Infrared heat has become one of the most effective, natural pain relievers on the market today. Its growing popularity is partially because people are looking for alternative, more natural, medical treatments.
Pioneered in the mid-20th century to speed the healing of wounds in Japanese hospitals, infrared is now seen as a miracle-healing agent.
Infrared works by increasing the blood supply to the area of the body it is applied.
When someone is in pain, caused by lactic acid build-up, the body’s immune system releases an inflammatory process to begin healing. Inflammation is good at first, but later it can hinder the healing process. Ice isn’t always the best treatment for inflammation as applying cool compression causes blood vessels near the injury to constrict and shut off the blood flow that brings in the healing cells of inflammation. Blood is the best healer a body can have — the more blood flow the better.
When applied properly, infrared can override the nervous system’s control of blood flow and dramatically increase it, flushing out inflammatory products. It does this by facilitating the release of nitric oxide in the blood vessels, which results in larger arterial diameter and blood flow. The dramatic increase in blood flow can reduce inflammation and facilitate healing.
A recent study that I performed with Dr. Ronald Gazze called Far Infrared Wavelength Treatment for Low Back Pain: Evaluation of a Non-Invasive Device, measured the effect that infrared therapy had on the quality of life of people who suffered from low back pain. The 50 subjects for this study used the Thermotex Platinum portable infrared pad ($249) for six months, twice a day for 20 minutes each time. The study showed that the infrared pad accounted for a statistically significant increase in the quality of life for those back pain subjects.
Practically any individual at any age and activity level can benefit from the healing power of Infrared technology. Celebrities such as Jennifer Anniston utilize at-home infrared saunas on a daily basis to increase circulation and help ease chronic pain. Those who can use it to the greatest benefit are active athletes who have chronic pain from extreme training or injuries.
Currently Charleston Hughes of the Calgary Stampeders uses the Thermotex Platinum to help recover immediately after high activity training sessions and games.
Portable infrared technology is also an affordable and accessible option. Try the Thermotex Platinum ($249) or the UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad ($299).
Learn more at: http://thermotex.com.
Dr. Frank Ervolino has a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Master’s degree in Acupuncture both from Bastyr University in Seattle, Wash. He has practiced in Florida since 1999 where he served on the staff of the Jupiter Hospital at the Mind/Body Institute of Jupiter Medical Center. He also served as the Chair of the Florida Department of Health Board of Acupuncture. Dr. Ervolino is an active writer and former editor of Better Nutrition Magazine. In his spare time he runs for the runner’s high, he boats and is an avid sailor. He also skis and, being a retired climber, is now into mountaineering.