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The Advantages of Including Near Infrared Waves In Your Infrared Sauna

The Advantages of Including Near Infrared Waves In Your Infrared Sauna

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The Advantages of Including Near Infrared Waves
In Your Infrared Sauna

By: Your JNH Lifestylist

If you have not heard about infrared saunas by now, then there is no better time to discover them. Infrared therapy has revolutionized the wellness industry and everyone is raving about it. It has garnered many followers and countless celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow, who have raved about their amazing health benefits [1]. However, people always speak in general terms about infrared saunas. The truth is that not all infrared saunas are created equal; different types of infrared waves have specific indications and benefits. In this article you will learn all about these different types of infrared waves.


Let's Start Simple

Before entering the world of infrared waves, you must understand what basis of an infrared sauna. Infrared saunas serve the same purpose of traditional Finnish saunas by increasing your body temperature. The difference lies in the way they do it. While traditional saunas heat the air around you to increase body temperature, infrared saunas use infrared light (or waves) to directly transfer heat to your body without drastically heating the air [2].

What Is Infrared Light?

Infrared-spectrum

To understand infrared light, you must know what the electromagnetic spectrum is. This classifies all different types of waves according to their wavelength. Visible light and all associated colors are included in this spectrum, but only occupies a small portion of it, with wavelengths between 400-700 nanometers (nm). Outside of this range, there are many other types of waves that are invisible to the naked human eye. These invisible wavelengths serve multiple purposes such as X-rays, microwaves, and of course infrared waves. Infrared sits just beyond visible light with wavelengths between 760 and 100,00 nm. As you can see, this is a pretty large range that allows scientists to classify infrared waves into three categories: near infrared, mid infrared and far infrared. Each of them has specific features and applications, but we are going to focus on near infrared since most infrared saunas do not include it [3].

Near Infrared Waves And Infrared Saunas

Near infrared falls on the shorter end of the infrared spectrum, with wavelengths between 780 and 3000 nm. By having a shorter wavelength, these waves are unable to penetrate deeper into your tissues than far or mid infrared can, so they do not affect your body temperature. It is for this reason that they are not always included in infrared saunas. However, despite not generating any heat, they have other effects that translate into many health benefits, with the most reported ones being skin and mental health [4]. If you are looking to get the most out of infrared therapy, the best thing to do is to use an infrared sauna that has all three types of infrared light (far, mid and near). After all, each subtype has specific benefits, so why not make sure you are getting them all?

Effect Of Near Infrared Waves On A Cellular Level

The most studied effect of near infrared waves in cells is how it stimulates the mitochondria. The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Imagine it as the organ where all the energy that cells use to stay alive, is produced. Without the mitochondria, all chemical reactions in a cell would not be possible, and metabolisms would not exist. So by stimulating the mitochondria by exposing cells to near infrared light, they experience an increase in energy production and metabolism. This has clinical implications since constantly being exposed to infrared waves can increase your metabolism [5].

Near Infrared Waves Can Help Your Skin

woman splashing water on her face

A study performed in 2014 in Germany sought to determine the efficacy of near infrared light in the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles. A group of 113 volunteers was exposed to this type of light twice a week, until completing 15 sessions. The results were wonderful, with most volunteers having significantly improved skin complexion. They also determined the collagen density in the skin, which had increased after the treatment. This is particularly important since collagen is a protein that makes your skin look tight and firm. With results like these, it is a good reason to ensure that near infrared waves will be included in your infrared sauna purchase [6].

Near infrared waves are typically not included in infrared saunas. To ensure that you're receiving the near infrared wavelength, the product title of the infrared sauna you are shopping for must read 'full spectrum', meaning you are receiving far, mid and near infrared. We know it can be a bit confusing, so to understand further, click here.

Near Infrared and Its Benefits: Penetrates just below the skin, stimulates skin cell's mitochondria, boosting energy production and metabolism, can increase collagen density, improving fine lines and wrinkles, with better looking skin, you'll also experience a boost in confidence/self-esteem


Resources:

[1] Pavlik Ben. "5 Celebrities Who Love Infrared Saunas." Yourwellnesskingdom.com, Your Wellness Kingdom, https://yourwellnesskingdom.com/celebrities-infrared-saunas/.

[2] Bauer, Brent A. (2017) “What Is An Infrared Sauna? Does It Have Health Benefits?” Mayoclinic.org, Mayo Clinic, June 7, 2017,  https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/infrared-sauna/faq-20057954.

[3] Dold Brian. (2016). "Infrared Radiation in Modern Technology." Researchgate.net, Research Gate, April, 2016, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301553918_Infrared_Radiation_in_Modern_Technology.

[4] Tsai Shang-Ru, Hamblin Michael. (2017). "Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation" Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, April 13, 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5505738/

[5] Karu Tina. (2008). "Mitochondrial Signaling in Mammalian Cells Activated by Red and Near-IR Radiation." Onlinelibrary.wiley.com, Wiley Online Library, August 28, 2008, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1751-1097.2008.00394.x.

[6] Wunsch Alexander, Matuschka Karsten. (2014). "A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfcation, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase.", Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, February 1 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3926176/.

[7] Schiffer Fredric, Johnston Andrea, Ravichandran Caitlin, Polcari Ann, Teicher Martin, Webb Robert, Hamblin Michael. (2009). "Psychological benefits 2 and 4 weeks after a single treatment with near infrared light to the forehead: a pilot study of 10 patients with major depression and anxiety." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, December 8, 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796659/.

[8] Obayashi Tomohiko, Funasaka Kohei, Ohno Eizaburo, Miyahara Ryoji, Hirooka Yoshiki, Hamaguchi Michinari, Goto Hidemi, Senga Takeshi. (2015). "Treatment with near-infrared radiation promotes apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, June 19, 2015,  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4533303/.

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