Imagine you have been suffering from lower back pain that continues to nag at you. You’ve suffered for years and nothing seems to help. One day, when browsing the internet you saw an online ad for infrared saunas and you thought you’d try it out. It was actually more comfortable than the traditional steam saunas that you have used in the past. You were also able to use a backrest in the sauna for extra support.
In this edition, we are going to explain how infrared saunas can assist with pain relief.
But firstly, we will take a step back and explain the basics of infrared wavelengths.
Infrared heat is one part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It occurs naturally as the non-harmful component of the sun's radiation. Unlike harmful UV radiation, infrared heat is safe. It is a wavelength you would experience as gentle, penetrating warmth. The same feeling as being in a sunny room on a cold winter's day.
Within infrared heat, there are near, mid and far-infrared wavelengths.
In infrared saunas, Sunlighten Solocarbon 3-in-1 heater technology is the only heating to provide precise dial up of each of the individual infrared wavelengths.
How could an infrared sauna help reduce your pain?
Sunlighten are the only sauna company that invests in research and development. One major finding revealed that combinations of wavelengths can assist with certain wellness outcomes.
One outcome was pain relief.
The pain relief program (available in an mPulse sauna) uses a combination of near, mid and far infrared. Far and mid provides natural pain relief by helping with inflammation and swelling. While the near infrared penetrates surface tissue to assist with cellular repair. It also assists to relieve tension and promote relaxation.
Research studies for your reference:
Pain Relief and Infrared Saunas
1) A 2013 study from the Auburn University at Montgomery -
Stretching in a Sunlighten mPulse sauna was compared to a typical training room environment. Participants completed a series of hamstring stretches. These were in random order with 48 hours separating the sessions. Results showed that acute flexibility increased up to 3x in the mPulse sauna.
Benefits to the increased range of motion include:
- Joint mobility;
- Less friction in the joints and;
- Enabling of joint function to diminish stiffness and joint relaxation. View study.
2) A recent Japanese study published in the journal, Internal Medicine -
It showed that chronic pain patients experienced a significant reduction in pain levels. The reduction was (approximately 70%) after the first session of infrared sauna therapy. Pain scores also decreased and remained low throughout the observation period. Researchers concluded that infrared heat therapy is effective for chronic pain treatment. ¹
3) A NASA study done by Dr. Whelan with near-infrared heat -
This determined that LED technology allows for deep penetration of tissue. It also allows for increased cell growth from the inside. ²
Sunlighten’s mPulse is the only sauna with LED-based near infrared heat at this level.
4) A 2003 study by the Department of Dermatology and Institute of Medical Research -
The use of near-infrared heat therapy helped the production of white blood cells. This led to reduced inflammation and swelling, two key factors in easing pain. ³
Again, the mPulse’s heating technology delivers these types and levels of therapeutic near-infrared wavelengths.
Bonus - 7 Natural Remedies for Pain Relief
Do you suffer from chronic pain or just the occasional ache? Below we have included some suggestions for natural remedies. Creams, ointments, supplements and a variety of natural pain relief remedies can provide relief. Here is an overview of these natural remedies:
Topical Pain Relief
1) Capsaicin cream: Formulated with a compound extracted from cayenne pepper. This pain relieving cream helps soothe the discomfort of arthritis. It does this by interfering with pain signals from nerves to the brain. Doctors can prescribe stronger concentrations. But weaker capsaicin creams can be purchased over the counter.
2) Arnica: Topical gels, ointments, and creams that contain arnica. They take advantage of this herb’s anti-inflammatory properties. It works to reduce swelling from muscle sprains and similar ailments. Arnica should not be used on or near an open wound, and it also should not be ingested.
Food, Supplements & Herbs for Pain Relief
3) Fish oil: This tested remedy for inflammation comes in capsule form. This makes it easier to swallow than the old “spoonful of cod liver oil” remedy. People taking medication or with health conditions should consult their doctor before taking fish oil.
4) Glucosamine sulfate: Healthy knees normally have abundant amounts of this substance. It is in the fluid that cushions joints, and it may help rebuild cartilage and prevent further damage.
5) Devil’s Claw: This African herb has been prized for its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it became so popular that it almost went extinct, so be sure to check for sustainable sources.
Natural Pain Therapy
6) Acupuncture: This ancient remedy has become widely accepted. Many major medical insurance companies cover acupuncture from a licensed therapist. Expect to visit a therapist several times for the best results. Especially when seeking relief from migraines, other headaches, or other kinds of pain.
Will Natural Remedies Provide Enough Relief?
Natural remedies don’t deliver the same kind of instant relief found in strong medications.
Yet many people have turned to these natural remedies to assist with their conditions.
1 Internal Medicine (Tokyo) Aug 15, 2008 by Matsushita K, Masuda A, Tei C. The First Department of Internal Medicine, Kagoshima University Hospital, Kagoshima, Japan.
2 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.
3 Lidija Kandolf-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.
*Sunlighten does not provide medical advice. We recommend you consult with a health care practitioner if you are unsure if using an infrared sauna is right for you. For best results, our saunas should be used in conjunction with an appropriate diet and exercise program. Individual results may vary.
How has pain affected you? Have infrared saunas helped? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.