12 Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy: Infrared Saunas, Lamps + More

by Global Viewpoint
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Wondering why there’s so much hype around infrared light therapy? Curious about the health benefits of infrared light? Here’s everything you need to know about infrared light and how it affects the mind and body.

In recent years, there has been a major trend towards natural and holistic health interventions versus pills and medications. One of these creative solutions in the health and wellness space is infrared light therapy. Also known as photobiomodulation, this is a type of therapy that involves exposing the skin or body to low levels of near-infrared or far-infrared light. It works wonders, and you’ll soon see why.

Unlike ultraviolet (UV) light which can cause damage to the skin, infrared light boosts cell regeneration. During this therapy, the infrared light is directly distributed to the area of inflammation or injury at specific wavelengths, enhancing cell repair.

One reason infrared light therapy is a preferred tool for pain and inflammation is because it can penetrate the deep skin layers, enhancing effectiveness. Also, infrared light is painless, natural, non-invasive, and safe. As a result, most practitioners advocate for infrared light therapy and associate it with various health advantages.

Whether you’re a practitioner or a patient, you’ll have lots to gain by incorporating infrared saunas and lamps into your wellness regimen. Here is everything you need to know about the benefits of infrared light therapy.

The best benefits of infrared light for all types of people
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What is infrared light therapy?

To understand infrared light therapy, we first must understand what infrared light is all about.

Infrared light is a type of radiant energy that lies just beyond the red end of the visible light spectrum. In practical terms, infrared light is the heat felt by humans when exposed to sunlight. It’s the stuff of superheroes and spy movies, as it can penetrate through fog, clouds, and even some solid objects, revealing what’s hidden to the naked eye.

Infrared light has a wavelength that’s longer than visible light, but shorter than microwaves. It’s a fascinating phenomenon that has a wide range of practical applications, from remote controls, to thermal imaging cameras, to night vision goggles. And of course…biohacking! Now that we understand infrared light, let’s cover the therapy behind it.

Infrared light therapy is a therapeutic technique that utilizes the power of infrared light to improve overall health and well-being. It’s mainly used by patients with chronic or acute pain, but it’s also used for skin rejuvenation, cardiovascular health, detoxification, and general wellness.

Imagine a warm, comforting light that penetrates deep into your tissues, soothing your aches and pains as it goes. That’s exactly what infrared light therapy does! The therapy works by emitting infrared light into the body, which is absorbed by the tissues and converted into heat energy. This heat energy stimulates blood flow, reduces pain and inflammation, and promotes the healing of damaged tissues.

Red light and infrared light have profound benefits on the body
Red light and infrared light have profound benefits on the body

Red vs. infrared light

Though often used interchangeably, there is a difference between red light and infrared light therapy. Red light therapy refers to the use of visible red light with a wavelength of 630-660 nanometers, while infrared light therapy refers to the use of invisible light with a wavelength longer than 700 nanometers.

Infrared light can be broadly categorized into three types: near infrared (NIR), mid-infrared, and far infrared.

How near infrared (NIR) affects the body

Near infrared (NIR) refers to the portion of the infrared spectrum with a wavelength between 700-1400 nanometers. It is closest to visible light on the spectrum and is often considered the “gentlest” form of infrared light therapy. NIR light is well-tolerated by the human body and has been shown to have a range of therapeutic benefits, including improved circulation, reduced inflammation, and enhanced cellular function. NIR light therapy is often used for conditions affecting the skin, such as fine lines and wrinkles, and for promoting overall cellular health and wellness.

How far infrared (FIR) affects the body

Regular infrared, also known as far infrared (FIR), refers to the portion of the infrared spectrum with a wavelength between 1400-1000000 nanometers. This type of infrared light is deeper-penetrating and is often considered the “most therapeutic” form of infrared light therapy. FIR light is known for its ability to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and enhance healing, and is often used for conditions affecting the muscles and joints, such as arthritis and muscle pain.

Benefits of red light and infrared light

Both red light and infrared light have therapeutic benefits and can be used to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and enhance healing. However, the deeper-penetrating infrared light is often considered more effective for treating deeper tissues, such as muscles and joints, while red light therapy is typically used for conditions affecting the skin and surface tissues.

It’s also worth noting that some red light therapy devices may include both red and infrared light, offering the benefits of both types of therapy in one device. In any case, the type of light therapy that is best for you will depend on your specific needs and goals.

History of infrared light therapy

Let’s start by introducing a brief history of light therapy.

One of the earliest known references to the use of heat for therapeutic purposes can be found in ancient Egyptian medical texts, which suggest the use of warm baths and heating pads to treat various ailments. In ancient Greece, the famous physician Hippocrates wrote about the healing benefits of exposure to the sun, and Roman bathhouses were famous for their use of hot springs and steam rooms for therapy and relaxation.

However, it wasn’t until the late-19th century that the science behind infrared light therapy began to take shape. In the 1860s, a German scientist named Herschel discovered that the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum had therapeutic properties, and he used infrared lamps to treat a variety of conditions, including rheumatism and respiratory diseases.

In the early 20th century, advances in technology allowed for the development of more sophisticated forms of infrared therapy. This includes the use of infrared lamps and heating pads. These early forms of therapy laid the foundation for the development of modern infrared light therapy, which utilizes cutting-edge technology and techniques to deliver safe, effective, and non-invasive therapy to patients.

Infrared light exposure is a great wellness resource
Infrared light exposure is a great wellness resource

How does infrared light therapy work?

Infrared light therapy enables people to exploit the advantages of the sun without exposing themselves to ultraviolet (UV) rays. It works by penetrating the inner skin layers approximately 2-7 cm deep. The light can reach bones, nerves, joints, tissues, and muscles deep below the skin. It is then absorbed by the body and converted into heat energy, stimulating blood flow and reduces pain and inflammation.

One of the coolest things about infrared light therapy is how it works on a cellular level. The increased blood flow and heat energy stimulates the cells in your body, helping to promote the healing of damaged tissues and reduce inflammation. This can be especially beneficial for those suffering from chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or even injuries from sports or accidents.

Infrared light therapy is also non-invasive, meaning there’s no need for any needles or incisions. And because it’s pain-free and has no known side effects, it’s a great option for people of all ages and health levels.

Best infrared light products on the market

Looking to take your health and wellness game to the next level? Here are some infrared light therapy products that I highly recommend adding to your toolkit:

1. InfraGlow Red Light Lamp

This infrared lamp is a total game changer
This infrared lamp is a total game changer

This red light lamp is one of the best infrared light therapy devices, hands down. It uses red light therapy to promote healing, reduce pain, and enhance skin health. This lamp emits deep-penetrating red light that stimulates cell rejuvenation and helps to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and boost collagen production. The InfraGlow NIR is very portable, compact, and cheap – making it a must-have in the biohacking space.

2. LifePro Infrared Sauna Blanket

Infrared sauna blankets are the way to go
Infrared sauna blankets are the way to go

This innovative device packs all the heat-generating power of a traditional sauna into a compact, portable blanket that you can use in the comfort of your own home. It uses advanced infrared technology to generate deep, penetrating heat that soothes sore muscles, promotes circulation, and helps you detoxify your body. The LifePro Infrared Sauna Blanket is super compact, portable, and relatively inexpensive.

3. UTK Infrared Heating Pad

Heating pad for lower back pain
UTX is a top-of-the-line infrared heating pad

The UTK Heating Pad for Lower Back Pain Relief is an infrared device that delivers deep, targeted heat therapy to the lower back. With its extra-large 55-inch size, smart controller, and fast heating capabilities, you won’t find a better biohacking tool for back pain on the market. It’s cheap, easy to use, and hot enough to be effective.

4. SereneLife At-Home Infrared Sauna

Portable infrared saunas are getting popular in the biohacking space
Portable infrared saunas are getting popular in the biohacking space

The SereneLife Portable Full Size Infrared Home Spa is an all-in-one solution for infrared light therapy. This device combines a full-sized sauna, an infrared lamp, and a therapeutic essential oil diffuser, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of heat therapy, red light therapy, and aromatherapy all in one convenient package.

5. LifePro Red Light Therapy Belt

An infrared light therapy solution that benefits the mind and body
An infrared light therapy solution that benefits the mind and body

The Lifepro Red Light Therapy Belt is a powerful and versatile tool for harnessing the benefits of infrared light therapy. This adjustable belt can be used to target specific areas of pain and inflammation. Whether you’re dealing with sore muscles, joint pain, or simply looking to enhance your overall wellness, this product is a convenient and effective way to biohack your health with the power of light therapy.

Top 13 benefits of infrared light therapy

In recent years, scientific studies have proven that infrared therapy is beneficial to our health. Here are the top health benefits associated with infrared light therapy.

1. Reduces inflammation and pain

For many, this is one of the best infrared light benefits.

Infrared light therapy works by emitting deep-penetrating light that stimulates the body’s natural healing processes. As studies show, the light energy increases blood flow and oxygenation to the affected area, which helps to reduce inflammation and promote the healing of damaged tissue. This increased circulation also helps to relieve pain by carrying away waste products and delivering fresh nutrients to the affected area.

In addition, this deep-penetrating light also stimulates the production of pain-fighting endorphins and helps to modulate the immune system, both of which can reduce inflammation and pain.

Many people often take NonSteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help relieve swelling and pain. However, these drugs often cause several side effects, including dizziness, allergic reactions, drowsiness, and headaches. So instead, consider infrared light therapy – a more natural and holistic solution that can effectively and safely relieve inflammation and pain.

Inflammation reduction is one of the best near infrared light therapy benefits
Inflammation reduction is one of the best near infrared light therapy benefits

2. Improves cardiovascular health

According to the CDC, approximately 697,000 people die of cardiovascular (heart) diseases every year in the U.S. This accounts for one in every five deaths. While there are many lifestyle and environmental factors that contribute to this condition, infrared light can help.

Infrared light therapy has been shown to have a significant impact on cardiovascular health by promoting better circulation, oxygenation, and blood flow. The deep-penetrating light energy stimulates the production of nitric oxide, a powerful vasodilator that helps to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow. This improved circulation helps to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the heart, while carrying away waste products and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, the heat generated by infrared light therapy can help to improve circulation and reduce stiffness in the cardiovascular system, which can be especially beneficial for those dealing with conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

Whether you’re looking to enhance your cardiovascular health or simply looking for a safe and effective way to maintain a healthy heart, infrared light therapy is a powerful tool for boosting cardiovascular wellness. Add this along with red light therapy to your wellness regimen – it’s a game changer for sure!

3. Repairs muscles and cells

Researchers have found that infrared therapy helps to improve muscle recovery and repair.

The deep-penetrating light energy increases blood flow and oxygenation to the affected area, providing essential nutrients and removing waste products. This improved circulation also helps to reduce inflammation and promote the healing of damaged tissue. Additionally, the heat generated by infrared light therapy can help to relax tight and sore muscles, promoting flexibility and reducing the risk of injury.

At a cellular level, infrared light therapy has been shown to increase the production of cellular energy (ATP), which is essential for cellular function and repair. The increased energy levels can help to accelerate the healing process and improve overall cell health. Infrared light therapy also helps to enhance collagen production, which is important for the structure and strength of connective tissue, and can help to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. Is this one of the best near infrared benefits? Absolutely!

4. Helps detoxify the body

This is one of the most well-known benefits of infrared light.

Infrared light therapy has a powerful effect on the body’s natural detoxification processes. Numerous studies have shown that when infrared light is absorbed by the skin, it triggers an increase in blood flow and circulation. This helps to flush out harmful toxins and waste products from the body.

Additionally, infrared light therapy treatments like infrared saunas help to detox the body by increasing the core temperature. It works by stimulating the sweat glands, producing a more intense and effective sweat response compared to traditional sweating methods. It is important to note that upwards of 15-20% of the sweat produced by infrared light is made up of toxins. As a result, it facilitates cellular-level body detoxification, which improves the overall function of the lymphatic system. This includes the elimination of toxins, heavy metals, and other impurities in the body.

Infrared saunas have a host of infra red light benefits
Infrared saunas have a host of infra red light benefits

5. Possibly treats cancer

Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases globally, claiming about 10 million lives in 2020. To date, there is no definitive cure for any cancer type. However, several treatments can potentially cure cancer, including chemotherapy.

Although research is still ongoing, some researchers believe that integrating infrared light in nanoparticle activation creates a hazardous substance, which can be applied to kill surrounding cancer-spreading cells. The idea has been converted into a treatment known as photoimmunotherapy. This treatment utilizes infrared light therapy to activate the selective and rapid killing of cancer-causing cells.

What is photoimmunotherapy (PIT), and how does it use infrared light?

Photoimmunotherapy is an oncological solution that combines photodynamic tumor therapy with immunotherapy to treat cancer.

The following study on photoimmunotherapy and infrared light application was engineered by Dr. Hisataka Kobayashi. He developed the near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT) approach to treating cancer. Here’s how it works:

This technique involves using a particular antibody chemically bonded to the photo-absorbing molecule. This molecule, identified as IR700, can absorb a specific wavelength of light in the near-infrared spectrum. The near-infrared light activates the combination of the antibody and photo-absorbing molecule only when it is bound to the target molecule. When the photo-absorbing-antibody combination is injected, it attaches to the cancer-causing cells.

Looking to better understand this NIR red light therapy benefit? You can find the full report on how the NIR-PIT cancer treatment works on the National Cancer Institute website.

Red light therapy can help treat serious medical conditions like cancer
Red light therapy can help treat serious medical conditions like cancer

6. Improves quality of sleep

Infrared light therapy has been shown to have a positive impact on the quality of your sleep. The therapy works by promoting the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and helps to promote deeper, more restful sleep.

In addition to promoting the production of melatonin, infrared light therapy also helps to lower cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress and anxiety. When cortisol levels are elevated, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, which can lead to a variety of sleep-related issues. By lowering cortisol levels, infrared light therapy helps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, allowing you to fall asleep and stay asleep more easily.

Why is better sleep important?

You may be wondering why improved sleep quality achieved through infrared light therapy is important. According to Healthline, getting a night of good sleep is essential for your health. It helps you in several ways, including:

  • Improves your productivity and concentration
  • Helps you lose or maintain weight
  • Strengthens your heart
  • Promotes a healthy body and immune system
  • Affects social and emotional interactions
  • Maximizes athletic performance

On the other hand, if the body cannot produce enough melatonin, one can suffer from deprived sleep quality, putting them at risk of various conditions. According to Cleveland Clinic, some dangers of long-term poor-quality sleep include:

  • Depression
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes

Short-term problems include:

  • Deteriorated alertness
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Increased likelihood of engaging in a car accident
  • Impaired memory
  • Feeling sleepy during the day, reducing productivity.

Practitioners advocate for infrared light therapy to help prevent sleep-related conditions affecting your overall wellness. By promoting better melatonin production, infrared light therapy can help restore and maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.

7. Infrared light therapy reduces stress

Stress has a significant impact on one’s overall health. Therefore, reducing stress is crucial to maintaining a healthy life and overall wellness.

Infrared light therapy has been shown to have a positive impact on stress levels in the body. The therapy works by promoting the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine, while reducing levels of stress hormones like cortisol.

Infrared light also stimulates the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. This increased circulation helps to improve oxygenation in the body, promoting feelings of relaxation and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

Researchers performed a study to test the impact of infrared light therapy on participants with type 2 diabetes. The results showed a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. These results suggest that infrared therapy is beneficial in controlling the human’s sympathetic nervous system, which deals with stress. Also, the study revealed that it can help those suffering from panic disorders and anxiety by promoting relaxation.

Light therapy reduces stress
Light therapy reduces stress

Effects of stress on your health

While stress may sound like a normal issue, it can cause significant effects on your health in various ways you may not realize. One may think sickness is to blame for all that annoying headache, decreased productivity, and frequent insomnia. However, stress may be the cause of all those symptoms. According to Mayo Clinic, stress affects people in three aspects: body, behavior, and mood. Here are the effects on each:

Effects on BodyEffects on BehaviorEffects on Mood
Chest painAngry outburstsAnxiety
Stomach problemsTobacco useAnger or irritability
Changes in sex driveFailing of exerciseDepression and sadness
HeadacheSocial isolationRestlessness
Fatigue and Sleep IssuesDrug misuseLack of focus or motivation
Muscle pain or tensionUnderreacting or overreactingFeeling overwhelmed

Therefore, stress can have detrimental effects on your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Using infrared light therapy can help you address and prevent these stress-related problems.

8. Strengthens immune system

Infrared light therapy has been shown to have a powerful impact on the immune system, helping to promote improved health and wellness. As mentioned above, the therapy works by increasing circulation and oxygenation in the body, thus delivering vital nutrients and oxygen to cells and tissues.

Infrared light boosts nitric oxide, a molecule that improves circulation and reduces inflammation. This increased circulation helps to support the immune system. Not only does it remove harmful toxins and waste products from the body, but it also supports the production of white blood cells.

White blood cells play a crucial role in the body’s immune system, acting as the front line of defense against illness and disease. Infrared light therapy has been shown to increase white blood cell count by promoting the production of cytokines, which are signaling molecules that help to activate the immune system and stimulate the production of white blood cells. Some recent studies have even shown that infrared light can counter inflammatory diseases like COVID-19.

Finally, infrared light therapy has been shown to have a powerful impact on the nervous system, promoting the release of endorphins and other feel-good chemicals that can help to reduce stress and boost the immune system. Is this one of the best infrared light benefits? 100%!

Boosting the immune system with infrared therapy
Boosting the immune system with infrared therapy

9. Infrared light therapy improves skin health and appearance

Infrared light therapy can work wonders for your skin. Studies show that the right amount of infrared light (determined by duration and wavelength) can cause a healing effect. It uses a special type of light that penetrates deep into the skin to stimulate cellular activity, increase circulation, and promote collagen production. This results in a healthier, clearer, and more youthful-looking complexion.

Infrared light therapy can also help to unclog pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin texture and tone. So, if you’re looking for a natural and non-invasive way to give your skin a boost, the benefits of infrared light therapy are definitely worth exploring!

Should you be worried about excessive exposure to infrared light during the therapy session?

While infrared light therapy can have many benefits for the skin, it’s important to remember that too much of a good thing can sometimes have negative effects. Excessive exposure to infrared light can cause skin irritation, redness, and even burning, especially if the skin is not properly protected. This is because the energy from the light heats up the skin, causing the blood vessels to dilate and increasing the risk of inflammation and damage to the skin cells.

Additionally, infrared light therapy should be used with caution in individuals with sensitive skin, those who have a history of skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea, and those who are taking certain medications that can make the skin more sensitive to light.

To minimize the risk of skin damage and negative side effects, it’s important to follow the recommended exposure time and to use high-quality, FDA-approved infrared light therapy devices. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the many benefits of infrared light therapy for the skin while avoiding any potential negative consequences.

10. Stimulates hair growth

Studies show that infrared therapy plays a crucial role in promoting the growth of human dermal papilla cells. These cells play a central role in regulating hair growth and cycling.

The study investigated the effects of various wavelengths of LED radiation on the escalation of cultured human dermal cells and the development of hair follicles in vitro. The results showed that infrared LED can hasten the growth of cells that regulate hair growth and cycling.

Moreover, infrared light therapy has shown to have a positive effect on stimulating hair growth by improving blood circulation and oxygenation in the scalp. This increased blood flow delivers essential nutrients to hair follicles, helping to strengthen and revitalize them.

The infrared light’s heat energy can also help to increase the production of collagen, which is crucial for maintaining healthy hair. Overall, incorporating infrared light therapy into your hair care routine can help to enhance the overall health of your scalp and hair, leading to increased growth and thicker, fuller locks.

11. Improves bone recovery

If you want strong and healthy bones, you’ll be pleased by this benefit of infrared light.

Infrared light therapy has been shown to have a positive impact on bone recovery, particularly in the healing of fractures and reducing inflammation in conditions such as osteoarthritis. This is due to the ability of infrared light to increase circulation, reduce inflammation, and stimulate cellular metabolism.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Research found that exposure to infrared light therapy improved the healing of fractures in rats, with faster callus formation and improved mechanical strength. Another study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases found that infrared therapy was effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. These findings indicate that infrared light therapy can be a valuable tool in aiding in the recovery of bones and reducing the symptoms of conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Additionally, in a study published in the Journal of Photobiology and Photochemistry, researchers examined the potential of infrared light and red-light therapy (RLT) in treating defects in facial bones. The results from the study showed that infrared light and RLT can hasten the healing process after treating facial bone defects. The researcher further noted that RLT and infrared therapy can help minimize pain and inflammation during the healing process.

Infrared light heals the bones
Infrared light heals the bones

12. Improves acne

Not only does infrared light benefit the skin (generally), it can also be used to help treat acne.

Infrared light therapy works by using specific wavelengths of light to penetrate deep into the skin and reduce inflammation, which is a key factor in acne development. The heat from the light also stimulates blood flow, helping to bring oxygen and nutrients to the affected area and promoting healing. Clinical studies have shown that regular infrared light therapy can significantly reduce the severity of acne and improve skin appearance.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the use of infrared in acne treatment has even been supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This makes it one of the top benefits of infrared light on the skin.

So if you’re struggling with acne, consider giving infrared light therapy a try for a natural and effective solution.

Risks of infrared light therapy

Infrared light therapy is a natural, non-invasive, and safe solution that helps your body in various ways. However, there are no specific set guidelines regarding how strong or long infrared light should be applied. Also, given that infrared light therapy has only been around a short time, the long-term safety record has yet to be determined. As such, there is a possibility of adverse effects from its use.

To ensure safe and effective use of infrared light therapy, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. This includes setting the appropriate distance between the light source and the skin, using the recommended exposure time, and avoiding direct eye exposure. It is also recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using infrared light therapy, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and skin sensitivities or you are pregnant.

Signs that you may be experiencing side effects of infrared light therapy

Side effects of infrared light effects are rare. In fact, most clinical trials do not observe them. However, like any other health-related therapy, there is always the possibility of side effects. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience the following symptoms after an infrared light therapy session:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Hives
  • Increasing inflammation
  • Rash

6 tips to improve infrared therapy sessions

People go to infrared therapy for various reasons. Like any other wellness session, the effectiveness of infrared therapy sessions varies depending on how well one prepares themselves for the session. Enhancing infrared light’s therapeutic benefits is not always about entering inside the sauna cabin and relaxing there for several minutes, and walking out.

These tips can help people maximize the therapeutic benefits of infrared sauna and other heat and light therapy sessions.

1. Start with a workout

One way to get the body ready for an infrared sauna session is by getting the blood pumping fast. Revisiting an exercise routine and performing any of the following activities can help you:

  • Go for a light gym session. It can involve jogging slowly on a bike, rower, or treadmill
  • Do some intentional stretching or yoga
  • Perform a plank workout as it helps strengthen your abs, glutes, shoulders, and legs. Alternatively, do resistance training with gear like weighted vests.
Outdoor workouts are the way to go
Outdoor workouts are the way to go

2. Take a soothing shower to get the most benefits from infrared light

For effective infrared light therapy sessions in a sauna, cleanliness is crucial. As such, it’s recommended to take a shower before doing it. In particular, I recommend taking cold showers, as they have many health benefits and also prevent you from drying out the skin.

Rinse off every part of your body and thoroughly wash the body to clean any possible dirt, sweat, and makeup. Makeup and any product with sunscreen can block some of the light, limiting the session’s effectiveness. Make sure you clean any chemicals that may block your skin pores. Also, showering eliminates potentially unpleasant smells in the sauna, which may stop you and others from enjoying the experience.

3. Drink water before an infrared light therapy session

New infrared light therapy users often make the mistake of not drinking adequate water before the session. Infrared saunas, for example, are designed to increase the body temperature. Since you’ll be sweating while you’re in there, hydration beforehand is crucial.

While sweating helps your body remove dangerous toxins through the skin pores, excessive sweating can leave one feeling nauseous and exhausted. Therefore, practitioners advocate for one to take more water than usual before going for infrared light therapy sessions to prevent possible dehydration. This is a best practice for athletic recovery, so it’s a good idea to hydrate for many purposes beyond infrared light therapy.

Also, do not drink alcohol before an infrared light therapy session. Drinking wine, spirits, beer, or any other alcoholic drink makes one’s kidneys and liver work more, thus leading to dehydration.

4. Do not eat immediately before your infrared light therapy session

People often feel the urge to eat after the workout to prepare for an infrared therapy session. However, it’s better to wait until afterwards.

Practitioners demonstrate that when exposed to infrared lights, their blood circulation improves, increasing the flow of amino acids, oxygen, and glucose. When this occurs, the body concentrates on distributing the nutrients throughout the body, potentially delaying digestion. This focus shift may lead to one feeling nausea while in the therapy session. If you have to eat, only have a light meal or snack.

5. Take a cold shower after your infrared therapy session

After the intense infrared sauna session, the skin pores are open after releasing sweat and possible toxins from the body. A cold shower will be a great way to clean yourself and prevent the reabsorption of the released toxins. Also, scrubbing yourself using a loofah will be a great idea to help remove dead skin from your body.

Cold immersion has many health benefits on its own. So, it’s recommended to take cold showers or ice baths regularly as part of a wellness regimen. I’ve been doing cold plunges the past couple of years and it’s had many positive affects on my physical and mental well-being.

6. Be consistent with your infrared therapy

To unlock the full benefits of infrared light therapy, consistency is key. Missing therapy sessions can reduce the effectiveness of this method. Luckily, various tools can help you maintain consistency. For instance, you can set reminders and alarms to remind you when it is time to go for an infrared light therapy session. While you may find it hard to be consistent at first, it will be easy to follow your routine once you adopt it.

The advantage of using at-home infrared light therapy devices is that one can use them daily without spending the extra bucks that professionals charge. However, if you never use the device, you won’t be able to attain the health benefits of infrared light.

According to Healthline, many facilities recommend going for 3-4 infrared sauna sessions per week. However, if one is healthy and can tolerate the 4 days, they can have daily sessions, as it is safe and natural.

Consistency is key when doing infrared saunas
Consistency is key when doing infrared saunas

Infrared light therapy cost

The cost of infrared light therapy sessions varies widely depending on various factors. Some factors include the type of procedure one prefers, location, and the provider. However, most infrared therapy sessions can cost between $25 and $200 plus per session. These therapy sessions can take up to months for effective results.

On the other hand, at-home infrared light therapy devices can cost as low as $150 to thousands of dollars. The price of these devices depends on the quality, size, and other features. These devices are available in various online stores, including Amazon.

Currently, many insurance policies and companies do not cover infrared light therapy. However, some dermatologists may provide this service. The insurance plan offers guidance on the available benefits and cost factors.

Advantages and disadvantages of infrared light therapy

Here are the pros and cons of infrared light therapy as it relates to other medical treatments.


  • It is entirely natural.
  • The treatment is painless
  • It doesn’t involve the use of drugs
  • No chemicals are required.
  • It can be done at home
  • It is safe for all types of skin
  • Infrared therapy has minimal side effects.

Disadvantages of infrared light therapy:

  • It requires multiple treatment sessions
  • Some people experience better results than others
  • It is not encouraged for those taking certain medications or with photosensitivity
  • One must continue with the therapy to maintain results

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on infrared light therapy

Here are some common questions (and answers) about infrared light therapy benefits, as well as NIR red light therapy.

How long should an infrared light therapy session last?

There are no established guidelines on how long an infrared light session should last. However, practitioners typically recommend sessions between 10 and 20 minutes. Also, it’s advised that one should start with shorter sessions to determine how long they can last in those sessions and help the skin adjust. As you get used to it, you can go for longer sessions.

Infrared therapy sessions will vary depending on the device and tool
Infrared therapy sessions will vary depending on the device and tool

How do I safely use at-home infrared light devices?

Upon purchasing your infrared light device, you need to test how your body reacts to its light sensitivity. Perform a baseline test to ensure it doesn’t hurt you. Although adverse reactions to infrared light therapy are rare, as per Mayo Clinic, it may have minimal side effects. These effects occur because each person’s skin reacts differently to infrared light.

Before using your newly-bought infrared light device, test it on your forearm for three minutes. If you don’t see any reaction within 24 hours, continue with regular infrared light therapy treatment.

Can infrared light therapy lead to skin cancer?

Many home infrared light therapy devices are designed to manage pain, inflammation, acne, or skincare. Since it does not use ultraviolet light, which often increases skin cancer vulnerability and premature aging, it is not known to cause skin cancer. Also, infrared light therapy is FDA-cleared, meaning it is safe to manage various medical conditions.

Is tracking progress necessary in infrared light therapy?

The best way to stay motivated in infrared light therapy is to maintain a record of your progress. Take videos or photos before starting the therapy and when you start using this treatment. Retake the picture of the area you are treating from the same angle in specific intervals (once a week or monthly). While the transformation may take a while, these pictures will clearly portray your progress, encouraging you to continue with the therapy.

When should I expect to see results?

The worst mistake you can make is expecting an immediate cure or results from infrared light therapy. This therapy is a process that requires dedication and patience. You need to be consistent and observe the routine for a while. Even if you are not seeing any outcome after 30 days, experts say that a lot of progress may be happening at the cellular level. Therefore, you need to be patient with infrared light therapy to achieve better results.

Who can use infrared light therapy?

Infrared light therapy is considered safe for use by nearly anyone. However, pregnant women and people with underlying conditions like photosensitivity should seek professional advice from their healthcare providers before trying infrared light therapy.

Pretty much everybody can benefit from red and near infrared light therapy
Pretty much everybody can benefit from red and near infrared light therapy

Reaping the benefits of infrared light therapy in 2023

Hope you enjoyed reading this round-up of the top health benefits for infrared light therapy and saunas! Have you ever tried using infrared saunas or infrared light devices? Let me know on Instagram or in the comments below.

As you’re probably aware, there are many ways to treat different health conditions. Some involve drugs or medication, which treat the symptoms (not the root cause) and may have far-reaching consequences in the long run. Infrared light therapy, on the other hand, is a holistic solution that can help address various conditions, including acne, arthritis, depression, and more. Since it is an FDA-approved solution and a natural solution, infrared light therapy is safe and has minimal side effects.

Do not always go for medications – instead, try natural ways of maintaining and improving health. These solutions are safer and can be more effective in the long run.

Infrared light benefits everyone who comes in contact with it
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Looking for more alternative treatments and modalities to incorporate into your self-case routine? Read below:

– Top Benefits of Earthing Barefoot

– Why You Should Practice Cold Water Immersion

– Best Cold Tubs on Sale in 2023

– Health Benefits of Vibrational Sound Healing

– Discovering the Inner Journey of Wellness + Healing

– Edge Tub Ice Bath Review

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