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The difference between infrared sauna and red light therapy 

This information is about the difference between infrared sauna and red light therapy each of which use different wavelengths of light to stimulate cellular change and healing. 

You might wonder how this works when sauna is about heat and sweating, however the heat in infrared sauna is created from non-visible far infrared light wavelengths. Far infrared generates heat that penetrates your tissues and increases your core temperature.

Red light therapy uses red and near infrared light wavelengths which penetrate the skin and tissues respectively and are felt as a gentle warmth. It feels like the warmth of the sun and doesn't require showering afterwards as it doesn't create an intense sweat like a sauna. 

Cells in our body respond to light via a photochemical response, just like plants do with photosynthesis. The different wavelengths of light used in each of these treatments has different benefits. Combining light therapy with an infrared sauna exposes your body to more therapeutic wavelengths, creating a full spectrum experience and maximising the benefits to your health and wellbeing. 

Red, near infrared, mid infrared and far infrared are all wavelengths of light produced by the sun. Far infrared is also the heat you feel from the human body. Infrared sauna and light therapy panels produce concentrated forms of the beneficial wavelengths of light from the sun without the harmful UV light. There are numerous studies that detail the beneficial effects of light on nature and the human body and infrared sauna and red light therapy are a great way to boost wellbeing naturally. 

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Infrared Sauna and Far Infrared Wavelengths 

Traditional sauna use heating systems that heat the air around you causing you to get hot and sweat. This requires a high heat which is often humid and challenging to breathe in due to the use of steam. Infrared sauna uses far infrared (FIR) light wavelengths and because they penetrate your tissues and increase your core temperature directly, you sweat intensely at a lower temperature making the experience more comfortable. With the use of FIR technology this also means you can spend less time in the sauna and do less sessions to achieve greater results than in a traditional sauna.

The elevation of core body temperature induced by sauna sessions introduces a beneficial stress on our bodies, prompting cellular adaptations that enhance our strength, health, and resilience. This sauna-induced effect mimics that of light exercise, creating positive changes on overall health and well-being.

 

The heat stress prompts the release of Heat Shock Proteins (HSP), crucial for immune regulation and the repair and clearance of damaged cells, along with Growth Hormone, which fosters muscle growth, tissue repair, improved fat metabolism, heightened exercise performance, and faster recovery.

 

Furthermore, heat exposure encourages the body to generate more mitochondria, enhancing energy production capacity, fortifying existing mitochondria, and facilitating the repair of damaged ones. Post-exercise sauna use has demonstrated an increase in blood oxygen-carrying capacity, promoting quicker recovery and improved athletic performance.

Infrared sauna sessions also exhibit mood-boosting effects, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression by stimulating the brain to produce more endorphins (commonly known as happiness hormones) and reducing cortisol, the body's primary stress hormone. Moreover, numerous FIR/Sauna studies have documented enhancements in autonomic nervous system and cardiac function, as well as recovery from and prevention of chronic illnesses, attributable to the optimization of detoxification pathways involved in the elimination of heavy metals and environmental chemicals.

You can read more about the research and specific benefits of sauna here.

Red and Infrared Light wavelengths

Red and Near Infrared Light Therapy 

Often also called photobiomodulation or light therapy, red light therapy refers to light treatment applied to the whole or various parts of the body. It most often combines red (visible light from 620 to 660nm) and near infrared (NIR) light (810-850nm) from LEDs which produce these wavelengths at high intensity for therapeutic benefit. The combination is beneficial as the longer wavelengths (NIR) amplify the effects of the shorter wavelengths (red Light). It is a safe, painless, and natural treatment for a wide range of concerns. Red and near infrared wavelengths each penetrate the body differently and therefore have different benefits. 

 

Red light wavelengths penetrate the skin and have the most impact on skin health. The energy produced by the red light is felt as warmth against the skin, like the sun, and helps remove toxins and dead skin cells, while stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. This helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and promotes cellular health and skin renewal, helping to heal skin conditions and reduce the signs of aging. 

Have you ever experienced your skin condition healing or improving during summer or when on a sunny holiday? this is the power of light therapy, but its not always possible to get that amount of sunlight without sunscreen in our world today. 

NIR is not visible to the naked eye, however it penetrates deeper into the tissues than red light, naturally stimulating the mitochondria in your cells to produce more energy as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP is required for all cellular energy in the body and is a key element in cellular regeneration. 

When our body experiences stress; mental or physical stress including toxins and illness, our mitochondria don't produce as much energy as the body needs. Most chronic illnesses have been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. When our cells are under stress, ATP does not function as well as it should, due to Nitric Oxide molecules binding to the ATP.  As light penetrates the cell’s mitochondria, the nitric oxide molecules detach from the ATP and bind to oxygen molecules, enabling the mitochondria and ATP to  working more effectively. This results in increased circulation with more oxygen and nutrients delivered to the tissues, enhanced healing and a decrease in inflammation and pain. 

It's best to have a red light therapy treatment before a sauna, as near infrared penetrates our tissues best at a normal temperature without sweat on the skin. 

We have a combo deal that includes 10 minutes of red light therapy followed by a 30 minutes infrared sauna to provide you with the full spectrum of light benefits and the benefits of sweating with sauna. 

You can read more about the research and specific benefits of red light therapy here.

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