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FIR Research

The Use of Infrared Heat to Produce Cardiovascular Conditioning

The August 7, 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported what is common knowledge today: Many people who run do so to place a demand on their cardiovascular system as well as to build muscle. What isn’t well known is that it also reported the “regular use of a FIR may impart a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use
may be as effective as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories as regular exercise.”
Due to the deep penetration of infrared rays (over one and a half inches into body tissue), there is a deep heating effect in the muscle tissue and internal organs. The body responds to this heat with a hypothalamic-induced increase in both heart volume and rate. Beneficial heart stress leads to a sought-after cardiovascular training and conditioning effect. Medical research confirms the use of a sauna provides cardiovascular conditioning as the body works to cool itself and involves substantial increases in heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate.
As a confirmation of the validity of this form of cardiovascular conditioning, extensive research by NASA in the early 1980’s led to the conclusion that infrared stimulation of cardiovascular function would be the ideal way to maintain cardiovascular conditioning in American astronauts during long space flights. Infrared Heat, Caloric Consumption, and Weight Control In its Wellness Letter,
October 1990, the University of California Berkeley reported that “the 1980’s were the decade of high-impact aerobics classes and high-mileage training. Yet there was something elitist about the way exercise was prescribed: only strenuous workouts would do, you had to raise your heart rate to between X and Y, and the only way to go was to “go for the burn.” Such strictures insured that most
‘real’ exercisers were relatively young and in good shape to begin with.

Representative Research
There is a vast body of research data accumulating on FIR, with much ongoing scientific investigation being conducted in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Results of these investigations show many hopeful and efficacious clinical improvements in patients receiving FIR treatments of various types. Clinical conditions being treated range from skin lacerations, teen age skin problems,
scars and burns; to detoxification of the body from heavy metals, bio-toxins, and toxic gases; to increasing blood circulation and oxygen supply to damaged tissues; to blood pressure reduction due to peripheral vessels dilation.
Additional conditions cited in the medical literature include significant relief from serious sunburn; to detoxification in toxic electromagnetic poisoning; to therapeutic improvement in joint stiffness, sprains, muscle pain, and arthritis; to potential use in treating many dental conditions. Treating several serious lung conditions with FIR; reducing stress related syndromes and conditions; and reported positive effects of FIR in treating side effects of installing and wearing artificial limbs; simply add to the promising research to date. A book entitled: The Scientific Basis and Therapeutic
Benefits of Far InfraRed Therapy, written by Japanese medical doctor, Dr. Toshio Yamazaki, iscertainly one excellent resource for citing further possible clinical advantages of using FIR.

Dr. Valentino Fuster
past president of the American Heart Association, called the nitric oxide discovery one of the most important discoveries in the history of cardiovascular medicine because it promotes expansion of the capillaries and allows blood to increase circulation in the affected area and to then reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Dr. Lon R. Horwitz
reports in Augmentation of Wound Healing Using Monochromatic Infrared Energy; Advances in Wound Care; authors unpublished research, that a FIR energy modality increases nitric acid in the blood and plasma of normal adult subjects. A 1999 publication by Dr. Horwitz strongly suggests that Far InfraRed produces nitric oxide gas, which aided in the recovery of the five patients in a study, who could not get healing conventionally. They had various diabetic problems and were not able to heal, but they received the nitric oxide technology produced by the FIR, and healing took place for all of them.
When you apply FIR technology, these researchers report seeing healing results from the production of nitric oxide by the hemoglobin due to the reaction of the photons of the FIR on the enzymes, which produces the nitric oxide gas. The immune cells get into the area and the circulation is increased. Pain is reduced, and the area then is reported to have the immune cells necessary to get complete healing. The wide-ranging results of nitric oxide may pay off in new treatments for:

  • Atherosclerosis (a thickening of artery walls);
  • Septic shock (a dangerous drop in blood pressure);
  • Cancer.

The Infrared protocol has been instituted after conventional management protocols were shown to be ineffective in wound healing. The rate and quality of healing of these previously refractory wounds, following use of FIR energy, may be related to local increases in nitric oxide concentration. Increases in nitric oxide previously have been demonstrated to correlate with vasodilatory and anabolic
Additional research has suggested that FIR heat produces therapeutic effects in the following:

  • Soft tissue injuries-promotes relief in chronic cases/accelerated healing in newer injuries;
  • Auto accident-related soft tissue injury/cellulite;
  • Aids in regeneration of tissue;
  • Reduces soreness through direct action on nerve endings in tissues and on periphery;
  • Weight Loss assisted by FIR treatment
  • Direct excretion of fat. /burns calories/increases metabolism
  • Weight loss can come through the energy use needed to produce sweating
  • Cellulite (a gel-like substance made up of fat, water and wastes, which are trapped in pockets below the skin). FIR heat can be significantly more effective than other heat methods, due to the heat penetration being twice the depth into cellulite.

Summary from Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th Ed., Ed Justus F. Lehmann M.D.
Generally it is accepted that heat produces the following desirable therapeutic effects:

  • It increases the extensibility of collagen tissues;
  • Tissues heated to 45 C exhibit an increase of length in tissues when stretched;
  • This effect would be especially valuable in working with ligaments, joint capsules, tendons, fascia and synovium that have become scarred, thickened or contracted;
  • Such stretching at 45 C caused much less weakening in stretched tissues than a similar stretching at normal temperatures;
  • The experiments cited clearly showed that low-force stretching can produce significant residual elongation when heat is applied together with stretching or range-of-motion exercises, and is also safer than stretching tissues at normal tissue temperatures;
  • This safer stretching effect is crucial in properly training competitive athletes so as to minimize their down time from injuries;
  • It decreases joint stiffness directly;
  • It relieves muscle spasms;
  • It produces pain relief;
  • It increases blood flow;
  • It assists in resolution of inflammatory infiltrates, edema & exudates;
  • More recently, it has been used in cancer therapy.

Japanese Studies on the Positive Effects of Infrared Heat
As reported in Infrared Therapy by Dr. Yamajaki, Japanese researchers have produced the following provocative results with whole-body infrared heat:

  • Burns (relieves pain and decreases healing time with less scarring) High blood pressure (safe in 40 to 50 degrees Celsius, 104 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, regular use helps lower pressure)
  • Brain damage (accelerated repair in brain contusions) Short-term memory loss (improved)
  • Toxic electromagnetic fields (effects neutralized
  • Menopausal symptoms (relieved chills, nervousness, depression, dizziness, head- and stomachaches)
  • Weight loss (produced through sweating, the energy expended to produce sweating, and through direct excretion of fat)
  • Auto accident-related soft tissue injury (daily sessions used until best healing attained, then used to deal with permanent residuals; pain control for chronic residuals lasted three days before another treatment was necessar


  • FIRs are specific wave-lengths of light from the sun (over 1/2 the suns energy);
  • FIR waves are the safest and the most beneficial of the suns waves;
  • Radiant heat is neither ultraviolet radiation nor atomic radiation;
  • Radiant heat is a form of energy that directly heats objects directly through a process called conversion without having to heat the air in between;
  • Radiant heat is also known as infrared energy-IR;
  • The infrared segment of the electromagnetic spectrum is divided into three segments by wave length, measured in microns or micrometers (a micron = 1/1,000,000 meter); .076-1.5 microns = near or close; 1.5-5.6 = middle or intermediate; 5.6-1000 = far or long-wave infrared. The infrared segment of the electromagnetic spectrum occurs just below or infra to red light as the next lowest energy band of light. This band of light is not visible to human eyes but can be seen by special cameras that translate infrared into colors visible to or eyes. However, we feel this type of light, perceived as heat;
  • The sun creates most of its energy within the infrared segment of the spectrum. Our atmosphere has a window in it that allows FIR rays in the 7-14 micron range to safely reach the earths surface. When warmed, the earth radiates infrared rays in the 7-14 micron band and has a peak output at 10 microns;
  • The infrared heat in a green house is just like the heat from our sun or that which our own bodies produce as they burn fuel to keep us warm. Supposedly, bodily tissues needing a boost in their output selectively absorb FIR rays. The internal production of infrared energy that normally occurs within our tissues is associated with a variety of healing processes. After boosting a tissues level to maximum, the remaining rays pass onward harmlessly. This phenomenon is called resonant absorption.

What are the reported effects of resonant absorption

  • Elevates the temperature of subcutaneous layers, by expanding blood capillaries, stimulating blood circulation, increasing metabolism between blood and tissue, promoting tissue regeneration and reducing cramping;
  • Penetrates 4-5 centimeters into the dermis (middle skin layer) from muscles into blood vessels, lymphatic glands and nerves;
  • Affects every living cell and produces warmth. Through this cell tissue micro-friction and the vibration of molecular resonance, chemicals within cells are activated;
  • The warming effect can help in reducing or eliminating the waste products generated by aging, heavy metals and toxic substances, which are then secreted by the sweat and dermis-layer fat glands;
  • Adjusts autonomic nerve function and reduces over-stimulation of sensory nerves.


  • Infrareds Effect on Dentistry and the Immune System, John L. Tate, DDS.
  • Far InfraRed – Technologies That Harness the Sun, Valerie H. Free, Complimentary Healing.
  • Warming up to Far-Infrared, D.J. Fletcher, Alternative Medicine, Jan. 2001.
  • Infrared Thermal System, Dr. Aaron M.Flickstein, Thermal Life Infrared.
  • The Healing Rays of Far-Infrared, Hsin Ten Enterprises.
  • Augmentation of Wound Healing Using Monochromatic Infrared Energy, Lon R.Horwitz, DPM, CWS; Thomas J. Burke, PhD; Dale Carnegie, DPM, Advances in Wound Care, Jan./Feb.1999.
  • Medical Report, Hot House FIR Health Builder. Claytons Electrotherapy, Ninth Ed.
  • Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th Ed, ED, Justus F. Lehmann, M.D.
  • The Science of Far InfraRed Therapies, Toshiko Yamazaki, M.D.
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