How Infrared Heating Affects Your Health. Myth Buster Ep. 2
The internet is an incredible learning resource. It makes thousands of articles sharing one common topic easily accessible by the click of a button. Information from professionals, scholars, and enthusiasts can all be shared faster and wider than ever before. All information is accessible in seconds because of this. However, this same reason which makes the internet the most superior learning tool of this generation, also makes it the most untrustworthy at the same time. Whilst we would like to think that all information we come across online is backed up by research of its own or screened beforehand, this is not the case at all. Due to this, it is incredibly easy for inaccurate information to be spread across a larger platform than it usually could be.
One of the biggest areas to fall victim to this is that of new technology. Misinformation about new technologies such as Far Infrared (FIR) are spreading despite the many articles out there discussing the real benefits and issues of the product.
Through a series of topical blogs, we will address the largest myths regarding Far Infrared technology and hopefully finally quash these misconceptions for good. By using a question-and-answer method, these blogs will aim to cover the most asked questions created from misinformation and will give evidential or scientific answers to satiate these queries.
Episode 2: “Are the rays harmful to your health?”
A popular concern with Far Infrared technology is whether it is detrimental to a person’s health to be in close proximity to it or use it for extended periods of time. Often times, customers confuse Far Infrared heaters with Mid Infrared or Near Infrared.
Found most commonly outside pubs and in smoking areas, mid-infrared is a well-known form of commercial heating. A person should not stand next to or beneath a mid-infrared heater for prolonged periods of time, due to their obtrusive orange-glare and abrasive heat; they are medically proven to cause severe migraines.
Unable to be seen or felt, Near Infrared produces no light and creates no form of heat. Far more dangerous than Mid Infrared, Near Infrared is invisible so it is impossible to know when you are exposed to it. Near Infrared causes a painful reaction to exposed skin and, in the case of the human eye, raises the internal temperature of the eye, essentially “baking” it. This form of Infrared is more commonly found in industrial environments such as steel mills, textile, paper, and glass manufacturers where workers are provided with the suitable PPE to protect themselves. Near Infrared and Far Infrared are polar opposites on the Infrared Spectrum as shown in the diagram below and this is why they have such different effects on the human body.
In the case of our heaters, they emit Far Infrared rays. These rays are medically proven to have a range of health benefits, unlike their harmful counterparts. In fact, the health benefits of Far Infrared have led to this technology being commercialised to form saunas, hot yoga studios, beauty clinics and health spas.
Within the Infrared Radiation band, only Far Infrared transfers energy solely in the form of heat which is received by thermoreceptors in the skin as radiant heat. This heat is absorbed by the human body, helping to soothe muscle pain and spasms, reducing inflammation, and aiding joint pain and blood flow. By increasing blood circulation, regular Far Infrared treatments can directly prevent certain health issues from surfacing or manage on-going afflictions.
In addition to this, FIR saunas have been proven to remove seven times more toxins from the body than traditional steam saunas. Whilst the human body will naturally dispose of toxins through the kidneys, liver and skin, the theory behind saunas is that proactively helping your body through this process allows the digestive system time to heal so that it can better absorb nutrients in the future.
Infrared saunas encourage relaxation, helping to balance the body’s cortisol level. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone, controlling blood sugar levels, the regulation of the metabolism and assisting with memory formulation. Having a cortisol imbalance can lead to a number of symptoms, including depression, high blood pressure, severe fatigue, and cognitive difficulties.
As the goal of our FIR heaters is to heat objects rather than raise the air temperature, it does not cause the air in a room to circulate. For sufferers of asthma, allergies and chronic sinusitis, far infrared heating can help to prevent flare-ups and symptoms. By not stirring the air, the air in the room remains clean, dust free and pathogen free.
The History of this Research:
Not only is FIR absorbed by the human body, but it is also emitted by the body in the form of black body radiation. In 1860, Gustav Kirchhoff coined the term “black body”. Essentially, all matter absorbs electromagnetic energy radiation to some level. An object which absorbs all radiation falling on it is called a black body- a perfect absorber. When a black body reaches a uniform temperature state, it emits back this absorbed energy. This is termed as “black body radiation”. This means that even after the FIR heaters are turned off, a person will continue to feel the benefit of them for some time afterwards.
Unlike other forms of heating, FIR heating doesn’t require any dangerous gases or chemicals meaning that it is safe even if the panel should stop working for some reason. In addition to this, the heaters require a low amount of energy consumption meaning that not only are they safe, but they are economical to run also.
For more information on the running costs of Far Infrared heating, please refer to the previous post, Myth Buster: Episode 1.