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Health Benefits of Far Infrared Rays

Updated on August 25, 2011

What are Far Infrared Rays?

Infrared rays are waves of light beyond the visible spectrum. Infrared rays have been used for a number of applications such as night vision goggles and thermal imaging. There are three basic types of infrared rays – short, medium and far. Of these 3 types the least is known about far infrared rays. Except for some large lasers used for identifying agents used in chemical warfare not much has been done with far infrared rays. That is until the last few years.

There has been a minor explosion of interest in far infrared rays. This interest has largely been created by the ‘wellness’ and ‘holistic’ industries. Now several wellness centers showcase far infrared ray saunas and other treatments.

Far infrared rays (FIR) are found in sunlight. The rays are also produced by humans and animals. They are a radiant form of heat energy which works through conversion. This is a process where the medium (normally air) is not heated. Although you can get far infrared rays from the sun it is dangerous to sunbathe for too long because sunlight also contains damaging ultra violet light.

Many traditional Chinese therapies that use heat also draw on the supposed benefits of the heat from far infrared rays.

Health Benefits of Far Infrared Rays

There has been a number of research papers published on the health benefits of far infrared rays. As with so many New Age discoveries there seems to be no end to the marvelous properties of far infrared rays. Here is a list of some of the things that it is claimed far infrared rays can do for people:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase oxygen in the blood stream
  • Accelerate the rejuvenation of damaged skin cells
  • Unclog skin pores that have long been closed
  • 30 minutes of exposure to far infrared rays can ‘burn’ off 600 to 2,400 calories
  • Raise the white blood cell count that helps to improve the immunity system’s ability to fight disease
  • Bring relief to people suffering from arthritis, muscle spasms ad stiff joints
  • Break down cellulite (trapped water and fat in the body)
  • Help to prevent coronary heart disease and hyper tension
  • Help to treat dermatological problems
  • Detoxify the body of a number of poisons including heavy metals
  • Relieve nervous tension and relax autoneuro muscles
  • Treat cancer
  • Cure acne

These are pretty amazing claims to make for ‘light’. Here are some sources for these claims.

1) NASA in the 1980s did various experiments with astronauts and how to keep them healthy during long periods in space. They concluded that far infrared ray stimulation of cardiovascular function helped to maintain a healthy heart.
2) Traditional ideas from Chinese medicine use ‘heat’ to treat a wide variety of medical conditions.
3) Dr. Sasaki Kyuo, M.D from Japan has done experiments showing that exposure to far infrared rays helps to increase white blood counts and to fight cancer. She explains her case in her book: The Scientific Basis and Therapeutic Benefits of Far Infrared Ray Therapy.

Bamboo Charcoal emits Far Infrared Rays

To benefit from far infrared rays you can just stand outside and receive them for free from the sun, although over-exposure to ultraviolet light is a problem. The Japanese have developed a far infrared hothouse or ‘sauna’ that is a semi circular band that can be placed over the parts of the body that need treatment. These far infrared saunas can be found in wellness centers around the world.

Interestingly enough, bamboo charcoal emits far infrared rays. Bamboo charcoal is made from a natural and renewable resource and could prove to be one of the best sources of far infrared rays in the future. However, far infrared rays only travel 1 mm to 5 mm so it is not enough to place a few pieces of bamboo charcoal around the house and hope to reap the medical benefits of far infrared rays. Bamboo charcoal can be incorporated into a layer of clothing. Another option is to put bamboo charcoal into a mattress or futon so that a person can receive the healing ‘light of life’ while they sleep.

Finally, it should be noted that master practitioners of Reiki healing and Chi Gong masters were found in experiments to give off far infrared rays during their healing therapies.

If you are suffering from any of the medical conditions mentioned above perhaps you should look into how far infrared rays can help you.

Far Infrared Ray Hothouse

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