Detox Tips 4:

What Is Far Infrared Heat?

What exactly isinfrared, orradiant heat? No need to worry – it has nothing to do with either ultraviolet radiation (which gives you a sunburn and damages your skin) or atomic radiation (the kind from a nuclear bomb).

Radiant heat is simply a form of energy that heats objects directly through a process called conversion, without having to heat the air in between. Radiant heat is also calledfar infrared energy (FIR). Our sun is the principal source of radiant energy that we enjoy daily (some more so than others).

Have you ever been outside on a partly cloudy spring day of about 50 degrees F. and felt quite comfortable until the sun was suddenly obscured by a cloud? Although the air temperature had not had time to drop, you felt chilled, as the cloud would not let the warming infrared rays through to reach you.

History explores reports of the benefits of touch therapies for improved cell growth, DNA synthesis and protein synthesis in cells. Although these ancient practitioners did not know the technical terms as to why their therapy improved health, they were sure their patients got better.

Yes, the human heat from their touch increased immune defense response in which white blood cells surround and ingested small living things (like bacteria) and cell wastes.

Methods to Detoxify

Medical Applications of Infrared Heat Therapy

LuxSaunas Far Infrared Sauna rechnology makes it possible for people in wheelchairs, or those who are otherwise unable to exert themselves or who won’t follow through on an exercising and conditioning program to achieve a cardiovascular training effect. This also allows for more variety in any ongoing program.

“Many of us whom run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular systems, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of a sauna may impart a similar stress on the cardiovascular systems, and its regular use may be as effective, as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories and regular exercise.”
– As reported in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), August 7, 1987

Due to the deep penetration, over 1 1/2″ to 2″ into the skin, of the infrared rays generated by these LuxSauna Far Infrared Sauna technology, there is a heating effect deep in the muscular tissues and the internal organs. The body responds to this deep-heating effect via a hypothalamic-induced increase in both heart volume and rate. This beneficial heart stress leads to a sought-after cardiovascular training and conditioning effect.

Medical research confirms the use of sauna provides cardiovascular conditioning as the body works to cool itself and involves substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate. As a confirmation of the validity of this form of cardiovascular conditioning, extensive research by NASA in the early 1980s led to the conclusion that infrared stimulation of cardiovascular function would be the ideal way to maintain cardiovascular conditioning in American astronauts during long space flights. Blood flow during whole-body hypothermia is reported to rise from a normal 5-7 pints per minute to as much as 13 pints per minute.

The 1980s was the decade of high-impact aerobics classes and high mileage training. Yet there was something elitist about the way exercise was prescribed: only strenuous workout would do; you had to “go for the burn.” And such strictures insured that most participants were relatively young and in good shape to begin with. Many, many Americans got caught up in the fitness boom, but probably just as many fell by the wayside. As we’ve reported, recent search research shows that you don’t have to run marathons to become fit – that burning just 1,000 calories a week is enough. Anything goes, as long as it burns these calories.

Outstanding Caloric Consumption and Weight Control

In Guyton’s Textbook of Medical Physiology, we find that producing one gram of sweat requires 0.586 kcal. The JAMA citation referred to above goes on to state that, “A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams in a sauna, consuming nearly 300 kcal – the equivalent of running 2-3 miles.

A heat-conditioned person can easily sweat off 600-800 kcal with no adverse effects. While the weight of the water loss can be regained by dehydration with water, the calories consumed will not be.” Since a LuxSauna Far Infrared Sauna helps generate two to three times the sweat produced in a hot-air sauna, the implications for increased caloric consumption are quite impressive. Assuming “a Sauna,” as mentioned in JAMA, to last for 30 minutes, some interesting comparisons may be drawn. Two of the highest calorie output forms of exercise are rowing and marathon running. Peak output on a rowing machine or during a marathon run burns about 600 calories in 30 minutes.

A LuxSauna can, thus, play a pivotal role in both weight control and cardiovascular conditioning. This would be easily valuable for those who don’t exercise and those who can’t exercise yet want effective weight control and fitness maintenance program and the benefits that regular exercise can contribute to such a program.

Musculoskeletal Cases

Success reported with Infrared treatments by medical researchers:

TMJ Arthritis

Low Back Pain – relieved

Traumatic Arthritis

Brain Contusion – accelerated healing

Acel-decel Injury Sequelae

Post-exercise Muscle Pain – vital to competitive athletes

Tight Shoulders – relaxed

Adhesions – lengthened or more easily broken; they are common in competitive athletes, trauma and repetitive stress syndromes

Shoulder Pain – relieved or eliminated

Arthritis: Gouty, Rheumatoid, DJD – each substantially relieved or improved

Muscle Tension – relaxed

Compression Fracture – Example; pain stopped for 3 days with only a single treatment

Disc-protrusion Related Neuralgia

Spinal Cord Shock – post traumatic shock reversed

Muscle Spasms – reduced or eliminated Bursitis – eliminated

“Medical practitioners make use of Infrared Radiant Heat to Treat Sprains, Bursitis, peripheral vascular diseases, arthritis, and muscle pain,” according to the McGraw/Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology.

Dr. Rubin P. Lysiak M.D. of the O&P Medical Clinic has reported great success with the use of infrared treatment for:



Shoulder Stiffness


Gastroenteric Problems





Ear Diseases

The following is summarized from Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th Edition, ED. Justus F. Lehmann M.D., Williams and Wilkins, Chapter 9 or concluded from data therein. Generally it is accepted that heat produces the following desirable therapeutic effects:

It increases the extendibility of collagen tissues

Tissues heated to 110°F and then stretched exhibit a non-elastic residual elongation of about 0.5 – 0.9% that persists after the stretch is removed which does not occur in these same tissues when stretched at normal tissue temperatures. Thus 20 stretching sessions can produce a 10 – 18% increase in length in tissues so heated and stretched.

This effect would be especially valuable in working with ligaments, joint capsules, tendons, fasciae, and symposium that have become scarred, thickened or contracted.

Such stretching at 110°F caused much less weakening in stretched tissues for a given elongation that a similar elongation produced at normal tissue temperatures.

The experiments cited clearly showed that low-force stretching can produce significant residual elongation when heat is applied together with stretching or range-of-motion exercises, which is also safer than stretching tissues at normal tissue temperatures.

This safer stretching effect is crucial in properly training competitive athletes so as minimize their “down” time from injuries.

It decreases joint stiffness directly

There was a 20% decrease in stiffness at 110°F as compared with 90°F in rheumatoid finger joints, which correlated perfectly to both subjective and objective observation of stiffness.
Any stiffened join and thickened connective tissues should respond in a similar fashion.

It relieves muscle spasms

Muscle spasms have long been observed to be reduced through the use of heat, be they secondary to underlying skeletal, joint, or neuropathological conditions.

This result is possibly produced by the combined effect of heat on both primary and secondary effects from spindle cells and from its effects on Golgi tendon organs. The effects produced by each mechanism demonstrated their peak effect within the therapeutic temperature range obtainable with radiant heat.

It produced pain relief

Pain may be relieved via the reduction of attendant or secondary muscle spasms.

Pain is also at times related to ischemia due to tension or spasm which can be improved by the hyperemia that heat-induced vasodilatation produces, thus breaking the feedback loop, in which the ischemia leads to further spasm and then more pain.

Heat has been shown to reduce pain sensation by direct action on both free-nerve endings in tissues and on peripheral nerves. In one dental study, repeated heat applications led finally to abolishment of the whole nerve responsible for pain arising from dental pulp.

Heat may both lead to increased endorphin production and a shutting down the so-called “spinal gate” of Melzach and Wall, each of which can reduce pain.

It increase blood flow

Heating of one area of the body produces reflex-modulated vasodilations in distant-body areas, even in the absence of a change in core body temperature; i.e. heat one extremity also dilates; heat a forearm and both lower extremities; heat the front of the trunk and the hand dilates.

Heating of muscles produces an increased blood flow level similar to that seen during exercise.

Temperature elevation produces an increase in blood flow and dilation directly in capillaries, arterioles and venuies, probably through direct action on their smooth muscles. The release of bradykinin, released as a consequence of sweat-gland activity, also produces increased blood flow and vasodilatation.

Whole-body hypothermia, with a consequent core temperature elevation, further induces vasodilatation via a hypothalamic-induced decrease in sympathetic tone on the arteriovenous anastomoses. Vasodilatation is also produced by axonal reflexes and by reflexes that change vasomotor balance.

It assists in resolution of inflammatory infiltrates, edema and exudates

The increased peripheral circulation provides the transport needed to help evacuate the edema which can help end inflammation, decrease pain and help speed healing.

Blood Circulation

All of the following ailments may be associated to some degree with poor circulation and, thus, may respond well to the increased peripheral dilation associated with Infrared application:


Strained Muscles




Stretch Marks


Menstrual Cramps

Nerve Tension

Upset Stomachs


Varicose Veins




Children’s Over- tired Muscles

Leg and Decubitus Ulcers – failing to heal using conventional approaches

Post-operative Edema – treatment with infrared has been so successful that hospital stays were reported to have been reduced by 25%

Peripheral Occlusive Disease – “The goal is to maintain an optimal blood flowrate to the affected part In general the temperature should be maintained at highest level which does not increase the circulatory discrepancy as shown by cyanosis and pain.”

From “Therapeutic Heat and Cold” pp. 456-7