When it comes to personal wellness, it’s easy to focus on how you interact with the outside world, especially after a pandemic. According to a survey published in October 2020 by Rally Health, 43% of respondents said they are focusing on their health more than ever before, thanks to Covid-19. One tool that combats these stressors is actually much closer to you than you realize: energy.

Tap Into Energy-Harnessing Technology

Of course, how you treat your body impacts your health and wellness, and it’s no secret that traditional standbys (think exercise, sleep, and balanced diets) safeguard health. And now, “alternative” wellness modalities are becoming mainstream. Medicare began covering acupuncture in January 2020, for instance, and adaptogenic mushroom blends now can be found in grocery chains. Monitoring our energy output and how we can best use it represents one of these frontiers. Think about it: Energy is really all around us. The practice of harvesting energy already exists in turnstiles and other high-traffic areas. Emerging technologies promise to harvest energy from roadways. And human energy can even heat buildings.

Harnessing energy is an alternative wellness technique that could enter the mainstream soon, revolutionizing the wellness sector as we know it. Getting active and living a more vital life with the help of energy might only be a few wavelengths away, and especially with infrared technology.

Infuse Energy Into Your Wellness Routine

Our understanding of fitness has certainly evolved. Initially, humans measured wellness in terms of strength. People followed that by examining nutrition for several decades, and then sleep studies. So, what if we examined energy — as well as how we produce, create, and store it in the body — as the next step in our wellness evolution?

Taking advantage of energy in your wellness regimen might seem like science fiction, but it’s easier than you might think. Infrared technology is paving the way. For example, infrared light therapy can be used to treat issues with muscles and joints, as well as reducing inflammation.

Below are some of the ways infrared technology is used in the marketplace. (Please consult with a medical professional to determine if or how infrared products would be helpful to you.)

1. Saunas. Whereas traditional saunas trap heat around you, infrared saunas apply heat directly to your body with lower-temperature lamps that use electromagnetic radiation. The goal is to heat your body before heating the air. These saunas have numerous supposed health benefits, including aiding detoxification, strengthening immune systems, decreasing muscle soreness, increasing recovery, and improving blood pressure.

2. Sauna blankets. Infrared sauna blankets offer benefits similar to infrared saunas (direct heat and infrared light), but in a cozier form. Infrared sauna blankets can help relieve muscle tension, detoxify, boost metabolism, and help build a stronger immune system. Additionally, these blankets feature a range of heat settings that don’t go as high as traditional saunas. The point is to stay in the blanket for longer periods of time to achieve similar results.

3. Heat lamps. Infrared heat lamps soothe tired muscles and joints by using gentle heat and red light. There are a range of applications, including infrared light bulbs, lasers, and devices similar to tanning beds. No matter what the form, units are designed to penetrate muscle tissue on a cellular level, and the energy is then transmitted to your body through heat. The benefits include cell regeneration and reduced inflammation.

4. Textiles. Wearing smart fabrics and interactive textiles or responsive textiles is one way to optimize your body with health technology. Instead of focusing mostly on how textiles look or feel, designers are incorporating greater functionality in textiles. For example, when it was determined that cooler temperatures can aid sleep, mattress companies began incorporating cold-enhancing materials. Similarly, some apparel companies have begun embedding CBD oil into fabrics so it infuses into the skin.

Infrared textiles work in a similar way. Fabrics are embedded with ceramic particles that capture and repurpose body heat. The heat transfer may have health benefits, such as increased temporary local blood flow and improved cell oxygenation. In an age where technology is enhancing so many aspects of our health and lives, it makes sense that our clothing should work for us in more ways than one.

Infrared therapy is becoming more accepted by mainstream science as additional peer-reviewed studies are published. And due to its ease of use and noninvasive approach, it’s an ideal wellness tool for people seeking interesting ways to take control of their health. Better yet, by turning energy into a tangible health solution, we pave the way for other energy-centric therapies in the very near future. Considering that humans emit 100 watts of energy at rest and up to 2,000 watts during high-intensity activity, why not search for ways to harness and optimize our very own energy as part of our everyday wellness routine?

This article was originally published in Inc. Masters.