Near infrared light therapy is the science of photobiomodulation. It uses invisible, near-infrared wavelengths between 700 and 1200 nm (nanometers) delivering energy to cells, stimulating healing and relieving pain. Infrared light therapy has been proven effective by hundreds of studies all over the world(1).
What is the Difference Between Red Light (Laser) and Near Infrared (LED) Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is part of the visible light spectrum; between 630 nm to 700 nm. It is used to help rejuvenate the skin and offers relief from inflammation and assists with wound healing.
Near Infrared is delivered through LED (Light Emitting Diode) light wavelengths between 700 and 1200 nm. A significant difference between lasers and LED’s is the way the light energy is delivered. The peak power output of LED’s is measured in milliwatts, whereas that of lasers is measured in watts. LED’s provide a gentler delivery of the same wavelengths of light compared to lasers(2). Near-infrared saunas are commonly used in- home, beauty spas, or medical facilities for pain relief, detoxification and skin regiment therapies.
Illustration of LED Near, Mid, and Far Infrared Therapy Penetration
The image below depicts the penetration levels of near, mid and far infrared in the mPulse 3-in-1® sauna. The mPulse® patented 3-in-1 heaters combine three separate elements in order to deliver each wavelength at its peak for a complete whole-body experience of healing, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
Anti-Aging Benefits -Near Infrared Therapy – Increases Collagen & Elastin Production in Skin Cells
Near-infrared therapy helps fight the battle of aging with its ability to stimulate the body’s own cells to aid in turning back the clock. Women and men alike, want to look and feel youthful. Sunlighten’s mPulse® 3-in-1® infrared saunas help restore skin to a youthful appearance. Dr. Amy Myers, MD, a pioneer in functional medicine and New York Times best-selling author states, “Infrared sauna technology can help purify your skin by eliminating toxins from your pores and increasing circulation, resulting in clearer, softer, and healthier-looking skin(3).
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a board-certified dermatologist, nutritionist and world-renowned healthy aging expert conducted a case study involving the benefits of Near-Infrared Light Therapy and “…over a period of 2 months, Dr. Perricone observed …visible changes in the skin. The skin was healthier, firmer and there was a visible diminished appearance in wrinkles(4). Near Infrared Light can increase the production of collagen in the skin. The fibroblast cells; the cells that make collagen and elastin, absorb the Near Infrared (NIR) light after just minutes of exposure.”
My Sunlighten sauna has changed my skin. I have a lot of acne scarring; and after just two sessions, a girlfriend asked me what I had been using because my face looked so much smoother and younger. I am so delighted and will continue to use my Sunlighten Sauna!
– Alyne H./ mPulse® 3-in-1®
Two near-infrared studies were conducted in Heidelberg, Germany. Using a controlled group, the participants underwent 30 treatments with NIR. The picture below shows a 46-year-old females’ collagen level before treatments (on the left) and on treatment 30 (on the right). The increased collagen is visible, which helps the skin become fuller, firmer and healthier(5).
Second study was conducted on facial wrinkles using the Modified Fitzpatrick Wrinkle Scale (6). This classification was based on generalized wrinkling, elastosis, and dyschromia (color of skin) as well as wrinkle depth. The wrinkles are classified into one of the three classes(1, 2, or 3), which were defined as mild, moderate, or severe(7). After 30 treatments, there is a significant reduction of wrinkles(5) and tightening of the skin. This is caused by the increased production of collagen and elastin by stimulating the fibroblast cells with near-infrared light.
Near Infrared Therapy – Stimulating and Increasing the Wound healing process
Fibroblast cells not only produce collagen and elastin; they are vital to the wound healing process. Fibroblast cells are the primary synthetic element in the repair process and are responsible for production of the majority of structural proteins during tissue reconstruction(8).
An example of successful near infrared assisting in wound healing is illustrated by one of Sunlighten’s own associates. This individual had her gallbladder removed on September 17th, 2010 and started near infrared treatments on September 22nd. She labeled her incisions A – D and used “A” as a control. She did NIR treatments daily for 12 days. Below are the pictured results of her personal healing process(9).
mPulse® Near Infrared Therapy – Relief from Pain, Inflammation and Muscle Spasms
As more and more chronic pain sufferers look for non-pharmaceutical ways to achieve pain relief, infrared sauna use has become one of the most popular alternatives to medicine for chronic pain. Because Sunlighten saunas are proven to be up to 99% emissive, Solocarbon heaters work by penetrating joints, muscles, and tissues, increasing circulation and improving oxygen flow. By calming the nerve endings, infrared reduces muscle spasms and helps the body heal itself, naturally(10).
A 2003 study, conducted by the Department of Dermatology and Institute of Medical Research, showed that use of near-infrared heat therapy helped the production of white blood cells to alleviate inflammation and reduce swelling (11). The mPulse’ s heating technology is designed from this scientific data to deliver these types and levels of therapeutic near-infrared wavelengths.
Infrared wavelengths penetrate the body to create heat, which creates profound therapeutic benefits. It increases blood flow to the muscles, delivering more concentrated oxygen, which creates more energy to heal.
-Dr. Jeffery Spencer – University of Southern California
In 2013, a study was conducted at Auburn Universtiy in Montgomery. They compared stretching in a Sunlighten mPulse 3-in-1 sauna to stretching in a training room environment. Participants completed a series of hamstring stretches in random order with 48 hours separating the sessions of in and out of the saunas. The results showed an increase of up to three times more flexibility and range of motion in the mPulse than with stretching in a training room alone. Benefits of increased range of motion include joint relaxation, less friction in the joints and diminished stiffness(12).
Additionally, in a NASA study done by Dr. Whelan with near-infrared heat, Dr.Whelan determined, that LED technology allows for deep penetration of tissue and increased cell growth from the inside(13). Sunlighten’s mPulse series–with its patented Solocarbon 3-in-1® heating technology–is the only sauna on the market that offers LED-based near infrared heat at this proven level.
Sunlighten’s mPulse® 3-in-1® Saunas Delivering Near, Mid and Far Infrared
Sunlighten’s mPulse® 3-in-1® Sauna delivers near, mid and far infrared to reach specific parts of the body for an intense detoxification, energy boosting and skin renewing therapy. The mPulse® comes has six preset programs: Detoxification, Anti-Aging, Weight Loss, Relaxation, Cardiovascular, Pain Relief and a Custom setting programmed, by you, for your specific therapy. Each preset program is designed to emit the optimal blend of infrared wavelengths – based on 56 research studies – to achieve the desired result.
Near Infrared benefits include(14):
- Boosting the body’s metabolism
- Recharging the cell’s mitochondria
- Stimulating white blood cell production
- Reduction in body fat
- Promoting cell regeneration
- Reducing inflammation within the body
- Improving circulation
- Increased wound healing
- Providing pain relief
- Rejuvenates the skin
- Eases muscle and joint pain
- Improving flexibility and
- Provides anti-aging benefits
- Your Complete Guide to Near Infrared Light Therapy. (2018, March 29). Retrieved from https://redlighttherapy.lighttherapyoptions.com
- Daniel Barolet, M. (2008). Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in Dermatology. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, 228.
- Myers, D. A. (2018, April 2). Skin Purification. Retrieved from https://www.amymyersmd.com/2017/09/6-benefits-of-infrared-sauna-therapy/
- Perricone, D. N. (2012, October 24). Dr. Nicholas Perricone study on near infrared(NIR) on the skin. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/ZRWWi-Mps_8
- Wunsch, A., &Matuschka, K. (2014). A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, 32(2), 93–100. http://doi.org/10.1089/pho.2013.3616
- The modified Fitzpatrick Wrinkle Scale: a clinically validated measurement tool for nasolabial wrinkle severity assessment.Shoshani D, Markovitz E, Monstrey SJ, NarinsDJDermatol Surg. 2008 Jun; 34 Suppl 1():S85-91; discussion S91.
- David Shoshani, M., Elana Markovitx, R., Stan J. Monstrey, M. P., & David J. Narins, M. F. (2008, June 2). The Modified Fitzpatrick Wrinkle Scale: A Clinical Validated Measurement Tool for Nasolabial Wrinkle Severity Assessment. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu
- BARBUL, M. R. (2004, March 4). Proliferative Phase (Day 3-14). Retrieved from The Cellular Biology of Wound Healing: http://www.neuro.ki.se/
- Sunlighten. (2018, April 2). Near Infrared Therapy and Wound Healing. Retrieved from https://www.sunlighten.com: https://www.sunlighten.com/blog/near-infrared-therapy-wound-healing/
- Infrared Sauna Therapy for Natural Pain Relief. (2018, April 2). Retrieved from https://www.sunlighten.com: https://www.sunlighten.com/infrared-sauna-health-benefits/pain-relief/
- LidijaKandolf-Sekulovic, Milena Kataranovski, Milos D. Pavlovic. Immunomodulatory Effects of Low-Intensity Near-Infrared Laser Irradiation on Contact Hypersensitivity Reaction. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2003; 19: pp 203–212, Blackwell Munksgaard.
- Michele Olson, PhD and Professor of Exercise Science A STUDY OF CHANGES IN FLEXIBILITY WITH FULL SPECTRUM INFRARED SAUNA THERAPY. (2013). Conducted at Auburn University at Montgomery
- Whelan et al; The NASA Light-Emitting Diode Medical Program- Progress in Space Flight and Terrestrial Applications. CP504, Space Technology and Applications International Forum-2000, edited by M. S. El-Genk. Copyright 2000 American Institute of Physics l-56396-9 19-X/00
- Sunlighten. (2016, October 4). Benefits of Near Infrared Therapy. Retrieved from The Difference Between Light Therapy and Near Infrared Therapy: https://www.sunlighten.com/blog/difference-light-therapy-near-infrared-therapy/