Six months ago, I added recovery as the 4th pillar to a pain free life. Since then, I've been on a quest to explore various recovery tools, and infrared light therapy has earned its place among them. These 4 pillars are alignment, movement, mindset, and recovery. When diligently practicing and integrating all these pillars into our daily lives, a transformative shift occurs, leading us from a life of pain to a permanent state of pain-free living—a continuum of wellness.
I have researched and studied the effects of Infrared in relation to acute and chronic pain - and the details of my findings surprised me! I began my infrared journey believing the approach was just another fad. However, the experiences and results I have witnessed so far have been encouraging! Positive feedback from family and clients has been consistent–with many expressing a sense of relaxation, reduced pain, and freer range of motion after each session.
On my quest, I discovered the Bon Charge Sauna Blanket
What Is an Infrared Sauna Blanket?
An infrared sauna blanket is a portable, compact blanket that gives you all the benefits of a traditional sauna in a more convenient way. It consists of heat-resistant materials and emits infrared heat to promote sweating, raise your body temperature, and help promote healing and repair.
What Are the Benefits of Infrared Sauna Blankets?
Infrared sauna blankets offer a wide range of benefits, which contribute to improved health and well being. These benefits include but aren’t limited to the following:
- Pain relief
- Stress reduction
- Improved sleep
- Improved skin health
- Boosted immune system
- Improved cardiovascular health
The deep-penetrating infrared heat of sauna blankets can help alleviate muscle soreness, joint pain, and stiffness. This promotes better blood circulation, which aids in reducing inflammation and easing pain.
Infrared sauna blankets can help relax muscles and reduce tension, making them beneficial for individuals with muscle pain or chronic muscle tightness.
Note: While infrared sauna blankets are an excellent recovery tool, we recommend using them in conjunction with the MoveU membership to fix the root cause of your pain. Remember, recovery is only part of the process!
Infrared Light Therapy: The Evidence from Systematic Review
A group of researchers conducted a systematic review to examine whether infrared radiation (IR) could be a beneficial treatment for individuals with muscle and joint issues, including arthritis and chronic pain. They analyzed 233 articles and closely scrutinized 13 of them. The findings from the studies they reviewed suggest that IR has the potential to reduce pain levels in people with muscle and joint problems. Additionally, it appeared to provide relief for those suffering from fibromyalgia. However, the researchers noted that IR may not be as effective as hoped for athletes in recovering from injuries.
IR is a type of light that can penetrate 3-5 millimeters deep into the body (for reference - 5 mm is equivalent to about ¼”). Its impact on the body's cells can aid in healing and improve blood flow via improving the action of the mitochondria within the cells, thus triggering the growth and repair of new muscles, cells, and tissue. The review indicates that IR might be a useful additional treatment for some muscle and joint problems. More research is required to gain a comprehensive understanding of its benefits and limitations. While scientists are excited about the potential of IR, they acknowledge the need for further study to determine the optimal conditions and applications for its use.
(Citation: Tsakopoulos, T., Alexiou, A., Găman, M.-A., & Moysidis, D. V. (2022). Infrared Radiation in the Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions and Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review. European Journal of Investigative Health Psychology and Education, 12(3), 334-343. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12030024)
Comparison: Infrared Light Therapy vs. Traditional Heat Blanket
While heat blankets/pads offer surface warmth, their impact on deep tissue healing may be limited compared to infrared therapy. Infrared light's ability to penetrate several millimeters beneath the skin's surface makes it a better choice for those seeking faster and deeper pain relief, and tissue regeneration deep beneath the skin.
Psychological Benefits: Takes the edge off
The psychological benefits of infrared are logical when you compare it to the tranquil experience of a sauna or a relaxing soak in a hot tub, infrared therapy induces a sense of calm and relaxation during and after the session.
How to Use Infrared in Your Recovery Journey
For acute injuries, infrared therapy can safely and immediately stimulate tissue healing, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. When used for chronic pain, incorporating infrared before movement or training may lead to reduced pain and improved range of motion. After training, infrared therapy can provide similar benefits as before, while also helping to reduce post-training pain and muscle soreness.
What Should You Look for When Evaluating Infrared Sauna Blankets?
When it comes time to choose an infrared sauna blanket, keep these factors in consideration:
- Safety (choose an electrically and chemically safe infrared sauna blanket)
- Quality (Far-infrared or FIR is preferred for its deep-penetrating and therapeutic heat)
- Material and construction (ensure it’s made from high-quality, non-toxic, and heat-resistant materials)
- Size (you want to make sure it comfortably wraps around your body)
- Timer and temperature
By considering these factors, you can make a well-informed decision and select an infrared sauna blanket that complements your fitness and wellness goals.
Fortunately, Bon Charge meets all of these standards! And MoveU readers get a special discount of 15% off to boost their recovery game from anywhere thanks to its portability. Feel better, recover quicker, and boost your energy levels with their science-backed red-light therapy products.
When to Use Infrared: Timing Matters
Start gently and gradually increasing the duration and power levels, especially for newcomers or those with specific health concerns. The recommended duration of infrared is 15-20 minutes, and wait at least 6 hrs between sessions.
Warning - exercise caution and avoid immediate intense workouts after a session until you grow familiar with the results.
The Importance of EMF Radiation and Our Recommended Brand: Bon Charge
In our pursuit of a safe and effective infrared light therapy experience, our preferred brand is Bon Charge. We have thoroughly tested and experienced the benefits of two of their devices: the Sauna Blanket and the Max Red Light Therapy Device. The Sauna Blanket offers a holistic approach to relaxation and deep tissue healing for the entire body, while the Max Red Light Therapy Device is more powerful, and provides ample coverage for large areas like the spine, thigh, and lower leg. For those seeking targeted treatments, the Mini Red Light Therapy Device treats smaller regions such as the knee, shoulder, foot, or lower section of the low back. Choose the device that best fits your needs, as the larger units allow for more efficient and effective treatments of broader body areas.
Don’t rely on infrared: Fix Yo Shit!
Infrared therapy should not be relied upon as a cure-all solution for pain-related issues. While it can accelerate recovery and provide short-term pain relief, chronic pain and injuries often result from chronic misalignment of the body's frame. This misalignment causes predictable imbalances and wear and tear on various body structures, making it unrealistic to expect infrared therapy to fully counteract these effects.
To optimize the benefits of infrared therapy, it is crucial to adopt a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of pain, including proper body alignment, alignment training, and a holistic recovery regimen. By integrating infrared therapy as a complementary tool within a broader wellness strategy, you can unlock its potential and achieve more sustainable pain relief and improved well-being.
Contraindications to Infrared
Before using infrared light therapy, be aware of contraindications to ensure safety. Avoid infrared therapy if you have active cancer, tumors, or open wounds to prevent potential risks. Pregnant individuals should refrain from infrared therapy due to uncertain effects on fetal development. Using infrared therapy during a fever, for severe cardiovascular conditions, active infections, or high sensitivity to heat is not recommended. Those with bleeding disorders, taking blood-thinning medications, or having certain nervous system disorders should also avoid infrared therapy. Prioritizing caution ensures safe and effective use.
How Do Infrared Sauna Blankets Work?
According to the National Library of Medicine, infrared sauna blankets use far-infrared rays to penetrate up to 1.5 inches under the skin to treat pain, inflammation, and promote cell repair.
This process raises your core body temperature, which helps the body detoxify at a cellular level. It also helps improve blood circulation, which sends oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues.
Unlike traditional saunas, infrared sauna blankets are compact and portable. They can be used at home or on the go, providing easy access to the benefits of sauna therapy.
Are Infrared Sauna Blankets Safe to Use?
Yes, infrared sauna blankets are safe to use when used correctly. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a history of heart problems, or high blood pressure, please consult your healthcare professional before use.
How Often Should You Use an Infrared Sauna Blanket?
The frequency of use depends on your personal preferences and overall health and fitness goals. We recommend starting with 2 to 3 sessions per week and then gradually increasing this over time.
Be sure to listen to our body, avoid overuse, and don’t forget to hydrate after.
How Long Should a Typical Sauna Session Last?
We recommend listening to your body and starting out with a 15 minute session. A typical session lasts between 15 to 45 minutes depending on your personal tolerance and comfort level.
Can You Use an Infrared Sauna Blanket While Pregnant?
Pregnant women should avoid using infrared sauna blankets due to the potential risks of increased core body temperature during pregnancy.
Note: It's essential to note that while infrared sauna blankets have numerous benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone. If you have specific health conditions or concerns, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before using an infrared sauna blanket.
Check out Bon Charge’s infrared sauna blanket online today and be sure to use the code MOVEU for 15% any of their products.