Unpacking the Origins of Infrared Light & Wellness

Infrared light may be invisible to the human eye, but its impact on our daily lives and health is undeniable. From ancient civilizations using it for medicinal purposes to modern infrared light applications such as IR bio-responsive fabrics, infrared has been a mysterious force that has fascinated scientists and wellness enthusiasts alike. In this blog post, we will take a journey through the history of infrared light, exploring numerous applications and IR’s incredible potential for promoting wellness and vitality. 

WHEN WAS INFRARED LIGHT DISCOVERED?

The discovery of infrared light can be traced back to the 1800s, when Sir William Herschel, a British astronomer, conducted an experiment to measure the temperature of different colors in the visible spectrum. To his surprise, he discovered that the temperature increased as he moved his thermometer past the red end of the spectrum, even though no visible light was present. This groundbreaking experiment marked the beginning of our understanding of infrared light. 

Since Herschel’s discovery, scientists and researchers have delved deeper into the properties and applications of infrared light. They have classified it into three main categories: near infrared, mid infrared, and far infrared. Near infrared has wavelengths ranging from 700 to 1,400 nanometers, mid infrared has wavelengths from 1,400 to 3,000 nanometers, and far infrared light has wavelengths exceeding 3,000 nanometers. 

Infrared Light Wavelength Diagram

EARLY APPLICATIONS OF INFRARED LIGHT

Infrared light therapy, which utilizes the therapeutic benefits of infrared light, has a rich historical background. Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans recognized the healing properties of heat and light and used them in various forms of therapy. The Greeks used sunlight and heat in their bathhouses, while the Romans built saunas called “sudatoria” to promote relaxation and well-being. 

Fast forward to the modern era, and we see the emergence of various types of light therapy, including infrared light therapy. This therapeutic modality harnesses the power of infrared light to penetrate deep into the body, improving overall wellbeing and boosting cellular repair and recovery. It has gained popularity in recent years as a natural, non-invasive way to positively impact one’s health. 

what are contemporary applications of infrared?

In today’s world, the applications of infrared light extend far beyond ancient civilizations and traditional therapies. With advancements in technology and a deeper understanding of its effects, infrared light has found its way into applications that wouldn’t have seemed possible in the past. One key technological advancement that is making the benefits of IR more accessible to consumers is the creation of infrared textiles. 

BIO-RESPONSIVE INFRARED FABRICS

Infrared-infused textiles, such as fabrics that are powered by CELLIANT®, are able to offer the wellness benefits of traditional IR light therapy. For example, wearing or using CELLIANT fabrics for 22 hours has the same impact on your body as 20-30 minutes in an infrared sauna – but with no trip to the spa required. 

CELLIANT is a natural blend of bioceramic minerals that is ground into a super fine powder and added to fibers, yarns or fabrics. These bioceramics capture escaping body heat and reflect it back into the body‘s skin, muscle and tissue in the form of infrared light. This process causes two key physiological changes, increased local circulation and improved cellular oxygenation, which result in a range of health and wellness benefits, including: 

CELLIANT-powered infrared fabrics are used in textile-based products ranging from apparel to sports gear, mattresses to top-of-bed products, uniforms to braces and bandages and more.

INDUSTRIES WITH APPLICATIONS FOR INFRARED LIGHT

As research continues to demonstrate the health and wellness benefits of infrared light, IR has made a name for itself as a differentiator in products across numerous industries. 

Infrared + Sports Recovery

One of the most prominent applications of infrared light in recent years is within sports medicine. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are increasingly turning to infrared light therapy to accelerate their recovery and enhance performance. Infrared light has been shown to increase blood flow at the site of application, as well as cellular oxygenation, making it an invaluable tool for athletes looking to speed up their recovery process and get back in the game faster. 

CELLIANT has partners in all corners of the athletic industry creating infrared performance apparel and gear, such as Under Armour’s RUSH collection, KT Tape’s CELLIANT-powered Pro Oyxgen kinesio tape, Tecnica’s collection of IR technical ski boots and XCEL’s infrared wetsuits, among others. 

Infrared + Sleep

No matter what your routine looks like, everyone can benefit from a good night’s sleep. Infrared energy increases local circulation and cellular oxygenation, which supports the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Temperature fluctuations, being too hot or too cold, contribute to sleep interruptions that inhibit you from feeling restored following your rest. By incorporating infrared into your bedtime routine, such as sleeping atop an infrared mattress or using IR-infused sheets and bedding, you can enjoy restful sleep and more energy upon waking. 

CELLIANT is a key ingredient in award-winning mattresses and bedding from global brands like BEAR Mattress and Purecare, as well as Centa-Star, Blackroll, Schlarafia, Isbir and more.  

Infrared + Saunas

Perhaps one of the most well-known applications of infrared light are infrared saunas. IR saunas offer the benefits of near, mid and far infrared light to users for relaxation and improved wellbeing. Some IR saunas offer multiple modalities of infrared therapy; for example, our partners at Sunlighten offer four varieties of IR saunas for personal use, and incorporate CELLIANT-powered heater covers and linens into their collections for an extra boost of IR wellness. 

These are just a few of many areas in which infrared applications are expanding. As our understanding of infrared light continues to deepen, the applications will expand even further. New research is constantly uncovering new ways to harness the power of infrared for the betterment of our health. Whether it’s in the realm of sports and fitness, sleep or beyond, infrared energy has demonstrated itself to be a versatile and valuable tool in promoting wellness. 

THE SCIENCE BEHIND INFRARED LIGHT

As we delve deeper into the fascinating world of infrared light therapy, it’s time to explore the science behind its powerful health and wellness benefits. First, let’s take a closer look at what happens when infrared light interacts with our cells and tissues. 

The key to the effectiveness of infrared light therapy lies in its ability to penetrate deep into our tissues. Unlike visible light, which is easily absorbed or reflected by the outer layers of the skin, infrared light can reach up to several centimeters below the surface. This deep penetration allows it to target underlying tissues and muscles to the cellular level. 

When our cells absorb the specific wavelengths of infrared light, it triggers a cascade of cellular responses. When infrared light is absorbed by the mitochondria, which some of us may remember from science class as “the powerhouse of our cells, it stimulates an increase in energy production. This, in turn, leads to enhanced cellular function and efficiency. 

The science behind infrared energy is the foundation of CELLIANT infrared technology. To date, there are ten peer-reviewed, published studies that collectively demonstrate the efficacy of CELLIANT and the benefits of infrared. These clinical trials were developed and overseen by CELLIANT’s Science Advisory Board, which is composed of experts in photobiology, nanotechnology, sleep medicine, and diabetes and wound care. 

FUTURE OUTLOOK: EMERGING INNOVATIONS & FURTHER POTENTIAL OF INFRARED

While CELLIANT is focusing on innovating infrared textile products, there are lots of ways that scientists and research institutions are looking to make an impact with infrared light. The future of IR is filled with exciting possibilities that have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach health and wellness. As technology continues to advance and our understanding of infrared light deepens, we can expect to see emerging innovations that harness the power of this remarkable energy source. 

One of these emerging innovations is the integration of infrared into wearable devices. Currently, infrared technology, such as IR fabrics, pairs perfectly with wearables such as health trackers due to IR’s ability to create physiological changes in the wearer. Wearables allow us to track these changes as they happen, offering a way to “see” the IR working, even while it is invisible. But imagine a world where your wearable tech not only tracks your health data, but also positively impacts your health directly. In the future, crossover innovation between wearable technology and infrared technology could result in innovations that do just that. 

In the field of athletic performance, infrared light therapy is already making waves, but the future holds even more exciting advancements. With ongoing research, we can expect to see further optimization of infrared light therapy for enhancing recovery and improving performance. From professional athletes to weekend warriors, the potential benefits of infrared light therapy in sports medicine are vast and continue to be explored. 

By continuing to unlock the mysteries of infrared light and harness its healing power, we can pave the way for a healthier and more vibrant future. That future is bright, and it’s shining with the power of infrared.  

If you’re interested in discussing the benefits of infrared or how to incorporate CELLIANT infrared technology into your brand’s textile-based product lines, please fill out the form below to get in touch with our team. 

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FAQ

WHAT IS INFRARED LIGHT?

Infrared light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, not visible to the human eye, that has been shown to have wellness benefits. Infrared is generally broken into three categories: near infrared, mid infrared and far infrared. These categories are defined by the wavelength, with near infrared being closest to red light and far infrared being furthest.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INFRARED LIGHT?

The benefits of infrared on the human body have been shown (outside of CELLIANT®’s own studies) to include detoxification, reduction of muscle tension, relaxation, improved blood flow, skin benefits and more.

In CELLIANT’s studies, we’ve shown that infrared energy produced by CELLIANT increases local circulation and improves local cellular oxygenation. These two benefits cause a number of other health and wellness benefits that support performance, recovery and sleep.

WHAT ARE BIO-RESPONSIVE FABRICS?

Bio-responsive fabrics, such as CELLIANT®-powered fabrics, take inputs from their environment to create a biological response in a person or animal. CELLIANT-infused fabrics are bioresponsive because they take heat from the environment near the fabric (primarily body heat) and convert into infrared energy. This energy is relfected back into the body which causes a biological response from that body. In the case of CELLIANT, the biological response is increased local circulation and improved cellular oxygenation.

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