What Are Far Infrared Rays?
We may not realize it in our day to day lives, but the sun works in incredibly complex ways to allow us to function well.
The sun’s solar radiation—which is electromagnetic—consists of various components, including primarily visible light, ultraviolet waves (UV), and infrared rays (IR), but also small amounts of X-rays, microwaves, gamma rays, and radio waves.
You are likely already familiar with how the first two impact you: Visible light enables you to see everything around you, whereas UV rays can burn and damage your skin (and even cause skin cancer), and are why you may need sunscreen as protection against intense or lengthy sun exposure.
However, infrared rays are also incredibly important, and are the reason you feel warmth.
The different components of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation have different wavelengths, and there are differing wavelengths even within the infrared spectrum.
With a wavelength from 15 micrometers to 1 millimeter, radiation from the Far Infrared band has low energy, but can be highly beneficial to your health.
This invisible far infrared energy, which can penetrate all your tissues, is also a non-ionizing type of radiation that cannot alter DNA and damage your body.
Rather, it only causes gentle thermal change, raising your internal body temperature for a prolonged period.
History of Far Infrared Heat
We can thank Frederick William Herschel, who was an 18th and 19th century German-born British astronomer, for the discovery of infrared radiation.
If his name sounds familiar, it may be because you have heard that he first identified Uranus using a telescope in 1781.
But 19 years later, in the year 1800, he unearthed another discovery when he was trying to refine his telescope with colored filters to be more usable against the brightness of sunlight.
He realized that the different colors did not absorb heat at the same rate, so he borrowed inspiration from Newton and used a glass prism to test his theory.
When solar rays are passed through a glass prism, the white light refracts and appear as a chromatic spectrum of its component colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet (red light has the longest wavelength, while violet light has the shortest).
Herschel tested the heat emitted at different points across the spectrum, using bulb thermometers measured against control thermometers placed outside the spectrum.
He noted that the temperature recorded increased as he went from violet light to red light, indicating that heat emission increased with longer wavelengths.
However, what was even more noteworthy was that when he measured the area just beyond the red portion of the spectrum, he found that this area contained the most heat.
Thus he concluded that there must be an invisible light that had a longer wavelength than even red light.
Since a longer wavelength means a lower frequency, this light would have to radiate at a frequency lower than red light.
On this basis, it was termed “infrared” light, as ‘infra’ means ‘below’ in Latin, and this newly-discovered band of light was below red light in frequency.
Around half, or approximately 49%, of solar radiation consists of infrared rays, which includes far infrared rays.
Since then, far infrared energy has been utilized in various applications.
One such application is in astronomy, as it is a known property that bodies with high temperatures—especially newly formed stars—radiate far infrared rays.
Since human bodies also contain far infrared energy, thermal detectors can use it to sense both static and moving bodies.
Recently, longwave infrared heaters have also been developed that use far infrared rays.
But, in this article, we will discuss mainly arguably the most useful application of far infrared rays—improving health and treating illnesses.
Types of Far Infrared Devices
It is true that human bodies themselves produce and emit far infrared energy.
This is why cuddling with another person or being huddled with other people might cause you to feel warmer than if you were alone.
In fact, popular traditional healing methods such as Reiki (developed by Japanese Buddhist monk Mikao Usui) and palm healing are based on this concept, as internal infrared energy is thought to be transferred from the healer to the patient as a form of healing energy.
However, scientific studies have debunked such practices, and any perceived benefits may be due to a placebo effect rather than actual physiological change.
The most significant natural source of far infrared energy is, of course, the sun.
But the problem with the sun is that it not only radiates far infrared rays, but also other rays such as ultraviolet rays, which can cause much harm to your body that may ultimately even outweigh the benefits gained from far infrared heat and vitamin D production.
Therefore you should not be spending more than 15 to 20 minutes out in the sun per day, and for lengthier exposures should always wear sunscreen.
Thus, lying in the sun might not be the most effective form of receiving far infrared therapy.
This is why you can benefit from using far infrared devices.
Note that the notion of using general thermal energy to heal is not a new one, and heat devices have been in use for quite a while.
But traditional heat devices are, in comparison, often much less effective and much more dangerous than far infrared devices.
For instance, sauna and steam rooms are a commonly-used form of thermal therapy.
But traditional sauna involves very high temperatures that create a risk of burns through accidental contact or prolonged high-heat exposure, and also dehydrate the body with prolonged use.
Furthermore, traditional saunas may decrease sperm count in men and cause embryonic abnormalities in women during early pregnancy.
And there are possible risks for those with low blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, such as having previously had a heart attack.
Similarly, heat compresses or wraps will only normally apply disproportionate heat to a specific area of the body, which may not be effective.
Not only can thermal compresses be uncomfortable, but they can also lose heat quickly.
Moreover, compresses or thermal devices such as hot water bottles and bags can sometimes cause burns, and may damage capillaries if used extensively at high heat.
Erythema ab igne is a common skin disorder associated with thermal radiation therapy, and involves inflamed redness, reticulate hyperpigmentation, and more, in a localized portion of the skin.
In contrast, far infrared devices provide much more value.
In the latter half of the 20th century, more and more scientists began researching far infrared energy in the context of therapeutic technology.
Ceramic far infrared heaters had been in use in Japan by medical practitioners, after Dr. Tadashi Ishikawa was granted a patent in 1965.
After 1979, the patent expired and infrared technology was available for public use.
Over the years, this was refined to provide a better, more beneficial experience to users.
Research by NASA also played a key role in bringing far infrared devices to the market.
Their work, intended to make space exploration for humans safer, uncovered the therapeutic benefits of far infrared rays.
They subsequently started using far infrared panels in space suits to improve cardiovascular function and boost immunity in their astronauts, and later the technology became available to the general public.
Today, many health experts and practitioners know about and appreciate the benefits of far infrared heat.
For instance, hospitals use infrared incubators to keep newborns warm.
Because of these advancements, far infrared devices are now available for purchase to anyone who believes they may benefit from them.
Although you can get many varieties of far infrared items such as quilts and comforters, we will look in greater detail at some of the most effective devices below.
Far Infrared Sauna
Saunas have been renowned for their health benefits for hundreds of years.
Interesting tidbit: The word “sauna” is the only Finnish word that has made it into the English dictionary.
And that gives us a clue as to its origins: While sweat baths have been in use for a long time across the world (indigenous people in Mexico and Guatemala sat in dry heat using warmed volcanic stone, and Native Americans used sweat lodges, for example), saunas were perfected in the Nordic region in and surrounding Finland, and have been a big part of Finnish life over the past two millennia.
When Norse nomads first began building saunas, they merely started a fire and heated water inside tents using animal hides and twigs they got from hunting and gathering.
Later, as settlements appeared, they moved on to digging pits instead of building tents, and then eventually erected permanent structures. For much of history, these structures were built with wooden logs.
Rocks would be heated up on stone stoves, which, along with smoke, would heat up the cabin.
This may be where the Finns got their name for the sauna, as it is thought to be derived from “savuna,” meaning “in smokes.”
Saunas quickly became a big part of Finnish culture, and they were widely used by members of the then agricultural nation to soothe their muscles after a long day of labor, or to overcome any sickness.
It was also promoted for its purity, and women would often give birth inside saunas or engage in ritual cleansing before marriage there.
The Finns spread their love for saunas when they traveled or migrated, and they brought it to America first in 1638 when a Finnish community settled in Delaware.
Iron stoves and chimneys started appearing in saunas in the early 20th century.
During World War II, Finnish soldiers would often build saunas wherever they could, so as to keep enjoying its benefits and treat muscle injuries and ailments.
This had some impact in further popularizing saunas, and by the 1950’s, Americans had developed electric sauna stoves.
By this time, the idea of infrared energy in saunas had already been conceptualized.
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (yes—the man who invented corn flakes) introduced his models of an “electric light bath” in 1893.
It included a cabinet with incandescent bulbs that would transmit near infrared waves, similar to modern-day near-infrared saunas.
It gained considerable publicity, but it was many decades later—after the invention in Japan of the ceramic lamp and far infrared panels by NASA—when far infrared energy too was used in saunas.
Far infrared saunas use special far infrared radiant heaters as their source of heat.
These heaters are smaller and lighter than regular electric heaters.
Generally, they consist of rods that emit far infrared energy out into the sauna cabinet.
These rods have coils made up of different conductive materials that radiate far infrared light when a current is passed—such as ceramic or carbon.
Often, a mixture of these materials is used, as together they are more effective than by themselves.
The rods are located within the walls of the sauna cabinet, and are covered to prevent burns.
And unlike regular saunas, an FIR sauna does not require insulation to prevent heat from escaping.
This makes FIR saunas easy to install, and they come in various forms so you can have one installed in your bathroom or other available space, or buy a portable version.
You also have the option of choosing the size, depending on how many people will normally be using the sauna at a time.
For instance, if you live alone or with a partner, a two-person sauna might be best.
Otherwise, one with a bigger capacity such as a six-person sauna might be suitable to spend some quality healing time together.
FIR saunas may be more expensive to purchase than smaller items such as mats, but they are durable, and come in a range of different options.
Once you start the sauna, the far infrared radiation will enter your body directly to heat up your tissues without heating up the air inside the space.
That is why FIR saunas can be operated anywhere at home without worrying about damage, as you would have to do with steam.
This is also why, unlike a traditional sauna, the sauna temperature is much lower—usually only around 100 to 140 degrees.
As only you are receiving the heat and not the air, you will warm up and your body will start sweating in response, even at that temperature.
So not only will lengthy use not be risky, you will be able to withstand FIR saunas much better if you are sensitive to high heat.
FIR light is established to be biologically safe, meaning that your essential biology—DNA and essential structures—will not change or mutate in response.
However, it affects cellular metabolism by catalyzing a change in mitochondrial activity, and also affects mesostructural change by altering proteins within your tissues.
These changes overall help you in a number of different ways, from detoxifying your body to soothing your parasympathetic system so that you can overcome stress.
During your sauna session, you can expect lots of sweat, increased heart rate, and a sense of inner calm.
Whether your problem has to do with mood—such as depression or anger issues—with your cardiovascular system—such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, cardiovascular disease, and so on—with your musculoskeletal system—such as rheumatoid arthritis or chronic muscle and joint pain—or with digestion or energy levels, you can benefit from using FIR saunas.
However, there are still some possibilities that you should be wary of when using FIR saunas.
While overheating is generally not an issue, given the lower temperatures in FIR saunas, it is nevertheless a good idea to be mindful of how you feel, and leave if you feel like you might be experiencing heat exhaustion.
Another potential issue to be mindful of is your chances of becoming dehydrated. You will be sweating profusely, so make sure that you drink water before, during, and after the sauna session.
Additionally, avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary beverages before and during your session.
And electrolytes (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphate, chloride, and more) leave your body through sweat, so you can drink electrolyte replacement drinks, too, if you experience symptoms of electrolyte imbalance—muscle spasms and twitches, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, numbness, dizziness while standing up suddenly, heart palpitations, digestive issues such as cramps, diarrhea, or constipation, and more—after using the sauna.
If you are suffering from some condition and/or are taking medication a health problem, it is always advisable to consult your doctor first.
Some medication, such as transdermal medicine administered through skin patches, may not be absorbed properly, and may also unstick when using an FIR sauna.
Similarly, if you have devices such as pacemakers or cochlear devices, or other implants such as rods and pins in your body, check with a doctor and discontinue if you feel any discomfort after using the sauna.
While FIR saunas are not harmful to the heart, there are certain conditions with which care should be taken.
If you have recently suffered a myocardial infarction, or you have aortic stenosis or unstable angina pectoris, it would be best to avoid FIR saunas, as well.
Diabetic patients on insulin should also first monitor how using the sauna affects them before making its use a regular practice.
Finally, something to keep in mind is that during the detox process, you may experience temporary effects of the toxins leaving your body when they pass through your bloodstream before being released in sweat.
What this means is that remnants of medications, drugs, or other toxins may cause some kind of response while and after using the sauna.
If you use or have previously used medicinal drugs, the remnants may cause the same reactions once more.
Similarly, if you use or have used psychedelic drugs, you may experience some form of mind-altering experience as the remnants leave your tissues and move through the bloodstream.
For those who might be exposed to chemical fumes—such as firefighters, police workers, scientists, sanitation workers, and more—there might similarly be some sort of “trip,” or strange experience.
If you are more chemically sensitive, you might need to detoxify under supervision for safety and comfort.
Far Infrared Mat
FIR mats are, in comparison, far simpler than FIR saunas.
They are basically just mats that radiate far infrared energy.
You can lie down on the mat and feel the warmth seep into your body.
The way that these mats, especially most modern FIR mats, work is through amethyst crystal gemstones which are placed in rows across the surface of the mat.
Amethyst crystals are a purple or lilac quartz mineral that were once used by the ancient Greeks and Romans in the belief that they prevented drunkenness, and are now commonly used for jewelry or as healing crystals.
The reason why these crystals work so well for FIR mats is because they emit negative ions when heated.
Negative ions—also known as anions—are created when molecules break apart, and are found in abundance in natural areas such as mountains, rivers, forests, and so on.
That is one reason why you feel energized after visiting such places.
These gemstones then radiate far infrared heat, as well.
Although this radiation isn’t visible, it can be felt when you lie down on top of the mat.
Infrared heat also causes molecular vibration, thereby improving your inner energy and bodily vitality.
Many alternative healers, such as practitioners of reiki or acupressure/acupuncture, use these FIR mats to maximize benefits and enhance comfort.
Similarly, those who provide massages for pain relief or stiffness may use FIR mats for the same purpose.
If you think you need it, you can buy an FIR mat for your own use at home.
Not only can you use it while doing activities such as yoga and meditation, but you can also use it whenever you want.
For instance, you could just lie back on your FIR mat while reading, watching TV, working, or browsing the internet.
Moreover, if it is comfortable for you, you can also place it on your bed and sleep on top of the mat.
The FIR mat is great for those who do not want to commit to an FIR sauna, or prefer something simpler.
It is especially great for those who are suffering from muscle and joint pain—particularly back pain—as the mat can help wonderfully with these issues.
The best feature of these mats is that there are no known side effects or risks.
Unlike some other thermal mats, these do not burn your skin or cause dryness.
No matter your age or health condition, you can use these mats without worry.
Your pets can also lie on them without being harmed.
And unless you are suffering from hot flashes due to menopause or some other reason, you will normally not experience excessive heat and discomfort.
Even then, you can adjust temperatures to your liking.
Thus they are perfect for those who wish to ease pain without becoming reliant on medicinal drugs, which often do have unwanted side effects.
Far Infrared Lamp
You can easily find near infrared lamps to aid in heat therapy, but recently far infrared lamps too have emerged on the market.
These lamps have gained a lot of traction in East Asian countries, particularly China.
In fact, the Chinese often refer to it as a “magic lamp” or “miracle lamp.”
But don’t worry—their benefits are perfectly scientific.
Far infrared lamps are also known widely on the buying market as TDP lamps.
This acronym hints at its Chinese roots: TDP stands for “Teding Diancibo Pu,” which translates to “special electromagnetic spectrum.”
The first lamps of these kind were developed in 1978 by Gou Wenbin.
The invention took place after Chinese government researchers realized that workers in a ceramic factory were healthier despite their poor working conditions.
Investigations into this phenomenon led to the discovery that the clay they worked with, which contained many of the minerals present in the human body, when heated in their kilns, emitted far infrared light.
Ten years after the lamps were introduced, they were exhibited internationally in Yugoslavia and Belgium.
Now, many in Asia use them, and many practitioners in other regions too have adopted use of the lamp after learning about the science behind it.
For instance, it is often used in lieu of traditional Eastern medicine such as moxibustion, or as a stimulating complement to acupuncture.
In the U.S., it even has been approved by the FDA for treatment for arthritis and chronic pain.
The FIR lamp works like any other lamp, other than its mineral plate.
The mineral plate is actually an iron plate that is covered in mineral clay consisting of 33 trace elements.
There are other elements, such as a heat insulator, heating plate, and heat reflector to make the lamp as effective as possible.
When the mineral plate heats up, it emits far infrared radiation—ranging from around 2 to 5 micrometers in this case, and reaching from 3.5 to 5 inches deep within the body—in the direction in which the head faces.
The base and head are both movable, so you can direct the radiation toward yourself.
The heat is distributed evenly because of the iron base, which means you don’t have to worry about receiving superfluous localized heat.
The easiest way to use the lamp would be to direct the head toward your back as you lie down on your stomach or on your chest.
Limit sessions to 40 minutes, although you can still benefit quite well from sessions as short as 15 minutes a day.
Especially for those healing from injuries or muscle pain, the radiation and trace minerals will greatly relieve your suffering.
The lamp is usually not costly, and if everything else is working fine, the lamp head with the mineral plate should last you around eight years, even if you use the lamp for 30 minutes every single day.
Nonetheless, there are a few points to keep in mind.
For skin and eye protection, it is best to keep these FIR lamps at least 16 to 18 inches away from the surface to which you are exposing it.
Furthermore, do not direct the head of the lamp toward your eyes, or areas with delicate skin such as the face.
Additionally, do not let children or an unfamiliar user operate it without supervision.
As with saunas, you should also be aware of whether your therapy could interfere with your medicinal devices or drugs.
Furthermore, be mindful of general hazards, such as the bulb or mineral plate shattering due to careless handling or too much heat.
Similarly, flammable objects should not be placed nearby, and the plug socket should be safe for prolonged use.
Health Benefits of Far Infrared Rays
This is a slightly surprising health benefit, since many don’t expect a certain type of radiation from the sun to be effective as protection against another type of radiation from the sun.
But it is true—infrared light in general has been shown to prevent sunburns.
From the Archives of Dermatological Research, we understand that infrared light suppresses formation of the sunburn cells caused by UVB rays (1).
While UVA rays penetrate deep into your dermis and cause inner damage, UVB rays usually affect the surface of your skin, causing sunburn and its symptoms such as itching and sensitivity.
This is excellent news because the sun is essential to your health—remember, you need it for Vitamin D production, even if you get enough far infrared energy from man-made sources.
Moreover, you probably like being in the sun, whether for swimming or sports or outdoor hangouts, but have to be careful, especially if you have pale skin.
Regular far infrared therapy does not mean you can throw away the sunscreen (the UVA rays will still harm you), but it does mean that you develop some resistance to sunburn.
Improves Vascular Health
FIR treatment means you are usually sweating and your peripheral blood vessels are dilating in response to increased internal temperature.
There are two main impacts that this has: Your blood pressure is lowered, and blood flow improves.
One review of published studies shows that there is good evidence that FIR saunas can both normalize blood pressure and treat the congestive heart failure that is often a result of high blood pressure and narrowed arteries (2).
Patients with hypertension or those who have noticed higher blood pressure numbers than usual can use FIR therapy.
But for those with low blood pressure, FIR therapy should only be a choice if they’ve made necessary alterations in their daily regimes (more salt intake, dietary changes, etc.).
There is also some indication that blood viscosity—or thickness—too improves, which means that circulation and supply of oxygenated blood cells increase to all parts of your body.
Therefore, you are generally healthier in all aspects.
Helps with Arteriovenous Fistula
A related benefit is for those with arteriovenous fistula, which is an abnormal connection of an artery and vein (without interlinking capillaries) that often occurs in the legs but may happen anywhere.
This may be because of a number of reasons—genes, weight, high blood pressure, old age, certain medications, injuries, or cardiac catheterization complications—or can also be surgically created for patients of kidney disease who are on dialysis treatment.
This arteriovenous fistula can malfunction and cause other problems, such as pain, bleeding, blood clots, and even heart failure.
But it has been found that FIR therapy can in fact prevent this from happening.
When tested on hemodialysis patients, there was evidence across multiple studies that FIR therapy increased the diameter of the fistula and improved blood velocity across it, while reducing occlusion rates and pain (3).
For dialysis patients or those who know they have a self-occurring arteriovenous fistula, FIR therapy can be of great help.
Improve Motor Functions
An experiment on rat models with nerve injury is a great indication of how FIR therapy can improve motor function.
These subjects had injury of the sciatic nerve, which is in the leg and is the longest nerve in the body.
If pinched or damaged, it causes a lot of pain, or loss of movement and lack of sensation.
After this nerve was repaired using sutures, the subjects were either given or not given FIR treatment.
The ones who received the treatment had their nerves regenerate much faster, with more neural area and larger nerve fibers with less muscle atrophy (4).
This not only tells us that FIR therapy supports nerve repair for specific patients, but also that it can enhance motor abilities in all of us.
Since FIR therapy clearly improves nervous quality, it can help you perform better with coordination, spatial responses, and daily tasks.
Especially for the aging or those with poor motor abilities, FIR therapy can be great.
Detoxify Your Body
This benefit is perhaps the biggest reason why FIR therapy has become as popular as it is.
Especially for those who are trying to recover from unhealthy habits such as poor eating or lifestyle habits, detoxing can help the body revitalize and start anew on a healthy mission.
But when there are so many environmental pollutants (such as smoke, fumes, industrial gases) and food pollutants (pesticides, preservatives, chemical enhancers) that enter our body, most of us can do with detox sessions every now and then.
Although the body does its best to remove these toxins through mechanisms such as sweat and urine, some toxins get trapped within the body in water molecules.
From substances such as cholesterol, nicotine, and alcohol to environmental toxins such as ammonia, sulfuric acid, mercury, and aluminum, FIR therapy can help dispel them all—and with much higher efficacy than traditional therapies, such as steam saunas or heat wraps (5).
You naturally sweat more as a natural cooling response using devices such as FIR saunas or mats, but the great feature is that you will release more toxins this way than you would at a traditional sauna with the same amount of sweat.
That’s due to the vibration that FIR causes on the molecular level, breaking down the water clusters so that the toxins can escape and leave the body.
After a session, you will thus likely feel fit and energized.
Treat Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a common problem for a lot of people.
For some, it occurs seasonally in spring and summer with allergic sensitivity to airborne pollen or mold spores.
For others, it may be even more unfortunate, and last year-round with sensitivity to everything from dust mites and mold to insects and fur or dander off animals.
Itchy, watery eyes, sneezing all the time, and a stuffy or runny nose gets old very fast.
But as much as you try to avoid allergens, they are often difficult to escape.
That is where FIR treatments come in.
If you’re hesitant about taking medication or giving your child medication, FIR devices could come in handy.
A study demonstrated that 40 minutes of FIR daily for a week significantly reduced all symptoms—eye itchiness, nasal itchiness, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and smell impairment (6).
Reduce Pain and Stiffness
This is another well-known benefit of far infrared light.
For pain alleviation, the best devices are FIR saunas and mats.
Saunas might be more difficult for some people, but if you have chronic pain or frequently suffer muscle soreness or inflamed joints due to athletic activities or rheumatoid arthritis, it is a worthwhile investment.
A study published in Clinical Rheumatology that follows the effects of FIR sauna on arthritis and spondylitis patients supports this idea, as it specifies that not only does the therapy lead to a short-term improvement of pain and stiffness, it also allows for better tolerance and longer-term benefits (7).
For those who experience more localized pain, especially back pain, FIR mats may be the better option.
This allows for direct radiation through the back, and may be both soothing in that moment for users, and beneficial afterwards.
A study by researchers Gazze and Evollino tested whether these mats could improve chronic back pain in office workers.
Their idea was to see if they could use this non-invasive device, which could be used at the office without distracting from or interrupting normal work flow, to benefit them.
Their results were significantly positive, and highlighted both the convenience and effectiveness of FIR mats (8).
Ease Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue involves extreme and debilitating tiredness.
Other symptoms, such as soreness, unexplained pain, headaches, impaired concentration or memory, or feeling worse after exertion, often accompany chronic fatigue.
The worst part is that the underlying reasons behind it are unclear, and so treating it is very difficult.
However, the objective for any person suffering from this illness would be to ease the symptoms as much as possible so that they can carry out more daily activities without feeling exhausted.
Alongside other treatments and changes in diet and engagement with stressors, FIR therapy can help.
Although you cannot expect immediate results, repeated FIR treatment over time can be effective against other symptoms, such as pain and sleep disturbance.
With better sleep, less stress, and less pain, your fatigue levels too could come down.
Furthermore, the vibrating energy released by far infrared light can help energize your body at the cellular level while the detox effects can remove the particles that may be bogging you down.
Repeated FIR therapy has indeed been very promising in that regard (9).
Improve Mood and Well-Being
When you’re feeling energetic and physically healthy, you’re bound to feel mentally healthier too.
Moreover, effects such as reducing water weight because of the sweating will allow you to feel less bloated and more in shape—which can reinforce positivity on a conscious or subconscious level to your mood and sense of happiness.
Along with other activities such as exercise and engaging in hobbies and socializing, regular FIR therapy can ultimately improve your quality of life.
This is true for everyone, but particularly for those with issues such as pain, who otherwise struggle to keep an uplifted mood.
In one study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, researchers tested FIR in a group of chronic pain patients over the long term alongside other treatments.
It showed that the other multidisciplinary treatments were also effective in managing pain and emotional response to pain (such as anger or depression), but while only half of the patients doing those activities alone felt enough improvement to return to work, 77% of those who also received FIR treatment felt improved enough to go to work (10).
Similarly, in a study on patients with type 2 diabetes in a village in British Columbia, FIR sauna treatment for 20 minutes three times a week over three months led to significant improvement across all indicators, including health, social functioning, stress, and fatigue (11).
It follows that FIR therapy could create similar mood improvements in other users, as well.
Enhance Immune System
A body that is free of toxins and well-oxygenated will clearly also lead to a better immune system.
While we think of our immune system only when we are down with some kind of viral or bacterial condition, it is in fact fighting against everything from foreign bodies to unwanted structural changes every day.
By enhancing your immune system, you would not only be able to prevent colds and flus before they take over your body, but you would also feel healthier on a daily basis, since your body would be better at fighting the small issues that affect your performance.
When your internal temperature rises due to FIR, you’re essentially mimicking what happens during a fever, which is the body’s response to microbes, bacteria, and infections.
This triggers an immune response, releasing white blood cells into your bloodstream and thus preventing any sickness before it occurs.
The best device to cause this change is an FIR sauna, and using it a couple or more times a week will ensure that your body is always at its best. This is especially helpful if you frequently get sick.
Treat Certain Forms of Cancer
Our cells alter and mutate all the time—sometimes accidentally, sometimes due to harmful pollutants and radiation.
Most of those times, our immune system deals with it, destroying damaged cells and preventing them from replicating.
However, sometimes it is unable to act quickly enough, and cancerous cells may mutate and reproduce rapidly.
FIR energy keeps the immune system up and running in its best form, preventing the spread of possible cancerous cells.
Moreover, carcinogenic elements are removed from the body, due to FIR’s detoxifying effects.
But even if you do have cancer, FIR may be able to treat it, in some cases.
One study found that FIR therapy could inhibit cancer cell replication in lung, breast, vulva, gingiva, and tongue tissue (12).
This points to FIR as a complementary treatment to regular medicinal treatments, making positive outcomes a lot more likely.
As you can see, FIR seems promising as a therapeutic treatment against many ailments.
With more research, more benefits may be found. But while FIR therapy is safe and beneficial, it might not be the right option for everybody.
For instance, anybody on medication or with artificial implants should ask their doctors and medical manufacturers first if FIR therapy is safe—and which FIR device is best suited to their objectives of getting better, while also avoiding complications.
Silicone implants—such as prosthetics or breast implants—can melt under very high heat.
FIR devices should generally not pose a problem, but you should still ask your doctor about regulating heat.
Similarly, if you have been diagnosed with some kind of medical illness, do your research or ask your doctor before using FIR devices.
High core temperatures may not be advisable for certain patients, such as those with multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematous, and adrenal suppression.
If, following an injury, you have swollen joints, you should wait for the inflammation to subside completely before starting with FIR therapy as heat might make the problem worse.
If you are prone to getting hemorrhages, you should know that heat can dilate the blood vessels ad increase risk for bleeding.
The same goes for women who are menstruating, as heat can increase blood flow.
Pregnant women too should avoid these devices, as all risks associated with their use may not be known.
Finally, don’t hesitate to discontinue your sessions if you experience any pain, or feel like your symptoms are getting worse.
Contact an expert to deduce why this may have happened before proceeding with another try.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)
Another form of therapy you should know about is Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy.
It is basically a treatment method that sends mild electricity to your cells, charging and energizing them so that they can function at their best.
PEMF devices generate low-frequency waves that enter your body and revitalize your cells without causing any pain.
Damaged, worn-out cells can thus become healthy once more.
And just like FIR therapy, PEMF therapy is also conclusively safe, and does not cause any biological change.
PEMF therapy has been used by doctors and veterinarians for decades now to treat both physical damage to the body and mood disorders.
For instance, the U.S. uses PEMF to treat non-union bone fractures, urinary incontinence, muscle stimulation, and anxiety and depression. In Western Europe, PEMF is used largely to treat malignant tumors by causing cell apoptosis.
PEMF therapy now is advanced, refined, and very safe.
A range of PEMF devices is also available for the public, and can be used for multiple benefits.
Mostly, they are effective against muscle and joint pain, muscle atrophy, bone mineral loss and bone injury, chronic pain and fatigue, and mood disorders.
Using PEMF devices alongside FIR devices may help you reach your health objectives faster, thereby improving your overall quality of life substantially.
If you’re looking for non-invasive, pain-free, drugless solutions, it is worth looking into both PEMF therapy and FIR therapy.
There is no doubt that far infrared radiation can have some wonderful positive effects on the human body, and research in this area is mostly very promising.
However, it must be said that these benefits are not guaranteed just because of evidence from scientific research, and more research needs to be done—especially for those benefits that haven’t been investigated much—to establish the soundness of all collected evidence.
Nevertheless, FIR treatment has come a long way, and is considered one of the best and safest techniques to improve aspects of your health without side effects.
Countless people have benefited from FIR technology, and now it could be your turn—give it a try, and you will soon realize what the hype is all about.
Richard Hoover is a PEMF expert and content contributor to PEMF Advisor. With a bachelor’s degree in physics and multiple certifications in natural health programs, he is one of the best PEMF experts around.