One of the reasons we love infrared heat is because of its versatility! The list of benefits is long, and many are familiar with a few of them, but did you know that infrared heat can rejuvenate the skin, provide pain relief and exercise recovery, increase range-of-motion and more? Let’s dive into three ways infrared can help step up your overall wellness and help you to look and feel better.
Rejuvenating the Skin
Taking care of your skin is the way to maintain a youthful glow. How do we know? A study on the effects of infrared on skin photo-aging and pigmentation investigated how infrared affects the collagen and elastin production in dermal fibroblasts. The study group consisted of nearly two dozen female patients who were experiencing mild to moderate facial wrinkles and hyperpigmented lesions. These patients were exposed to infrared daily for six months with evaluations every-four-weeks. What did the researchers find? They noticed that the content of the collagen and elastin produced by the fibroblasts had increased and that all patients reported improvements in skin texture. Additionally, some patients saw improvements in their skin tone leading researchers to the conclusion that infrared heat can be a safe and efficient treatment for aging skin.
Your skin is the protector of your body! It covers your bones, muscles and internal organs from the external environment and protects you from infections, diseases, toxic chemicals, and viruses. When you are wounded, and the skin becomes damaged, it can allow harmful compounds and germs to enter the body. According to Whelan and the American Institute of Physics (2001), human cell growth has been observed to increase from 155%-171% and wound size decreased by 36% after the application of infrared heat. So not only can infrared assist with soothing the body but it can promote healing as well!
FIT Tip: The FIT Booster Spray and the FIT Radiance Complex contain hydrating, anti-aging, slimming and toning ingredients to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as improve the overall feel and appearance of the skin. Skin rejuvenation at its finest!
Pain Relief and Recovery from Exercise
Body pain is a common complaint that many people have. During infrared use, the infrared waves penetrate into the body, and this can result in speedy healing benefits through increased blood flow and tissue oxygenation. This process can also provide the body more energy to heal. Many people experience delayed-onset muscle soreness, muscle fatigue or aches or pains after a good workout. If the pain is intense, you may want to delve a bit deeper and find out if the pain is being caused by overdoing it during exercise.
An infrared session can be the perfect answer for a body that’s too sore to hit the gym again. Why? It is handy for relaxing the joints and muscles. The deep penetrating heat of infrared rays can be used to reduce muscle spasms and relieve back pain, muscle tension, and tight shoulders. Because it increases the extensibility of collagen tissues, infrared is an incredible therapy to help you get back to their regular workout routine quicker.
FIT Tip: Don’t forget to take rest! Look at your infrared sessions as a time to relax, recover and prepare your body for its next workout.
Increase Range-of-Motion, Tissue Extensibility, and Flexibility
Do you ever feel that regardless of how much you stretch your muscles feel incredibly tight? It could be because your tissue lacks extensibility which is essentially its capability of being extended. This is different than flexibility because flexibility affects the entire muscle or tendon while extensibility deals directly with the individual fibers that make up those muscles and tendons. (Fleet Hartford)
So, what do we do? Feel the heat! When body tissues are heated to 45ºC or 113 ºF and then stretched they begin to exhibit a non-elastic residual elongation that persists after the stretch is removed. Research shows that this does not occur in these same tissues when they are not heated, and repeated sessions can produce a 10 -18% increase in the length of tissues that were warmed and stretched. Therefore, exposure to infrared can assist with flexibility and tissue lengthening.
Infrared exposure can work on stiff and sore muscles to improve flexibility. Exposing the body to infrared heat can be especially valuable for those experiencing pain in the with ligaments, joint capsules, tendons, and fascia. Fascia is the fibrous tissue that encompasses our muscles and other organs, very important for flexibility. Experiments exhibited that low-force stretching could produce significant residual elongation when heat is applied together with stretching or range-of-motion exercises.
As we’ve uncovered, infrared heat has many uses and can improve your wellness in a variety of ways. If you have a specific goal, ailment or focus for your sessions, it can be helpful to note how you feel before, during and after your sessions. Doing so can assist with tracking progress as well as noticing improvements!