Amazing Benefits of “Artificial Sunshine”
Have you ever stepped out into the sunshine and just felt good about the warmth on your skin? That’s infrared light. You can’t see infrared, but you can sure feel it.
You see, visible light – the reds, yellows, blues and other colors we can see – is just a tiny portion of the sun’s radiation. The sun also sends out ultra-violet (UV) rays – the burning rays that damage your skin – and infrared rays. In fact, infrared makes up about 80% of the sunlight that reaches us.
We’ve been told to avoid exposure to the sun because of the UV rays. But it turns out that infrared light – especially what’s called “far-infrared” – may boost your health in unexpected ways. Fortunately, you don’t have to expose yourself to damaging UV rays to get the benefit of infrared.
Infrared is on the opposite side of visible light from ultra-violet. And it doesn’t burn… it warms. Bombard something with infrared light, and it warms up. And when that “something” is your body, the benefits appear to be great. Especially when the infrared light is from the far end of the infrared band – called “far-infrared.”
Doctors at Japan’s Kogoshima University have been experimenting with far-infrared light for several years… and they’ve made some amazing discoveries.
In 2008, they reported that “Far-Infrared Therapy” (FIT) supported better heart function in patients with heart trouble.1
In 2009, the team summed up 5 years of follow-up with FIT patients. In this study, patients who used FIT were less than half as likely to have a second serious heart event as people who didn’t use FIT.2
Then, in 2010, members of the team published a study that showed that FIT patients show less damage from oxidative stress.3 In other words; far-infrared therapy appears to promote better antioxidant status in people with heart trouble.
Other studies show that FIT may benefit people with blood sugar problems, 4 kidney trouble, 5 and even sensitivities to pollen.6
FIT can be applied two ways. Far-infrared “saunas”, which provide whole-body exposure to far-infrared rays, are available. But they’re fairly expensive.
Chinese researchers have also had success applying FIT to “accupoints” – sensitive points on the body identified by traditional Chinese medicine. For example, they found that targeted FIT appears to help kidney patients deal with aches and a lack of energy.7
Both applications appear to be effective. But that’s not the end of the benefits. Here’s another way FIT may boost your health…
Researchers in Taiwan found that FIT promotes higher levels of serotonin – the “feel good” hormone – and lower levels of malondialdehyde (MDA).8
MDA is a marker doctors use to determine free radical damage. The less MDA, the less damage. Combined with higher levels of serotonin, this appears to say that FIT may not only promote better health, but greater happiness as well.
FIT is a fairly new therapy, but it’s promising – especially if you have concerns about heart health. I’ll be watching for developments… and I’ll keep you informed.
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Miyata M, et al. Beneficial effects of Waon therapy on patients with chronic heart failure: results of a prospective multicenter study. J Cardiol. 2008 Oct;52(2):79-85. Epub 2008 Aug 27.
2 Kihara T, et al. Waon therapy improves the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure. J Cardiol. 2009 Apr;53(2):214-8. Epub 2009 Jan 18.
3 Fujita S, et al. Effect of Waon Therapy on Oxidative Stress in Chronic Heart Failure. Circ J. 2010 Dec 14. [Epub ahead of print]
4 Beever R. The effects of repeated thermal therapy on quality of life in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jun;16(6):677-81.
5 Su LH, et al. Effects of far infrared acupoint stimulation on autonomic activity and quality of life in hemodialysis patients. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(2):215-26.
6 Hu KH and Li WT. Clinical effects of far-infrared therapy in patients with allergic rhinitis. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2007;2007:1479-82.
7 Su LH, et al. Effects of far infrared acupoint stimulation on autonomic activity and quality of life in hemodialysis patients. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(2):215-26.
8 Chang Y, et al. The effect on serotonin and MDA levels in depressed patients with insomnia when far-infrared rays are applied to acupoints. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(5):837-42.