Far Infrared

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The Benefits of Far Infrared (FIR)

Dr. Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D, Author of LIGHT Medicine of the Future states, “Our lives, our health, and well being are truly dependent on the sun. The human body is nourished directly by the stimulation of sunlight or nourished indirectly by eating foods, drinking fluids, or breathing air that has been vitalized by the Sun’s energy.”

Our bodies collect energy from the sun through the skin and eyes. Oxidation of fats and sugar are also catalyzed by light. The sun’s energy stimulates our body’s metabolism just as those same rays stimulate photosynthesis in plants.

Even with adequate nutrition, without light, our bodies can’t properly absorb certain nutrients and we may become malnourished. Skin damage, suppressed immune function, fatigue, and other ailments may be the result of lack of sufficient exposure to light. Eyeglasses, smog, windows, windshields, cosmetics, and suntan lotion all filter out a portion of light spectrum and contribute to this problem.

As most of us learned in high school health and science classes, the sun’s rays include infrared, visible light, ultra-violet, x-rays and gamma rays. The largest portion of the sun’s energy is in the infrared part of the spectrum. While this particular band can be felt as heat, it is invisible to the human eye.

These days I’ve been noticing lots of disease processes from too little sunshine. We all need about 20 minutes of sunshine per day to help convert calcium in our bodies to prevent osteoporosis and osteopenia. A little sunshine at the right time of the day is very healing. Too much can be damaging.  Skin problems, depression, and arthritis benefit greatly from sunshine.

It seems like ninety percent of our lives are now spent indoors under inadequate lighting conditions. We work, study, sit at our computers, and entertain ourselves inside.

So, how do we derive the benefits of sunshine when we are not in it? The use of far infrared products is one answer.

Planet Earth itself, plants, and animals all send and receive far infrared (FIR) waves. It is interesting to consider whenever we are close to another human or animal, we are both sending and receiving FIR energy.

Far infrared waves have special regenerative effects on the body. When the body is exposed to FIR waves, whether those waves are from the sun, FIR lamps, FIR saunas, reflected by specially treated fabrics or ceramic items, there is an increase in warmth. This warmth stimulates the detoxification and healing processes.

We got rid of our “toxic” microwave oven a while back after I was finally convinced of how it damages our electromagnetic fields and protein in our food and body. I really was unaware of how often I used that microwave. It took me weeks to remember to take out the next night’s dinner from the freezer. Had I not had my FIR ceramic plate to defrost that food twice as fast, I would have not had many a dinner at all let alone on time!

What does far infrared energy do? 

  • Far infrared waves attract calcium ions to the cell membrane.
  • They promote the adhesion and osmosis of water molecules to the cell membrane
  • They stimulate enzyme activity
  • They reduce soreness
  • They reduce swelling and inflammation by improving lymph flow
  • They remove toxins
  • They reduce muscle spasms
  • Increase blood flow

Dr. Tsu-Tsair Oliver Chi, in his work with FIR states, “Far Infrared rays are selectively absorbed by tissues needing a boost in their output. The internal production of infrared energy that normally occurs within our tissues is associated with a variety of healing responses and may require a boost to a maximal level to insure the fullest healing response possible in a tissue which is being repaired. After boosting a tissue’s level to its maximum, the remaining rays pass onward harmlessly. The phenomenon is called “resonant-absorption.”

Early consumer access to far infrared was in the form of those red-colored far infrared heat lamps still available in many hardware stores. I still use these kinds of lamps for birds. It keeps them warm and they can’t see the red color as well, so can get a good sleep, which is so important in the healing process, but now days, we have other options.

In the 1960’s NASA discovered mineral compounds that were able to generate far infrared waves. Businesses world-wide jumped at the opportunity to produce a wide variety of products using these new fiber compounds. I use many of these products for my own health such as FIR comforters, knee and wrist wraps, and one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, a FIR ceramic thawing plate.

Have you experienced the pleasing warmth of a FIR sauna? I love them but don’t have one at this time. Instead, I sleep under a FIR comforter every night.

Case Studies and uses of Far Infrared (FIR) products:

Heartburn: The Far Infrared (FIR) comforter, along with eating for your blood type, is my secret weapon for heartburn. I used to take quite a few Tums and Maalox tablets. Some foods just didn’t sit right with me. Once I incorporated these two things into my lifestyle, the antacids got so old, I threw them away. That was over six years ago. Think about it this way… FIR energy (sun energy) is known to speed the ripening of fruit. As the fruit ripens it becomes less acid. A far infrared comforter works in a similar manner for stomach acids and for lactic acid. Here’s a typical scenario for sore muscles…

Sore muscles occur when lactic acid builds up in the body faster than the body can detoxify it. My husband, Michael was the first person to introduce me to these products. He has a friend that is an “older” athlete who looks forward all winter to the beginning of baseball season. Joe purchased of a far infrared quilt just as the season started. For he and his baseball buddies it started off with a weekend of double headers, that’s two days, with two games each day. At the end of the first day, he was tired and very sore. Arriving home, after the second game he showered, had a bit of dinner with his family, and wrapped himself in the FIR quilt for a late afternoon nap. He also slept the night under that same FIR quilt.

He awoke the next morning full of anticipation, knowing there was another great day of baseball ahead. When he arrived at the ballpark and began practice, all his fellow players were whining about how sore they were. It was then that he realized, while he could “feel” his muscles, he really wasn’t sore at all. His buddies were amazed at how agile and quick he was. When they questioned him about not being stiff and sore, he told them the only thing he had done differently last night was to sleep under a far infrared quilt.

Everyone knows it, most men sleep warmer than women! At least that’s the way it is for most men and women, and that creates a rather challenging sleeping situation. Enough blankets to keep one partner warm and the other is roasting, or hanging half out of the bed to find relief. Too few blankets and the woman is usually freezing (unless they are going through menopause and experiencing hot flashes or have had chemo or radiation.) Either way, their sleep is disrupted and neither gets the quality, regenerative night’s sleep they need.

When the far infrared quilt is added to the bed, and the other blankets removed, both partners sleep comfortably. The fact is that the FIR quilt is able to accommodate both sleepers needs. The FIR fibers emit waves that raise or disperse excess heat to adjust our body tissues to just the right temperature level. After the tissues are at this perfect level, the remainder of the rays pass through the comforter harmlessly.

These days, far infrared products (wraps) are used by athletes to warm up body parts prior to competition and also, to help alleviate muscle strain and discomfort after injury. The next time you are watching a game on TV, look at the wrists, elbows, and ankles of those athletes and you are certain to notice some of them wearing far infrared wraps.

Far Infrared Saunas are all the craze these days as well. Saunas are great. And if you’ve just come down with the beginnings of a viral infection, spending 20 minutes in a sauna at 130 degrees Fahrenheit will fry those little viruses out so that you won’t have to succumb to a full-blown case of the flu. Unfortunately heat does not work as well for bacterial infections. I have not really done too much research on the brands of saunas that are considered the best, but I see used saunas on craigslist.com often and in the Little Nickle and MoneySaver papers.

The only downfall I find to the comforter is that it only comes in off-white. Putting another blanket on top of it lessens its effectiveness. I have known people to make a cotton coverlet to protect their comforter from cats and dogs sleeping on the bed, though, and they say it works great. Although it says you have to dry clean the product, we wash ours in Woolite on the gentle cycle, shake it, and air-dry it by hanging it over the deck railing.

Helpful Links and References for Far Infrared: