Infrared light therapy has been shown to provide a range of benefits, from pain relief and improved circulation to reduced inflammation and improved skin health. This therapy has been gaining popularity to its numerous benefits and minimal side effects.
Infrared light therapy has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. In recent years, it has become more popular as a complementary and alternative treatment for a variety of conditions. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about infrared light therapy.
What is Infrared Light Therapy?
Infrared light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, is a non-invasive treatment that uses infrared light to penetrate the skin and provide therapeutic benefits. Infrared light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is invisible to the naked eye but can be felt as heat, and light in the infrared spectral range penetrates deeper than red light to better reach nerve and muscle tissue.
Infrared rays are divided into three categories: near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared. Near-infrared rays are the shortest and have the highest frequency, while far-infrared rays are the longest and have the lowest frequency. Infrared therapy is widely used today because of its numerous benefits and minimal side effects. Unlike many conventional therapies, such as medication and surgery, infrared therapy is non-invasive and does not require any downtime. It is also relatively affordable and easy to use.
Types of Infrared Light Therapy
Near-infrared light therapy:
Near-infrared light therapy uses light with a wavelength of 700-1,400 nanometers. This type of light is absorbed by the skin and can penetrates the skin to a depth of about 1-2 centimeters and provides therapeutic benefits such as reducing pain and inflammation, improving circulation, and promoting healing.
Mid-infrared light therapy:
Mid-infrared light therapy uses light with a wavelength of 1,400-3,000 nanometers. This type of light is absorbed by water molecules in the skin. It is used to treat a variety of conditions, including pain, inflammation, and skin problems.
Far-infrared light therapy:
Far-infrared light therapy uses light with a wavelength of 3,000-10,000 nanometers. This type of light is absorbed by the skin and can penetrates the skin to a depth of about 5-7 centimeters and provides therapeutic benefits such as reducing pain and inflammation, improving circulation, promoting healing, and boosting the immune system.
Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy
One of the main benefits of infrared light therapy is pain relief. Infrared light therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a range of conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain. Infrared light therapy works by increasing circulation and reducing inflammation, which can help to relieve pain and stiffness.
In addition to pain relief, infrared light therapy has also been shown to improve circulation by increasing the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps to dilate blood vessels. Improved circulation can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
Another benefit of infrared light therapy is improved skin health. Infrared light therapy can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture and tone, and reduce the appearance of acne and other skin conditions.
Finally, Infrared therapy can also be used for detoxification in the sauna, remove toxins from the body by increasing blood flow and stimulating the lymphatic system, which can boost the immune system. At the same time, detoxification helps biochemical processes to function properly and improves food digestion.
How to Use Infrared Light Therapy?
Infrared therapy is a safe and effective therapy when used properly. However, there are some precautions that should be taken to ensure that the therapy is used safely and effectively.
- Before starting infrared therapy, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.
- It is important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using an infrared therapy device. This will ensure that the device is used safely and effectively.
- Infrared therapy can be harmful to the eyes, so it is important to protect your eyes during treatment. Wear goggles or close your eyes during treatment.
- Infrared therapy can cause dehydration, so it is important to drink plenty of water before and after treatment.
- If you have reduced sensation on your skin, such as from neuropathy, it is important to avoid using infrared therapy on those areas. This is because you may not be able to feel if the therapy is too hot and could cause burns.
- Infrared therapy should not be used during pregnancy, as it can raise the body temperature and potentially harm the fetus.
- Do not use infrared therapy on open wounds or areas with broken skin, as this could increase the risk of infection.
- It is important to monitor your skin for burns during and after treatment. If you notice any redness, blistering, or pain, stop treatment immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.
Infrared light therapy is a safe and effective way to improve your health and well-being. Whether you’re looking for pain relief, improved circulation, or relaxation, infrared light therapy can provide the benefits that you need. With a range of devices available, it’s easy to incorporate infrared light therapy into your daily routine.
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Oosterveld FG, Rasker JJ, et al. Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. A pilot study showing good tolerance, short-term improvement of pain and stiffness, and a trend towards long-term beneficial effects. Clin Rheumatol. 2009;28(1):29–34.
Akasaki Y, Miyata M, Eto H, Shirasawa T, Hamada N, Ileda Y, Brio S, Otsuji Y, Tei C. Repeated thermal therapy up-regulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase and augments angiogenesis in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia. Circ J 2006; 70: 463–70.
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