Far Infrared Heat Is Good Medicine in Winter
Humans, like plants, need sunlight to thrive. So winter’s short days and gloomy weather can take a toll on our health. Far infrared ray (FIR) heat, which mimics the properties of sunlight, can help relieve those physical and mental effects, says Lindsay Griesbach, director of brand development and strategic partnerships for HealthyLine, an FDA-registered company that sells FIR heating mats at its Manhattan storefront.
“That feeling you get when you step outside into the sunlight—the resonating warmth that overcomes you from the inside out—speaks to your body’s need for it,” she says. “With far infrared technology, we harness that feeling to improve wellness.”
HealthyLine heating mats emit far-infrared rays, which we typically absorb from exposure to sunlight, she says. They penetrate four to six inches into the body’s tissues, stimulating the circulatory system and boosting blood flow. The mats can be used therapeutically to decrease pain, inflammation, stiffness, and stress, or as a preventive tool to promote relaxation and support immunity, which is critical in cold and flu season. They can also ease the depressive symptoms associated with the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which according to the National Institutes of Health affects 9 percent of New Englanders.
“Another benefit of FIR heat therapy is that increases your heart rate, which means you’re burning calories,” Griesbach adds. “It’s like a workout without moving.”