Using heat to treat illness and abnormal growths within the body dates back thousands of years. In fact, Hippocrates himself discovered how inducing a fever could help cure diseases and shrink tumors.
Whether it be through the use of Turkish baths, Finnish saunas, Russian banyas, sweat lodges, or the healing power of local hot springs, many cultures around the world have used hyperthermia (raising the body temperature) as a form of healing.
In our modern lives, it isn’t as easy to implement these ancient forms of heat therapy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still reap the benefits within our own homes.
Far Infrared Therapy through the use of far infrared mats can emulate a “false fever” and offer some astoundingly positive results.
12 Amazing Healing Benefits of Far Infrared Mats
Since ancient times, many cultures around the world have known that low body temperature can be the cause of many degenerative conditions. We now know that increasing the body’s temperature by just 1.8 degrees is enough to increase immune function by up to 40%, encourage the production of hormones and enzymes by 50%, and stimulate our metabolic rate by 12%.
That’s pretty amazing!
However, since most people nowadays don’t regularly visit saunas, hot springs, or sweat lodges, it can be difficult to get the benefits of raising one’s body temperature properly.
Well, not anymore!
Far infrared mats are designed to raise body temperature in a non-invasive way right in the comfort of your own home where you can heal and regenerate the body whenever you like.
What is Far Infrared?
Far infrared is a form of electromagnetic radiation (light) with wavelengths between 3µm to 1,000 µm. All living things emit far infrared energy. If we were able to see it with the naked eye, everyone would be glowing like the photo below.
Sitting on a stone that has been warmed by the sun emits far infrared heat. So too does a cooking stove when heating food. The warmth we feel from the sun is far infrared light.
The heat from far infrared mats can penetrate 6-8 inches into the body which helps promote healing, detoxification, and recovery.
What Is a Far Infrared Mat?
Far infrared mats are mats about the size of a standard yoga mat, in fact, they fit perfectly on a massage table, and are composed of 17 layers of various biotech materials that produce far infrared rays, negative ions, and gentle magnetic fields that penetrate deep into tissues and organs.
These rays warm up the body and induce hyperthermia which triggers the body’s self-healing process.
The science behind it was actually produced by NASA who were the first to document the benefits of far infrared rays on the body.
But these rays aren’t just produced by heat. What makes these mats special is the use of amethyst crystals.
That may sound a bit woo-woo, but I promise you, amethyst actually contains some very potent piezoelectric properties which allow it to carry both a positive and negative charge simultaneously.
The superconductive properties of amethyst, which the far infrared rays must pass through, is what turns them into longer wavelengths that can penetrate deeply into the body – up to 8 inches!
Negative ions are oxygen atoms with an extra electron that tend to be found in abundance near waterfalls, rainforests, and the ocean. They are produced every time an oxygen molecule breaks apart, most often in nature due to sunlight, storms, and moving air and water.
They are also produced by amethyst when it is heated.
Negative ions are known to have a very positive effect on mental health and clarity, drowsiness, mental energy, and are even known to improve migraines, sinus problems, and allergies.
This is why when you are out in nature, you feel uplifted and have increased energy! It’s all of those good negative ions you’re breathing in and being exposed to.
With the inclusion of amethyst in a far infrared mat, you can reap the benefits of both far infrared heat and negative ions.
Below, you can see the layers within the mats and the two mats that I own.
How to Use a Far Infrared Mat
Lay the mat on the floor, plug it in, and select the desired heat setting. Allow the mat to come to temperature for 20 minutes.
During this time, prepare your space. Turn on some music, get a diffuser going with a relaxing essential oil blend, and make sure to prepare a large glass of water. You may also want a small towel for dabbing away sweat, a large towel to lay under while using the mat, or a mylar blanket to create a far infrared sauna experience.
To make a far infrared sauna with your mat, turn up the heat to the max setting, which should be 158 degrees Fahrenheit or 78 degrees Celsius. This may take up to 30-40 minutes to come to full temperature.
Lay on the mat and relax for 40 minutes to an hour. If you are not sweating freely after an hour, you may extend your treatment another 30 minutes for a total of 1.5 hours.
After your session is over, take a shower as you normally would and continue with your day.
You can use the far infrared mat daily if desired but always make sure to stay hydrated when using it.
The 12 Amazing Healing Benefits of Far Infrared Mats and Why You Need One!
Far infrared mats can safely raise the body’s temperature and create a false fever due to their deeply penetrating heat.
This “fever” stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies, white blood cells, and interferon which help the body protect itself from harmful microorganisms.
But that’s not all they do!
Far infrared mats also:
- Ease minor joint pain, and stiffness
- Improve sleep (if associated with pain relief)
- Increase tissue oxygen (due to increased circulation where applied)
- Increase blood circulation in areas where applied
- Promote relaxation by application of heat
- Promote restful sleep for those with occasional sleeplessness
- Reduce inflammation (where applied)
- Reduce stress and fatigue
- Relax the muscles
- Relieve minor muscle pain in areas where applied
- Soothe and relaxes
- Support the immune system
- Temporarily increase local circulation where applied
- Temporarily relieve joint pain associated with arthritis
- Temporarily relieve minor muscle and joint pain and stiffness
- Temporarily relieve minor muscular back pain
- Temporarily relieve muscle spasms
- Temporarily relieve sprains and strains
Below, I will go over 12 benefits of far infrared mats a bit more in-depth so that you can really see why they’re so awesome for your health!
- Alleviates Joint Pain and Stiffness
Whether you suffer from arthritic conditions or are an athlete on the mend, far infrared therapy can alleviate many forms of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries like sprains, strains, neuralgia, bursitis, muscle spasms, and stiffness in the joints.
It does this by encouraging the growth of new cells and protein synthesis necessary for repairing and regenerating damaged tissues resulting in faster recovery.
- Improved Immune Function
Far infrared rays can penetrate up to 8 inches into the body. This deeply penetrating heat encourages a “healthy fever” that promotes the production of antibodies and white blood cells that kill off invading pathogens like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even parasites.
This immune activation helps to strengthen the body and up its natural defenses during cold and flu season. It also increases the body’s resistance to disease.
- Improves Circulation and Cardiovascular Health
One of the main reasons I purchased my far infrared mat was to help improve my poor circulation. Since the mats produce such penetrating heat, it warms the blood and expands the capillaries and blood vessels which helps increase peripheral circulation.
One study has shown a decreased prevalence of ischemia (the shortage of blood supply to an organ) due to a significant increase in microcirculation caused by far infrared rays.
This ability also greatly improves cardiovascular health, especially in those who suffer from impaired vascular endothelial function, low oxygen levels, and arteriovenous fistula.
- Improves Detox
Improved circulation along with the induced fever caused by far infrared rays helps stimulate the sweat glands which allows the body to release cellular wastes and toxins. This helps detoxify the body by supporting its elimination pathways so that carcinogenic substances, heavy metals, uric acid, cholesterol, and other potentially harmful toxins can be swept from the body.
It has been shown that far infrared rays are more than seven times more effective than other treatments in removing heavy metals such as aluminum and mercury from the body.
Water molecules in our body can capture various toxins like carbon monoxide and even some heavy metals like chlorine, lead, and mercury. However, far infrared rays cause these water molecules to vibrate and break the ionic bonds that hold them together. This allows the toxins within the water molecules to be released and removed from the body during a session on the mat.
Since high-intensity far infrared treatments can cause a detox reaction, it is important to start slowly and work your way up over a number of sessions.
This is especially important for those with the spirochaetes bacteria associated with syphilis, yaws, Lyme disease, and relapsing fever.
The most effective temperature for detox is 158 degrees Fahrenheit or 78 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes to one hour.
- Improves Motor Function
Since far infrared encourages increased blood flow by dilating the capillaries and blood vessels, it also increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. This allows the body to deliver much-needed oxygen, regenerating proteins and enzymes, and nutrients to damaged tissues and areas where chronic inflammation in the muscles and joints are present.
Far infrared rays can also help regenerate the nerves and improve overall nerve function which in turn improves motility.
- Improves the Skin
The skin can also benefit greatly from far infrared rays. The increased circulation helps the body deliver vital nutrients to the skin, enhances detoxification, and encourages lymphatic drainage. This improves cellular turnover, evens the complexion, increases the glow in the skin, and gives it a healthy appearance.
- Improves General Well-Being
Many people suffer from chronic pain, poor circulation disorders, trouble losing weight, impaired immunity, stress, and more.
Through the use of far infrared mats just a few times per week, people with these conditions can finally get the relief they have sought after.
I know for me personally, I can lower my stress and anxiety within minutes of laying on my far infrared mat. It is soothing for my emotions and helps support my poor circulation and chronic lower back pain.
I lay on it, relax for a while, and get on with my day feeling refreshed and revitalized.
- Normalizes Blood Pressure
Laying on a far infrared mat for just 60 minutes has been proven to help normalize and regulate high blood pressure and improve the viscosity of the blood due to its circulation-enhancing effects.
If you are someone who angers easily and needs a healthy way to release those emotions, laying on a far infrared mat can help control elevated blood pressure.
- Reduces Stress and Fatigue
The comfort of heat is surprisingly soothing both emotionally and physically. If you have tight muscles in the neck and shoulders because of your stressful 9-5 job, the healing heat from a far infrared mat can loosen tension and help the body release the day’s stressors.
As a result, your cortisol levels will drop, and you will feel the stress leave your body.
Turn on some relaxing spa music, have a diffuser running with your favorite de-stress blend, and make a good cucumber and mint infused water, and you’ve got yourself the perfect little retreat right in your own home.
- Relieves Chronic Pain and Inflammation
Far infrared mats are the perfect companion for athletes, those who enjoy a good workout and other recreational activities, and of course, for those you deal with chronic pain and inflammation in their lives, no matter the source.
The healing heat that radiates from a far infrared mat encourages fast recovery, greatly reduces inflammation in the joints, muscles, and connective tissues, and helps heal damaged tissues by helping the body deliver oxygen-rich blood to the areas that need it and carrying away metabolic wastes.
One Japanese study investigated the effect of far infrared rays on chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia. Out of the 13 women who received far infrared therapy once per day 2-5 times per week, all of them experienced a significant reduction in pain (up to 50%!). After 10 sessions, their pain was reduced by 78%.
Another study shows how the body produces more heme oxygenase-1, an enzyme that protects the cells from oxidative stress when exposed to far infrared rays.
A Chinese study found that far infrared therapy actually inhibits the release of chemokine interleukin-8, a protein related to inflammation.
Using my mat has greatly improved my lower back pain, menstrual cramps, and the symptoms of endometriosis.
- Stimulates Weight Loss
Believe it or not, using the therapeutic setting on a far infrared mat to really induce a sweat for a good 45 minutes has been proven to be equivalent to jogging for 30 minutes – LAYING DOWN.
If that isn’t encouragement enough, I don’t know what is.
What could be better than relaxing while your body is hard at work sweating and burning calories?
Far infrared rays are capable of stimulating weight loss by improving the body’s basic metabolic rate and elimination pathways. They encourage detoxification and help the body eliminate wastes and toxins more efficiently which in turn reduces cravings.
As the temperature in the body rises during treatment, the “heat energy” produced is transferred to your cells giving them more energy and improved efficiency. This increases circulation, lymphatic drainage, and cardiovascular function which burns a lot of calories.
On top of that, far infrared also speeds up recovery time. If you pair far infrared therapy with your workouts, you will be less likely to skip out on exercise due to post-workout muscle soreness. This helps you maintain physical activity by healing minor injuries.
All of these factors are what prime the body for optimum weight loss and have been proven effective.
- Treats Allergies
Due to the improved circulation and reduced inflammation the body experiences through the use of far infrared therapy, conditions like hay fever, allergic rhinitis, and other allergies can be greatly improved.
One study found that using far infrared therapy 40 minutes every morning for seven days showed significant improvement in those you suffer from itchy eyes, nasal itching, nasal stuffiness, rhinorrhea, and sneezing. Even their sense of smell was improved after the final treatment.
Who Should Not Use a Far Infrared Mat?
If you have suffered from trauma or other serious injuries, it is important to first determine if heat is the right treatment. Sometimes heat can actually induce inflammation so in these cases, use ice and elevation to treat injuries.
Once you are on the mend and heat feel “right” and comfortable to use, you may then use far infrared therapy to speed up recovery.
For those who suffer from hemophilia, it is really important to be careful with healing protocols that dilate the blood vessels and increase blood flow.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, cease use of far infrared therapy until after birth, and you have been cleared to do so.
Silicone and Surgical Implants
While silicone implants should not burst from the heat a far infrared therapy, they are affected by heat and may weaken with continues use.
As for surgical implants, you will need to check with your doctor to make sure the heat does not damage your implants in any way.
Some conditions like MS, Lupus erythematosus, and adrenal suppression do not respond well to increased core temperatures. Please speak with your doctor before using heat therapy if you have any underlying health conditions.
Where to Get a Far Infrared Mat
So, you know the benefits, but where do you get one of these things?
I use two different mats:
- The Professional-Size Richway Biomat (an FDA Approved Class II medical device)
- TAO Chair 4018 Firm – PEMF Inframat Pro by HealthyLine
The Biomat by Richway is fantastic! I am 65 inches tall, and the mat is 74 inches long, so I have plenty of room. The heat is excellent, and I get a great sweat using this mat.
You can find Richway Biomats here.
The HealthyLine mat was purchased because I wanted to get the benefits of far infrared while working. HealthyLine has a staggering number of mats for all sorts of uses so when I saw that they made one that fits right on your chair, I had to have one. It’s perfect for use when the weather is cooler and keeps my circulation healthy while I blog.
You can find HealthyLine infrared mats here.
Have you ever used a far infrared mat before? How do you like it? Please share in the comments below!
You may also enjoy reading:
The Power of Red Light Therapy – The Vital Nutrient Your Body is Missing
20 Ways to Reduce Post-Workout Muscle Soreness, Aches, and Pains
Could Herbs be Your Answer for Stress Relief?
Essential Oil Quick Usage Guide – Anxiety
Essential Oils for Inflammation
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