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      How Infrared Light Affects the Body

      How Infrared Light Affects the Body

      So What Does Infrared Light Actually Do To The Body?


      Now that we’ve explored the nature of light, we’ll take a look at how Infrared bioactive light actually affects the body. What does infrared do to the skin? How does infrared light promote healing? How can invisible light actually help with pain? These are a few of the points that can be helpful to understand before making your decision about infrared light therapy.


      To find the answers, we’ll examine NIR light’s mechanisms of action:

       

      Stimulating ATP

       

      When researching infrared light, you’ll see the term “photobiomodulation” come up quite a bit. This is because red light therapy is designed to enhance cellular function and promote greater efficiency and balance in the cellular energy making process.  That, in a nutshell, is what’s happening when photobiomodulation comes into play. 

      Let’s go all the way back to basic biology. We each have trillions of cells in our bodies, and each one needs energy to function. This energy comes from the food, water, and oxygen that we bring into our bodies and metoabolize through the process of cellular respiration. The product of this vital process is adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a carrier of energy that our body is constantly producing and consuming. The more efficiently we can create ATP, the better we feel and function.

      Infrared light makes the cellular respiration process more efficient and in turn helps your body make and use ATP energy more effectively. Infrared light exerts its influence directly on the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell. Red light therapy can both increase the number of mitochondria and boost their efficiency.

      This boost comes from stimulating the electrons of the mitochondria during cellular respiration, helping to clear out nitric oxide (NO), a barrier to ATP production. Nitric oxide builds up almost like sludge in a car’s engine, gumming up the works and slowing down the cell’s system of ATP production. 

      Red and NIR light flush out that “gunk” to help prevent and reverse this problem. Thank the photons in red and NIR light for doing the dirty work. By exciting the electrons in the nitric oxide molecule, its bonds break down so hydrogen ions can move through the process more effectively.

      Now we’ll take a closer look at each step of this process. 

      The Mitochondria in Cells Power the Body

      Mitochondria are double-membrane structures in our cells responsible for cell signaling, steroid synthesis, cell apoptosis, and cellular energy. As we mentioned earlier, mitochondria convert food, water, and oxygen into ATP energy the cells and body can use. ATP energy is so critical for biological function, it’s often called “the energy currency of life.”

      Mitochondria are unique, with their own ribosomes and DNA. There can be as few as 1-2 mitochondria per cell, or as many as thousands. The number of mitochondria changes in response to physiological conditions such as exercise, nutrients, or certain environmental factors.

      What is Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)?

      Our body uses the high-energy molecule ATP to do pretty much everything. On average, a person will recycle their own body weight equivalent in ATP every single day. With it fueling everything we do, you can imagine how important ATP is to overall health. The more efficiently cells can make and use energy, the better the body should function.

      This is where infrared light comes into the picture. Red light therapy can help enhance the performance of energy-making mitochondria in the cell as well as increase the sheer number of mitochondria in the cell.

      SCIENCE ALERT:

      Infrared’s main mechanism of action in mitochondrial function is in promoting a higher-performing electron transport chain mediated by cytochrome C oxidase (Cox). The usual dissociation (breaking down) of binded nitric oxide (NO) and Cox (NO-Cox) helps to remove this harmful barrier to ATP production. 

      Since NO is a competitive inhibitor of oxygen, it can use up oxygen’s “seats” on the ATP synthase enzyme, causing the cell to work less efficiently and limiting the eventual production of ATP. The presence of NO also increases oxidative stress, which can lead to cellular death. 

      The photons in red and NIR light combat NO by exciting the electrons, helping break up nitric oxide bonds so H+ ions can move through the process more effectively, resulting in greater levels of ATP energy.

      https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(06)01781-7

      https://www.news-medical.net/health/How-Does-Infrared-Therapy-Work.aspx

      https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00846092



      Therapeutic Heat


      Treating the body using high or low temperatures, or thermotherapy, is designed to alter tissue temperature over time to induce a desirable biological response. Think heat pads, hot water bottles, heated blankets, or ice packs. The most popular options are designed to deliver temperature change to a targeted area without affecting too much of the surrounding tissue. 

      As you probably know, cold (ice packs, cold compresses) is usually used on burns or immediately after tissue injuries to reduce swelling. (You should never apply heat right after an injury as it will increase swelling.)

      On the other hand, heat is primarily used for relaxation, comfort, and recovery, and taking the edge off several kinds of body pain, mostly duller and persistent pains associated with stiffness, cramping, and strains. 

      More specifically, heat is often applied in these general pain and soreness situations:

      1. Acute soreness from over-exertion and exercise.
      2. Stiffness and pain in specific areas related to arthritis, muscle knots, and most kinds of cramps.
      3. General pain and sensitivity from afflictions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, drug side effects, vitamin D deficiency, and sleep deprivation.

      Deep heating is thought to lessen nerve sensitivity, increase blood flow, increase tissue metabolism (through the previously discussed photobiomodulation process), decrease muscle spindle sensitivity to stretch, cause muscle relaxation, and increase flexibility. 


      One of the most proven and helpful benefits of heat therapy, including the deep penetrating heat from infrared light, is improved blood flow. Heat stimulates the cutaneous thermoreceptors that are connected to the cutaneous blood vessels, causing the release of bradykinin which relaxes the smooth muscle walls resulting in vasodilation. 


      Blood flow directly impacts healing and inflammation. Since inflammation is a component of many types of pain, the simple application of heat can work wonders. 


      https://www.physio-pedia.com/Thermotherapy



      Infrared Light Effects on Skin


      With skin being the largest organ in your body, skin care is not just about beauty (although that’s important, too). Your skin plays a vital role in immunity, body temperature, and hormone regulation. 


      Since red light therapy can enhance cellular function and ATP production, it can serve to promote healthier skin across your entire body. 


      The myriad important functions of the skin rely on millions of cells working together and communicating with one another. When the mitochondria in those skin cells absorb healthy red and NIR light, they not only produce more energy (ATP), but more pro-collagen, collagen, basic fibroblast growth factors (bFGF), and fibroblasts. These components are critical to maintaining skin elasticity and overall health. Collagen alone makes up around 75% of skin’s support structure. Collagen production decreases with age and is also damaged by free radicals and environmental factors (sunlight, smoking, etc.). 


      Through its heat-therapy powers of vasodilation, red light therapy can also increase microcirculation that improves cellular balance. 


      All of these benefits work together to promote healthy homeostasis and balance. Balanced skin cells operating at full capacity do all of those jobs better, leading to healthier, glowing skin that looks and feels fantastic.


      https://joovv.com/blogs/joovv-blog/improve-skin-health-red-near-infrared-light-therapy



      Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT) in Skin: Stimulating, Healing, Restoring

      Asheesh Gupta, PhD; Daniela Vecchio, PhD; Magesh Sadasivam, MTech; Michael R Hamblin, PhD; Nadav Pam, MD; Pinar Avci, MD; Zeev Pam, MD

      “LLLT appears to have a wide range of applications in dermatology, especially in indications where stimulation of healing, reduction of inflammation, reduction of cell death, and skin rejuvenation are required. The application of LLLT to disorders of pigmentation may work both ways by producing bothrepigmentation of vitiligo and depigmentation of hyperpigmented lesions, depending on the dosimetric parameters.”


      https://www.scmsjournal.com/article/abstract/low-level-laser-light-therapy-lllt-in-skin-stimulating-healing-restoring/

      TheraBulb 300W Near Infrared Bulb Named to Top 10 Best Red Infrared Bulbs List

      TheraBulb 300W Near Infrared Bulb Named to Top 10 Best Red Infrared Bulbs List

      ASHBURN, VA December 10, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — TheraBulb’s newest product, the 300W near infrared bulb has been ranked #6 on a list of the top ten red infrared bulbs compiled by bestgamingpro.com technology news.

       

      The bulb, which debuted in February, is the industry’s first 300W near infrared incandescent bulb. It offers twice the overall power of a 150W bulb, with 75% of the output registering within the infrared range during lab tests. Its peak output, at 700nm, makes up nearly a quarter of the total energy emitted.

       

      TheraBulb CEO Tom Watson commented on the accolade: “We’re honored to have our product recognized as one of the best. Our research indicated that consumers were looking for a single bulb that would give them the power of multiple bulbs, and our sales of the 300W bulb have borne that out. It’s become the best-selling new product that we’ve introduced in the history of TheraBulb.”

      ABOUT THERABULB®

      TheraBulb® products are designed for in-home use by consumers seeking the benefits of wavelength energy. Our bulbs are manufactured exclusively for TheraBulb® using non-toxic materials, allowing them to bear the CE mark and the RoHS certification. This means they are free of lead, mercury, Teflon, and other substances regulated under the EU's Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive.

      TheraBulb®® offers reseller and professional discount programs to medical professionals who wish to use infrared therapy in their practices, as well as to retailers who wish to resell TheraBulb® to their own customer. For more information, email support@therabulb.com.

       

      What is Light? Bioreactive Light Therapy

      What is Light? Bioreactive Light Therapy

      What is Light?

       

      Light is all around us. It allows us to see (and gives objects their color), warms our bodies, and produces electricity through solar panels. Sunlight is considered a requirement for living a healthy, happy life.  We communicate and entertain ourselves through transmissions that are encoded on light-absorbing sensors and then displayed elsewhere in the world on arrays of light-emitting diodes.

       

      In other words, light is a huge part of the human experience -- both naturally and technologically. But what is light, really? And what else can it do for us? The science behind light runs deep, but we can discuss the fundamentals without having to open up any quantum physics textbooks (phew!).

       

      First, let’s understand what comprises light. Light is an electromagnetic wave, just like radio signals, microwaves, x-rays, or gamma rays. All of these things, including visible light, exist on the same spectrum.

       

      Light is made up of photons, the fundamental particle of light and the smallest discrete amount of electromagnetic radiation. Photons are not particles in the same sense as elementary particles like protons and electrons.

       

      Electromagnetic waves that are  classified as light are those with wavelengths between 400nm to 700nm.  These wavelengthscan further be broken down into to individual colors of visible light.   The individual colors become visible when white light passes through a prism, or when sunlight passes through raindrops, creating a rainbow.  These colors are located in the small part of the spectrumhttps://science.nasa.gov/ems/09_visiblelight

       

      What Can Light Do For Us?

       Light is constantly helping us whether we notice it or not.

      The sense of sight stems from receptors in our eyes that turn visible spectrum photons into nerve impulses in our brains. Infrared (IR) light from the sun keeps the earth warm. Ultraviolet (UV) light is absorbed by our skin and synthesized into vitamin D.

       

      Medical researchers have, over the past few decades, been exploring other ways that light can help us. After all, we’ve proven that our body chemistry reacts to UV light in life-changing ways, so what benefits, if any, are offered by other types of light? The results of such experiments, studies, and tests have been eye-opening to say the least. We are now on the verge of truly understanding just how powerful light can be from a health and wellness standpoint.

       

      Bioactive Light

       Our bodies need certain types of light at certain times to be healthy. The negative effects we’re subject to from an absence of light are well-documented. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is caused by diminished natural lighting in winter, while rickets results from  a vitamin D deficiency caused by too little time in the sunlight.

       

      Clearly, light can affect us and our state of being. When we talk about light that causes changes in the human body, we’re talking about bioactive light.

       

      Our understanding of light’s effects on the body has grown immensely over the past decade. The importance of bioactive light is well known, and more people are becoming aware of how different types of light can affect their health and wellness.

      There are actually several types of bioactive light that can bring about changes in our bodies (for better or for worse):

      • Blue light helps to set and regulate our internal clocks.
      • UV light allows us to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight.
      • Far Infrared light heats up our bodies and helps with circulation.
      • Red and Near Infrared lights stimulate cellular energy production.

      https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side

       

      Our bodies evolved to make use of certain types of light in various ways. Changes in our behavior and modern technology are both responsible for causing imbalances in how much light we’re receiving and when. This in turn can cause any number of negative effects.

      Let’s take a closer look at the role played by each type of light and how they contribute to a healthier, happier life:

       

      UV Light and the Body

      At the far end of the electromagnetic spectrum is a wavelength of light that’s too short for us to see called ultraviolet (UV) light or ultraviolet radiation. The short frequency of UV rays means that they vibrate quickly, giving them a higher level of energy than visible light rays. This is why exposure to UV light can cause sunburns and eye damage, while exposure to a plain incandescent light bulb will not.  While overexposure to UV light can be damaging, in the proper doses it helps our bodies synthesize the vitamin D we need to maintain healthy bones. It also strengthens muscles and the immune system.

      UV light is also used in the treatment of certain skin conditions. Once such condition, psoriasis, causes the skin to shed cells too quickly and results in itchy, scaly patches. Exposure to UV slows the growth of the skin cells and helps to relieve the symptoms.

      Other research suggests that sunlight plays a key role in maintaining a healthy disposition. UV light stimulates the brain’s pineal gland, causing it to produce a mood-enhancing chemical called tryptamine.

       

      Blue Light and Health

      Right beside UV light on the spectrum, we find blue light. About one-third of all visible light is considered high-energy visible (HEV) or “blue.”

      Blue light has a short wavelength with a high energy signature, which scatters more easily than other visible light. Computer screens, smartphones, and other digital devices that emit significant amounts of blue light can cause eye strain because of the high amount of unfocused, scattered light that they emit. Sunlight is also a source of blue light.

      Blue wavelengths are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood but become disruptive at night. This can throw off our circadian rhythms and cause significant sleep disruption as exposure to blue light has been shown to reduce melatonin production significantly during sleep.

      Studies have linked  modern health issues, including  diabetes and obesity,  to increasing levels of blue light from technology and LED lighting.

      Red/Infrared Light

      With wavelengths from 400nm-1000nmwe find visible red light and  invisible infrared (IR) light.

      IR light is the heat you feel from sunlight and radiating from a hot sidewalk. Your skin naturally radiates infrared heat as a byproduct of biological functioning.

      In contrast with UV light, which has been found to be damaging at high levels,  infrared light has been shown to help cells regenerate or repair themselves. Infrared light can also improve blood circulation, which has been shown to promote faster healing and reduced symptoms of chronic pain.

      Infrared light is able to penetrate below the skin layers, also unlike UV light which is stopped from penetrating the body by outer layers of skin. The deep-penetrating nature of IR light provides a much greater depth for therapeutic use. Since it is typically able to reach 2 to 7 centimeters deep into the body, infrared light reaches the muscles, nerves, and even the bones. 

      Once inside the body, infrared light is absorbed by the photoreceptors in cells. The light energy sets off a series of metabolic events, triggering several natural cellular processes. [Can we provide examples?]

      It is thought that infrared light may have so many positive effects on the body because of its relationship to nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide, a gas that’s vital to the health of the circulatory system, is a cellular signaling molecule that helps relax the arteries, battle free radicals to reduce oxidative stress, prevent clotting in the vessels, and regulate blood pressure. In doing so, this molecule enhances circulation to deliver vital nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to damaged tissues in the body. This stimulates the regeneration and repair at injury sites, reducing pain and inflammation.

      https://www.healthline.com/health-news/red-light-therapy-benefits

      www.aimspress.com/article/10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337/fulltext.html

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jbio.201600176

       

       

      DIY Home Infrared Sauna - The Complete Guide

      DIY Home Infrared Sauna - The Complete Guide

      Complete Guide: DIY Home Infrared Sauna


      Infrared saunas are a relaxing way to break a sweat and enjoy the therapeutic potential of infrared light. There are many infrared light therapy benefits, but going to a sauna in town may not benefit your schedule or budget. Whether you’ve experienced an infrared sauna at a high-end spa or are new to the sauna ritual, you can benefit from the convenience of unlimited spa sessions in the comfort of your own home with an inexpensive, easy-to-assemble DIY infrared sauna.

      Unlike a traditional cabinet sauna, the DIY near infrared sauna you will build does not require any special wiring or GFCI circuits, produces no humidity, and does not require the involvement of a contractor. In fact, for $300 in supplies, and using nothing more than a screwdriver, you can build your very own infrared sauna with 6 – 300 Watt TheraBulb Infrared bulbs. Then you can relax and rejuvenate whenever you feel the urge!

      infrared home sauna light wave lengths

      What You’ll Need to Build Your Near Infrared Sauna


      Infrared Light Bulbs

      250 or 300 watt TheraBulb product

        • 4-6 TheraBulb 250 Watt or 300 Watt near infrared light bulbs.
        • Click here for the TheraBulb sauna owner’s discount of $3.75 off each bulb when purchasing four or more. Or enter the code SAUNA at checkout


      Clamp Lamps

      clamp lights for infrared light sauna
          • 4-6 brooder clamp lamps rated for 300 watts. We used the Woods Clamp Lamp with 10 Inch Reflector and Bulb Guard (300 Watt Bulb, 6 Foot Cord)
          • These can be purchased on Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/3hXxpbA

       

      Stand

      infrared light rack for home sauna

      • You will need a stand to attach the lamps to. We used a 50 pair shoe rack.
      • These can be purchased on Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/2Dst698


      Power Strips

      power strip
      • We recommend using two surge protectors with 6’ cords.
      • These can be purchased on Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/3lN6GR2

      Velcro Cable Ties

      velcro cable ties
      • These are used to secure the lamps to the stand and to keep the lamp cords out of the way.
      • These can be purchased on Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/3hTOfI5

      Eye Protection

        infrared light protection glasses


      • Infrared protection glasses are designed specifically for use with infrared light devices.
      • These can be purchased here: https://bit.ly/32SNo45


      • How to Assemble Your Infrared Sauna

        Step 1: Put the Stand Together

        infrared light rack for home sauna
        • Assemble the stand as described in the instructions.
        • You may find that the wheels are not needed. We chose not to use them.

         

        Step 2: Unwrap Clamp Lamps and Attach Velcro Straps

        attach clamp lamp to stand
        • Remove the clamp lamps from the packaging.
        • Leave the shatter guards unattached. You will use these in Step 4.
        • Attach a Velcro cable tie to the end of each lamp as shown at right.

         

        Step 3: Clamp Lamps to Stand

        • Affix clamp lamps to the stand

         

        • Use the Velcro straps to secure the lamps to the stand.clamp lamp to stand

         

        Step 4: Install TheraBulb Infrared Bulbs


        • You can use 4-6 of any of TheraBulb’s incandescent bulbs: 150W, 250W, or 300W.
        • Screw each bulb into a clamp lamp.
        • Avoid over-tightening.
        • Install the shatter guards onto the clamp lamps.

        stand with bulbs


        Step 5: Connect Cords and Plug In Power Strips

        infrared light rack plugged in

        • Use additional Velcro straps to secure the lamp cords to the stand.

           

        • Ensure that power strips are switched off, then plug lamp cords into each power strip. Plug power strips into socket.
        • Put on eye protection.
        • Turn on power strips.

           

           

           

           

          Using Your Infrared Sauna

          Now that you have everything assembled, let’s take a look at how an infrared sauna actually functions. The most important part of it is the heat source. In an infrared sauna, the heat source not only warms the surrounding air, but also emits red light and near infrared energy. These warm your body, penetrating deep into your tissue, even to the bone, offering benefits beyond those that heat alone can deliver.

          The next step is to decide where you’d like to experience the soothing heat and near infrared energy. Fortunately, the sauna is compact and portable, so you will have plenty of options. Smaller spaces are preferable, as they require less time to heat. The ideal size is 5′ x 5′. Extra bathrooms, walk-in closets, and small bedrooms work well. The key point is that the sauna will be more effective if it is used in a small, enclosed space.

          With your location selected, it’s time to start your first session. Put on your protective eyewear and switch on the bulbs. Take care not to touch the bulbs or the clamp lamp reflectors nor place anything flammable near them. Let the sauna heat up until the thermometer reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

          The greatest benefits of infrared therapy comes from directed light rather than ambient heat. Point your infrared lamps directly at your body and maintain a distance of 12-18 inches from the bulbs. (You generally shouldn’t point lamps directly at your head as this can cause rapid overheating.) Depending on the size of your sauna space and the number of bulbs used, the temperature will most likely continue to rise over time. Most people can safely stand temperatures up to 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. If the warming sensation becomes uncomfortable, move away from the lamps until you feel more comfortable.

          You can safely use your infrared sauna every day.

          Safe Use of Your Home Infrared Sauna

          Infrared and red light wavelengths are completely safe for your body. (They make up the warm part of sunlight, without all the dangers of UV light!) Nonetheless, it’s still important to follow standard safety tips for sauna usage. Here are some guidelines to ensure you have an amazing home sauna experience:

              • Consult with a medical professional prior to using any type of sauna.
              • Do not look directly into the infrared lamps. Just like any bright light, they can damage your eyes over time. Use your protective eyewear whenever you’re in your sauna.
              • If you’ve set up your sauna in a bathroom or near water, be sure to use a power strip with a ground-fault circuit, and plug your lamps into a GFCI outlet. Be cautious of any potential electrical hazards.
              • If your sauna makes you sweat heavily, be sure to supplement fluids and electrolytes before and after your sessions. Hydration is important, but so is replacing lost minerals and salts.

          Getting the Best Quality Infrared Sauna Bulbs

          To receive optimal results from your sauna, make sure that the most important component – the source of heat, red light, and near infrared – is of the highest quality. Not all infrared therapy bulbs are the same. Differences in manufacturing processes, materials, and quality control have a huge impact on your results.

          An effective bulb will emit wavelengths between 400 nanometers (nm) and 1000 nm. This encompasses red light (650 nm – 699 nm) and near infrared (700 nm – 1000nm). Because near infrared is not visible to the naked eye, you will want to select bulbs that have had their output independently verified.

          In addition to considering what comes out of the bulbs, you will also want to consider what goes into them – or what doesn’t. You’ll want a bulb that does not include such substances as lead, mercury, and other heavy metals. (TheraBulb™ products are CE and RoHS certified, meaning they are free of toxic materials.)

          Save on the Best Near Infrared Bulbs

          TheraBulb offers savings just for home sauna owners! Save $3.75 per bulb on four or more of their certified near infrared bulbs by entering the word SAUNA at check out or clicking this link: https://bit.ly/2Z6rpFY You can’t beat this deal for setting up your own infrared home sauna.

          The Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy

          The Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy

          The Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy

           Many people are on a constant quest for better health. Whether they’re looking to alleviate pain, prolong their lives, or feel more beautiful, folks are always looking for the next “best” solution, supplement, medication, or diet.

          But what if the answer to many of our questions was something as simple as light?

          The human body needs light to be healthy. The right types in the right doses.

          Our understanding of light’s effects on the body has grown immensely over the past decade. Because public knowledge has yet to catch up with science, most of us are unaware of the importance of “bioactive light” and how it can play a role in all aspects of our health.

          There are actually five types of bioactive light that science has proven cause positive changes in our bodies:

          bioactive light types

          Blue light helps to set and regulate our internal clocks. This type of light affects several neurotransmitters and hormones.

          UV light allows us to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight.

          Far Infrared light heats up our bodies and helps with circulation.

          Red and Near Infrared light -- the kind you get through TheraBulb™ lamps -- stimulate cellular energy production.

          Because we spend so much time indoors and in front of screens, most modern humans are deficient in all five wavelengths of light. This results in all sorts of maladies, just as an improper diet or malnutrition can wreak havoc on a person’s mind and body.

          And while you’ve probably heard people talking about blue light (too much at night is bad for you) and UV light (needed to produce Vitamin D), you might not know much about the other three types of light.

          Red and near-infrared light have profound effects on our cellular and hormonal health. Our bodies need ample amounts of those types of light to have optimal health.

          How Does Infrared Light Therapy Work?

          In the past, humans would absorb large quantities of red and infrared light from the sun and -- believe it or not -- from campfires and hearths. With most people these days avoiding fire rather than gathering around it, one primary source of red and near-infrared light has been long forgotten.

          Using convenient bulbs, near-infrared (NIR) light therapy is used to supplement your natural intake of NIR light, as well as direct its benefits to specific parts of the body when needed.

          Thousands of studies have been conducted on the benefits of NIR light, and it has been used to address a variety of injuries, chronic conditions, and comorbidity factors. It penetrates more deeply than UV or visible light and is benign to living tissue.

           Freitas de Freitas et al. (2016) Proposed Mechanisms of Photobiomodulation or Low Level Light Therapy

          Researchers working with NASA have found that NIR light therapy activates color-sensitive chemicals in body tissues, stimulating the process in a cell’s mitochondria.  Light wavelengths from 680nm to 880nm have been found to travel through skin and muscle tissue, to prompt tissue and deep wound healing.

          Much of the current research indicates that the long wavelength light’s effects on mitochondria are the key to understanding how red and near-infrared light benefit our cells. Near infrared light stimulates cellular energy metabolism and energy production. 

          https://joovv.com/blogs/joovv-blog/how-red-near-infrared-light-stimulates-cellular-respiration-boosts-energy-production

           Huang, Y-Y, et al. (2009) Biphasic Dose Response in Low Level Light Therapy  Dose Response. 2009; 7(4): 358–383.

           

          How Can Infrared Light Therapy Help?

          Infrared therapy has been used at home and by medical practitioners in a number of ways.

          Infrared light therapy serves as a drug-free method to provide pain relief from conditions such as arthritis, joint stiffness, and muscle aches.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6191958/

          Studies also suggest that infrared light therapy can promote the production of skin collagen to help prevent and reduce wrinkles, speed wound healing, diminish scarring, prevent herpes simplex cold sore breakouts, and more.

          https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27567083/

          https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2083608/

          Research tells us that NIR light therapy can improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and boost the immune system -- especially in cases of a preexisting deficiency.

          https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25302462/

          https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27345261/

           

          Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy at Home

          Why isn’t infrared therapy more widespread? Until recently, cost and convenience were major factors.

          Older NIR therapy technology has been used in labs and doctor’s offices for many years now and goes by the name of either “low-level laser therapy” (LLLT) or “cold laser.” These red/NIR light laser devices were incredibly expensive and not the type of treatment someone would set up at home.

          As research continued and our understanding of NIR light improved, researchers learned that lasers weren’t a necessary part of treatment. Red and near-infrared therapy LED panels emerged in specialty anti-aging clinics, but the average person would expect to pay up to $300 for a single treatment session.

          These barriers no longer exist thanks to advances in technology and the availability of Infrared lamps designed for home use. Convenient therapy sessions at home mean you don’t have to go to a medical facility to see the benefits of NIR light therapy. This is especially helpful for those who can’t travel or who don’t have a large budget for medical expenses.

          Since the risks of using infrared lamps are minimal, you can use them without having a doctor or medical expert present. Use is as simple as plugging it in and applying the light to the affected area.

          (Before you start the therapy at home, you should consult a doctor to see if it is right for you. A doctor can help access the severity of the condition for which you want to use the therapy and help you determine whether it is right for you or not.)

          When it comes time to choose an infrared therapy bulb or lamp, be certain to check the technical specifications. Look for lights that are CE listed and RoHS certified. You should also seek out bulbs which emit in the 390 nm – 1000 nm wavelength range to maximize both the red light and infrared light benefits. 

          Infrared Light Therapy Benefits for Pain

          Near-infrared therapy has proven effective at reducing pain in virtually all areas of the body.

          Red/NIR light has proven effective at managing chronic neck pain, knee pain, Fibromyalgia, lower back pain, chronic tooth pain, and tendinitis.

          Chow, RT, et al. (2006). The effect of 300 mW, 830 nm laser on chronic neck pain: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study

          Huang, Z, et al. (2015). The effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for nonspecific chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis

          Arslan, H. (2017). Effect of Low-level Laser Therapy on Postoperative Pain after Root Canal Retreatment: A Preliminary Placebo-controlled, Triple-blind, Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Endocrinology, [Epub]

          Logdberg-Andersson, M, et al. (2005) LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY (LLLT) OF TENDINITIS AND MYOFASCIAL PAINS A RANDOMIZED, DOUBLE-BLIND, CONTROLLED STUDY, J-STAGEトップ/LASER THERAPY / 14 (2005) 0_Pilot_Issue_2 / 書誌

           

          Studies have shown that infrared light therapy improves blood circulation to the region to which it is applied. This improved blood circulation promotes the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the tissues. This process also helps the functioning of mitochondria, and then aids the storing and transporting of energy to the body’s cells.

          https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25302462/

          Improved blood circulation means the cells rejuvenate, which then repairs and enhances the tissues at a faster rate to help you recover faster from your injury.

          infrared light therapy benefits for back pain

          Infrared Light for Back Pain  

          Infrared light therapy can provide relief from back pain. You should apply the light directly to the area of the back that is in pain to take full advantage of the therapy’s benefits.

          The infrared light improves circulation and can reduce pain when muscles are fatigued or when there is an accumulation of metabolites in your lower back that activate the pain receptors.

           

          NIR Therapy for Shoulder Pain

           If you experience shoulder joint pain or have experienced inflammation in the shoulder region, the application of infrared light therapy can provide relief.

           The light can help the cells rejuvenate and work to repair the region at a faster pace while the improved blood circulation in the area will provide pain relief.

           

          NIR Therapy Lamps for Knee Pain

          Just like shoulder and back pain, people with knee joint pain can also benefit from infrared light therapy.

          While the therapy can provide pain relief and shorten the recovery time, there may be underlying problems the therapy cannot fix. These potentially unknown underlying health problems make it essential to consult a doctor to determine the best solution.

           

           Infrared Light Therapy for Arthritis Pain Relief

          Studies have also shown that near-infrared and red light therapy can help people with arthritis (osteoarthritis). The warmth of red light can provide instant soothing, while infrared wavelengths help improve blood circulation and rejuvenate cells.

           

          Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy for Skin

          Red light and NIR light stimulate collagen and elastin production, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. NIR therapy can also have a positive effect on the appearance of scars, surface varicose veins, acne, and cellulite. Photobiomodulation is largely recognized as a safe and welcome method of anti-aging and skin rejuvenation.

          Jiang, M. et. al. (2017). A prospective study of the safety and efficacy of a combined bipolar radiofrequency, intense pulsed light, and infrared diode laser treatment for global facial photoaging. Lasers in Medicine and Science, 32(5):1051-1061.

          Kim, Hee-Kyong. (2017).  Effects of radiofrequency, electroacupuncture, and low-level laser therapy on the wrinkles and moisture content of the forehead, eyes, and cheek. Journal I Physical Therapy and Science, 29(2): 290–294.

          Recent human studies are proving photobiomodulation can reverse the signs of aging, repair damage from UV rays, and reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and even hard to remove scars.

          Reversing UV damage involves the repair of cellular and DNA damage, much like when the skin heals a wound. NIR light does this extremely well through stimulating collagen, fighting inflammation, stimulating cellular energy production, and even promoting DNA repair.

           Pinar, Avci. Low-level laser (light) therapy (red and near-infrared light) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. SCMS, 32(1): 41-52.

          infrared light therapy benefits for skin

          Near-Infrared and red light therapy is proving to be a great alternative to anti-aging cosmetic surgeries, Botox injections, and more abrasive chemical peels. For combating skin aging, red and near-infrared light is a non-invasive tool that can be used at home.

           

          Using Infrared Therapy Light for Psoriasis

          Psoriasis is a skin condition that results in the rapid changing of the skin cells. While the process is not visible to the human eye, the ending results are. Individuals with psoriasis develop rough painful areas on their skin that people sometimes refer to as silvery scales. The condition is an autoimmune disease with no known cure, but there are options to ease its symptoms.

          The infrared light rays penetrate deep into the skin cells and slow the growth rate in the cells affected by psoriasis. This process reduces the scales, also known as plaques, and provides relief from the pain they cause.

          https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21435024/

          Doctors, without the means to cure psoriasis, have started to recommend infrared light therapy to deal with the symptoms.

           

           Infrared Light Therapy for Lyme Disease

          More than 30,000 Americans contract Lyme disease each year, leaving many with lifelong afflictions such as arthritis, fatigue and even neurological damage.

          The positive effects of infrared light therapy on these symptoms can provide relief for sufferers of Lyme disease. For instance, direct application of near-infrared light on arthritic, painful joints has been shown to provide soothing relief.

          The cellular rejuvenation effects of light therapy have also been known to improve feelings of fatigue and lethargy. Overall improvements in the immune system are also noted. Studies indicate that red/NIR light can support optimal immune function in a wide variety of different scenarios and health conditions.

          https://lymewarrior.us/red-light-therapy

          Lugongolo, MY, et al. (2017). The effects of low level laser therapy on both HIV‐1 infected and uninfected TZM‐bl cells

          Skobelkin O.K., et al. preoperative activation of the immune system by low reactive level laser therapy (LLLT) in oncologic patient: A preliminary report.

          Pereria, PR, et al., (2014) Effects of low intensity laser in in vitro bacterial culture and in vivo infected wounds

           

          Other Possible Infrared Light Therapy Benefits

          Infrared light speeds up the healing process of injured tissues to provide relief from pain and inflammation from other conditions as well. Here are three additional health issues for which infrared light therapy may be beneficial in helping with pain:

           

          Infrared Light and Wound Healing

          Near-infrared and red light therapy are excellent for wound healing. Red/infrared light accomplishes this in several ways:

          • cleaning up dead and damaged cells in skin (phagocytosis)
          • increasing ATP in skin cells, giving cells more energy to heal themselves
          • increasing the production of fibroblasts
          • increasing blood flow, supplying the wound more oxygen and nutrients needed for repair
          • stimulating the production of collagen and the health of the extracellular matrix
          • stimulating the formation of new connective tissue and blood capillaries on the surface of the wound.

          Barolet, D. et. al. (2016). Accelerating Ablative Fractional Resurfacing Wound Healing Recovery by Photobiomodulation, Current Dermatology Reports, 5(3): 232-38.

          One TheraBulb user reported much faster than expected wound recovery after suffering a compound ankle fracture. His feedback on the use of NIR light therapy after surgery can be found in this case study.

           

          Benefits in Cardiovascular Health

           There are ongoing trials to determine how infrared light therapy benefits cardiovascular health, but so far, it has shown some promising results. In these experiments, infrared light therapy promoted the production of nitric oxide, which is vital for healthy blood vessels.

          Nitric oxide reduces the chance of blood clots, helps to regulate blood pressure, and prevent oxidative stress.

           https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23007916/

           

          Benefits in Detoxification

           Infrared light therapy is commonly used in saunas to aid detoxification. Detoxification helps rid the body of toxins from food, air, and even the body’s metabolism process. These toxins, left untreated, can lead to chronic illnesses and imbalances. Infrared light is used with heat to help release toxins from within the skin.

          The toxins are usually present in the fat just beneath the skin and released through perspiration. Research has shown, when compared to a regular sauna, infrared saunas release up to five times more toxins.

          The sweat people generate in regular saunas contains around 3% toxin and 97% water, while the sweat they secrete in infrared saunas consists of 15% toxin and 85% water.

           https://infraredsauna.com/health/skindetox/mercury.html

           

          Infrared Benefits for Alzheimers

          Researchers have found that transcranial near-infrared and red light therapy benefits the brain and cognitive performance in young healthy adults, finding that it improved attention spans and short-term memory retrieval in tested subjects.

          Infrared light therapy also improved memory in older adults with significant memory impairment at risk for cognitive decline, providing hope that further studies find that near-infrared and red light therapy may provide a future treatment and preventative measure against Alzheimer’s disease.

          Blanco, N. (2017). Improving executive function using transcranial infrared laser stimulation. Journal of Neuropsyhology, 11(1): 14–25.

          Vargas, E. (2017). Beneficial neurocognitive effects of transcranial laser in older adults. Lasers in Medical Science, 32(5):1153-1162.

           

          The Final Word

          With the wealth of research at our disposal, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of infrared light therapy. The closest thing to a “miracle drug” to be discovered in most of our lifetimes, NIR therapy is now being used to address everything from pain to broken bones to memory loss.

          Thanks to advances in technology, NIR therapy can be done inexpensively in one’s own home. Quality NIR lamps and bulbs like those from TheraBulb™ make it simple to harness these benefits yourself.

          Are you looking to lose weight? Remove wrinkles? Ease chronic pain? Recover from an injury?

          The answer could be as easy as turning on a light.