What is infrared?
The prefix “infra” is from Latin and means “below”. The word “infrared” therefore refers to the range of electromagnetic radiation that is below the red end of the spectrum of visible light. The infrared spectrum, which we cannot see, is in the wavelength range from 780 nm to 1,000,000 nm (nanometres).
Owing to its heating and beneficial effect, infrared radiation is often referred to as “heat radiation”.
What is special about infrared radiation?
Infrared radiation transfers heat to the skin without contact. It only transfers heat and has no effect in itself. The heat protection mechanisms of the skin are least affected by this type of heat transfer.
It therefore has a number of benefits:
• Infrared radiation has the least impact on the skin’s heat regulation.
• It works without contact (no pressure and no covering).
• It can be easily regulated and adjusted to the heat absorption capacity of the skin.
Important things to remember:
• The radiation limits must be observed (80-100 mW/cm2 for skin and 8-10 mW/cm2 for the eyes).
• The temperature of the skin itself must not increase too much – the maximum skin temperature of 43 °C must not be exceeded, as otherwise some parts of the skin may be damaged. This limit applies to all types of heat application.
Deep heat from infrared radiation
Infrared radiation is the best means of applying heat to the body – contact-free and without disrupting the skin’s heat regulation. When infrared rays strike the body, they are absorbed by the uppermost layers of the skin and converted to heat, and do not penetrate further into the body. The body increases blood circulation to the skin to cool the skin. Heat can only be transported and distributed throughout the body via the blood. The process of distributing heated blood primarily depends on what type of heat regulation reaction is stimulated by the application of heat.
Deep heat is only possible when heat regulation is stimulated correctly.