What is Far Infrared?

Fibromyalgia sufferers are universally found to be malnourished, have lowered immune function, have one or more viral, fungal, bacterial infections (again almost always not detectable by orthodox means), and cannot detoxify their heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, aluminum etc. Therefore, Far-Infrared Radiant Therapy provides a safe, natural form of detoxification which is so very crucial for fibromyalgia patients.[8]

Saunas improve circulation and relieve internal congestion. Heating the body helps destroy bacteria, viruses and tumors. Sweating promotes elimination of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, radiation and other toxins. The skin's ability to eliminate poisons increases. Saunas offer many of the benefits of exercise while requiring much less exertion. [5]

The FIR energy emitted in these saunas may induce two or three times the sweat volume of conventional saunas, yet they operate at a much cooler air temperature range: about 110° to 130° F., compared with 180° to 235° F. in a conventional sauna. Many individuals who cannot tolerate a conventional sauna, steam room or sweat lodge will find FIR saunas pleasant. The lower heat range is also safer for those with cardiovascular risk factors or fragile health because lower temperatures don't dramatically elevate heart rate and blood pressure. [2]

A low body temperature impairs sweating. This hinders elimination and interferes with tissue regeneration. Supporting sluggish thyroid and adrenal glands helps, but is often not enough. By heating the body, saunas activate and enhance many metabolic processes. This is most beneficial for those with sluggish metabolism. [5]

Sweating is completely abolished by cooling the preoptic thermostat below about 37° C. (98.6° F.). This obviously causes evaporative cooling of the body to cease except for that resulting from insensible evaporation. [7]

Due to impaired metabolism, the person with CFS/FMS typically has a lower than normal core body temperature. This lower body temperature inhibits the body being able to sweat. If the body is unable to sweat, there is a greater load placed on the liver and kidneys to eliminate metabolic waste and toxins.

Far-infrared light penetrates beyond the skin level and is absorbed efficiently by cells below, whereas visible light is mostly bounced off the skin surface. Near-infrared is mostly absorbed at the skin level and raises the skin temperature. Far-infrared can penetrate up to 4 centimeters (about 1-1/2 inches), exciting the vibrational energy of molecules and resonating with cellular frequencies. We can't exactly perceive the deep heating effects of FIR, though, because our body's ability to sense heat is mainly at the skin level. Nonetheless, the effects of FIR rays promote bioprocesses such as increased metabolism and blood circulation, and can raise core body temperature. [2]

One study found that the sweat formed in conventional saunas is 95 to 97 percent water. In infra-red saunas, only 80 to 85 percent of the sweat is composed of water; the remaining 15 to 20 percent consists of cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, toxic heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia and uric acid. [4]

A typical sauna session will cause a brief 1 To 3F increase in body temperature. Fever is the body's defense against bacteria, microbes and consequent infection. This beneficial side effect triggers the production of white blood cells (leukocytes) by your bone marrow and killer T cell by your thymus. The result is Immune system improvement. [6]

The heaters in these IR Thermal Systems emit about one-third of their output in the middle infrared band, from 2 - 5.6 microns, for super-deep penetration and the other two-thirds in the long band, from 5.6 - 25 microns with that part of the output evenly spread around the 9.4 micron pivot point of peak human output. This distribution maximizes the higher penetration of the middle-band waves and combines them with the long waves that produce a resonant absorption amplification of healthy tissue output. The Chinese researchers consider the band from 2 - 25 microns as the most therapeutic. [1]

The above graph shows the range of infrared energy output by ceramic FIR heater elements. It is the minerals in the ceramic material that, when heated, emit FIR energy. The ceramic heaters radiate FIR energy in the spectrum considered by chinese researchers to be the most therapeutic. Heat lamps and Quartz Heaters, as indicated above, do not generate energy in the FIR range.

There are some articles that suggest that a sauna using infrared heat lamps provides the same benefit as a FIR sauna. There is likely good benefits from using a sauna with heat lamps. However, if the information above which suggests that a FIR sauna is of greater benefit than a conventional sauna is correct, then it is reasonable that a FIR sauna is a better choice. A heat lamp does not generate FIR energy.

Information from the manufacturer of infrared heat lamps validates the data shown in the graph. From the manufacturer's website is found, "This lamp [250 Watt heat lamp] is designed for use in applications specifically requiring a short-wave infrared radiation source. Infrared radiation from this lamp causes surfaces to be heated."[9]

At this time the most economical means of obtaining the benefits of a FIR sauna is to use two stand-alone ceramic FIR heaters (from THMI) in a small room, such as a bathroom, to create a sauna environment.

An added benefit of using stand-alone FIR heaters is that it can be used to provide comfortable FIR heat to any room in the house during the cold winter months.

All the best,

Industrial Applications of Electric Infrared Heating: Look at the graph in Fig. 2-4, Infrared Absorption vs. Wavelength for Water, on pg.7. The graph indicates that FIR wavelength energy has a greater absorption by water. The body is approximately 70 percent water.

The effects of repeated thermal therapy for two patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. This pubmed article is the first published in a recognized journal that shows the benefits of regular FIR sauna for people with CFS. The researchers conclusion: "These results suggest that repeated thermal therapy might be a promising method for the treatment of CFS." There were only 2 people in the study, it's a start. Hopefully these successes will increase interest in this modality by other researchers.

To learn about an affordable alternative means to obtaining the health benefits of the Far Infrared Sauna using two stand alone Far Infrared heaters,
email info@thmi.com for information.

All the benefits,
and more,
at a fraction of the cost.

1. "Infrared Thermal System For Whole-Body Regenerative Radiant Therapy" by Dr. Aaron M. Flickstein
2. "Warming Up to Far Infrared" by D.J. Fletcher
3. "Detox in the Sauna" by Lawrence Wilson, MD
4. "Turn Up the Heat; Improve Health with the Infra-red Sauna" by Stefan Kuprowsky, MA, ND
5. "The Manual of Sauna Therapy" by Dr. Lawrence D. Wilson MD
6. "Infrared Sauna" by Dr. Jim Chan ND
7. "Human Physiology and Mechanisms of Disease" Arthur C. Guyton, MD. pg.554
8. "Energy Returns with Cellular Purification"
9. "250-Watt Infrared Heat Lamp Warnings"(pdf file)