MOST COMMON SCIENCE FAQs
Raising cell temperature by 3 degrees F for a few minutes induces the cellular detoxification response.
Therefore, if we raise core body temperature by 3 degrees for a few minutes, we have increased temp accordingly for all the body’s cells. This is called full-body detoxification
Any heat source that achieves this will induce cellular detoxification. The best “heat shock therapy” approach is near infrared sauna, because the radiant, up to 9 inch penetration of near infrared wavelengths means we induce this temperature increase in the entire body most efficiently. Most all other heating methods (wet sauna, far-infrared, bathing) heat the body conductively, from outside in, and rely on the ambient air to heat the tissue, so the heating is less efficient.
In short, you WILL detoxify most effectively and efficiently in a near infrared sauna, and the rest is all about quality product design to ensure the user experience is convenient, hypoallergenic, lifetime-warrantied and beautiful.
We are a near infrared incandescent lamp sauna manufacturer. Our incandescent light source produces full spectrum light emission that peaks in the near infrared region, so we call it a near infrared sauna. But in fact, it’s full spectrum.
Far infrared wavelengths are 100% absorbed by water, one of the 2 primary chromophores (light absorbers) in the body. Water begins to absorb light partially at 1150nm, and then increasingly as we proceed to far infrared, which starts at 6000nm or so. By the time we get to far infrared, the wavelengths are 100% absorbed by water.
From the above article, end of page 2:
The second important consideration involves the optical properties of tissue. Both the absorption and scattering of light in tissue are wavelength dependent (both much higher in the blue region of the spectrum than the red), and the principal tissue chromophore (hemoglobin) has high absorption bands at wavelengths shorter than 600 nm. For these reasons, there is a so-called “optical window”.
The second important consideration involves the optical properties of tissue. Both the absorption and scattering of light in tissue are wavelength dependent (both much higher in the blue region of the spectrum than the red), and the principal tissue chromophores (hemoglobin and melanin) have high absorption bands at wavelengths shorter than 600 nm. Water begins to absorb significantly at wavelengths greater than 1150 nm. For these reasons, there is a so-called “optical window” in tissue covering the red and NIR wavelengths, where the effective tissue penetration of light is maximized (Figure 2). Therefore, although blue, green and yellow light may have significant effects on cells growing in optically transparent culture medium, the use of LLLT in animals and patients almost exclusively involves red and NIR light (600 – 950 nm).
EMF/ELF The magnetic field, or M, is effectively 0mG where the user sits, 24” from the lamp face and 30” from the panel, where the electrical components are housed. You can measure up to 2mG at 0” proximity to the switch, which is very minimal, and decreases to background level once the meter is 6-7 inches from the switch. What’s always relevant in terms of the magnetic field is what is the effective EMF measured from the device at the location of interest.
The electric field, or E field, is the current that follows the wiring. This is also very minimal because we use an e-shielded power cord grounded directly to the metal switch box, and 100% grounded internal wiring and all the metal lamp guard cages. The grounded metal lamp guards act as a faraday cage to neutralize the E field that leaks out the front of the tungsten filament.
The rotation protocol means you are facing the lamps only 1/4 of the sauna session, and the indication is not to stare directly into the filaments/lamps.
Even when NIR reaches the eyes, it promotes healing in the eye cells as well, because we also have visible red/NIR photoreceptors in our ocular tissue like the retina.
Furthermore, NIR has been shown to activate “lazy water”, by increasing the transfer velocity of water-diffused nutrient delivery. This is particularly crucial for the retinal photoreceptor cells, as they are very energy and nutrient hungry, yet they are not only not directly supplied by blood vessels, in fact of all cells in the human body, they are the farthest distance from a blood vessel. So daily NIR stimulus to the eyes in order to keep the nutrients efficiently flowing to the retinal photoreceptors is crucial for their health and optimal functioning.
Also, NIR light from tungsten heat lamps is non-ablative (very low power), it’s not a laser.
This incandescent light bulb produces a natural full-spectrum light emission via incandescence, just as the sun incandesces. It emits the same healing full-band of near infraredlight from the sun, but not UV (higher energy, ionizing, tanning, DNA-denaturing portion of sunlight). It p We have mitochondria in the cells of the ocular tissues of our eyes, so it appears that we are designed to receive this healing NIR light to our eyes as well.
Furthermore, Dr. L. Wilson, leading proponent of NIR lamp therapy, has no indication of protective eyewear.
Ultimately, if you are concerned with the NIR light exposure, keep in mind that clothing blocks NIR light completely, so a simple sleep mask or piece of cloth will suffice to block the light.
You can make a near infrared laser beam that will cut through metal. It’s a question of power.
That’s why it’s important to consider the natural context of near infrared: the near infrared solar radiation emission (that is the total power output of the /near infrared band 700-1500nm from the sun) comprises 45% of all the sun’s wavelengths that reach the earth.
We’ve evolved under the sun, the creator of all life on earth, and almost half of all the light that reaches us from the sun is near infrared.
Mitochondrial activation occurs only from 600-1000nm wavelengths (so visible red too, but I will just say NIr keeps it simple): it turns the mitochondria into intelligent healers that control epigenetic repair, cell regeneration, inflammatory mediation, neuronal repair, and much more (indirect effects). Not to mention the 3 direct effects of NIr mitochondrial stimulation are increased ATP production, NO- release into tissues (vasodilation) and ROS- production.
So we want to light its natural form and natural power level. All these “infrared yoga studios” all use far-infrared ceramic or far-infrared carbon panel emitters. So zero mitochondrial activation, just heat therapy. They completely miss the point of infrared healing, it’s the near infrared that stimulates mitochondrial systems and it’s the near infrared that radiantly heats biological tissue through partial water absorption for the most efficient, natural form of heating.
Please read our article on the subject: https://saunaspace.com/debunk-near-infrared-light-cataract-connection/
We do not introduce any petrochemical finish or oil or sealant or stain whatsoever, nor do we use any natural nut or other natural oil finishes on our wood parts.
All our wood parts are 100% solid untreated, unadulterated USA-grown basswood that is sanded to a fine 1000grit smoothness. Basswood, or otherwise known as Tilia Americana has the lowest rated wood oil content of any North American wood.
Our SaunaSpace specification cotton canvas is made in a unique chemical-free fashion, and we take care to address contamination that occurs from the growing and harvesting and spinning. The spun cotton yarn is washed/scoured with hot water-only several times, which does 2 things: removes contaminants and makes the yarn very clean and hydrophobic, so it’s less contaminate- and odor-absorbing. And it preshrinks the yarn to make it machine washable Then this very clean, pre-shrunk yarn is woven into the fabric. The woven goods are then sanforized, which is mechanical compression, which guarantees a max. 5% shrinkage fabric and ensures the ideal machine washability without noticeable shrinkage.
We’ve sold over 2500 of units of our current design which utilize our SaunaSpace-spec cotton canvas and we’ve yet to have a return for chemical sensitivity/MCS user reacting to our sauna materials, including our cotton.
Understand that GOTS-certified organic cotton is only 95% organic, and what is not disclosed is that almost all pre-shrunk organic cotton is preshrunk using petrochemical surfactants and dispersal agents, which are hidden in that “5% fudge-factor.” The preshrinking chemicals are on the “approved for GOTS list” and are rinsed out of the fabric after shrinking, so they are considered not to be present and are therefore not declared.
Our SaunaSpace-spec cotton canvas manufacturing process is superior to this because we use only water for our scouring and shrinking.
The ultimate proof is in the experience of our customers. MOST of our customers have chemical sensitivity issues, some very extreme, and our current fabric meets their approval. That’s why we’ve taken such care to source the highest quality materials that are also the most hypoallergenic; same applies to the solid basswood components, the fully e-shielded wiring and power corded, grounded lamp cages for total e-field neutralization, etc.
I even have one customer I recall who has dust mite allergies such that she must hot wash and hot dry all the fabrics in her home 1x per week, including her dual layer pocket sauna cover and curtain! She is very pleased with its being hypoallergenic.
We are a near infrared incandescent lamp sauna manufacturer. Our incandescent light source produces full spectrum light emission that peaks in the near infrared region, so we call it a near infrared sauna. But in fact, it’s full spectrum.
The incandescent heat lamp bulbs we use emit a substantial amount of the 600-950nm (near infrared) mitochondria-activating wavelengths, as well as plenty of 1000-2000nm (far infrared) wavelengths that are absorbed by water, which is how infrared light heats biological tissue.
So to answer your questions simply, yes, our lamp does provide some far infrared light but it peaks primarily in the near infrared red range. The graph below may help to illustrate the concept better.
How Full Spectrum Incandescent Light Breaks Down into Light and Heat Therapy
Can I Get a Visual on That?
LEDs are all the rage now in the Biohacker and Light Therapy community right now, so it’s important to say that fads come and go quickly. LED Light Therapy is a fad, only a few decades old. Incandescent Light is as old as the universe and has nourished all life on Earth for millions of years.
We’ve relied on the incandescent lamp to grow our food and heal our bodies for over 100 years. It is the closest mimicker of incandescent sunlight, of ALL man-made light technologies. Below is the ACTUAL emission spectrum of 250W our Incandescent Heat Lamp, referenced from Philips Brand. Philips. R125 Incandescent Reflector Data Sheet.
sUPERIOR Quality & Effectiveness of incandescent Heat Therapy
It’s All About the Water Absorption.
SaunaSpace incandescent heat lamps don’t produce as much ambient heat as a far-infrared emitter. The Pocket Sauna (inside air temperature ~110-125°F) doesn’t get as hot as a far-infrared (inside air temperature ~150°F) or traditional steam sauna (inside air temperature ~110-125°F). This is because it doesn’t have to. The benefits of sauna therapy don’t come from raising the temperature of the air.
They come from raising the core temperature of the body. Granted, one way to accomplish raising body temperature is by remaining in a hot enough environment for an extended period of time.
How our incandescent sauna works instead is by heating the body radiantly, from within.
Water absorbs different wavelengths of light to varying degrees. We see below in the Water Absorption Spectrum that near infrared wavelengths consistently penetrate tissue 2-3 orders of magnitude deeper than far infrared wavelengths will ever penetrate.
This graph above was built using data points from the above referenced Wikipedia article.
Further confirmation that near infrared is a more efficient, effective means of heating biological tissue than far-infrared wavelengths can be seen below in this old Philips Incandescent Heat Lamp Data Sheet showing Tissue Penetration of Wavelengths. Philips. R125 Incandescent Reflector Data Sheet Showing Tissue Penetration Depth of Wavelengths.
Farmers have understood this for over 100 years. Far-Infrared Emitter Sauna Manufacturers Still Don’t Get It!
This is why near infrared wavelengths deliver radiant, penetrating tissue heating. Near infrared wavelengths heat our bodies up much more efficiently than far infrared. Far infrared wavelengths, because they exhibit very shallow penetration into tissue, deliver less effective conductive surface-heating.
The beauty of having a incandescent full-spectrum sauna is that you get the spectrally natural form of infrared, which means primarily Near Infrared Light, and the Synergy of Photobiomodulation and Heat Detoxification.
What is Photobiomodulation (PBM)?
Our Cells Eat Light!
Photobiomodulation, or PBM, is a term from the field of photobiology, which studies the biological effects – both beneficial and harmful – of light wavelengths on living organisms. You may have heard of PBM referred to alternatively as: low-level light therapy, red light therapy, mitochondrial stimulation, mito-stim, or simply light therapy. Different names for the same thing.
PBM occurs when light photons are absorbed by living tissue, but not just any light will do. PBM is only possible within a certain wavelength range on the electromagnetic light spectrum: specifically from 600-1000 nanometers. This range is known as the ‘mitochondrial stimulation band’ (or ‘healing band’) because only these wavelengths of light stimulate the cellular mitochondrial light receptor enzyme, cytochrome-c oxidase. It thus encompasses both red light (600-700nm) and a portion of near infrared light (700-1500nm). When light from within this band of wavelengths is absorbed by the cells of the human body, the cell responds by increasing ATP production, releasing Nitrous Oxide, and forming Reactive Oxygen Species – all of which work to produce large-scale systemic benefits to the health of the body. Some, but not all, of the studied benefits of PBM are: promotion of anti-aging, enhancement of athletic performance, improvements in memory and cognition, accelerated muscle healing, and boosted cellular regeneration.
The utility of PBM as a non-invasive therapy with such a wide range of benefits is truly amazing. It’s no surprise, then, that there is a new and increasingly crowded market for personal photobiomodulation devices, all making unique claims to superiority. The question at the heart of this article and Joovv’s is this: which of these various light technologies are actually effective at providing PBM to consumers?
Why is incandescent near infrared light an optimal way to deliver therapeutic PBM?
Ahh, the Synergy of the Natural Form…
SaunaSpace uses incandescent lamp technology. Dr. Michael Hamblin is a renowned subject matter expert in PBM and has been named in countless PBM literature, review articles, and scientific studies. He says:
“Most of the early work in this field was carried out with various kinds of lasers, and it was thought that laser light had some special characteristics not possessed by light from other light sources such as sunlight, fluorescent or incandescent lamps and now LEDs. However all the studies that have been done comparing lasers to equivalent light sources with similar wavelength and power density of their emission, have found essentially no difference between them [emphasis mine].” Hamblin M. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophysics.4(3): 337-361. (May 2017); DOI: 10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337.
To summarize, Dr. Hamblin is saying here that there is no difference between different sources of light (LED and incandescent, for instance) in terms of ability to provide PBM. Only two characteristics of light matter: wavelength and power density. As long as the light produced is within the recommended therapeutic ranges of both these variables, the source does not matter.
So let’s examine how SaunaSpace’s incandescent lamps measure up in these two categories, wavelength and power.
Wavelength: The Near Infrared Healing Band
Not All Wavelengths Were Created Equal.
LED lights, which are monochromatic, a word derived from Ancient Greek, meaning “one color”. In modern physics, ‘monochromatic’ refers to light of a single wavelength or frequency. In context, this means that LEDs only emit light in very narrow wavelength bands. In terms of visual light, this means that a single LED can only produce light in one specific hue of a certain color. Contrast this to SaunaSpace, where we use incandescent bulbs to deliver PBM.
What is Incandescence?
Incandescence describes the phenomenon wherein an object, when heated to high enough temperatures, produces light — think of red-hot metal, coal, or the sun. Incandescence is decidedly not monochromatic in terms of the wavelengths of light that it produces. Our incandescent bulbs produce what we call full-spectrum light, in a wavelength emission curve that spans, with our bulb’s red filter from ~600 to over 4000 nanometers. To visualize, think about the example of the sun: the sun’s light gives us every shade of every color of the rainbow. The question becomes, which breadth of wavelengths is preferable to get the full benefits of PBM?
Dr. Michael Hamblin’s research, and that of countless others, concludes that PBM is achievable across the broad 600-1000nm range. Hamblin writes:
“Many wavelengths in the red (600–700 nm) and near-infrared (NIR, 770–1200 nm) spectral regions have shown positive results… Hamblin M. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophysics.4(3): 337-361. (May 2017); DOI: 10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337.
Dr. Hamblin’s research shows that, in fact, PBM is achievable across the full 600-1200nm range. Mitochondrial stimulation PBM has been shown to occur strongly across the 600-1000 range.Hamblin M, Demidova T. Mechanisms of low level light therapy. Proc. SPIE 6140, Mechanisms for Low-Light Therapy. 614001 (Feb 2006); doi:10.1117/12.646294.
Our Bodies Have an Optical (Light) Window?
Dr. Hamblin’s seminal publication Mechanisms of Low Level Light Therapy describes our bodies as having an optical window, or a narrow band of wavelengths of light, within which tissue penetration is profound. Hamblin M, Demidova T. Mechanisms of low level light therapy. Proc. SPIE 6140, Mechanisms for Low-Light Therapy. 614001 (Feb 2006); doi:10.1117/12.646294.
The following Figure from Mechanisms clearly shows the ‘optical window’ from 600 to 1400 nm.
Wait, Let’s See some Math!
When we calculate the percentage across the broader, 600-1000nm mito-stim band, we find that actually 14% of the energy emitted by an IR heat lamp activates mitochondrial functions (see calculation below).
The Basic Physics Calculation that 14% of Emission from our Incandescent Lamps Delivers PBM
We must integrate Planck’s Law across the wavelength band in question to calculate the energy emitted from an incandescent light source (called a black body radiator in physics).
For those who are intimidated by physics and calculus, not to worry, there are many easy online calculators that do the tricky math for us!
1st calculate the TOTAL ENERGY emitted by our lamp by integrating Planck’s law across all wavelengths:
Temperature of Filament = 2450K
Emissivity = 1 (we assume no light absorption by the glass bulb itself; real emissivity is perhaps slightly below 1, but almost 1)
Recession velocity = 0 km/s (the light source is not moving away from us)
Wavelength = 1 µm
Therefore the radiance, or total energy emitted, = 650336 W/m2/sr across all wavelengths (0-10000nm)
And then to calculate PBM ENERGY from our lamp that is in the 600-1000nm mitochondrial PBM band, we integrate from 600-1000nm:
Lower Limit = .6 µm (600 nm)
Upper Limit = 1 µm (1000 nm)
Band Radiance = 90763 W/m2/sr
Finally, the PERCENTAGE OF PBM ENERGY OF TOTAL ENERGY from our lamps:
90763 / 650336 * 100% = 14% of the energy emitted by a 2450K red-filtered incandescent heat lamp is within the mitochondrial PBM band.
Power: The relevance of irradiance
So… What is Irradiance?
Here’s an example: you’re driving down a remote country road at night. There’s no street lights, so you turn on your high-beams to see better. With your brights on, the road immediately in front of your car can be seen almost as clearly as during the daytime. But as you look further out, you can see the road less and less clearly until, at about 400 feet, you can no longer see cars or animals in the road any better than with your headlights off. This is because your headlights’ brightness decreases the further away it has to shine This effect of light decreasing in intensity the greater the distance is from its source is known as irradiance, and is the reason why it’s polite to switch off your brights if you get too close to a car driving in front of you. Irradiance is measured in terms of the amount of light power received by a surface, per unit area, in units of watts per square meter.
In context, irradiance takes into account the amount of light energy that a person will receive from a light therapy device at a given distance from the light source. Proper irradiance is key to proper PBM, once we’ve established that the light source is producing the right wavelengths of light, which we have at this point. Using the analogy of light as medicine, now that we know that we have the right type of pill (wavelength), it’s important that we’re taking the right dose (irradiance) for the medicine to be effective. In this case, the known dose for proper PBM with red wavelengths is between 10 mW/cm2 and 100 mW/cm2.
Where’s my Irradiance Meter?
We use the Megger PVM210 Irradiance MeterThe Megger PVM210 Irradiance Meter that Joovv uses in their article so that we could perform the same tests they did on our actual lamps. The PVM210 measures only 400-1100nm. There’s a minute quantity of 400-600 nm light exiting our glass bulb because it’s red-filtered, so the irradiance readings shown are approximately 100% PBM wavelengths. See our results below.
Irradiance of our SaunaSpace Single Light Panel at 12, 18 & 24 Inch Distances
We measure ~15-34 mW/cm2 irradiance at the recommended usage distance of 12-18 inches from the single 250W lamp, well within the therapeutic photobiomodulation range of 10-100 mW/cm2.
So, in essence they are implying that only a small fraction of their already undervalued irradiance measurement actually applies to PBM, where in reality, virtually 100% of the wavelengths measured by the meter are PBM active and the 3% calculation is totally irrelevant.
This is just one more in the list of misleading claims by Joovv. But wait, there’s more…
Wait that was a Single Bulb, But I See 4…
The SaunaSpace Pocket Sauna’s 4 Light Panel uses FOUR such 250 Watt bulbs.
With four of our bulbs clustered together in our Pocket Sauna’s Light Panel, you get four times the heat, light, and and more than 4x the irradiance as just the one 250W bulb.
Irradiance of Our 4 Light Panel (1000W Total) at 12, 18 & 24 Inch Distances
We measure ~30-67 mW/cm2 irradiance at the recommended usage distance of 18-24 inches from the 4 250W lamps, landing firmly within the therapeutic photobiomodulation range of 10-100 mW/cm2.
Take a look at the irradiance measurements of the fully operational Pocket Sauna, delivering a very healthy dosage of PBM. So far, SaunaSpace manages to fulfill both of Dr. Hamblin’s requirements of wavelength and power, proving that we are PBM device to be taken seriously.
Real Luxury is Being EMF Free.
SaunaSpace understands the serious problem of EMF stress: man-made magnetic and electric fields have been shown in many studies to be nervous system stressors. You definitely don’t want EMF stress coming from your therapy device!
SaunaSpace design solutions ensure our products exert ZERO EMF influence on the body when used as directed. That means ZERO electric field stress and ZERO magnetic field stress.
SaunaSpace follows the highest standards of EMF protection: Geovitals Standards.
Geovitals, the world-renowned Austrian Academy for Radiation Protection and Environmental Medicine, is known for setting the most stringent EMF shielding standards on earth. They recommend that any electric field reading above 30 V/m is a serious problem. Ideally we want 0 V/m. To put it simply, ideally we don’t want any part of our body to be in a space or on a surface that measures above 0 V/m.
We test our product using the Geovitals EM Field Probe. The GeoVitals EM Field Probe This incredibly sensitive electric and magnetic field meter utilizes specialized gold-plated sensors; it’s by far the most sensitive consumer electric field meter available.
SaunaSpace Design Ensures there is ZERO EMF, both Electric & Magnetic, on your Body from our Product.
SaunaSpace faraday guards
Our Faraday Lamp Guards shield the user from electric fields that are emitted by the incandescent lamp, even at 0 inches from the lamp.
SaunaSpace LIght Panel Body is Shielded
Our Leading Edge Shielding Design means there is 0 electric field emission from the Light Panel Body and also none from the Power Cord.
We will only ever be satisfied with 100% Shielding.
SaunaSpace emits zero emf out in front of our Panel
No matter how close you are to our Light Panels, they exert 0 electric field stress on your body.
At the SaunaSpace recommended use distance of 12-24 inches from the Single Light Panel, you don’t get any EMF from our product.
Same goes for our 4 Light Panel, no EMF from it on the body at 12 inches, much less at the 4 Light Panel’s recommended 18-24 inch use distance.
Ahh, no EMF feels good!
Near Infrared Light (NIR): The Magic Wavelength
Near infrared light absorption by the light receptors in our cell’s mitochondria promotes cellular regeneration and anti-aging (epigenetic re-optimization)
Only 600-950 nm Light Has Been Shown To Activate Cellular Regeneration & Anti-Aging Systems
A large and rapidly growing body of knowledge supports the use of near infrared light to treat and prevent many illnesses, physical and toxic injuries, and other health conditions.
There is a tremendous amount of medical and scientific research going on right now, and it’s all about mitochondria and mitochondria-controlled systems!
More from Mechanisms of Low-Level Light Therapy:
“Mitochondria are thought to be a likely site for the initial effects of light, leading to increased ATP production, modulation of reactive oxygen species and induction of transcription factors. These effects, in turn, lead to increased cell proliferation and migration (particularly by fibroblasts), modulation in levels of cytokines, growth factors and inflammatory mediators, and increased tissue oxygenation.”
Some of the observed cellular effects of stimulating the cells with 600-950 nm light include:
- Increased Cellular Metabolism
- Increased Blood Circulation
- Increased Tissue Oxygenation
- Increased Collagen Production
- Production of Inflammatory Mediators that Reduce Cellular Inflammation
- Production of Growth Factors that assist Cellular Regeneration
- Increased Cellular and Tissular Growth
- Activation of Anti-Aging Systems
What is Anti-Aging?
When we repair both the DNA architecture and the gene transcription systems, we are restoring the optimal epigenetic state of the cell. Gene transcription refers to how the cells rebuild themselves. Gene transcription is a tremendously complex system that involves many steps of quality control. As our cells and bodies age through exposure to environmental stressors like chemical toxins, our epigenetic state degrades and our cells rebuilt themselves less optimally. More errors occur over time, and the entire cell becomes less efficient and less optimal: in short, we age.
That’s why heat therapy detoxification is not enough for us to fully heal and re-optimize our bodies. We need to use Near Infrared Light to restore our Epigenetics to the optimal biochemical and bioluminescent state.
Red Light wavelengths are from about 600-700nm. Near Infrared Light wavelengths are from about 700-1200nm. Only this narrow band of light can be accurately called the Light Therapy band.
Near Infrared Light, Nature’s Most Powerful Nutrient
Near infrared light is contained within the spectrum of natural sunlight. In fact, sunlight that reaches the earth’s surface contains 52% to 55% near infrared light. It’s clear that humans and other animal and plant species, by Nature’s design, have been programmed to utilize near infrared light to our benefit.
The light therapy effects of NIr light cannot be overstated. The interaction of chromophores within our bodies with near infrared light is the key to understanding the power of NIr light. 
The tungsten filaments in the incandescent light bulb produce the same beneficial visible red & near infrared (also called NIR-A, 600nm – 950nm) elements of natural sunlight. 
The tungsten-filament bulb not only emits the correct wavelengths of light necessary for light therapy, they emit exclusively near infrared light and red light. Tungsten does not emit any significant amount of mid-infrared or far-infrared wavelengths of light. And our Red-Filtered Incandescent Heat Lamps also don’t emit any UV or blue light, so no killer wavelengths, as the sun emits.
Why does Near Infrared Light Penetrate Tissue 5x or More Deeply than Far Infrared Light?
The human body has an optical window of light absorption of 600-1150nm. That’s because hemoglobin absorbs most all light below 600nm, which is all visible light except red light.
On the other side of the optical window, water absorbs all light of wavelengths greater than 1150nm. 
Far infrared light wavelengths start at about 3,000-10,000nm, so all far infrared light wavelengths are completely absorbed by water molecules.
Since we have water molecules everywhere in our bodies, it’s obvious that far-infrared light won’t every penetrate deeply; it is blocked by water in all tissues.
More importantly, even when far-infrared light manages to penetrate up to 1.5-2 inches into human tissue, it DOES NOT activate any cellular regenerative or anti-aging systems of healing. It only provides a heating effect on the cells.
Far Infrared Saunas Are the Wrong Wavelength, Use Inferior Technology & Lack Smart Design
Far infrared saunas use heating elements that mainly emit light in the far-infrared range (NIR-C, 3000nm – 1mm).
These far infrared heating elements typically emit harmful levels of EMF.
Far infrared sauna manufacturers are forced to use expensive metal shielding to lower these high EMF levels, which increases costs & results in decreased far-infrared light emission into the sauna. In other words, low-EMF far infrared saunas primarily rely on heating up the air around the sauna user to heat the user’s body, and are therefore little different than traditional saunas.
Furthermore, there are no photoreceptors for far infrared light in the human body, so that unlike near infrared lamp saunas, far infrared saunas only provide heat therapy, not near infrared light therapy.
Traditional Wet/Finnish Saunas only Provide Heat Therapy, not Light Therapy
Traditional saunas produce heat generated by electricity or less commonly wood burning. They may be dry or wet.
Wet saunas create steam by utilizing steam generators or by throwing water on electrically-heated hot rocks.
Dry saunas use electric heaters that typically emit harmful levels of electromagnetic energy (EMF). A typical dry Finnish-type sauna operates at 180°F or greater and heats the body from the outside in.
Heat Therapy for Detoxification, Your Best Defense Against the Modern Toxic World
Throughout history, humans have used sauna therapy as a safe and powerful means of detoxification, from Native American sweat lodges to Finnish wood-fired saunas.
It’s been called many things:
- Heat Therapy
- Sweat Therapy
- Hyperthermic Therapy
- Sauna Therapy
- Sweat Lodge Therapy
Heat Therapy is simple to achieve. All we must do is raise cell temperature by several degrees for several minutes to activate cellular heat therapy effects. What are these cellular heat therapy effects?
- Heat Shock Proteins are activated. HSPs repair misfolded and damaged proteins and also help make cellular detoxification more efficient
- Increased Cellular Metabolism
- Increased Oxygenation
When doing this in the tissues of the body’s core, we activate the whole body’s detoxification response. This is called whole-body or systemic heat therapy. It’s the full-body heat therapy that results in dramatic healing effects for the entire organism:
- Increased Blood Flow to Tissues
- Increased Tissue Oxygenation
- Vasodilation of Blood Vessels, so Blood Pressure Decreases, even as Blood Circulation Increases
- Increased Production of Human Growth Hormone
- Increase Insulin Sensitivity/Reduced Insulin Resistance
- Activation of Skin as Organ of Detoxification via Passive Sweating
We dramatically increasing blood-flow to the vital organs and skin, unlocking even hard to reach toxins.
Sweating during vigorous exercise also raises the body temperature, but actually decreases deep organ blood flow, which means very little detoxification takes place.
When sitting quietly in your sauna, sweating passively, profound detoxification begins to occur. The skin, your largest detoxification organ, is activated as a toxin eliminator. This is in sharp contrast to sweating during aerobic exercise, which again does not result in meaningful removal of toxic organic chemicals and heavy metals.
In today’s toxic world no one can avoid exposure to harmful substances. Sauna therapy is a cornerstone of defense in the fight against toxin related illness and dysfunction.
A recent landmark scientific study published in a major medical journal demonstrated a significant decrease in mortality (increase in longevity) with sauna use.  Benefits observed included significant decreases in fatal heart attacks and deaths from other cardiovascular diseases.
Relaxation & Stress Relief
Sauna use promotes parasympathetic nervous system activity (“rest & digest” state) and decreases sympathetic (“fight or flight” state) activity. Saunas promote profound relaxation and stress relief through their parasympathetic effect.
A number of factors synergistically and powerfully combine to produce these changes. Sweating, moving blood to the periphery, Heating the body, Near infrared light therapy, and more are all involved during the sauna experience.
Regular use produces genuine relaxation of body and mind-improving a sense of well-being. Sauna therapy also decreases blood pressure as well as improves both oxygenation and circulation.
Near Infrared Light Therapy Effects
Wound & Tissue Repair
Multiple studies show accelerated healing of wounds and other types of tissue injury using near infrared light. A great example is the use of NIR light therapy to treat disorders and injury to the eyes. Rather than causing injury to the eye, near infrared light helps the eyes heal.
In a scientific study, mice were blinded by chemical injury (methanol) and the blindness was reversed with the application of NIR light therapy. There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the powerful healing effects of NIR light. NIR light promotes faster cell regeneration and human tissue growth.
Athletic & Physical Performance
Sauna bathing after exercise have been shown to increase athletic performance, reduce fatigue and improve muscle recovery. Muscle circulation is increased. Innovative gyms are actually installing infrared lamp systems integrated with exercise equipment for an enhanced experience. Growth hormone release also occurs with sauna use and can increase muscle strength.
Saunas also provide many of the same benefits as aerobic exercise. Both result in sweating which provides detoxification but of course, the sauna detoxification is much more extensive and powerful. Sauna use also increases metabolism, heart rate, and improves circulation like exercise but does so in a stress-free, relaxing environment.
Joint & Muscle Pain
Low-level light therapy has been shown to reduce joint and muscle pain in animal studies. Penetrating near infrared light appears to address joint and muscle problems from multiple angles. Hand-held near infrared devices used for pain relief are common in physical therapy and pain management offices. Far infrared does not provide this effect.
Care for your body’s largest organ! Your skin is a major organ for eliminating body wastes through sweating. Most people don’t sweat enough.
Near infrared saunas encourage sweating and unlock toxins stored beneath the skin bringing deeper toxins to the skin for elimination. NIR light easily penetrates the skin, boosts circulation and brings more blood and nutrients not only to the skin itself but to deeper tissues as well.
Near infrared light therapy has been shown to stimulate vital collagen and elastin production. Collagen helps plump the skin, while elastin firms the skin. The visible red and NIR light energizes and repairs damaged cells, stimulating collagen and elastin and returning the skin to a more youthful look.
NIR light is being used currently to treat specific skin problems such as acne scars, eczema, rosacea and more.
Treating psoriasis with light therapy is probably the oldest known therapy for this skin disease. Bathing in sunlight to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis is an age old remedy.
Body Fat & Cellulite
Regular sauna use can reduce overall body fat. Near infrared light has been shown to decrease cellulite. NIR heat lamp saunas allow specific problem areas to be targeted as needed. (E.g. cellulite in thigh skin). A study involving a group of women riding stationary bicycles demonstrated a 444% increase in weight loss for the group exposed to near infrared light when compared to the exercise only group. Infrared light combined with other therapies has been shown to be effective in controlling cellulite.
|1.||↑||Laukkanen T, Hassan Khan H, Zaccardi F, Laukkanen J. Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events . JAMA Intern Med. February 23, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8187.|
|2.||↑||Wilson L, MD. Why Does the Near Infrared Lamp Sauna Have An Extremely Parasympathetic Effect . The Center For Development. March 2014.|
|3.||↑||Chung H, Dai T, Sharma SK, Huang YY, Carroll JD, Hamblin MR. The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy . Ann Biomed Eng. 2012 Feb;40(2):516-33. doi: 10.1007/s10439-011-0454-7. Epub 2011 Nov 2.|
|4.||↑||Hamblin M, Demidova T. Mechanisms of low level light therapy . Proc. SPIE 6140, Mechanisms for Low-Light Therapy. 614001 (Feb 2006); doi:10.1117/12.646294.|
|5.||↑||Whelan H T, Buchmann E V, Dhokalia A, Kane MP,Whelan N T, Wong-Riley M, Eells J T, Gould L J, Hammamieh R, Das R, Jett M. Effect of NASA Light-Emitting Diode Irradiation on Molecular Changes for Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice . Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery. April 2003, 21(2): 67-74. doi:10.1089/104454703765035484.|
|6.||↑||Eells JT, Wong-Riley MT, VerHoeve J, Henry M, Buchman EV, Kane MP, Gould LJ, Das R, Jett M, Hodgson BD, Margolis D, Whelan HT. Mitochondrial signal transduction in accelerated wound and retinal healing by near-infrared light therapy . Mitochondrion. 2004 Sep;4(5-6):559-67.|
|7.||↑||Eells JT, Henry MM, Summerfelt P, Wong-Riley MTT, Buchmann EV, Kane M, Whelan NT, and Whelan HT. Therapeutic photobiomodulation for methanol-induced retinal toxicity . Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Mar 18; 100(6): 3439–3444. Published online 2003 Mar 7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0534746100|
|8.||↑||Scoon GS, Hopkins WG, Mayhew S, Cotter JD. Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners . J Sci Med Sport. 2007 Aug;10(4):259-62. Epub 2006 Jul 31.|
|9.||↑||Hamblin M. Can osteoarthritis be treated with light? . Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2013, 15:120 doi:10.1186/ar4354.|
|10.||↑||Gale GD, Rothbart PJ, Li Y. Infrared therapy for chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial . Pain Res Manag. 2006 Autumn;11(3):193-6.|
|11.||↑||Ablon G. Combination 830-nm and 633-nm light-emitting diode phototherapy shows promise in the treatment of recalcitrant psoriasis: preliminary findings . Photomed Laser Surg. 2010 Feb;28(1):141-6. doi: 10.1089/pho.2009.2484.|
|12.||↑||Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, Vecchio D, Pam Z, Pam N, Hamblin MR. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring . Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Mar;32(1):41-52.|
|13, 15.||↑||Möckel F, Hoffmann G, Obermüller R, Drobnik W, Schmitz G. Influence of water-filtered infrared-A (wIRA) on reduction of local fat and body weight by physical exercise . Ger Med Sci. 2006; 4: Doc05.|
|14.||↑||Alster TS, Tanzi EL. Cellulite treatment using a novel combination radiofrequency, infrared light, and mechanical tissue manipulation device . J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2005 Jun;7(2):81-5.|
|16.||↑||Sasaki GH, Oberg K, Tucker B, Gaston M. The effectiveness and safety of topical PhotoActif phosphatidylcholine-based anti-cellulite gel and LED (red and near-infrared) light on Grade II-III thigh cellulite: a randomized, double-blinded study . J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2007 Jun;9(2):87-96.|
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Philips. R125 Incandescent Reflector Data Sheet.|
|2.||↑||Philips. R125 Incandescent Reflector Data Sheet Showing Tissue Penetration Depth of Wavelengths.|
|3, 4.||↑||Hamblin M. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophysics.4(3): 337-361. (May 2017); DOI: 10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337.|
|5, 6.||↑||Hamblin M, Demidova T. Mechanisms of low level light therapy. Proc. SPIE 6140, Mechanisms for Low-Light Therapy. 614001 (Feb 2006); doi:10.1117/12.646294.|
|7.||↑||The Megger PVM210 Irradiance Meter|
|8.||↑||The GeoVitals EM Field Probe|