9 Medical Near Infrared Vs. Far Infrared Light therapy Benefits
- If you want to take your health to next level, light therapy is a must.
- Infrared saunas can improve the health of those already affected by illnesses
Nutrition and medicine are not the only things available to us to improve our health which is why I am going to tell you about far infrared light therapy benefits. Infrared light is also known as infrared radiation which is a type of electromagnetic radiation (EMF), but infrared does not harm your body. In fact, it has a whole host of benefits for your health as long as the EMF is kept low.
This article will also be covering other types of infrared light so that you can make an informed decision about which is best for you. They all have different benefits and there are different tools that you can make use of to benefit from it.
What is light Therapy
One part of the aging is getting wrinkles on your face, your sagging body, long ears, more fatigue etc. This is what you can see. The whole market is full of anti-aging products. It is a billion dollar industry outside. But, very few people talk about cellular aging and how to prevent it. If we take care of the age of our cell our body won’t have the above symptoms at all.
You know there is no limit to the human age that has been officially documented. It’s just the balance between repairing and breakdown. We are living in a toxic soup these days and the breakdown is greater than repair. That’s why if possible we have to integrate all the different areas known to benefit at the cellular level and this is where Light Therapy comes into play.
If you want to repair at the cellular level, you will learn a lot about Mitochondria. This is the literally one of the favorite word in the functional medicine world. The mitochondrion is the powerhouses of the cell. It has been observed that every disease including aging is dysfunction of Mitochondria.
The good news is that Light is like a nutrient to the Mitochondria. Different light frequencies trigger the different signals in the cells. In this whole world of Light Therapy, the most powerful light is Sunlight. Why is everyone getting so sick now? Because we are going away from nature. We expose ourselves more to manmade junk light that is LED as compared to natural sunlight.
It is very important to expose your full body without clothes to Sunlight at least 20 minutes. Sunlight synthesized Vitamin D in the body.
Sunlight is full spectrum light. The heat in the sunlight is actually the infrared light heat that has so many therapeutic effects. But, it is not always possible to expose yourself to the sunlight. Also, it is not advised to expose more than 20 mins to sunlight because sunlight also has dangerous rays that cause skin cancer.
So, they extracted one of the best parts of the sunlight spectrum and today they are called infrared Lamps, Infrared Saunas, Uvb Lamps etc.
What Are Infrared Saunas
Infrared saunas use infrared light to create heat. The heat is generated by using ceramic or carbon heaters and they emit infrared waves which cause your body to sweat. Sweating is one of the ways your body releases toxins which is one of the reasons why exercise is so beneficial. The sauna has that same detoxing effect.
Infrared saunas are great not just because of their health benefits, but also because they are not as hot as the traditional dry saunas or as humid as the steam saunas. Infrared waves heat up the body from the inside out because it has the ability to penetrate the body. So you can still sweat and reap the benefits without feeling like you are overheating or if you find it uncomfortable in the steam.
There are different types of infrared saunas on the market and though they all use infrared, they use it differently to help with different things. The types are:
- Near Infrared saunas
- Mid Infrared saunas
- Far infrared saunas
Full Spectrum Infrared
Full spectrum infrared saunas have the ability to give off all 3 types of infrared. This means that you will be able to experience a bigger range of benefits.
Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas
- Detoxification: The food we eat, pollution and the things we use on our skin and in our homes all cause a build-up of toxins. One of the ways we get rid of toxins is by sweating. Infrared saunas heat us up from the inside where the toxins are and we then sweat them out. Sweat produced in an infrared sauna is comprised of 15-20% toxins.
- Pain relief: The heat generated from the infrared relaxes the muscles and the infrared waves penetrate through to the joints where it heals the damage. Studies also show that infrared has anti-inflammatory properties that work to relieve pain and inflammation in the body. This is great for athletes, everyone with pain and even those with arthritis.
- Improved sleep: Because of the muscle relaxing effect of the infrared sauna as well as its ability to improve your mood, it helps you to sleep better. The detoxing also helps your body to function better, so in addition to sleeping well, you will have more energy and not just because of sleeping well, but because your body is free of junk.
- Better stress response: The heat from the infrared sauna triggers a protective stress response as well as boosting your endorphins (the happy hormones) which reduce your stress levels and the excess stress hormones that have a negative effect on your health.
- Stronger immune system: Improvements in your sleep and stress response will benefit your immune system. Plus the infrared waves heating your core temperature creates the same infection-fighting response in your body that fevers do. White blood cells are released which fights off existing pathogens and prevents further infections.
- Improved heart health: A study found that regularly using a sauna improves the function of the heart, veins, and arteries. Blood pressure is also lowered. This lowers the risk of heart attacks and atherosclerosis. The sauna used for the study was a far infrared sauna.
- Improved athletic performance: Better muscle recovery, healing of the joints and muscles as well as improved heart function means athletes can be at the top of their game. Oxygen delivery is better and blood circulation is also improved.
- Muscle growth and weight loss: Using the sauna to do intermittent hypothermia can increase insulin sensitivity which boosts muscle growth and can help with weight loss. Using infrared sauna increases your heart rate, this can also have a similar effect to exercise. Doing exercises in the sauna is beneficial for your muscles and your immune system.
- Anti-aging: Detoxing through your pores has benefits for your skin as well as the rest of your body. Not only does it cleanse your pores but it brings more nutrients to your skin. Your rate of cell renewal is increased and your collagen and elastin levels (which improve skin elasticity and firmness) also increase.
As the Mayo Clinic has reported here, several studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis
The Difference Between Traditional and Far Infrared Saunas
Saunas have been used by various cultures for the health benefits. But there are differences between the infrared sauna and traditional saunas which may explain why many people feel so energetically rejuvenated and balanced from contact with far infrared waves in an infrared sauna compared to feeling “drained and dehydrated” after a dry sauna experience.
According to HigherDOSE, infrared sweat is not just any old sweat. I’ll allow a quote from the website to explain. “Sweat induced from an infrared heat source is comprised of 20 percent toxins whereas sweat induced from traditional heating systems is comprised of 3 percent toxins.
Though an infrared sauna is more beneficial, you can use a traditional sauna.
What To Look For When Buying A Sauna
- Look for one that suits your particular needs: A full spectrum sauna will be best because you get the benefit of all the waves. However, you can also buy those with the specific infrared wavelengths. You can also buy those with infrared lamps which will give you the benefit of light therapy too.
- Low EMF and ELF: Your electromagnetic frequency exposure should not exceed 3 mG. ELF (extremely low frequency) should also be kept as low as possible. You can see here how to make your own EMF or body voltage meter.
- Quality materials: Carbon panels are usually of a better quality than ceramic heaters or steel rods, though you can find good quality saunas that use ceramic or steel heaters too. Make sure that the emitters have a large surface area so that the infrared waves are directed at a large portion of your body.
- Quality of wood: Canadian Cedar is one of the best wood with a lifetime guarantee. It also has some medicinal qualities.
What Is The Difference Between Near And Far Infrared Waves
1. Near Infrared (NIR)
Saunas using near infrared are cooler than the others so it may be much easier for some people to handle. It has a detoxing effect on the body that includes the following benefits:
- Heals wounds due to the regeneration of cells, especially in your skin, muscles, and tendons.
- Anti-aging also due to regeneration of cells and its antioxidant properties
- Improves oxygen delivery to your cells
- Improves your overall health because it enables the body to perform metabolic processes better.
2. Mid Infrared (MIR)
This type of infrared reaches deeper into your body providing some other benefits:
- Better blood circulation
- Reduced pain and inflammation due to increased blood circulation and oxygen delivery
- Quicker recovery from injury
- Weight loss
3. Far Infrared (FIR)
Far infrared reaches the deepest and heats up your core. It has the following benefits:
- Detoxification due to producing sweat that comes from deep within removing the toxins
- Relaxation due to the heat penetrating deeply
- Lower blood pressure because the heat allows your arteries to dilate
What Are Infrared Lamps
When you will go to the internet to buy or find an infrared sauna,s everything from infrared Lamps to UVB lamps will appear. They all have their own benefits. As a health-conscious person, you should know when to use what.
Infrared lamps like infrared saunas emit infrared waves, but with the lamps, you can see the red light. These lamps produce mainly near infrared and some mid-infrared though you may find far infrared lamps too ( that would be pricey ). This makes them useful for if you have any
- wounds that you need to heal
- for anti-aging purposes.
- Ideal for helping to alleviate muscle aches, joint pain, tension, bronchial congestion, and ease symptoms of the common cold
I know a company called Joovv from America they include all three Near, Mid and Far in one unit. But their units are expensive like 1000 Dollars.
Some beauty parlors are now using red light lamps on the face of their clients. Look for Light Therapy Masks on the internet. Meaning it would benefit just your facial skin only. We can say that they are used for targeted body parts. I think it’s a good idea to have such a lamp at home. They are far better than painkillers. Physiotherapists also use these lamps for the targeted body aching parts.
They have good reputation on the market: Beurer Infrared Heat Lamp
I wanted to have the detox benefits of Infrared Saunas and anti-aging and benefits of Red Light. So, I bought a unit of the full body led lights, and with the help of experts installed in my Infrared Sauns. I am not sure if there is something like this already on the market. But, I had to take care of lots of parameters to ensure the safety of using both at the same time.
I hope one day, some company can manufacture this, if not, I will do it for you guys.
Infrared Saunas vs Infrared Lamps
Infrared saunas depending on the type will emit either near, far or mid-infrared or a combination, or you may have a full spectrum sauna that gives you access to all the infrared types. Generally, you can’t see the infrared in a sauna, you just feel it as heat.
Because of the way the infrared is emitted either through heating devices or bulbs, you are able to do your whole body though some areas may be hard to expose.
The lamps are a good option if you can’t get to an infrared sauna or if you can’t afford to get an infrared sauna. The lamps are much cheaper, but they are generally used on one area at a time. This means that you won’t be able to get the detoxing effect that you will get from the sauna.
The lamps are also useful for pregnant women. Because too much heat is not good for the unborn baby, a sauna is not recommended. But an infrared lamp can be used safely.
Main Differences Between Infrared Lamps and Infrared Saunas:
- Infrared saunas do most of the body at once.
- Infrared saunas can use all three types of infrared, near, mid, and far.
- Infrared saunas are expensive to install.
- Some infrared saunas have the bulbs too which has the same benefits as the lamp.
- Infrared saunas can be used for 20 minutes at a time.
- Not all gyms or health centers will have them so access could be problematic.
- Infrared lamps only do one area at a time.
- Infrared lamps can be used for hard to reach places.
- Infrared lamps are affordable and compact though you may need clamps for ease of use.
- Infrared lamps can be used safely during pregnancy or illnesses where saunas can’t be used.
- Infrared lamps are also great for those who do not tolerate heat well.
- Infrared lamps can only be used for a few minutes at a time to avoid burns.
Caution While Using Infrared Saunas
The first and foremost thing is to replenish your electrolytes whenever you sweat. Either make a self-made electrolyte drink using Himalayan salt or drink coconut water which is a natural electrolyte. I take both because coconut water has fructose and I do not want to gain weight. So I never overdo on coconut water.
My basic ingredients of electrolyte drink is
– Himalayan Salt
– Coconut Water or Plain Water
-Calcium Magnesium Powder / or Mineral drops
– Raw honey or stevia for the sweetener
You can play with these ingredients unsweetened cranberry juice, green tea, herbs, little turmeric. The basic principle is to have calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and water back to the body that we have lost.
Other things that you might want to consider is:
- Do not use a sauna while pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Children under 6 should not use a sauna unless medically prescribed.
- If you are on medication that affects your heart rate check with your doctor before using the sauna. Corticosteroids may also interact with the heat.
- If you are a hemophiliac or are on blood thinners rather stay away from using a sauna.
- Start using the sauna for 30 seconds at a time and work your way up to no longer than 30 minutes.
- Stay well hydrated before, during, and after using the sauna.
- Be sure to take in electrolytes (potassium, calcium, and magnesium) as these are lost during sweating.
- Other methods of detoxing like large doses of niacin (vitamin B3) as per Dr. Yu’s protocol is best used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner or doctor.
- If you have severe heart problems, first check with your doctor before using a sauna.
- Wait 48 hours after an injury before using a sauna after an injury.
- Never use alcohol before, during, or shortly after using a sauna because it is very dehydrating.
An Awesome Hack I Learned From Ben Greenfield If you are planning to infrared Saunas are:
Insulate the Ceiling to have more heat
Much of the heat from your sauna escapes through the ceiling. This means your body could be cooling down quicker than the sauna can heat it up which reduces the rate at which you sweat. For a sauna to be beneficial, you need to be sweating.
Try this hack to make sure you do not miss out on the benefits:
- Step 1: Remove the plywood and then measure from the top to the bottom where the plywood used to be. You can put the plywood back over the insulation once it’s installed if you’d like.
- Step 2: Determine how thick you want the insulation to be. Get the highest R-value foam board that you can find for that thickness at the hardware store, you can even layer them if you’d like to give you a higher R-value. You will also need duct tape, a sharp knife, screws or nails (or even good quality metal staples).
- Step 3: Cut the foam board to fit the largest spaces of the roof. Note where the vents are so that you do not cover them with the board or you can drill or cut holes into the board where the vents would be. Move the wires to the edges of the sauna and tape or staple them so that they stay there.
- Step 4: Make holes in the board for any vents, speakers, thermostat, and lights. You do not necessarily need to cut all the way through the board for the speakers and lights, but for fluorescent or incandescent lights make a small hole so that they do not overheat. Do not insulate the control box either.
- Step 5: You can then place the foam board on the ceiling including the little pieces that may be needed to insulate it properly. Duct tape the seams. When everything is in order, you can put the plywood back if you’d like and use duct tape to tape the seams.
I send this article to my manufacturer and he did it for me.
UVB Lamps to Boost Your Mood in Cold Winters
Have you ever wondered that why people with sun all around the year are happier? I never heard depression in India at least not so common. One of the factors is that sun has UVB rays. UVB rays increase dopamine release and dopamine receptors in your body. Depressed people have low levels of Dopamine. High levels of Dopamine also mean you’ll have more motivated to get stuff done and will be less prone to addictions.
If you do not have access to sun, you can still get the benefit of “Cheerful Mood” by sun lamp with UVB rays. While buying a lamp UVB lamp make sure that it has most UVB and a little bit of UVA rays. UVA rays at higher levels are harmful.
There are also UVB lamps that emit UVB rays like the sun does and comes in different forms. You can buy lamps, wands and light boxes.
UVB lamps help to treat:
- Skin disorders like psoriasis
- Depression and Seasonal affective disorder.
- Can boost vitamin D levels
My table lamp on my working table is a UVB lamp. I decided to buy it because of my energy levels which were low in winters. Generally, when I get up in the morning I am so energetic. I even do not need stimulants like coffee but in winters this is not the case. Then I read some science that the reason is grey winters. Bright sunlight signals the body that it is time to wake up. Body is not able to differentiate if it is morning or still night in the absence of sunlight. This disturbs the circadian rhythm of the body.
Same is the case with bright lights before going to the bed. If you want to have a powerful deep night sleep. Start avoiding Led lights at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Avoid Laptops or phones as well before bedtime. If it is very important than install Flux on your laptop. Now iPhone has this inbuild night mode. So take advantage of that.
Successful and the most productive people on the planet are even now started wearing special glasses in the evenings that will block this junk light
To further help your body along in fighting diseases and to lose weight, read here about high alkaline foods that prevent obesity, joint pain, and heart disease and how to prevent toxins from forming when cooking with oils.
- Infrared saunas come in near infrared, mid infrared, and far infrared. Full spectrum saunas have more benefits.
- Infrared saunas heat expel more toxins in the sweat as compared to normal saunas.
- An infrared lamp can be used heal target body pain like joint, back.
- A dry or steam sauna can also be used if you can’t get to an infrared sauna, the important thing is to sweat.
- UVB Lamps are used to boost the mood and have more energy in the body.