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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Infrared Rays Boast Many Benefits: Relieving pain, burning more calories and fat, and elminating toxins are just some of the advantages, says Shellese King-Bassette of Mind Body and Flow in Chandler

Nov 04, 2012 11:44AM ● By Shellese King-Bassette, DDS

We spend considerable time avoiding the desert heat, but upon occasion, infrared heat may be just what the doctor ordered. Infrared rays comprise pure energy in the form of light. They have a longer wavelength than visible light or UV rays and are invisible to the human eye. Their benefit is the ability to penetrate deep into the skin, tissues and muscles.

Infrared rays are used in the form of heat in saunas and body wraps to improve circulation, relieve muscular or joint pain, burn calories and fat and eliminate toxins. They also may penetrate deep into the tissues, heating the body and raising its core temperature. This thermal effect causes blood vessels to dilate, allowing better blood circulation and bringing oxygen to joints and muscles to promote faster recovery of injured tissues.

The heat also boosts the elimination of toxins and metabolic wastes via perspiration. In order to sweat, the body needs energy to fuel the task. Under these circumstances, the body converts fats to fatty acids, which are then used by the tissues to fuel perspiration through a process called lypolysis. Thus, perspiration cools the body by means of this energy converted from fat. Think about a car using gasoline as fuel to run, and then converting it into byproducts that are eliminated as exhaust. Your body converts fats into fatty acids to fuel perspiration and eliminates waste products and toxins through sweat.

Everyone sweats as a result of sitting in the sun on a hot day or in a conventional sauna. However, while people are prone to sweat immediately in these circumstances, the heat does not deeply penetrate the tissues that in turn leads to the burning of fat, increased healing of injured tissues and an enhanced immune system. That’s why it’s important to get more than just relaxation and stress reduction by choosing a heat therapy that includes infrared heat. Saunas and body wraps that use infrared heat provide the best of everything.

Shellese King-Bassette, DDS, is the co-owner of Mind, Body and Flow, in Chandler. For more information, visit

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