Near infrared light is contained within the spectrum of natural sunlight. In fact, sunlight that reaches the earth’s surface contains 52% to 55% near infrared light. It’s clear that humans and other animal and plant species, by Nature’s design, have been programmed to utilize near infrared light to our benefit.
The light therapy effects of NIr light cannot be overstated. The interaction of chromophores within our bodies with near infrared light is the key to understanding the power of NIr light.
The tungsten filaments in the incandescent light bulb produce the same beneficial visible red & near infrared (also called NIR-A, 600nm – 950nm) elements of natural sunlight.
The tungsten-filament bulb not only emits the correct wavelengths of light necessary for light therapy, they emit exclusively near infrared light and red light. Tungsten does not emit any significant amount of mid-infrared or far-infrared wavelengths of light. And our Red-Filtered Incandescent Heat Lamps also don’t emit any UV or blue light, so no killer wavelengths, as the sun emits.
Why does Near Infrared Light Penetrate Tissue 5x or More Deeply than Far Infrared Light?
The human body has an optical window of light absorption of 600-1150nm. That’s because hemoglobin absorbs most all light below 600nm, which is all visible light except red light.
On the other side of the optical window, water absorbs all light of wavelengths greater than 1150nm.
Far infrared light wavelengths start at about 3,000-10,000nm, so all far infrared light wavelengths are completely absorbed by water molecules.
Since we have water molecules everywhere in our bodies, it’s obvious that far-infrared light won’t ever penetrate deeply; it is blocked by water in all tissues.
More importantly, even when far-infrared light manages to penetrate up to 1.5-2 inches into human tissue, it DOES NOT activate any cellular regenerative or anti-aging systems of healing. It only provides a heating effect on the cells.
Far Infrared Saunas Are the Wrong Wavelength, Use Inferior Technology & Lack Smart Design
Far infrared saunas use heating elements that mainly emit light in the far-infrared range (NIR-C, 3000nm – 1mm).
These far infrared heating elements typically emit harmful levels of EMF.
Far infrared sauna manufacturers are forced to use expensive metal shielding to lower these high EMF levels, which increases costs & results in decreased far-infrared light emission into the sauna. In other words, low-EMF far infrared saunas primarily rely on heating up the air around the sauna user to heat the user’s body, and are therefore little different than traditional saunas.
Furthermore, there are no photoreceptors for far infrared light in the human body, so that unlike near infrared lamp saunas, far infrared saunas only provide heat therapy, not near infrared light therapy.
Traditional Wet/Finnish Saunas only Provide Heat Therapy, not Light Therapy
Traditional saunas produce heat generated by electricity or less commonly wood burning. They may be dry or wet.
Wet saunas create steam by utilizing steam generators or by throwing water on electrically-heated hot rocks.
Dry saunas use electric heaters that typically emit harmful levels of electromagnetic energy (EMF). A typical dry Finnish-type sauna operates at 180°F or greater and heats the body from the outside in.
Heat Therapy for Detoxification, Your Best Defense Against the Modern Toxic World
Throughout history, humans have used sauna therapy as a safe and powerful means of detoxification, from Native American sweat lodges to Finnish wood-fired saunas.
It’s been called many things:
- Heat Therapy
- Sweat Therapy
- Hyperthermic Therapy
- Sauna Therapy
- Sweat Lodge Therapy
Heat Therapy is simple to achieve. All we must do is raise cell temperature by several degrees for several minutes to activate cellular heat therapy effects. What are these cellular heat therapy effects?
- Heat Shock Proteins are activated. HSPs repair misfolded and damaged proteins and also help make cellular detoxification more efficient
- Increased Cellular Metabolism
- Increased Oxygenation
When doing this in the tissues of the body’s core, we activate the whole body’s detoxification response. This is called whole-body or systemic heat therapy. It’s the full-body heat therapy that results in dramatic healing effects for the entire organism:
- Increased Blood Flow to Tissues
- Increased Tissue Oxygenation
- Vasodilation of Blood Vessels, so Blood Pressure Decreases, even as Blood Circulation Increases
- Increased Production of Human Growth Hormone
- Increase Insulin Sensitivity/Reduced Insulin Resistance
- Activation of Skin as Organ of Detoxification via Passive Sweating
We dramatically increasing blood-flow to the vital organs and skin, unlocking even hard to reach toxins.
Sweating during vigorous exercise also raises the body temperature, but actually decreases deep organ blood flow, which means very little detoxification takes place.
When sitting quietly in your sauna, sweating passively, profound detoxification begins to occur. The skin, your largest detoxification organ, is activated as a toxin eliminator. This is in sharp contrast to sweating during aerobic exercise, which again does not result in meaningful removal of toxic organic chemicals and heavy metals.
In today’s toxic world no one can avoid exposure to harmful substances. Sauna therapy is a cornerstone of defense in the fight against toxin related illness and dysfunction.
A recent landmark scientific study published in a major medical journal demonstrated a significant decrease in mortality (increase in longevity) with sauna use. Benefits observed included significant decreases in fatal heart attacks and deaths from other cardiovascular diseases.
Relaxation & Stress Relief
Sauna use promotes parasympathetic nervous system activity (“rest & digest” state) and decreases sympathetic (“fight or flight” state) activity. Saunas promote profound relaxation and stress relief through their parasympathetic effect.
A number of factors synergistically and powerfully combine to produce these changes. Sweating, moving blood to the periphery, Heating the body, Near infrared light therapy, and more are all involved during the sauna experience.
Regular use produces genuine relaxation of body and mind-improving a sense of well-being. Sauna therapy also decreases blood pressure as well as improves both oxygenation and circulation.
Near Infrared Light Therapy Effects
Wound & Tissue Repair
Multiple studies show accelerated healing of wounds and other types of tissue injury using near infrared light. A great example is the use of NIR light therapy to treat disorders and injury to the eyes. Rather than causing injury to the eye, near infrared light helps the eyes heal.
In a scientific study, mice were blinded by chemical injury (methanol) and the blindness was reversed with the application of NIR light therapy. There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the powerful healing effects of NIR light. NIR light promotes faster cell regeneration and human tissue growth.
Athletic & Physical Performance
Sauna bathing after exercise have been shown to increase athletic performance, reduce fatigue and improve muscle recovery. Muscle circulation is increased. Innovative gyms are actually installing infrared lamp systems integrated with exercise equipment for an enhanced experience. Growth hormone release also occurs with sauna use and can increase muscle strength.
Saunas also provide many of the same benefits as aerobic exercise. Both result in sweating which provides detoxification but of course, the sauna detoxification is much more extensive and powerful. Sauna use also increases metabolism, heart rate, and improves circulation like exercise but does so in a stress-free, relaxing environment.
Joint & Muscle Pain
Low-level light therapy has been shown to reduce joint and muscle pain in animal studies. Penetrating near infrared light appears to address joint and muscle problems from multiple angles. Hand-held near infrared devices used for pain relief are common in physical therapy and pain management offices. Far infrared does not provide this effect.
Care for your body’s largest organ! Your skin is a major organ for eliminating body wastes through sweating. Most people don’t sweat enough.
Near infrared saunas encourage sweating and unlock toxins stored beneath the skin bringing deeper toxins to the skin for elimination. NIR light easily penetrates the skin, boosts circulation and brings more blood and nutrients not only to the skin itself but to deeper tissues as well.
Near infrared light therapy has been shown to stimulate vital collagen and elastin production. Collagen helps plump the skin, while elastin firms the skin. The visible red and NIR light energizes and repairs damaged cells, stimulating collagen and elastin and returning the skin to a more youthful look.
NIR light is being used currently to treat specific skin problems such as acne scars, eczema, rosacea and more.
Treating psoriasis with light therapy is probably the oldest known therapy for this skin disease. Bathing in sunlight to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis is an age old remedy.
NIR light provides new hope for those that suffer from psoriasis. NIR light therapy has been shown to help heal psoriasis non-invasively without side effects.
Body Fat & Cellulite
Regular sauna use can reduce overall body fat. Near infrared light has been shown to decrease cellulite. NIR heat lamp saunas allow specific problem areas to be targeted as needed. (E.g. cellulite in thigh skin). A study involving a group of women riding stationary bicycles demonstrated a 444% increase in weight loss for the group exposed to near infrared light when compared to the exercise only group. Infrared light combined with other therapies has been shown to be effective in controlling cellulite.