Looking for a safe and gentle way to soak up some joint relief? Sink deep into soothing comfort with an infrared heating pad. These handy little comforts work on a deeper and more relaxing level than pure moist heat or dry heat pads, so they can provide you with long-lasting and deeper healing.
What is a Heating Pad?
In general, a heating pad is a small- to medium-sized piece of cloth that warms up and provides radiant heat to your body. This heat helps soothe the muscles and relax tension. Various forms of heating pads have been used throughout history. In the past, towels were soaked in boiling water and rested against the skin. As they cool, they were changed out. After electricity, small coils wove around and through a cloth or plastic bag that produced low-level radiant heat.
What Makes an Infrared Heating Pad Better?
An infrared heating pad uses the healing power of light. No, this is not the typically visible spectrum light we are used to. At the lower end, the wavelengths begin getting longer. This is the infrared range (700 nanometers to 1 millimeter or 430 THz down to 300 GHz) or the heat we feel coming off of the hot surface.
The infrared spectrum has therapeutic properties. Researchers have found that the far infrared range — the range with the longest wavelengths — helps improve blood circulation, reduces pain, releases joint stiffness, and strengthens the cardiovascular system and the heart. It can also help reduce inflammation and revitalizes skin.
Using an infrared heating pad, this light energy helps first by energizing the skin, which moves farther into the muscle. Rather than just pure heat, the infrared technology works directly with the body. This is especially beneficial for people with chronic pain and autoimmune conditions, like fibromyalgia. Studies show a significant reduction in pain after just the first session with infrared heat.
The infrared heating pad penetrates through the skin and the fat layer, producing warming effects from the inside out. This differs from conventional heating pads which work from the outside in, and rarely penetrate far enough to be genuinely beneficial. An infrared heating pad is also safe for people dealing with nerve issues and neuropathy. Because the infrared heating pad helps increase circulation without significantly increasing the heat on the skin, it can bring benefits without any risk of damage to the body.
Traditional heating pads cycle through hot and cold, which may not provide much relief. Or they stay hot all the time, increasing the risk of burns or fire. Infrared heating pads don’t have this problem. Another interesting effect infrared has is the use of jade. Using jade stones, the healing heat penetrates deeper and increases negative ions, which increased healing capacity. It’s believed this increases the healing ability of the infrared heating pad and makes it safer.
How to Use an Infrared Heating Pad
Use this kind of heating pad as you would any other. Set the temperature control at a comfortable level for the desired time. Because of the use of the jade stones it can take 15 minutes before the heating pad reaches its set temperature. Most of the infrared heating pads have timers built in to stop after 4 or 6 hours to prevent overheating.
If you leave the heat on for too long, it could cause muscles to weaken, cramp, or even cause blood vessels to rupture. In people with nerve issues, using a heating pad for too long can cause burns. Along with a healthy diet and good lifestyle choices, a high-quality heating pad can go a long way in your wellness journey!