Infrared light therapy is a type of treatment that uses low levels of red or near-infrared light to help heal various parts of the body, including skin and muscle tissue. This therapy has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its potential benefits and minimal side effects.
Experts believe that infrared light therapy can help reduce inflammation, stimulate the production of collagen, and increase blood flow in the localized area.
It may also help with pain relief, wound healing, and even cancer treatment.
Infrared light therapy is considered a safe and non-invasive treatment option that can be used in combination with other therapies or on its own.
Despite its potential benefits, it is important to note that infrared light therapy is not a cure-all and may not work for everyone.
In this article, we will answer the question: What is infrared light therapy and we will explore everything you need to know about it, including how it works, its benefits and risks, and what to expect during a treatment session.
Understanding Infrared Light Therapy
What is Infrared Light Therapy: Definition
Infrared light therapy is a type of therapy that uses infrared light to penetrate the skin and provide therapeutic benefits.
It is a non-invasive, painless, and drug-free treatment that has been used for various conditions, including pain relief, wound healing, and skin rejuvenation.
How It Light Therapy Works
Infrared light therapy works by delivering light energy into the body’s tissues. The light energy is absorbed by the cells, which stimulates the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy source of cells.
This increased energy production helps to promote healing and reduce inflammation.
Infrared light therapy also promotes blood flow to the treated area, which helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. This increased blood flow can help to reduce pain and promote healing.
Types of Infrared Light Therapy
There are two (main) types of infrared light therapy: near-infrared and far-infrared.
Near-infrared therapy uses light with wavelengths between 700 and 1200 nanometers, while far-infrared therapy uses light with wavelengths between 3000 and 10,000 nanometers.
Near-infrared therapy (red light is categorized as near-infrared) is often used for skin rejuvenation, wound healing, and pain relief. Far-infrared therapy is often used for detoxification, weight loss, and relaxation.
Far-Infrared light therapy can be delivered through various devices, including handheld devices, light panels, and saunas. The treatment duration and frequency depend on the condition being treated and the device being used.
Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy
Infrared light therapy has been shown to have a variety of benefits for the body. Here are some of the most notable benefits:
1. Pain Management
Infrared light therapy can help alleviate pain in a variety of ways. It has been shown to increase circulation and reduce inflammation, which can help reduce pain and promote healing. 
It can also help relax muscles and improve range of motion, which can be especially helpful for people with chronic pain or injuries.
2. Skin Health
Infrared light therapy can also be beneficial for the skin. It has been shown to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as reduce the appearance of age spots and other discoloration. It can also help improve overall skin tone and texture. 
3. Improved Blood Circulation
Infrared light therapy can help improve circulation throughout the body. 
This can be especially helpful for people with circulatory issues, such as those with diabetes or peripheral artery disease. Improved circulation can also help promote healing and reduce inflammation.
4. Wound Healing
Red light therapy can accelerate the healing of wounds and injuries. 
It stimulates the production of collagen, a key protein in tissue repair, and promotes the growth of new, healthy skin cells. This makes it particularly valuable for individuals recovering from surgeries or dealing with chronic wounds.
5. Pain Relief for Arthritis
For individuals suffering from arthritis, red light therapy can provide relief by reducing joint pain and stiffness. By improving blood flow and reducing inflammation, it can enhance joint mobility and ease discomfort. 
6. Mood and Sleep Enhancement
Some studies suggest that red light therapy may have a positive impact on mood and sleep patterns. 
It can help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, potentially leading to better sleep quality and an improved overall sense of well-being.
7. Hair Growth
Red light therapy has been used to stimulate hair growth in individuals with conditions like androgenetic alopecia. It works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles and promoting the proliferation of hair cells. 
8. Muscle Recovery
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often turn to red light therapy to aid in muscle recovery. 
It can reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after intense workouts, allowing for quicker recuperation and better athletic performance.
9. Cognitive Function
There is emerging research indicating that red light therapy may have a positive impact on cognitive function. 
It is believed to promote neuroprotection and stimulate the production of neurotrophic factors that support brain health.
10. Pain Reduction in Fibromyalgia
Some individuals with fibromyalgia report relief from their chronic pain symptoms with red light therapy over a long period of time. 
It can help ease the widespread muscle pain associated with this condition.
These are some of the many benefits of Red Light Therapy. For the full list of science backed red light therapy benefits, click here.
Overall, infrared light therapy can be a safe and effective way to promote healing and improve overall health. However, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.
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Potential Side Effects of Infrared Light Therapy
While infrared light therapy is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. It is important to note that these side effects are typically mild and temporary.
1. Mild skin irritation
One of the most common side effects of infrared light therapy is mild skin irritation, such as redness or rash. This can occur when the skin is exposed to the heat generated by the therapy for extended periods of time. \
To avoid this, it is recommended to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as the skin becomes accustomed to the therapy.
Another potential side effect is dehydration. Infrared light therapy can cause the body to sweat, which can lead to dehydration if the individual does not drink enough fluids. It is important to stay hydrated before, during, and after the therapy session.
3. Burns or blisters
In rare cases, infrared light therapy can cause burns or blisters if the skin is exposed to the heat for too long or if the therapy device is placed too close to the skin.
To avoid this, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and to never use the therapy device on an area of the skin that is already irritated or injured.
4. Potentially to worsen some medical conditions
Finally, individuals with certain medical conditions, such as lupus or multiple sclerosis, should consult with their healthcare provider before using infrared light therapy. The therapy can potentially worsen these conditions or interact with certain medications.
Overall, while there are some potential side effects associated with infrared light therapy, they are typically mild and temporary.
As with any new therapy, it is important to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as the body becomes accustomed to the therapy.
How to Use Infrared Light Therapy
Infrared light therapy is a non-invasive and safe treatment that can be used at home or by professionals. Here are some tips on how to use infrared light therapy effectively.
Infrared light therapy devices are available for home use. These devices are easy to use and can be purchased online or at a local store. Here are some general guidelines for using infrared light therapy at home:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- Clean the device before and after each use.
- Position the device at the recommended distance from the skin.
- Use the device for the recommended amount of time.
- Use the device regularly for best results.
Infrared light therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions, such as pain, inflammation, and skin problems. You may want to check our article on 5 Best Red Light Therapy Beds For Home Use if you are serious on adding this treatment to your lifestyle.
Infrared light therapy is also available at professional clinics and spas. These treatments are typically more powerful and effective than home devices. Here are some general guidelines for using infrared light therapy professionally:
- Choose a reputable clinic or spa that specializes in infrared light therapy.
- Consult with a healthcare professional before undergoing treatment.
- Follow the therapist’s instructions carefully.
- Be prepared to remove clothing or wear specialized clothing during treatment.
- Be prepared to relax and remain still during treatment.
Professional infrared light therapy treatments can be expensive, but they may be covered by insurance in some cases. It is important to discuss the cost and insurance coverage with the clinic or spa before undergoing treatment.
infrared light therapy can be an effective and safe treatment option for a variety of conditions. Whether using a home device or undergoing professional treatment, it is important to follow instructions carefully and consult with a healthcare professional when necessary.
Choosing the Right Infrared Light Therapy Device
Infrared light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-level red or near-infrared light to promote healing and reduce pain.
There are several types of infrared light therapy devices available in the market, making it challenging to choose the right one.
This section will discuss the key features to consider and popular brands to help make an informed decision.
Key Features to Consider
When choosing an infrared light therapy device, there are several key features to consider:
- Wavelength: Infrared light therapy devices emit light at different wavelengths, and each wavelength has specific benefits. Red light therapy devices emit light at a wavelength of 630-700nm, while near-infrared light therapy devices emit light at a wavelength of 800-900nm. Combination devices emit both red and near-infrared light.
- Power Output: The power output of an infrared light therapy device is measured in milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm²). Higher power output devices can deliver more energy to the treatment area, but they can also cause skin damage if used incorrectly.
- Treatment Area: Infrared light therapy devices come in various sizes, and the treatment area depends on the size of the device. Handheld devices are suitable for treating small areas, while larger devices are ideal for treating the entire body.
- Ease of Use: Infrared light therapy devices should be easy to use, with clear instructions and intuitive controls. Some devices come with timers to ensure that the treatment time is consistent.
- Safety Features: Infrared light therapy devices should have safety features such as automatic shut-off and overheat protection to prevent skin damage.
There are several popular brands of infrared light therapy devices, including:
- Joovv: Joovv offers a range of red and near-infrared light therapy devices in various sizes. Their devices have high power output and are easy to use.
- Hooga: Hooga is among the highest rated brands on Amazon and their products receive constantly 4.5 stars and up. Plus, their devices cost are suitable for every family – even low income ones.
- Red Light Man: Red Light Man offers a range of red and near-infrared light therapy devices in various sizes. Their devices have a high power output and are designed to be used for longer treatment times.
- Mito Red Light: Mito Red Light offers a range of red and near-infrared light therapy devices in various sizes. Their devices have a high power output and come with a timer to ensure consistent treatment times.
- DPL: DPL offers a range of red and near-infrared light therapy devices in various sizes. Their devices are easy to use and come with safety features such as automatic shut-off.
When choosing an infrared light therapy device, it is essential to consider the key features and popular brands to make an informed decision.
Infrared light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses low levels of red or near-infrared light to penetrate the skin and promote healing and pain relief. It has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis, tendinitis, and muscle strain.
While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind infrared light therapy, current studies have shown promising results. Infrared light therapy is generally considered safe, with few reported side effects.
However, it is important to note that infrared light therapy should not be used as a replacement for traditional medical treatment. It is best used as a complementary therapy to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing.
If you are considering infrared light therapy, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if it is a suitable treatment option for your specific condition. Additionally, it is important to use a reputable and safe device, as improper use can lead to burns or other adverse effects.
Overall, infrared light therapy is a promising treatment option for those looking to alleviate pain and promote healing. With further research and development, it may become an even more widely used and effective therapy in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
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