Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Healing with Far Infra-Red

The first time I heard of infra-red being used as a medical treatment was when I was eleven years old. I had a paper route and one of my clients used to lie on her living room floor with a red light aimed at her back to help with her arthritis. I didn't give it much thought until I was in massage therapy school where the subject came up again and we were taught about using far infra-red lamps to help our patients with inflammation and pain management. I bought one of the red infra-red bulbs and had used it in the past to help me deal with a bout of severe tendinitis.

I started seeing infra-red saunas being advertised in various locations such as spas and tanning salons but didn't truly understand how wonderful they are until I, by chance, used one. At the time I was working at a spa that had one and I was recovering from a cold. It came to me that maybe by going for a good sweat in the sauna I could shorten the life of my cold. I used it twice in one week and was completely amazed when I noticed that all the pain in my joints, which I had been living with for over a year, had magically disappeared or dialed down to a very manageable level.

From then on , I tried to use  the sauna whenever I could. I had been suffering with a tremendous amount of inflammation in all my joints but esp in my feet, hips and low back. It was so bad that I could hardly stand up after sitting for more than a few minutes. I would gingerly get upright feeling like I had broken glass in all my joints and stagger a few steps until things eased up and I could walk a bit easier. Too much exercise had the same effect as too little. I despaired over what would become of me as I got older if I already felt this bad at 52 but using the sauna a few times a week dramatically eased the pain I was in.

The best part about it was, I usually shunned saunas in general as I have asthma and found the extreme dry heat really bothered my lungs and I couldn't stay in them long enough to work up a sweat. Infra-red works in a completely different way than a traditional sauna. Regular saunas use a heater to warm the air which you then sit in to absorb the heat. Infra-red actually penetrates into your tissues and makes them vibrate at a molecular level thus increasing your internal temperature without over- heating the surrounding air. I was able to stay in the sauna for up to 40 minutes with little discomfort and I was able to sweat buckets.

I was only doing a locum at the spa and when it was over I ended up back in pain once I didn't have access to the sauna anymore. A few weeks of that and I went looking for a sauna of my own to buy. They come in many different shapes and styles and cost can fluctuate from $225 to over $3000. I totally lucked out and got a portable one on Craigslist for $225.

 I would still like to get the full size sauna some day but until I have the money for that, this one works good enough for me. The best part is my head sticks out the top, so no breathing in hot air, and I can set it up in front of the TV so I have some entertainment while having my treatment.

Saving up for one of these!!

I have copied the following information from Aesta's website explaining the benefits of far infra-red and an explanation of how it works.

  • Natural and safe relief of pain, stiffness and aches
  • Helps with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Helps to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Reduces stress, tiredness and fatigue
  • Detoxification from heavy metals and other toxins in the body
  • Helps you to gain and maintain your energy
  • Burns calories and helps you to lose and control your weight
  • Improves the metabolism
  • Helps to prevent and remove cellulite
  • Improves skin appearance and skin condition
  • Boosts and improves the immune system and enhances white blood cell function
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Strengthens the cardiovascular system and normalizes blood pressure
  • Improves all organ functions
  • Helps in weight control (loss or gain)
  • Increases metabolism between blood and tissue
  • Helps to remove cholesterol
  • Promotes cellular regeneration and speeds healing to cuts and bruises
  • Helps to improve joint movements
  • Improves micro circulation
  • Increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients in the blood cell to the body’s soft tissue areas
  • Stimulates the hypothalamus, which controls the production of neuro-chemicals
  • Improves health in general
"One of the reasons that Aesta’s Far Infrared Radiant Heat has beneficial results in a variety of illnesses is because FIR can deeply penetrate skin and underlying tissues. When Far Infrared Radiant Heat penetrates the skin, it comes into contact with protein, collagen and fats. By stimulating micro-vibrations, FIR can elevate tissue temperatures. The human body then is revitalized because of the improved micro circulation."

"Another reason is that Far Infrared Radiant Heat has the ability to remove toxins in the body, which are often at the core of many health problems. The build up of toxins in a healthy body could block the normal blood circulation and impair the cellular energy. When Aesta Far Infrared Radiant Heat waves are applied, the water molecules that encapsulate the toxins get heat up, and start to vibrate. This vibration reduces the ion bonds of the atoms that are holding together the molecules of water. As the breakdown of the water molecules occurs, encapsulated gases and other toxic materials are released and the body gets rejuvenated."

( I have read that you burn in the neighborhood of 300-600 calories in 30 minutes in an infra-red saunas.)

Is Infra -red safe?.... Yes!!

The experience of a far infrared sauna is similar to sunbathing, which gives you the radiant heat without the damaging ultra violet rays. The far infrared heat penetrates your skin, giving you that wonderful natural warmth. Unlike sunbathing, Infrared heat therapy is completely healthy and safe. You can relax in a far infrared sauna and it will never cause your skin to burn. Far infrared heat is completely healthy and safe for all living things. In fact, far infrared heat is so safe it is used in hospitals to warm newborn infants.

If you haven't had a chance to try an Infra-red sauna yet, I would encourage you to do so. The health benefits are many and no side effects. If you use them and find they are helpful to you, then I would recommend buying one of your own. They are cheap to run, a benefit for the whole family, and cheaper to own than the cost of using one somewhere else.( prices tend to run about $20 for 30 minutes at most locations).
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  1. I just might have to try something like this. I broke my knee quite some time ago, but I am finding with age it seems to bother me more all the time. Today I actually had to use my cane to meander around town shopping for goodies for my house. I even decided to go look in the drug store if they had something for joint pain. I bought some Lakota for the first time. Just thought I would give something a try. I'm not sure if this infrared light thing would help my situation or not, but it is something to think about I guess.

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