Originally published March 18 2010
Use Infrared Heat for Pain Relief and Other Health Benefits
by Danna Norek
(NaturalNews) You have probably enjoyed the soothing, therapeutic benefits of infrared heat without even knowing it. How is that, you ask? Well, if you`ve ever stepped outside on a sun soaked, warm day, then you have experienced some of nature`s best infrared heat therapy.
The sun is a source of this type of heat, and it`s the reason that you seem to instantly relax when your skin is touched by it.
Why is that? Well, radiant, infrared heat actually heats the object (the object being you) directly, rather than warming just the air around you like conventional heat does. So those warm, enveloping sensations you are experiencing from sunlight and it`s resulting heat is actually radiant, or infrared heat.
One of the reported benefits of far infrared heat (otherwise known as FIR, or radiant heat) is that it helps to relieve pain better than the more topical, less absorbent heat that we are exposed to, like the heat that comes from our furnace in the winter.
Radiant, or infrared heat, works differently from conventional heat also in that it does not "transfer" heat from a heating source, but rather it distributes it more evenly because it "radiates" the heat outward. It does not need a secondary transference method to warm an area, a person, a small room, or whatever the purpose might be.
Because the method is much more direct and efficient, it is thought to be a superior pain relief method to conventional heat. It also happens to be a "green" choice when used as a heater for the home because it is so much more energy efficient.
If you`ve ever heard of infrared heat based saunas, or have ever tried one, then you will understand. You can stay in an infrared sauna longer and reap greater benefits because the air around you does not reach blistering temperatures like in a traditional sauna.
Athletes have been known to use this type of heat to relieve aches, pains and strains, and also to help move along the healing process because it is believed to help make circulation more efficient. As you may know, wounds heal faster with better circulation, and this is also true of muscle and tissue trauma.
Infrared heat has only recently been discovered to have potential health benefits beyond just a relaxing pastime that is used in spas and gyms across the world. Although some refute this as being just as good as regular heat, there are many who say they notice the difference.
This type of heat warms you directly, rather than strictly warming the air around you, so it just doesn`t feel as hot in the surrounding environment, making it more tolerable. Of course, this theory of greater therapeutic benefit is debatable, but there are a lot of people who swear by it`s superior healing benefits.
Claims have also been made that radiant heat therapy may benefit cancer patients, those with cardiac health problems, stress and anxiety reduction, and even cellulite and skin improvement, which appeals to those with health and appearance interests.
Radiant heat has also shown to be quite beneficial to those with arthritis, providing short term pain relief with no adverse side effects, and providing stimulation to the circulatory system that they can`t otherwise experience because of their physical limitations.
When it comes down to it, you really have to decide for yourself if radiant heat would be of any benefit to you by actually trying it out. If nothing else, it certainly provides an excellent, lower cost and energy efficient alternative to heating areas of your home.
Information sources for this article include :
Moonlight Swim & Spa Company Infrared Sauna Informational Brochure
About the authorDanna Norek is the owner and primary contributor for several natural health blogs and websites, where she frequently shares her experiences and knowledge on herbal supplements, natural remedies, vitamins, and healthy lifestyle habits. You can find information on a 100% natural, chemical free deodorant here at Natural Effective Deodorant and an all natural sebum-neutralizing, SLS, paraben and chemical free Acne Soap with lavender, lemongrass and tea tree essential oils here at All Natural Acne Soap.
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