Every day we are in the midst of light energy. Sometimes, we are able to see it, and often we aren’t. For a long time, brilliant minds have speculated on its nature, the way it moves and the impact it has on the life on earth. The ancient cultures, researchers and philosophers have come up with a variety of theories, but in the 1860’s James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish physicist, introduced the idea of electromagnetism. Maxwell argued that because light is a wave and doesn’t require an intermediary in which to move through it, it has to be composed of magnetic and electric fields. This resulted in finding electromagnetic radiation, the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as an approach to measure light based on its wavelength and frequency. The electromagnetic spectrum begins with radiation that is safe, such as radio, microwave, infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light as well as the less safe radiations types like gamma rays and x-rays.

The human eye is able to detect wavelengths of light which span from 380-700 nanometers. But the human body is able to feel parts from the electromagnetic spectrum which can’t be observed, like infrared heat.

A lot of wellness treatments utilize heat therapy or light therapy. Two most well-known treatments are infrared heat RF and red light therapy. Both red and infrared light therapy are becoming increasingly well-known in spa and wellness areas and can be confused quite easily. However, they’re different and offer distinct advantages.

The Science of Light Therapy

To be healthy, humans need to be exposed to sunlight. An excellent instance of this is Vitamin D which comes from sunlight. The sun’s  rays contain the more well-known ultraviolet light (UV), however, the majority of the production is infrared. In the case of visible light sources, the violet light provides the most energy, while the red-colored light has the lowest energy.

As previously mentioned, the spectrum is a classification of every form of energy in nanometers, and their effect on the human body. Nanometers are units of length equal to a billionth of a millimeter and they’re used to determine the  wavelength of light. Because we’re comparing light red to infrared light, it’s vital to keep track of their position in the spectrum.

  • Red light is visible, and is most effective on the skin’s surface. The red light spectrum is the “long side” part of the visible spectrum, with wavelengths that range from 630nm to 700nm.
  • Infrared light is not visible and effective on the skin’s surface and has a penetration of around 1.5 inches deep into the body. Infrared is located just next to red light in the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from 800nm to 1 millimeter.

Infrared’s wavelength is greater than that from red light. This is what allows infrared light to penetrate further inside the human body. This is why infrared offers similar, but totally different advantages than red light. The Science behind these theories has been in use for a long time. In the 1800s and 1900s, a physician and scientist by the name of Niels Ryberg Finsen studied and developed a successful light therapy for treating smallpox. Later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1903 for his research. In 1910, John Harvey Kellogg also researched and wrote about the red light and  benefits on infrared heat benefits within his work “Light Therapeutics.” NASA then utilized red LED light sources for the growth of plants during flights to space. They also noticed that astronauts had experienced positive effects on their mood, as well as improved healing and wound healing. NASA also utilized infrared heat to give astronauts cardiovascular conditioning. Since then these technologies have been widely available as successful wellness programs.

Benefits of Infrared Heat

While infrared is classified by the term light energy, we do not notice it. We feel it as warmth. Since all humans produce infrared, it’s safe and natural. It’s also easily absorbed by skin tissues. Following the absorption process, people experience effects like the relief of pain as well as an increase in blood flow and circulation, weight loss as well as cleansing, skin rejuvenation and calmness, improved sleep and much more. However, these are only some of the advantages! For millennia, humans around the world have relied on infrared technology to improve their health and aid in improving metabolism, decreasing inflammation, decreasing the adverse effects from diabetes, decreasing allergies, improving the function of their heart, and improving their overall quality of life. How does infrared do it? In the process of entering our human body, it breaks down the fats and toxins encased in water molecules. It induces sweating to let out the toxins. Hence having an infrared therapy session is among the most effective ways to do a detox cleanse of the body!

The tissues that aren’t receiving a lot of circulation because they’ve been damaged can greatly benefit since infrared radiation can help with healing and skin regeneration. Infrared heating promotes the regeneration of damaged tissue through positively affecting fibroblasts (connective tissue cells essential to repair) which can increase the growth of cells, the synthesis of proteins and DNA that is required for tissue regeneration and tissue repair. This improved circulation, in conjunction with the increased flow of blood and oxygenation, could offer relief to those suffering from chronic pain or other ailments.

 Benefits of Red Light

Sitting right next to Near-infrared on the spectrum, Numerous red light therapy systems employ very little infrared with red LED light sources, and, as we’ve discovered the infrared light penetrates deep while red light focuses on your skin’s surface. As it penetrates the skin’s surface the light energy is focused on regenerating facial skin and smoothing the skin tone and collagen, while also causing a reduction of wrinkles and repair of sun damages. Experts suggest it could help in boosting the lymphatic system, reducing swelling (inflammation), fading scars and stretch marks. Additionally, it can also aid in hair growth and help in loss prevention. How though? The use of red light has been proven to trigger cellular processes within the skin, and positively impact them through the regeneration of fibroblasts, Keratinocytes, as well as the skin tissues.

Red Light Therapy is viral to boost collagen production because the amount of nanometers required to produce collagen are within the range of 700nm. Due to its ability help collagen production, people suffering from arthritis could greatly benefit. Red light facials and body treatments are available in spas, salons and wellness centers to enhance the skin, alleviate inflammation, improve immunity, and increase feelings of happiness.

How Do They Function Together

As you’ve seen there are some similarities between red and infrared light. Both are organic, chemical and drug-free, as well as easy, non-invasive, secure, and the users have reported no negative immediate or lasting side effects. In fact, many users have reported amazing results! Although both treatments are beneficial however, which one you pick depends on the result you wish to achieve. If you’re looking to treat skin problems that are visible the red light treatment could be beneficial, however when the skin problem is toxic to your body, then an infrared treatment could be necessary for the removal of toxins. Infrared sessions are an alternative holistic solution to wellness since it can give skin rejuvenating benefits (like that of red lights). It can aid in burning calories, remove toxins, ease pain, and induce the state of peace and relaxation.