Even if you’ve only lightly dabbled in wellness methods, odds are you’ve probably come across the term “infrared light.” Infrared light and infrared light therapy is known for its many health benefits and for the good it can do to mind, body, and soul. But what is it exactly?
What is Infrared light?
Let’s get scientific.
A method of harnessing light frequencies, infrared light therapy promotes healing on a cellular level. The world is made up of different frequencies, and infrared light frequencies lie just below our visible frequency spectrum. Even though we can’t see infrared light, we can still feel it by way of heat. Infrared light energy, also known as thermal radiation, transfers heat, and after many years of research, scientists discovered this natural heat energy could be used for benefit.
Infrared light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, promotes the benefits of infrared light by distributing the infrared light spectrum to the body. As it is absorbed, infrared light kicks cells into gear, fighting many underlying health problems right at their root. The light produces a spike in oxygen, which increases blood flow and cellular regeneration. This leads to a wide array of benefits including better sleep, clearer skin, and faster metabolism.
What is infrared light therapy?
If you’ve read your blogs lately, you may already know that one of the best (and most trendy) infrared light therapies is the infrared sauna. Infrared saunas often look like out-of-this-world, spaceship pods from the outside and their light-bulb-lined interiors are just as alien. But don’t be frightened by their looks, infrared saunas are extremely efficient when it comes to infrared light.
For those of you who want to use infrared light for its skin benefits, there are infrared masks that target just your face area. And yes, they look just as strange as the sauna pods.
Note: if you come across a sauna advertised as “near infrared,” skip it. If you really want to feel repair, far infrared light is what you’re looking for.
What is the difference between infrared light and heat?
What makes an infrared sauna different from a regular sauna? Unlike regular saunas that heat the air, infrared saunas heat you. The heat you feel from an infrared sauna is coming from inside your body rather than outside. Infrared saunas break down water molecules within your body creating a deeper, more detoxifying sweat. Plus, because your head stays outside your pod, you don’t have to withstand the unbearable stuffiness and suffocating heat of your usual sauna.
Is infrared light bad for you?
No. While infrared light may feel and act like sunlight, it has no skin-damaging UV-rays, making it safe for exposure. UV rays, which have the power to cause cell mutations, act at a much higher energy level than infrared light. Because of its lower energy, infrared light doesn’t have the ability to cause such mutations.
How often should you do infrared light therapy?
Most agree that infrared light therapy can be a daily activity. But that may not be recommended for everyone. Infrared heat can dehydrate you, making you tired and exhausted. Because of this, you should listen to your body and feel what it needs. Some people find that undergoing infrared light therapy 3 to 4 times a week works just as well.
Have you tried infrared light therapy? Tell me about your experience in the comments!
Dr. Mona Vand is Haute Beauty’s Naturopathic expert. Reach her here.