What is Far Infra Red Therapy?
The initial discovery of the effectiveness of Far Infra Red rays (FIR) came through work by NASA to maintain the fitness of their astronauts during extended space missions. The requirement was to replicate the muscle toning and detoxifying effects of exercise for the astronauts during missions when physical exercise was impossible. Researchers recognised that sweating was one aspect key to these positive effects and they found that by exposing bodies to the right FIR radiation they could achieve the same health results without exercise. However, an exciting discovery came when it was understood that it is not necessary to sweat in order to achieve positive effects with a FIR sauna! This is really relevant to individuals dealing with chronic health problems who often are unable to sweat effectively!
FIR Therapy works because the billions of water molecules within the body will vibrate (resonate) when exposed to a certain frequency (or wavelength). The wavelength for this natural vibration is around 10 microns (a micron is a millionth of a metre) and the FIR spectrum includes waves of this length.
Cells that are exposed to 10 micron FIR waves resonate (i.e. become excited). In this condition they begin to release the toxins that have built up over many years of exposure to our modern environment. In fact this excitement causes the cell material to warm up and then the released toxins can be washed out. The displaced toxins can then either be removed via sweat, through the skin, via the intestines (in faeces), or via the lymphatic system (the body’s own detox system). Although sweating is the usual method of removal, it has been shown that even individuals unable to sweat still detoxify well using FIR, through other bodily fluids.
Conventional saunas use high temperatures in order to induce high levels of sweating (often greater than 80°c). Some individuals find the heat too difficult to tolerate, so FIR saunas provide a comfortable alternative. Since FIRS rely on using resonance (molecule excitation) more than general heating to produce the sweat, they typically run (and show best results) at much lower temperatures; between about 37°c and 50°c (100 -130°f). The FIR rays penetrate one to two inches into the subcutaneous layers. This activation triggers release of cell toxins at this level.
As the FIR detoxification progresses, the toxins in the outer fat layers will be dislodged first. The deeper ones will gradually move outwards and thence be expelled. The belief is that as the body frees up these ‘safe storage’ areas (i.e. likely to cause less damage to the individual than those lodged in more important places), it will cause the toxins stored in the ‘unsafe’ areas of the body (the deeper tissues, such as the internal organs and the brain) to migrate into the subcutaneous layers. As long as the FIR treatment continues, there they will be exposed to the 10 micron wavelengths and a virtuous cycle of detoxification is set up.