Have you ever seen one of those funky rectangular infrared light therapy devices and wondered what on earth it could be used for? Although some of these devices might look a little strange, they offer incredible health benefits you won’t want to miss out on. Trust me, I’ve made infrared light therapy a part of my daily routine–and I aboslutely love it.
Red and infrared light therapy use the spectrum of light to soothe muscles, ease joint pain, and improve the appearance of your skin, among many other uses. Light therapy can be an effective treatment for everything from aging skin to cancer.
As the technology continues to drop in price, infrared light therapy devices are becoming increasingly available to the public. Combining this type of therapy once or twice a week with daily bionutrient superfood snacks will really upgrade your physical health routine.
How light therapy works
Just like the plants in your garden, sunlight creates a chemical reaction inside your cells when it touches your skin. When your skin is exposed to UV rays, these rays are absorbed by your skin cells. This leads to various benefits depending on the wavelengths (colors) of light used.
Red and infrared light therapy harness the power of the red and infrared spectrums of light to create a range of both health and beauty benefits.
The therapeutic benefits of light therapy
Are red and infrared light therapy safe? Today we are able to calibrate the light used in red and infrared therapy lamps and saunas to emit only beneficial wavelengths of light while filtering out the skin-damaging and cancer-causing rays that can be found in natural sunlight.
Red and infrared light therapy use the spectrum of light to produce many therapeutic benefits including:
- Pain relief
- Promoting the healing of wounds
- Enhancing skin appearance
- Improving skin health and elasticity
- Stimulating hair growth
- Managing psoriasis
- Reducing side effects of certain cancer treatments
- Minimizing sun-damaged skin
- Treating and preventing cold sore outbreaks
- Easing inflammation
- Reducing joint pain
The difference between red and infrared light therapy
Both red and infrared light therapy are becoming super popular these days. There are several differences between them, so make sure you do enough research to choose the one that is right for you and your needs.
Red light therapy
Red light falls within the spectrum that is found in natural sunlight. In fact, it accounts for almost half of the energy of natural sunlight and is how our bodies create vitamin D. Red light therapy lamps and saunas can improve circulation, raise your body’s core temperature, help rejuvenate the skin, and relieve pain.
Red light therapy saunas and lamps are great for topical pain relief and skin issues like psoriasis. They can also remove toxins from the skin and improve circulation, which brings more oxygen to the surface of your skin and gives you a healthy glow.
Infrared light therapy
Infrared is one of the most popular light therapy options in the modern sauna. It is similar to red light therapy but uses a different wavelength of light. This therapy heats the body from the inside, creating the extreme sweating found in traditional saunas.
While both red and infrared light therapy systems are able to detoxify the body, they work in different ways. As the name suggests, infrared saunas and lamps work by emitting light in the infrared spectrum.
Infrared light therapy devices work by penetrating deeply into the body to soothe muscles, joints, relieve tension, and detoxify the body through sweating. Because infrared light reaches much deeper than red light, it is not as suitable for skin problems and other areas of the body that tend to be more sensitive. Due to its intensity, infrared light therapy can detoxify the body much faster than red light therapy.
Steam vs. infrared sauna
In traditional saunas, the heat is created by a mass of rocks and water used to produce steam. Your typical traditional sauna can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to preheat. The temperatures inside the sauna range from 150-195 degrees. The user sits in the sauna for about 20 minutes and then has a cooling-off period of 10 minutes or so.
How does that differ from what happens in infrared saunas? Infrared saunas heat your body directly using an infrared heat source. They take around 20 minutes to preheat. The bather usually sits in the room for around 30 minutes.
If there is a certain part of the body you would like to focus the heat’s attention on, simply move that part of the body closer to the infrared heat source.
Infrared saunas produce maximum temperatures of 150 degrees and cannot create steam on their own like traditional saunas, but water can usually be poured over rocks located about the heat source to create a certain amount of steam.
Another benefit of infrared saunas is that they are 120 volt systems and use your regular household outlet voltage. That means they’re much easier to install at your home than traditional saunas, which work on the more powerful 220-volt system (just like household appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers).
Still, these systems typically require professional electrical installation, which can be a hassle for those of us on the go. They’re also quite expensive. Fortunately, there are lots of wellness spas that offer infrared saunas for day use. Search for one near you to give infrared light therapy a try.
3 red and infrared light therapy devices to try at home
You might want to try a red or infrared light therapy device that’s easy for you to use both at home and while traveling. Here are some you might like.
- Infrarex Infrared Light Therapy Wand
This portable device is compact and easy to travel with. You can hold it up to where you’re experiencing pain, stiffness, or inflammation and it will work its magic!
- DPL Deep Penetrating Infrared Flex Pad Light Therapy System
For a pad that you can wrap around your arms, legs, shoulders, or back, try this infrared light therapy system. It’s comfortable and can reach a larger area of your body than a wand can.
- Rouge Essential Red Light Therapy for Larger Areas
If you want to use red light therapy every day to promote overall healing and wellness, this is a great red light lamp for you to use. Just turn it on while you read or relax in the evenings and make it part of your daily routine.
Have you tried red or infrared light therapy before? It is one of the things I love that keeps me feeling healthy. Let me know what you think. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram so you won’t miss any of the awesome new health treatments I try!
XO – Serena