The sun is an incredibly powerful life source, giving us heat and light. But can we really harness the power of the sun’s light, and use it to heal aching and sore muscles? That is what infrared therapy is – but how exactly does it work?
What Is Infrared Therapy?
Infrared therapy is an innovative light therapy for muscle pain relief. It uses specific wavelengths of light which are delivered to parts of the bodies which have injuries.
For hundreds of years, illness and disease have been treated by sunlight. Doctors would place patient beds on sunny balconies to treat rickets or psoriasis. In the 1920s, Olympic athletes bathed in sunlight to boost performance. This all fell out of favor when concerns about skin cancer began to rise.
Sunlight is made up of two different waves – infrared and ultraviolet. Ultraviolet light is the damaging one, the one that causes sunburn and other problems. Infrared, on the other hand, helps cells to regenerate and repair themselves. It also improves the circulation of oxygen-rich blood in the body. It is the heat you feel when you stand in the sun and has a huge range of health benefits.
Your body also emits infrared energy, particularly from the palms. People in Asian countries, particularly in China, have been practising palm healing for thousands of years. Heat therapy like this has been used for physical and emotional wellbeing for countless years, but it is only recently that technology has been developed to harness this power and precisely apply it to the areas that need it most.
Infrared light is able to penetrate below the layers of skin, pinpointing the actual muscles or bones that require pain relief.
How Does Infrared Pain Relief Work?
Infrared light penetrates about 2-7cm deep, reaching the muscles, nerves and bones. Once there, the light is absorbed by photoreceptors in cells. The light energy triggers natural processes of the body on a cellular level. The key to how infrared therapy works may be down to nitric oxide, which increases after therapy. Nitric oxide has many beneficial functions, including relaxing arteries, battling free radicals, preventing platelets from clumping in veins and regulating blood pressure. An increase in nitric oxide enhances blood circulation, delivering important nutrients and oxygen to damaged cells.
Increased blood flow enables cells to function properly. Infrared therapy, therefore, stimulates the regeneration and repair of injured tissues, leading to less pain and inflammation.