficial for treating many different ailments and health conditions. While we know have a much deeper understanding of how this infrared band can be used to our benefit, many of the ways in which we apply it in practice are similar to those of years past. Saunas are one example of infrared therapy which helps to induce sweating and detoxification. These types of devices have been used for centuries, although modern advances in technology have allowed for considerable improvements. An infrared sauna, for example, doesn’t require the use of coals or fire to produce heat, but relies of specialized heating elements and electricity!

What is Infrared Light Therapy

Infrared light therapy utilizes the beneficial effects of infrared light to help address health conditions such as muscle pain [3], mitochondrial disorders [5], and cancer [4]. Infrared therapy works to allow your body to absorb this beneficial spectrum of light on a cellular level, which works to address many health conditions from their root cause. This type of therapy offers a strong benefit for many health conditions while operating in a totally non-invasive manner.

Certainly one of the most amazing benefits of infrared therapy is in it’s potential to fight cancer. Currently, there are very few FDA-approved methods of treating cancer are surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. All of these methods involve the destruction of normal body tissue as well. Somewhat ironically, surgery is the least destructive of these methods. While commercial interests keep the scope of Cancer research fairly limited, such low-cost products as infrared light sources are still easy to access for less-funded researchers.

Offers a strong benefit for many health conditions while operating in a totally non-invasive manner

Recently, some of these researchers demonstrated that targeted light therapy was able to eliminate cancerous cell growth in mice [6]. While still technically a form of radiation therapy, this method involves a much less deadly form of radiation, the infrared band, and doesn’t involve the irradiation of other healthy tissues. Their research used a type of photo-reactive dye that binds only to tumor cells. Once this compound was absorbed by the cancer cells, researchers activated it with infrared light and the cancer cells were annihilated!

Another popular form of infrared therapy is called Cold Laser Therapy, and is used by many chiropractors and physical therapists. This type of therapy involves placing a laser emitter against your skin on the target area, and allowing your body to absorb the energy for a short period of time. This type of therapy produces no heat, vibration, or pain and is among one of the least invasive therapies available. Cold laser therapy products are also available on the consumer market, and are used for self-treatment of inflammation, cuts, bruises, and muscular issues.[7]

How Does Infrared Light Therapy Work

Infrared light has been shown to produce accuse spikes in Nitric Oxide, which is most noted for it’s benefits to cardiovascular health [8]. Nitric Oxide helps to relax your vascular system, and also provide a richer oxygen content. This is beneficial for everyone, but especially so for patients at higher risk of heart attack, and athletes seeking to boost their physical performance. Such products as infrared saunas and compression socks are used by many athletes as a means to stimulate blood flow during performances. L-Arginine is also a popular supplement among body-builders, and is one of the primary precursors of Nitric Oxide. While the field of performance athletics gets all the attention, these methods of fortifying vascular health can be beneficial to anyone.

Signals your body to start producing a lot of Nitric Oxide

When your body is exposed to infrared light, it triggers a reaction on a cellular level. This reaction signals your body to start producing a lot of Nitric Oxide, which increases blood flow. There is much evidence that this type of increase in Nitric Oxide can help performance of muscles in the short term, as well as reduce wear and tear in the long term [9]. Historically, Nitroglycerin has been given to heart patients as a means of preventing heart attacks. This compound readily turns into Nitric Oxide within the body, offering all the benefits mentioned earlier. With modern technology, it has been observed that Nitric Oxide levels can be seen to increase in dramatic levels in just 5 minutes. This novel new approach of non-invasive treatment can help avoid costly prescription medications, and trips to the doctor.

Types of Infrared Light Therapy

The growing body of research illuminating the power benefits of infrared light therapy has prompted many companies to offer products to meet a new consumer demand. While many of these devices are sold to licensed health practitioners at exorbitant costs, there are now many consumer-priced products available. Most of these products are either infrared saunas, or cold laser devices. Cold laser devices are typically much cheaper, but only treat a very small, targeted area of your body. Infrared saunas on the other hand, offer whole body treatments and are great for detoxification. These products are much more expensive, although they can be found at a considerable discount through online sites like Amazon.

Infrared Saunas

These products are similar to traditional saunas which have been used for centuries for the health benefits, although they use modern infrared technology. Rather than having a coal or wood-burning stove within their confines, these modern saunas have carbon fiber heating elements which produce infrared wave radiation at a molecular level. This removes an obvious safety hazard, but also means that these types of products can be easily shipped, assembled, and used in nearly any home. Infrared saunas are used by many people to help with weight loss, ease muscle pain, lower blood pressure, and detoxify toxins from deep tissues.

Cold Lasers

These devices are used by many physical therapists and chiropractic doctors as a means to non-invasively treat damaged tissues. These devices provide a much more targeted treatment option than infrared saunas, are often handheld, and can usually be found for under $100. Medical grade devices are still very expensive, and are usually reserved for only practicing doctors or organizations. These devices are comprised of LEDs which emit targeted light frequencies shown to illicit desired responses from your body on a molecular level. Cold Lasers are great for the healing of muscle tissues, wounds, and stimulating new cellular growth.

Sunlight!

We all owe our lives not only to our Earth, but mainly to our Sun. Our sun provides our Earth with nourishing warmth and energy, helping drive all the processes of life. The sun’s output of energy spans across the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from gamma rays to radio waves. Much of the Sun’s energy that reaches the Earth is in the form of visible and infrared light. One of the best ways to bump up your exposure to infrared light is simply by basking in the warmth of the sun. Ever notice, that even on the most blustery winter days, if you are able to find a sunny patch you manage to stay warm? Our body’s are naturally tuned to absorb the energy of the sun in a very efficient manner, and thus are able to benefit even from short exposures. So if you’re looking for an easy way to bump up your infrared light exposure, go outside and play in the Sun!

Non Invasive & Effective Treatment

Research has shown that infrared light therapy can be a powerful means to effect positive health changes. Devices such as cold lasers and infrared saunas are being used by a growing number of people to help address many different health conditions. In addition, many licensed health practitioners now offer these types of therapies as part of their regular protocols. Infrared light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is just below visible light, and therefore largely unseen to the human eye. For those looking for a powerful and non-invasive means of addressing certain health issues, infrared light therapy may be for you. As with any decision regarding your health, you should consult with your doctor before changing anything about your current routines or protocols.


References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3699878/

2. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/50/E5445.abstract

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16960636

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2386844/

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24246911

6. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/targeted-light-therapy-destroys-cancer-cells

7. http://www.healthline.com/health/cold-laser-therapy#Uses3

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23334615

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22260513

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