Photobiomodulation (PBM) and the Benefits of Near InfraRed Sauna

"We are ever searching for better ways to heal the body that are safe, inexpensive, and powerful enough to handle today’s health disasters.  Over the past fourteen years, we have incorporated infrared lamp saunas as a healing and detoxification modality.  Rarely have I seen such an impressive aid for healing many diverse conditions.  Near infrared lamp sauna therapy – and no other type of sauna therapy – is now a central part of every nutritional balancing program."   Dr L. Wilson, author of "Sauna Therapy"

We are beings of light.

Our cells need light to survive.

Photobiomodulation (PBM) - a process by which light affects living organisms. 

In photobiomodulation, light is used to cause a change in living beings, both man and animal. 

 

Photobiomodulation is therefore the study of the biological effects – both beneficial and harmful – of light wavelengths on living organisms. It is also referred to as: red light therapy, mitochondrial stimulation, (mito-stim therapy), low-level light therapy, or simply light therapy.  Photobiomodulation occurs when light photons are absorbed by living tissue within the wavelength range from 600-1000 nanometers. This range is known as the "mitochondrial stimulation band" or the "healing band" and it encompasses both red light in the range of 600-700nm, and a portion of near infrared light wavelength in the range of 700-1500nm on the electromagnetic light spectrum.   

NASA research has found that the Near Infrared electromagnetic frequency band of energy penetrates deeply into the body and can have a healing effect on individual cells. 

 

Inside the mitochondria of every cell are receptors which respond to Near Infrared wavelengths.  When light from within this band of wavelengths is absorbed by the cells of the human body, the cell responds by stimulating the cellular mitochondrial light receptor enzyme, cytochrome-C oxidase.  Cell ATP production is increased, releasing Nitrous Oxide, and forming Reactive Oxygen Species – all of which work to produce large-scale systemic benefits to the health of the body. The light triggers an increase in cell metabolism, protein synthesis (including collagen), as well as anti-oxidant activity, enabling detoxification of cells.  Inflammation and pain are also reduced while growth and cell regeneration are stimulated.

This, combined further with the benefits of hyperthermia provide the body with natural and ancient techniques of healing.

Incandescent light bulbs vs LED bulbs

A Spanish study, published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology in 2012, found that LED radiation caused significant damage to human retinal pigment epithelial cells in vitro and that exposure to LED lights can cause irreparable harm to the retina of the human eye.

 

We use incandescent, tungstein bulbs.  The tungstein filament found in the bulbs is heated by the electrical current when it makes contact with the base of the bulb and enters into the bulb housing, thus heating the tungstein filament.  As the filament burns, particles fly off it, creating heat.  The effect of this "controlled fire" is similar to that of a burning log or coal.

 

An incandescent light bulb produces approximately 90% heat, and 10% light.  Providing natural thermal infrared wavelengths in the red, near infrared and thermal light spectrum, incandescent light is as close to the gold standard - the sun - as one can get.

Benefits of Near InfraRed Sauna use:
  • Skin rejuvenation.  Sauna use slowly restores elimination through the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and a major eliminative channel.  In most people, it is inactive, congested and toxic.  Sun exposure, use of synthetic clothing, bathing in chlorinated water and exposure to hundreds of chemicals damage the skin.  Excessive sympathetic nervous system activity and emotions such as fear, anger and guilt cause blood to be withdrawn from the skin, contributing to inactivity of the skin.

  • Regular use of a sauna reduces the risk of fatal heart attacks and reduces death from all causes.

  • Enhanced sweating and decoupling of toxins.  Sweating in a sauna is a by-product of applying heat to the body.  The sweating process gently and safely helps eliminate all heavy metals and toxic chemicals.  Medical studies demonstrate that most toxins can be eliminated through the skin, relieving the burden on the kidneys and liver.   Sweating increases dramatically in most people after several months of daily sauna use.  This in turn assists in the elimination of toxins, including heavy metals, thus also possibly decreasing the risk of dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease and other diseases where heavy metals and toxins may be a contributory cause.

  •  Sweating during exercise is not nearly as effective for detoxification because exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system.  Sympathetic nervous activity inhibits toxin elimination.​

  • Exercise benefits.  Saunas provide many of the benefits of exercise with much less expenditure of energy.  These include enhanced circulation and oxidation of the tissues.  Repeated sauna use can lower elevated blood pressure and improve the elasticity of the arteries.  Saunas are most helpful for cardiovascular rehabilitation, arthritis, allergies, skin conditions and chemical sensitivity.

  • Decongesting the internal organs.  Heating the body powerfully shunts blood toward the skin to dissipate heat.  This decongests the internal organs and greatly stimulates circulation.  Sinuses, joints and many other tissues benefit greatly.​

  • Fever therapy (hyperthermia) for infections.  Raising body temperature powerfully assists the body to kill bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses.  Many people have a low body temperature and, for this reason, cannot get rid of chronic infections.  Common sites of infections are the sinuses, ears, eyes, bladder, throat and intestines.

  • Tumours, radiation poisoning and mutated cells.  Hyperthermia also helps kill other types of abnormal cells.  Tumours, for example, tolerate heat poorly.  Raising body temperature hastens their death.  Though not a conventional method, hyperthermia is a well-researched therapy for cancer.  Heat also disables or kills cells mutated by radiation or damaged by other toxins.

  • Inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system.  This is tremendous benefit not offered by many therapies of any kind.  It enables the body to relax, heal and regenerate itself much faster, causing recovery from many types of ailments.

  • Oxygenating and hydrating the cells and organs, and improving circulation.

Dr Lawrence Wilson, MD, author of "Sauna Therapy", recommends that "Far infrared saunas should be avoided as they give off stray electromagnetic fields that may be extremely harmful."

The following information is taken from Dr L Wilson's website on the health benefits on Near InfraRed:

"The benefits that have been researched include:

 

  • BOOSTS METABOLISM – The mitochondria (power plants of the cells) produce more ATP (energy currency of the cells) when NIR (near infrared rays) is introduced. (1,2)

 

  • REDUCES BODY FAT – A group of 20 women riding stationary bicycles 3 times per week for 4 weeks exposed to NIR lost an average of 8 cm’s or 444% more as compared to 20 women doing the same exercise without NIR.  (3)

 

  • INCREASES ENERGY – NIR activates the color sensitive chemicals (chromophores & cytochrome systems) to depths of 23 centimeters (or about 10 inches), stimulating the energy processes in cells. (1)

 

  • IMPROVES CIRCULATION TO THE MUSCLES – NIR causes the release of nitric oxide.  This stimulates vasodilatation of the microcirculatory system, bringing more blood to the muscles. (4)

 

  • BETTER ENDURANCE – Muscle fatigue was reduced by up to 42.2% when exposing muscle to NIR. (5,6)

 

  • INCREASES STRENGTH – Growth hormone release is induced by an increase in body temperature and not by exercise itself.  Growth hormone increases muscle mass, calcium retention, and lipolysis (the breakdown of stored fat). (14)

 

  • FASTER RECOVERY TIME – Certain tissue regenerating genes including integrins, laminin, gap junction proteins and kinesin proteins have shown a two- to five-fold increase upon exposure to NIR.  (7,8)

 

  • WORKOUT IN LESS TIME – Due to increased production of ATP and quick dilation of the microcirculatory system, a person can lessen warm-up time and work at a higher level of exertion without increasing blood pressure. (1,9,10)

 

  • DETOXIFY THE BODY - Increased blood circulation stimulates the sweat glands, releasing built-up toxins and waste. Sweat is the only way to remove certain carcinogenic PCBs, dioxins, phthalates, and volatile organic hydrocarbons. (11)

 

  • REDUCES VISIBLE CELLULITE - Cellulite is fat mixed with toxins that are trapped, in part due to an underactive  circulatory system.  Cellulite is so visible, in part due to weakened connective tissue.  NIR helps rebuild connective tissue and has been shown to reduce cellulite. (12)

 

  • REJUVENATES SKIN - DNA Synthesis of fibroblasts, which affects the elasticity of skin, increase five-fold with NIR.  The result is younger-looking, more beautiful skin. (1,7)

 

  • LESSENS JOINT AND MUSCLE PAIN & INCREASES FLEXIBILITY - Penetrating heat from NIR has long been proven to reduce pain and increase circulation to areas of discomfort.  NIR has also been shown to significantly increase the range of flexibility. (13)"


References

 

1. Whelan H.T., Buchmann,  E.V., et al, NASA Light-Emitting Diode Medical Applications From Deep Space to Deep Sea

 

2. Wong-Riley M.T., Bai, X., et al, Light-Emitting Diode Treatment Reversed the Effect of TTX on Cytochrome Oxidase in Neurons

 

3. Mockel F., Hoffmann G., et al Einfulss von Wassergefiltertem Infrator A auf die Reduktion von Lokalem Fett und Korpergewicht unter Korperlicher Belastung

 

4. Gilligan D.M., Panza J.M., et al, Contribution of Endothelium-derived Nitric Oxide to Exercise-Induced Vasodilation

 

5. Lopes-Martins R.A., Marcos R.L., et al, Effect of Low Level Laser on Skeletal Muscle Fatigue Induced by Electrical Stimulation in Rats

 

6. Abou-Hala A.Z, Barbosa D.G., et al, Effects of the Infrared Lamp Illumination  during the Process of Muscle Fatigue in Rats

 

7. Wong-Riley M.T., Whelan H.T., Effect of 670-nm Light Emitting Diode Light on Neuronal Cultures

 

8. Buchmann E.V., Dhokalia A., et al, Effect of NASA Light-Emitting Diode Irradiation of Molecular Changes for Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice

 

9. Savard, G.K., Nielsen B., et al, Muscle Blood Flow is not reduced in Humans during Moderate Exercise and Heat Stress

 

10. Hannuksela M.L., Ellahham S., Benefits and Risks of Sauna Bathing

 

11. Rogers S., Reversing the Neuro-degeneration from Ubiquitous Environmental Endocrine Disruptors

 

12. Alster T.S., Tanzi E.L., Cosmetic Laser Therapy

 

13. Demura S., Noguchi T., and Matsuzawa J., Effect of Linear Polarized Near-infrared Irradiation on Flexibility of Shoulder and Ankle Joints

 

14. Christensen S.E., Jørgensen O.L., et al, Characterization of Growth Hormone Release in Response to External Heating

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