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      Infrared Light Therapy for Lyme Disease: A Safe and Effective Option?

      Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne illness in North America, with over 30,000 cases reported in the U.S. every year -- and that number doesn’t come close to representing the actual number of cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control, estimates suggest that up to 300,000 Americans get Lyme disease annually.


      Lyme disease is transmitted to humans from the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, and it is  most commonly reported in the Northeastern U.S. Symptoms usually include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic “bullseye” skin rash. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

      Hu LT. Lyme Disease. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Nov 1;165(9):677.


      Is Lyme Disease a Serious Illness?

      The potential for harm can be reduced by catching the infection early. Patients treated with antibiotics in the beginning stages of Lyme disease usually make a full recovery fairly rapidly.

      Patients treated in later stages of the infection usually respond well to antibiotics, but can suffer long-term damage if the infection had time to spread to the nervous system or joints.

      It is not uncommon for Lyme disease patients to have lingering symptoms of fatigue, pain, or aching joints after finishing treatment. In some cases, these symptoms can last for more than 6 months -- a condition that is sometimes referred to as “chronic Lyme disease”, although this term is generally not used by physicians.
      Lyme disease can result in chronic aches and pains that stick with a person for months.
      How is Lyme Disease Usually Treated?
      Most cases of Lyme disease are treated with a 2-4 week cycle of oral antibiotics. In ideal situations, the infection will be identified and treated early, which will put the patient on the road to full recovery.
      Better still is not contracting the disease to begin with.  Experts recommend that those spending time outdoors in wooded areas or areas in which infected ticks are prevalent should wear long pants and long sleeves and use insect repellants designed to repel ticks.
      If prevention and Lyme disease treatment are not successful, what are the options for treating long-term symptoms?

      New Possibilities: Red Light / Infrared Light Therapy

      Fortunately, there are a number of affordable and accessible options that you can do right at home. One method of therapy -- which has been the subject of numerous peer-reviewed studies --  involves the use of near infrared light.

      Operating at wavelengths of between - 700 - 1,000 nanometers, near infrared energy is one of several types of bio-reactive light that have some form of impact on our bodies and how they function. Infrared light can be found in nature -- most notably from sunlight -- and our bodies have evolved to make use of that light in various ways.

      Infrared light has an effect you can feel almost immediately. Invisible to the naked eye, near infrared light generates a penetrating heat that reaches deep into tissue to promote good circulation, improve healing, and help to ease pain. Many devices that produce near infrared energy also create red light- (which is visible to the naked eye) as an easy means of combining the possible benefits of both types of energy.


      NIR and red light therapy are used and researched across many varied fields of medicine, and growing interest has led to advances in technology that make these methods available for the in home use by consumers.

      Incandescent bulbs that emit both red light and near infrared energy are now available from manufacturers like TheraBulb© who  specialize in near infrared products for home use.

      For those who are suffering the long-term effects of Lyme disease, they need only focus the NIR bulb on the area where there is aching or pain. The infrared heat will warm the area and penetrate the deeper layers of tissue, causing blood vessels to dilate.

      Improved circulation speeds the removal of toxins and provides the area with fresh oxygen and nutrients at a faster pace. Numerous studies have shown that quality of blood circulation has a huge effect on everything from wound healing to pain.


      The Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy with Lyme Disease

      NIR therapy can reduce pain associated with Lyme Disease

      The most prominent effect of infrared therapy is, of course, the improvements to blood circulation. Better circulation means more oxygen, nutrients, and immune cells can reach areas of the body that demand them. This improved delivery can help reduce pain, stiffness, and inflammation in joints and tissue.

      Infrared can help reduce feelings of fatigue

      A quiet Infrared treatment session at home can be very relaxing. The applied heat relaxes your muscles, releases tension, and can promote a sense of calm. Infrared therapy has been shown to improve mood and has even gained traction as a means of addressing chronic fatigue syndrome.

      Masuda A, Kihara T, Fukudome T, Shinsato T, Minagoe S, Tei C. The effects of repeated thermal therapy for two patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. J Psychosom Res. 2005;58(4):383–387. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2004.11.005

      Infrared therapy to remove toxins

      Lyme disease-related inflammation can put strain on the kidneys and liver. Bacterial infections can create a build-up of toxins, and this can lead to characteristic feelings of fatigue. Infrared light has been proven to help flush out these toxins through perspiration. This helps prevent toxins from building in the internal organs, which can cause even more problems.


      Countering inflammation

      Inflammation is a natural part of the body’s healing response, though it is meant to be a short term response. Prolonged inflammation can cause damage at the cellular level if it is left unchecked.

      Lyme disease is an infection that is quite capable of causing prolonged inflammation. To minimize the potential damage, infrared light therapy may be a safe, easy option. By improving circulation, healing is encouraged and inflammatory elements are more rapidly flushed out of the system.


      Infrared’s effects on the immune system

      Research has suggested that the increased body temperature induced by the sauna may cause improved immune function [5]. Studies have noted an increased number of white blood cells, lymphocytes, neutrophils and basophils after sauna bathing. Further, with improved circulation (also caused by the increased heat), the immune cells can reach all parts of the body and help fight off Lyme Disease and its symptoms.



      Choosing the Right Infrared Therapy Light

      As we mentioned, one of the most appealing aspects of infrared therapy is that it can be safely, easily, and affordably carried out at home. Whereas infrared light therapy used to be the realm of expensive clinics using experimental lasers, home users are able to achieve most of the same results using inexpensive incandescent or LED bulbs.

      Not all infrared light or NIR therapy devices are created equally, though. It’s important that you purchase a bulb or lamp that meets your therapeutic needs while delivering safe, reliable light. 

      Choose the Right Output

      A therapeutic infrared bulb should emit light at wavelengths between 700 and 1000 nanometers with an operating output in the ideal 750 nm range. Look for bulbs that emit visible red light to allow you to focus the light correctly and to deliver the added benefits of red light.

      Free of Heavy Metals

      Ensure that no heavy metals are used in the bulb’s production. If lead or other such metals are present, they can release toxic fumes when the bulb reaches operating temperature. Look for bulbs that bear the CE mark for safety and are RoHS certified, which means they are free of lead, mercury, and other toxins.

      Need to mention Teflon- free.

      No EMF Emitted

      We’re only starting to understand the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation (EMF). Cellphones, for example, emit an electromagnetic field. An EMF weakens the outer walls of cells, making them more permeable to toxins.

      Everyone should look for ways to reduce their exposure to EMF, including avoiding near infrared bulbs that don’t emit EMF. Fortunately, incandescent bulbs are EMF-free by design, operating in a way that does not create the conditions that produce EMF.

      TheraBulb: Laboratory Tested, Safe Infrared Therapy Technology

      TheraBulb© products offer lab-verified output, certifying that they emit the beneficial albeit invisible near infrared energy.  In addition to assuring you that the bulbs deliver the output you’ve paid for, TheraBulb makes test data available on the specific wavelengths emitted, their relative percentages, intensity of the bulbs, and maximum operating temperature – all of which give you the information needed to select the right bulb and use it to get the results that you desire.