The Health Benefits of Far Infrared Therapy

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on
Infrared Sauna

Far Infrared therapy (FIR) involves the use of Far Infrared rays to gently heal, soothe, stimulate and detox the physical body, as well as the mind.

Far Infrared Rays are invisible waves of energy that have the ability to penetrate all layers of the human physical body, penetrating into the inner-most regions of the tissues, muscles and bone.

An ancient technique, Far Infrared Therapy uses these waves, or rays, of energy to slightly elevate the surface temperature of the body. When we slightly induce a very small temperature increase, we can enhance our body’s functioning on multiple levels. Our hands, bodies and the sun emit FIR energy at all times. In Ancient China, palm healing was used to pass these infrared rays from one person to another.

In modern times, it is commonly referred to as Reiki. The Yogis of Ancient India also used FIR in palm healing, and particularly found it useful to place palms over the eyes in the case of eye dryness or strain. Many types of thermal healing have been used in ancient civilizations including Japan, China, India, the Americas, Northern Europe and ancient Rome.

Far Infrared Health Benefits

I am a huge proponent of using Far Infrared as an aid in detoxification. In my practice, I have found that this type of therapy may help in fat loss, chronic fatigue [1], water retention, skin disorders, as well as in the elimination heavy metals, poisons, and carcinogenic material from our bodies.

Whenever we process food, and particularly when we have processed unhealthy food or meats, our bodies create lactic acids and free fatty acids, as well as excess sodium and uric acid. In my patients who have skin problems, I have often found that this type of therapy can help clean the liver and kidneys, instead of overworking the skin in processing our toxins out through the dermis.

Far Infrared therapy very gently increases blood flow [2] by expanding the capillaries that carry blood. It also increases oxygenation and regeneration of the blood, deeply detoxifying it for the improved functioning of all of the major organs in the body, which depend on blood for energy. This detoxification is on the deepest level, allowing hidden toxins in the blood and tissue to be dissolved or immobilized.

Through the subtle heating, Far Infrared boosts your immune system, increasing the amount of white blood cells and killer T-cells. It is an excellent therapy for promoting healing, reducing muscle soreness, muscle spasms and relief for rheumatoid arthritis [3]. Research by NASA has shown that far infrared on the cardiovascular system was a great way of keeping astronauts hearts’ in optimal condition.

Far Infrared can also increase the processing enzyme activity in our digestive tract, as well as boost metabolism. An hour of this therapy can burn up to 900 calories, showing excellent results in breaking down trapped fat, waste, cellulite and other forms of toxic substances. The rejuvenating effects of Far Infrared has been shown to help heal scar tissue such as burn scars, acne scars and other forms of dermatological scarring.

The sweating quality that comes from Far Infrared Therapy truly helps us detox from the enormous levels of pollution in modern times. It also is crucial for discomfort relief and the reduction of redness and swelling. Clinical studies done in both the United States, and in Japan, found, “Much of the stiffness, aches and soreness that comes with aging is reduced or eliminated” and, “Whole body far infrared heat relieved pain from burns and decreased healing time with less scarring.”

Heart studies done by The Mayo Clinic and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology [4] found that infrared sauna therapy significantly improved blood vessel functioning in high-cholesterol, diabetes and smoking patients. The therapy also was found to increase circulation, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and help in weight loss.

Far infrared saunas are available as units for your home and in spa settings for you to take advantage of these health benefits. Investing in a personal sauna is an investment to your long-term health and well-being. I also recommend using products at home that utilize the same far infrared technology to assist the body in detoxification. I formulated my Detox Foot Pads™ to contain amethyst and tourmaline gemstones for the benefit of releasing far infrared rays to promote the natural detoxification of chemicals, toxins, and toxic metals from your body while you sleep.

References (4)
  1. Masuda A, Kihara T, Fukudome T, Shinsato T, Minagoe S, Tei C. The effects of repeated thermal therapy for two patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. J Psychosom Res. 2005 Apr;58(4):383-7.
  2. Lin CC, Chang CF, Lai MY, Chen TW, Lee PC, Yang WC. Far-infrared therapy: a novel treatment to improve access blood flow and unassisted patency of arteriovenous fistula in hemodialysis patients. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2007 Mar;18(3):985-92. Epub 2007 Jan 31.
  3. Fredrikus G. J. Oosterveld, Johannes J. Rasker, Mark Floors, Robert Landkroon, Bob van Rennes, Jan Zwijnenberg, Mart A. F. J. van de Laar, Gerard J. Koel. Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Clinical Rheumatology. 2009 January 01. vol. 28 issue 1, pages 29-34 doi10.1007/s10067-008-0977-y.
  4. Kihara T, Biro S, Imamura M, et al. Repeated sauna treatment improves vascular endothelial and cardiac function in patients with chronic heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 March. 39(5):754-759. doi:10.1016/S0735-1097(01)01824-1.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Beeswax

    so, just out of curiosity, what is the difference between doing this and getting sun exposure each day?

  • Dr.Aniza Heidi

    The sun emits a lot of rays at different times and for different lengths of time. you’d be getting all of them both the good and bad.Increase risk of skin cancer would be a concern what more with the thining of the ozone and increase in free radicals and toxins in the air. Methods discussed in the article controls the type of rays and duration of exposure. Try beautiful corset a product by Hai-o. it has ceremide incoperated into the fabric that emits infra red rays. i find it more then satisfactory.

  • Climestra

    I Loved Your Work!!! You Are Brilliant

  • Michael Alexander

    I have a friend who’s skirt caught fire, she has some burns on her leg and hands. I have heard that treatment in an infrared sauna would help her, is this true? Is there documentation about this? Is it proven? I don’t want to get her hopes up if it is not. Many thanks

  • It may help. I would also apply an ozonated olive oil paste such as 02-zap to the area and cold laser would be another option.

    –Dr. G

  • Solarium

    Our company works with infrared saunas and we have at our salon too. When I started work, I was thinking that a lot of things about infrared sauna, it is just a fairy-tell. But after using a couple of times, I found it very useful. I can not imagine my life with out sauna anymore! I had a lot of problems which I reduces using sauna. One of this, it is a pain in muscles and back which I had doing professional sport ( running marathons). I also have better skin with out acnes. It is only after 5-6 months of regular using infrared sauna.
    It is a really great thing!

  • infrared therapy

    I feel amazing after a session and my skin has never felt so soft. It does give you all the benefits of excercising without the exhaustion! I had a conventional sauna in my house and turned it into a near infrared sauna by purchasing this unit

  • Chiang Lee Huei

    I am curious as to the effects of long-term use of FIR product by children? Example, sleeping on a FIR mattress throughout the night and for most days of the week? Would appreciate your advice very much.

  • shmuel wahli

    To whom it may concern.
    Regarding your site advocating far infrared technology for cancer treatment:
    I am seeking your recommendations of employing far infrared tech as part of continued treatments beyond chemotherapy. Do you have any studies of patients using far infrared with the diagnosis: non-hodgkins central nervous system lymphoma brain tumor. Would far infrared tech be recommended for the head and is there supportive records to support this technology for the brain?
    Today I had a review with Dr. Nattam, my oncologist, after 7 rounds of chemotherapy. While the report was good in showing further reduction of the mass, it was not good enough, and Dr. Nattam does not want to proceed without consultation with Dr. Dropcho at IU Medical. Hence, he has requested that I go to IU for a consultation as he does not know how to proceed further with treatment. While it appears that I have made progress toward complete remission, I am off from the zero mark, and Dr. Nattam does not want to take any chance of a reoccurrence due to the case studies of non-hodgkins central nervous system lymphoma brain tumors. The review by another oncologist associate, Dr. Babu, could not be supported by Dr. Nattam that the appearance of the remaining portion on the mri may be edema or a biopsy scar. Hence, I remain in faith for the final resolution of this matter, and I am seeking further means to eradicate the lymphoma in the brain. Thank you for your comments and any specific directives to employ your services and technology.
    Shmuel Wahli
    13531 US Hwy 24 E
    New Haven Indiana 46774

  • Deanna

    You may consider the nightly use of a biomat. I am finding amazing results personally. It uses Far Infrared, negative ions and amethyst to support the body’s healing process and invigorate the immune system. Search it and read about it to see what you think.

  • there many product named by Far Infrared for beauty and health. it is really safe for long-term use? what are the most dangerous adverse effect from that? it is safe enough for daily used?
    I ever read that there are such condition must not using FIR, there are: pregnancy, menstruation, acute illness, cardiovascular disease, and so on. I really need any suggestion for this. thank you.

  • grandmother

    What if you already have a basal cell skin cancer. Would this far infrared sauna be beneficial or not? Do you wear eye protection in one of these saunas?

  • Ann Bruce de Avila

    I recently has a “tissue guided partial knee replacement” involving metal and plastic implants. I have one of Dr. Clark’s far infrared heating pads which uses jade stones. I have developed low back pain as a result of my new body alignment and want to use the pad on my back. Will this in any way have a detrimental effect on my knee implants? I. would not use the pad on my knee.

  • guest

    Did you try the sauna and did it help?

  • I’ve been using low level light therapy and now some rudimentary infrared therapy for some advanced retinal conditions.. some very interesting results.. anybody want to chat with me about it? or your situation I’ll share what i’ve leared.

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  • Durlabh

    What intensity of FIR and length of time would be considered best for optimal health benefits? This will allow me to decide how best to choose proper FIR emitting devices for me. can anyone help?

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