What is Near-Infrared Light Therapy?
When we look around our environment, the light we notice is only a tiny section of the entire light spectrum. The spectrum goes beyond visible light to include higher and lower wavelengths. Even though we cannot see these wavelengths, they have critical applications to our everyday lives.
Near-infrared (NIR) is a type of light just outside our visible spectrum of light that is commonly used in light therapy for its natural healing benefits. Near-infrared light therapy is a safe, effective way to reduce pain and inflammation naturally.
Light in the Electromagnetic Radiation Field
The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum holds a broad range of wavelengths.
The lower end of the spectrum includes:
In the middle, you find visible light noticeable to the naked eye.
The higher end of the electromagnetic spectrum includes:
Take note that we use the different levels of EM within our everyday lives, such as every time we cook something in the microwave, listen to the radio, or receive a medical X-ray. These wavelengths impact our bodies even though we can’t see them.
Where Is Near-Infrared Light Positioned?
Now that you have an idea of the different wavelengths within the entire electromagnetic spectrum, it’s time to get into where near-infrared light is located in that range. It’s found at the higher end of the spectrum, just beyond the scope of visible light.
The infrared range of the spectrum can be further broken down into near-infrared, middle infrared, and far-infrared. Near-infrared has wavelengths that are the closest to visible light. Light visible to the human eye ranges in wavelength nanometer from about 400 to 700, incorporating the rainbow of colors we can see. We can see some types of healing light, such as blue light or red light, because they fall within the visible spectrum.
Near-infrared, on the other hand, is just beyond our visible spectrum. Health and wellness applications of near-infrared light generally use wavelengths of 810, 850, or 980 nm. You can see that these nanometer wavelengths are just a bit higher than the top of the visible spectrum at 700 nm.
Our bodies can feel some wavelengths beyond our visible spectrum, such as ultraviolet light from the sun. However, we neither see nor feel wavelengths in the range of NIR light.
How Does Near-Infrared Light Affect Us?
The various wavelengths throughout the electromagnetic spectrum impact our bodies in different ways. Near-infrared light can provide healing benefits and is used in therapeutic applications.
NIR light affects the component of human cells called the mitochondria, which takes part in energy production and transportation. Giving NIR light to the cell’s mitochondria through light therapy helps increase the amount of ATP produced and supports energy transport. With improved cellular energy, the body can carry out enhanced healing processes.
What Health Benefits Does NIR Light Support?
The boost of cellular energy created through NIR therapy has various health benefits.
Through NIR, the body’s inflammatory response gains more cellular energy and temporarily widens blood vessels to cleanse and repair tissue impacted by the adverse health effects of inflammation. A moderate amount of inflammation is a natural body process that helps heal, but our modern world contributes to a continuous and ongoing inflammation that results in health problems. NIR supports better health and wellness by helping to reduce inflammation responses naturally.
Improving the Skin
NIR therapy can stimulate renewal and healing in the skin. By boosting the cellular energy, NIR contributes to more elastin and collagen that support youthful skin qualities. This therapy promotes good skin texture, heals skin, combats fine lines and wrinkles, and improves skin elasticity.
NIR supports injury recovery for a range of problems, from sore muscles and acute injuries to repetitive conditions. People who exercise can use this light therapy after a workout to promote healing and repair minor muscle and tissue concerns. At the same time, it can also be used in a therapeutic application for injury.
Targeted & Full-Body NIR
Near-infrared therapy can be used in targeted applications, such as facial skin or an ankle injury. It can also be used as a full-body light therapy treatment, targeting the entire body at once to promote maximum cellular production and transportation, thus supporting healing and optimal wellness throughout the body. TheraLight’s full-body light beds provide NIR therapy to the entire body in each session.