Near Infra Red
Red Light Therapy
For healing pain and inflammation
What is Near Infra Red (NIR) Light Therapy?
Near infrared light therapy uses invisible, near infrared waves of energy to stimulate the healing response and relieve pain and inflammation.
Infrared light therapy has been proven by thousands of studies world-wide, to be therapeutically effective. It is 100% natural and has no known adverse side effects.
NIR therapy can be administered by lamps, lasers, LED torches and pads placed on or near the skin.
What is red light therapy?
Red Light Therapy works in very similar ways to NIR therapy, excepts its penetration in to the body is less deep.
Red light therapy is known for its healing benefits on injuries, joints, inflammation, anti-aging and metabolism.
Red light therapy is often combined with near infra red therapy in the same devices – pads, lasers, panels, LED torches and whole body beds.
The shortest wavelengths (that we know of) are cosmic rays. These also travel the quickest and penetrate through all matter.
As wave length increases, we experience gamma, then x-rays, ultra-violet rays, visible light, infrared rays, microwaves and radio waves. Infra red rays are part of the spectrum just beyond red visible light,
Within the Infra Red spectrum, there are near, mid and far infra red rays. Only mid and far IR rays generate heat.
Depth of Penetration
Each wavelength of light has different abilities to penetrate tissue.
There is some debate as to the correct levels of penetration. However, it is generally accepted that red light can penetrate fairly superficially, through skin and fat tissue, to a depth of approximately 2.1 cm.
NIR light penetrates deeper, through to the muscle layer, and even to the brain, to a depth of over 5 cm. For this reason, NIR therapy is often used to treat brain conditions, such as head traumas, strokes and dementia.
The depth of penetration can be enhanced by having a higher powered dose of light. Sometimes pulsing will also increase depth.
Light Moves Around The Body
Bear in mind that when red or NIR light reaches fascia (usually just below the skin) or the blood vessels (also found superficially at the radial (on wrist) , popliteal (behind knees) arteries, intra-nasally and sublingually – under tongue), the light can ‘spread and travel’ all around the body.
Fascia connects to the deeper organs. Blood circulates through the whole body in twenty minutes. Light acts as a ‘messenger’ which travels along the semi-conductive ‘circuits’ within the body.
Why Use Red / NIR Therapy?
Near Infra Red light therapy invigorates blood flow, relieves pain and improves the microcirculation of deep tissue layers,
It is safe, non-invasive, totally natural and extremely effective.
NIR Therapy is particularly useful for joint pain, chronic (and acute) injuries, wounds, poor neurological function (such as Altzeimer’s Disease, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress conditions, tinnitus, migraines, headaches and a multitude of other inflammation / poor circulation based conditions.
One of the reasons why near infrared light is used therapeutically is its ability for deep penetration (from 5 to 7.5 cm), which allows it to work through the two layers of skin (dermis and epidermis), the underlying fat areas (adipocytes) all the way to the muscular, tendon and joint region. It is even used to penetrate through the skull to brain regions (transcranial therapy).
Benefits of NIR / Red Light Therapy
Release nitric oxide (NO)
which dilates blood vessels, increases levels of circulation and oxygen to your body’s tissues.
Release Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
which stimulates the your body’s healing and repair response.
Increase DNA synthesis of connective tissue
which improves skin tone, muscle, ligament and joint health and repair.
Increase ATP production
which improves energy, metabolism and cellular functioning overall.
- Demura S., Noguchi T., and Matsuzawa J., Effect of Linear Polarized Near-infrared Irradiation on Flexibility of Shoulder and Ankle Joint
- Mockel F., Hoffmann G., et al Einfulss von Wassergefiltertem Infrator A auf die Reduktion von Lokalem Fett und Korpergewicht unter Korperlicher Belastung
- Whelan H.T., Buchmann,E.V., et al, NASA Light-Emitting Diode Medical Applications From Deep Space to Deep Sea
- Gilligan D.M., Panza J.M., et al, Contribution of Endothelium-derived Nitric Oxide to Exercise-Induced Vasodilation
- Lopes-Martins R.A., Marcos R.L., et al, Effect of Low Level Laser on Skeletal Muscle Fatigue Induced by Electrical Stimulation in Rats
- Abou-Hala A.Z, Barbosa D.G., et al, Effects of the Infrared Lamp Illuminationduring the Process of Muscle Fatigue in Rats
- Christensen S.E., Jørgensen O.L., et al, Characterization of Growth Hormone Release in Response to External Heating
- Wong-Riley M.T., Whelan H.T., Effect of 670-nm Light Emitting Diode Light on Neuronal Cultures
- Savard, G.K., Nielsen B., et al, Muscle Blood Flow is not reduced in Humans during Moderate Exercise and Heat Stress
- Hannuksela M.L., Ellahham S., Benefits and Risks of Sauna Bathing
- Rogers S., Reversing the Neuro-degeneration from Ubiquitous Environmental Endocrine Disruptors
- Alster T.S., Tanzi E.L., Cosmetic Laser Therapy
- Gale, G, Rothbart, P, Ye Li, 2006, Infrared therapy for chronic low back pain: A randomized, controlled trial.
Benefits of Red / NIR Therapy
Reduces Inflammation – particularly useful for chronic soft tissue injuries which stubbornly refuse to heal.
Reduces Pain – NIR floods an area with extra blood, causing changes in pain levels. One research study conducted on 21 patients with chronic low back pain (of duration more than six years) showed a reduction in pain from average pain score of 6.9 to 3 after six weeks treatment. (13)
Lessens Joint and Muscle Pain & Increases Flexibility – Penetrating heat from NIR has long been proven to reduce pain and increase circulation to areas of discomfort. NIR has also been shown to significantly increase the range of flexibility. (1)
Heals chronic injuries – NIR creates mild oxidants (Reactive Oxygen Species) that leads to gene transcription and then to cellular repair and healing.
Improves Micro-Circulation – NIR helps body release Nitric Oxide, which dilates blood vessels
Boosts Metabolism – Mitochondria in cells produce more energy when NIR is introduced.
Reduces Body Fat – A group of 20 women riding stationary bicycles 3 times per week for 4 weeks exposed to NIR lost an average of 8 cm’s or 444% more as compared to 20 women doing the same exercise without NIR. (2)
Increased Energy – NIR activates photo sensitive chromophores & cytochrome c oxidase in mitochondria to depths of up to 23 centimeters, stimulating the production of energy (ATP) processes in cells. (3)
Improved Circulation to Muscles – NIR causes the release of nitric oxide which stimulates vasodilatation of the microcirculatory system, bringing more blood to the muscles. (4)
Better Endurance – Muscle fatigue was reduced by up to 42.2% when exposing muscle to NIR. (5,6)
Increased Strength – Growth hormone release is induced by an increase in body temperature and not by exercise itself. Growth hormone increases muscle mass, calcium retention, and lipolysis (the breakdown of stored fat). (7)
Faster Recovery Time – Certain tissue regenerating genes including integrins, laminin, gap junction proteins and kinesin proteins have shown a two- to five-fold increase upon exposure to NIR. (8,9)
Workout in Less Time – Due to increased production of ATP and quick dilation of the microcirculatory system, a person can lessen warm-up time and work at a higher level of exertion without increasing blood pressure. (3,9,10)
Detoxify the Body – Increased blood circulation stimulates the sweat glands, releasing built-up toxins and waste. Sweat is the only way to remove certain carcinogenic PCBs, dioxins, phthalates, and volatile organic hydrocarbons. (11)
Reduced Visible Cellulite – Cellulite is fat mixed with toxins that are trapped, partly due to an underactive circulatory system. Cellulite is visible due to weakened connective tissue. NIR helps rebuild connective tissue and has been shown to reduce cellulite. (12)
Rejuvenates Skin – NIR increases – NIR increases DNA synthesis of fibroblasts (which affects the elasticity of skin) by five-fold. The result is younger-looking, more beautiful skin. (3,8)