When I received my Fibromyalgia diagnosis back in 2013, it didn’t take me long to realise the benefits of using heat therapy for relieving my chronic pain. I soon became glued to my heat pad. Heat, for me, was relaxing, comforting and soothing.
Since then, I have also been diagnosed with Lyme Disease. In my quest to improve my symptoms, I have tried various different therapies and treatments over the years. This has included far infrared therapy, which I’ve found to be beneficial in managing my symptoms.
Today, I want to discuss the benefits of using far infrared therapy in managing the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease. Plus, I’ll introduce you to a brand of far infrared mats called HealthyLine (and offer you a 10% discount too!).
Why I Choose to use Far-infrared Therapy
Although my basic heat pad has been a saviour at times over the years, far infrared (FIR) products have been the superior choice for me. You know that wonderful feeling of the sun’s rays penetrating your skin? That is FIR light.
FIR can actually penetrate 4-6 inches into the body’s tissues. So, whereas heat pads simply warm up the surface of your skin, FIR goes much deeper. With that, comes amazing benefits that are very helpful in managing the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease.
The Benefits of Using Far-infrared Therapy
- Increased circulation and oxygen flow
- Reduction in inflammation, stiffness and pain
- Reduced stress
- Improved sleep
- Relaxation and improvement in your body’s ability to heal
- Enhanced detoxification
- Increased heart rate, which burns calories (helpful for people who struggle with exercise)
The Different Types of Far Infrared Products Available
There are a few different types of products available that utilise FIR therapy. These include handheld devices, saunas and mats. Each has there own benefits and downsides.
What will work best for you will depend on your symptoms and individual circumstances. It’s also always worth consulting with your doctor to ensure that FIR is suitable for you before trying this therapy.
Below, I discuss a few of the different home treatment options available and share my opinion on the pros and cons of each.
Handheld Far Infrared Devices
There are handheld devices on the market that utilise FIR technology and I actually own one. Handheld devices are small in size so are best suited for treating localised areas of the body. For example, if you have bad knee pain this would be perfect for that.
However, there are limitations. You don’t actually get the full benefits of FIR due to the fact these devices only treat a small area of the body. So, they are mainly used to reduce localised inflammation and pain. If you are looking for additional benefits– such as improved sleep and enhanced detoxification– there may be better options for you.
Due to their compact size, though, handheld devices tend to be perfect for taking with you when you’re away from home. Though they do typically require plugging into a mains socket so you can’t just use them anywhere, unfortunately. But, it does mean that if you are staying away from home you won’t be without your pain relief.
Far Infrared Sauna
Far infrared saunas can sometimes be available in gyms or spas but there are also home saunas available for purchase too. Either as a traditional wooden sauna (though these are very expensive) or as a portable sauna that looks a bit like a pop-up tent.
FIR saunas are generally better tolerated than traditional saunas as they produce dry heat. They are a popular treatment for managing the symptoms of Lyme Disease but offer benefits to Fibromyalgia patients too.
I own a portable FIR sauna. I started using this in 2016 when I was receiving treatment for my Lyme Disease at Breakspear Medical. The main reason I began using it was to help aid detoxification through sweating; it replaced exercise for me, which I found impossible to do at the time.
As well as enhancing my body’s ability to detox, I have found the sauna helpful for reducing my pain and promoting a sense of wellbeing (i.e. I feel better after using it). Before my sleep improved with stem cell therapy, I also found I slept better after using my sauna. It has, therefore, been very helpful in managing both my Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease symptoms.
An additional benefit for Lyme patients is that heating the body’s core temperature can help to suppress microbes. As Lyme Disease is caused by a bacteria known as Borrelia Burgdoferi this can be a useful treatment strategy. Though, I believe traditional wooden saunas are more effective for this purpose than the portable type.
With the portable sauna, a couple of downsides are that it’s a bit of a faff to set up and that it requires space (both when set up and when folded down for storage). You also have to shower after each use as you sweat a lot during use (though it took a few uses before I actually started to sweat). This means that you need to have the energy to sit up for the period of time you use the sauna and then to shower afterwards.
I appreciate that this won’t be possible for everyone, especially if you suffer from chronic fatigue. It even meant that some days I couldn’t use my sauna (due to my health being so poorly). This was the biggest downside for me, though it’s no longer an issue now my body is stronger.
Far Infrared Mats
I haven’t personally tried an FIR mat but I’d love to. These are available in different sizes, ranging from a small square (like your typical heat pad) up to full body length. They can be rolled up or folded down making them easier to store than a sauna.
The idea of lying on a full-sized FIR mat is heaven to me! They would be perfect for anyone who prefers to lie down or who struggles with sitting up. I believe some people even sleep on theirs. So, if your pain keeps you up and night and you can tolerate heat for long periods this may be a good option for you.
Like the sauna, the FIR mat heats your body from the inside out and they offer a wider range of benefits compared to the handheld FIR devices.
They are more versatile than a portable sauna but can be expensive, depending on the technology. However, the cheaper mats tend to cost around the same.
If you are interested in FIR mats, be sure to check out a brand called HealthyLine. HealthyLine sell a variety of mats that channel FIR through heating gemstones. I’m a fan of crystals and gemstones so the Health Line mats are right up my street!
By heating the stones FIR is emitted along with negative ions. Negative ions are nature’s purifiers and have a positive impact on our health. Exposure to negative ion therapy can help to improve the respiratory system, decrease stress and enhance the body’s ability to detox. Additionally, negative ion therapy can help to cleanse the mind; improving quality of sleep and overall health.
HealthyLine offers a wide range of FIR mats that utilise the following gemstones:
- Amethyst: a natural gemstone that emits a steady flow of far infrared and negative ions. It promotes better sleep, better healing and improved quality of life.
- Jade: helps to restore energy and emits a low heat that is good for relaxation and meditation.
- Tourmaline: produces the highest level of negative ions out of the HealthyLine range, revitalises energy levels and helps to detoxify the body.
- Obsidian: a naturally occurring volcanic glass that is thought to have healing properties. It does not emit FIR or negative ions but is believed to draw negativity towards it, protecting the user from harm.
HeathlyLine even offers a chakra rainbow mat comprised of 7 unique coloured gemstones that are integrated with pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF). As well as looking impressive, this mat is used for chakra balancing and cleansing and the PEMF offers additional healing benefits.
HealthyLine Mats with Additional Therapies
In addition to the above benefits, HealthyLine also offers mats that utilise PEMF and/or Photon Therapy. These are typically at the more expensive end of their product price range but come with additional health benefits:
Every cell in the human body has an energy frequency. PEMF applies magnetic fields to the body at a specific frequency to stimulate the body’s cells, restoring them back to optimal health. In doing so, inflammation and pain are reduced and circulation and oxygen flow increases.
NASA actually use PEMF technology to maintain the health of astronauts while they are in space! And, if you have read my blog for a while, you will know that I have found PEMF really helpful in managing chronic pain.
HealthyLine uses PEMF at a frequency of 7.83 Hz and use a pulsed sinusoidal wave. This has been proven as effective by many studies and is actually the same frequency as our planet Earth. It is thought that mimicking the Earth’s magnetic field is most compatible with our bodies.
Photon therapy is another type of light therapy but it’s at a different wavelength to far infrared light. It is a visible red light that doesn’t penetrate as deep as far infrared light. Your skin, therefore, needs to make direct contact to get the benefits of Photon Therapy.
Photon Therapy is helpful in improving symptoms of depression (including seasonal affective disorder). It also improves motor function, nerve regeneration, aid detoxification and aids skin regeneration (meaning it is helpful for healing wounds).
10% Discount on HealthyLine Products
The HealthyLine mats look truly wonderful and combine different therapies to offer many benefits for Fibro and Lyme patients. If you would like to purchase one for yourself, HealthyLine has kindly offered readers of February Stars a 10% discount. Visit their online store and use the code shown above at checkout.
I’d love to hear from you if you use FIR to help you manage your symptoms or if you are considering it. What benefits have you seen or would like to see? Are there any products you would recommend? Let me know in the comments down below.
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