As human beings, it is natural for us to always be looking for ways to make our lives easier and achieve our goals as quickly as possible.
While this is true in almost every aspect of our lives, it is perhaps never more prevalent than when it comes to our health and fitness.
As a result, new devices and supplements are constantly being released that claim to help us become fit and healthy, with as little effort as possible.
One such device that is currently taking the world by storm are infrared body wraps.
Infrared body wraps claim to use cutting edge technology to make us feel better, be healthier, and achieve our fitness goals as quickly as possible.
Can a single device really offer such a wide range of potential benefits though, especially if most people don’t even know what it is?
Well, in today’s article, we will look at exactly what infrared body wraps are, how they work, the benefits they offer, and just what you can hope to achieve from them.
That way, you will have all the information you need, to decide whether or not you want to give them a try for yourself.
What Are Infrared Body Wraps?
Infrared body wraps are a physical therapy tool that uses infrared light to target and heat individual parts of the body.
These devices use a series of silicone pads that wrap around different body parts and deliver the infrared rays in specific locations.
As the temperature of a muscle rises it begins to relax, making it a suitable method for reducing soreness and promoting recovery in damaged or injured muscles, joints, and connective tissues.
This increase in temperature also promotes sweating, which offers a number of other benefits, such as releasing toxins and burning calories, helping you to lose weight and feel healthier.
As infrared light is capable of penetrating the tissues throughout the body and heating them from within, this means it can provide all the benefits of heat therapy, without the risk of damaging the skin, which can occur when external heat sources are used.
Infrared body wrap sessions usually last 30-60 minutes and can be performed either by a trained professional in many spas or by you in the comfort of your own home.
How Do Infrared Body Wraps Work?
Infrared body wraps are covered in silicone pads that have infrared light devices embedded in them.
These are then wrapped tightly around the body at the exact location of the problem you are trying to rectify.
A controller is attached to the body wrap to allow the user to turn them on and set the level of heat they wish to use, as well as giving them the ability to adjust it throughout their session.
The infrared body wraps then emit waves of energy which penetrate deep into the body, gently increasing its molecular vibration.
Consistent molecular vibration raises the internal temperature of the body, encouraging blood circulation, enlarging blood vessels, stimulating the healing and development of the cells and tissues, and boosting the metabolism of stored fat.
What Are The Benefits Of Infrared Body Wraps?
While the full range of benefits that can be achieved by using infrared body wraps is still being determined, there are a number of benefits that are universally agreed upon.
The most popular benefit of infrared body wraps is their ability to reduce muscle soreness and joint pain, which both lead to an improvement in recovery time.
By using heat to relax the muscle and make it more flexible, it creates the perfect environment for healing to begin.
This same function can also help to improve the health and elasticity of the skin. While skin is technically an organ, as opposed to a muscle, it does heal and recover in a similar fashion.
Both of these factors will be aided even more by the ability of infrared body wraps to improve circulation.
By increasing blood flow around your body, oxygen and nutrient rich blood will be transported to muscles and organs, helping them to repair and function at their optimal level.
Infrared body wraps also stimulate an increase in the internal temperature of your body, which is capable of producing a number of benefits on its own.
For starters, it increases your body’s thermogenic capabilities. This means that you will burn more calories and metabolise your fat stores much quicker, even without exercising, making infrared body wraps a great device to help you lose weight and reduce cellulite.
Similarly, it will enhance your body’s natural metabolism.
This will continue to improve your ability to burn fat, while also making the most efficient use possible of the nutrients you are consuming, which will lead to a greater development of lean muscle mass and a prevention of new fat stores from being created.
The increased heat will also encourage you to sweat more. Not only will this further increase the body’s fat burning ability, but it will also help to release and remove toxins.
The final benefit of the increased body temperature produced by the infrared body wraps is their ability to boost your immune system and response.
This means the body will be functioning at an optimal level and will be able to fight off viruses and diseases as quickly and effectively as possible.
The extent to which each of these benefits occurs will vary based on a number of factors.
These can include the health, age, or weight of the user, the quality of your infrared device, the strength of the infrared rays that you are using, and even the specific benefit in question.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Infrared Body Wraps?
While there are certainly plenty of benefits to using infrared body wraps, there are also a few potential issues they may cause that you should be aware of, before you rush out and buy some.
Firstly, they are not suitable for use by everyone.
People in certain situations, such as those who are pregnant or have been diagnosed with specific medical conditions, should avoid using infrared body wraps, as they could potentially be harmful.
Secondly, most of the effects produced by infrared body wraps are short term.
This means there are many problems that it will simply mask, as opposed to fixing, meaning you will require regular sessions for the foreseeable future to produce long lasting benefits.
Finally, infrared body wraps will make you sweat, a lot.
While the amount you sweat will vary from session to session, depending on things like the temperature used or the length of the session, it will be quite substantial regardless.
This could be particularly off-putting for some users.
Also, while excessive sweating may just seem like an unpleasant annoyance on the surface, it can also lead to dehydration. This means users must ingest far more water than they normally would on a regular basis to avoid developing any health issues.
Are Infrared Body Wraps Safe?
If infrared body wraps are used properly, they are safe for the vast majority of people.
This means you will be fine if you follow all of the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions, such as keeping session lengths and maximum temperatures used sensible, as well as making sure you stay hydrated.
However, there are certain conditions that could cause complications when using infrared body wraps, meaning people in these groups should abstain from their use.
These conditions include, but are not limited to, pregnant women, those suffering from haemophilia or type 1 diabetes, and anyone with a metal joint replacement.
If you have a medical condition we haven’t mentioned, could be pregnant, are taking prescription medication, or have any other concerns, be sure to consult a physician before you use infrared body wraps, to make absolutely sure it is safe for you to do so.
Do Infrared Body Wraps Really Work?
The extent to which infrared body wraps really work will vary based on both who is using it, as well as which benefits you are trying to achieve.
While some benefits are prominent and universally agreed upon, there is some conflicting evidence as to whether or not others truly occur.
For example, there is plenty of evidence to support its benefits in terms of reliving muscle soreness, particularly after a workout, reducing joint stiffness and pain, even in sufferers of arthritis, and lowering overall fat mass in obese patients.
However, there is limited to no scientific evidence that infrared body wraps promote long term weight loss or fat burning, and the majority of the weight loss that does occur is water from sweating, which is often regained shortly after you stop using the device.
That said, if used in conjunction with a suitable routine of diet and exercise, lasting effects can be achieved.
Other benefits, such as improved cardiovascular function, enhanced fat metabolism and toxin excretion, increased thermogenesis and muscle building, and a healthier immune system, have very little scientific evidence to support them, and rely largely on observational accounts and hyperbole.
How Long Do Infrared Body Wrap Results Last?
The majority of the results achieved from the use of infrared body wraps appear to be short term.
While immediate weight loss can be induced, it is largely due to the excessive sweating, which leads to a loss of water weight.
In order to make the results permanent, infrared body wraps will need to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and a routine of strenuous physical exercise.
Benefits such as pain relief in muscles and joints can be seen immediately. However, the longevity of the results will depend on the cause of the issue.
For minor injuries and muscle breakdown caused by weightlifting, infrared body wraps may be able to rectify the situation after just a few sessions.
For people with chronic pain or conditions like arthritis, regular sessions will need to be completed for the foreseeable future to sustain the benefits.
The other touted benefits like boosted energy, cellulite reduction, increased metabolism, and improved skin health are temporary when they occur, and regular treatments should be undertaken to keep maintaining the benefits.
How To Use Infrared Body Wraps
The easiest way to use infrared body wraps is by visiting a spa, where the entire process will be done for you.
They will even provide assistance and guidance during the preparation, throughout the session, and after it has concluded as well.
However, if using them at home on your own, there are a few tips you should consider.
For starters, make sure to thoroughly read through the instructions before starting and be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines.
Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after the session. This will prevent you from becoming dehydrated and experiencing any of the unpleasant side effects that go with it.
Try to wear comfortable, sweat wicking clothes, such as swimsuits or athletic gear, during your sessions. This will stop them from becoming waterlogged and limit how unpleasant they feel.
Avoid eating heavy meals prior to a session or exercising immediately after it.
Consuming lots before a session can limit the benefits, as your body is trying to digest food throughout.
Meanwhile, working out shortly after can lead to dehydration or light-headedness , even if you have been drinking plenty of water.
When you first start out, begin slowly, with lower temperatures and shorter sessions, until you get an idea of the sensation. You can then gradually increase both the heat and duration when needed.
It is also a good idea to have someone with you for the first couple sessions, in case any issues arise.
Finally, try to use your infrared body wraps to complete 2 to 4 sessions per week. This will allow you to produce all of the benefits, without risking pushing your body too far.
How Do Infrared Body Wraps Compare To Sauna Blankets?
A similar product to infrared body wraps is an infrared sauna blanket, with the two frequently being compared to one another.
While the technology used in both is almost identical, there are two main differences between the devices.
Firstly, while infrared body wraps apply the heat directly to the body, infrared sauna blankets heat the air around the user.
While the benefit of this is that the blanket is able to heat the entire body, it also doesn’t penetrate as deeply, meaning the effects aren’t as substantial.
Then there is the fact that infrared body wraps include an element of compression as well, which makes them a better option for healing an injury.
However, it does play a large role in the fact that many people feel infrared sauna blankets are more comfortable.
So, while infrared body wraps are better for directly healing individual parts of the body, an infrared sauna blanket is a great choice for those seeking a comfortable, full body experience.
For anyone interested in looking a little closer at infrared sauna blankets, there are some great options on the market, and the HigherDose Infrared Sauna Blanket and MIHIGH Sauna Blanket are a good place to start.
Pros & Cons Of Infrared Body Wraps
Before we end our evaluation of infrared body wraps, I first want to quickly summarise everything we like about them, as well as anything we are a little less keen on.
This will ensure the information is all fresh in your mind, when you decide whether infrared body wraps are right for you or not.
What We Like
- Proven to relieve muscle soreness and joint pain
- Able to speed up recovery after a workout
- Capable of inducing weight loss
- Incredibly simple to use
- Can benefit your immune system, skin, and certain medical conditions to differing degrees
- Have the ability to help you achieve results with little to no effort on your part
What We Don’t Like
- Overheating and excessive sweating can be unpleasant
- Can lead to dehydration
- Not suitable for use by everyone
- A number of the benefits are disputed
- Many of the results are often short term
That concludes our evaluation of infrared body wraps.
By this point, you will hopefully have a much clearer understanding of what they are, how they work, and all of the benefits that can be achieved by using them.
While perhaps not the miracle cure that people have made them out to be, especially in light of the debated evidence in many areas, they still have plenty to offer.
From helping you lose weight to reliving pain, they can be a useful tool to improving your health and fitness, especially if you combine them with a sufficient routine of diet, exercise, and hydration.
So, if you’re still here and still think that infrared body wraps may be just the thing you have been looking for, there should be nothing left standing in your way from going out and giving them a try for yourself.