Did you know that infrared light therapy has the potential to reduce high blood pressure? Dive into the science behind this captivating therapy and explore how it may offer a natural pathway to managing your blood pressure levels. Here is an in-depth look at how infrared light therapy may help lower high blood pressure.
Source: The picture comes from the Internet
Understanding High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most widespread yet underestimated health conditions today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure. This equates to a staggering 116 million people.
Even more alarming is the fact that many people are unaware they have high blood pressure. It’s been dubbed the “silent killer” because it often has no obvious symptoms. Left uncontrolled over many years, the force of high blood pressure damages blood vessel walls and leads to life-threatening complications like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness.
That’s why getting high blood pressure under control is so important. Medications can be helpful, but also have side effects. A more holistic approach adds lifestyle modifications and alternative therapies to improve overall vascular health. This is where infrared light therapy can be beneficial.
What is Infrared Light Therapy?
Infrared light therapy is an innovative, non-invasive treatment being used by doctors and wellness professionals worldwide to lower blood pressure in patients. Also referred to as LLLT (low-level laser therapy) or photobiomodulation, infrared therapy harnesses specific wavelengths of light that have therapeutic effects on the body.
There are three main infrared wavelengths:
- Near infrared (880-1400nm) – boosts circulation and tissue repair
- Mid infrared (1400-3000nm) – enhances blood flow and relaxation
- Far infrared (3000-100,000nm) – reduces pain and inflammation, detoxification
Now this may sound odd at first. How can simply shining light on your body possibly impact something as serious as high blood pressure? You’re about to find out the truly incredible ways infrared light enhances your health at a cellular level.
First, it’s important to understand the basics of how infrared light therapy works:
Infrared light features longer wavelengths than visible light. It’s part of the electromagnetic light spectrum we cannot see, just beyond red visible light. Infrared penetrates beneath the skin and is absorbed by cells.
The light photons interact with the mitochondria inside cells. Mitochondria act as “energy factories” that take nutrients and oxygen and convert them into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the prime energy source for all cell functions.
This photobiomodulation process from infrared light boosts ATP production and cellular energy. Blood flow increases as capillaries and arteries dilate from the released nitric oxide. Overall cell, tissue, and organ function improve.mation and fibrosis (scarring) in the heart tissue. By lowering pressure inside the arteries, the heart doesn’t have to strain as hard with each contraction.
Source: The picture comes from the Internet
How Infrared Light Therapy Lower high Blood Pressure?
Here are some of the specific ways infrared light is thought to lower blood pressure:
Improves Blood Flow and Vasodilation
A key factor in hypertension is constricted blood vessels and impaired blood flow. Infrared light helps dilate blood vessels and improves circulation. This reduces stress on the cardiovascular system.
Infrared exposure boosts production of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that tells arteries to relax and widen. This vasodilation effect allows blood to flow more freely and with less force.
Research also shows infrared therapy grows new peripheral capillaries. This provides alternate routes for blood flow around blocked or damaged vessels. Improved circulation regulates blood pressure.
Chronic inflammation damages blood vessels, restricting blood flow and increasing resistance. This hiking up of blood pressure is thought to contribute to atherosclerosis and hypertension.
Infrared light has natural anti-inflammatory effects. It helps modulate inflammatory cytokines while increasing levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines. This vascular anti-inflammatory activity is believed to aid in normalizing blood pressure.
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. This can injure blood vessel walls and interfere with proper vasodilation.
Infrared exposure boosts production of antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase which protect vessels and tissues from oxidative damage. These antioxidants help restore healthy blood flow and reduce hypertension risk factors.
Mitochondria give cells energy and regulate metabolism, immunity, vascular function and oxidative stress. Poor mitochondrial health is linked with endothelial dysfunction and hypertension.
Infrared light enhances mitochondrial activity and capacity by increasing ATP production and cellular respiration. The activated mitochondria help cells properly regulate vascular tone and blood flow.
Balances Autonomic Nervous System
High sympathetic nervous system activity constricts blood vessels and raises heart rate/cardiac output. This contributes to hypertension. Infrared exposure helps balance the autonomic nervous system by reducing elevated sympathetic tone and lowering heart rate variability.
Releases Nitric Oxide and Endorphins
Two compounds produced in the body, nitric oxide and endorphins, act as natural vasodilators and pain reducers. They instigate a relaxation response that dilates arteries and lowers blood pressure.
Infrared light stimulates increased nitric oxide production which signals blood vessels to relax and expand. It also triggers the release of endorphins which promote feelings of wellbeing and calmness.
The dual relaxing effects of nitric oxide and endorphins may help normalize blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Research on Infrared Light Therapy Lower high Blood Pressure
Numerous scientific studies validate the blood pressure lowering effects of infrared saunas. For example:
- A 2005 randomized double-blinded placebo controlled study concluded that infrared saunas significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
- A 2001 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that infrared light therapy was both safe and effective in improving clinical symptoms and cardiac function and reducing heart size in patients with chronic heart failure. Repeated infrared light therapy improves impaired vascular function in patients with hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. This suggests that infrared light therapy has a preventive effect on arteriosclerosis.
While more large scale studies are still needed, this preliminary research indicates regular use of infrared light therapy may lower high blood pressure through its vascular effects and impact on nitric oxide signaling. More research is underway on the best protocols for utilizing infrared therapy to reduce hypertension.
Other Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy
In addition to lowering high blood pressure, infrared light treatments offer several other health benefits:
- Improves circulation
- Reduces muscle and joint pain
- Lowers stress and promotes relaxation
- Detoxifies the body through sweating
- Eases depression and anxiety
- Improves skin health
- Supports weight loss and metabolism
- Speeds post workout recovery
- Improves sleep quality
- Boosts energy and immunity
The combination of heating effects, nitric oxide production, and anti-inflammatory actions make infrared therapy helpful for a wide range of conditions. More physicians are now recommending it as an alternative and supplemental treatment.
Who Should Not Use Infrared Light Therapy?
Infrared therapy is very safe for most people when used appropriately. However, certain populations should exercise caution or avoid infrared treatments altogether:
- Pregnant women, especially in the first trimester
- Individuals with pacemakers or defibrillators
- Those with metal implants near treatment sites
- Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation
- People with bleeding disorders or taking blood thinners
- Anyone on photosensitive medications
- Individuals with heat sensitivity or inability to sweat normally
Talk to your doctor before trying infrared therapy if you have any medical conditions or concerns. Carefully follow suggested treatment times and frequencies to avoid overheating. Stay well hydrated and avoid alcohol before or after use.
Safety Precautions When Using Infrared Light
To use infrared therapy safely:
- Carefully follow all device directions and treatment times
- Stay well hydrated before, during, and after treatment
- Never use infrared devices with a fever
- Start conservatively with short, low intensity sessions
- Avoid placing infrared lights directly over thyroid, eyes, testes, or artificial implants
- Monitor for overheating symptoms like dizziness or nausea
- Check with doctor about any interactions with medications
- Avoid using infrared therapy right before strenuous exercise
- Turn off the device if skin feels excessively hot
Used correctly, infrared therapy is very safe. Make sure to take precautions and not overexpose yourself, especially when first starting treatment.
Don’t wait and allow your hypertension to worsen. Take action today by starting infrared light therapy treatments and regain control of your blood pressure naturally. Your heart and body will thank you!
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