FAR INFRARED CRYSTAL MAT THERAPY?
Far infrared therapy using a crystal mat, while it might sound like a really woo-woo bit of new-age snake oil, actually has its origins firmly-grounded in science. How, you ask? Let's take a quick look at the science.
Infrared radiation is an invisible form of electromagnetic energy, and is categorized into three categories: near (measured in 0.8- 1.5 nanometers, or nm), middle (1.5 - 5.6 nm), and far (5.6 - 1000nm). When it comes to therapeutic usage, it's the far infrared radiation that is emerging as holding a lot of therapeutic promise, and is therefore used in far infrared therapy (FIR) devices like far-infrared crystal mats.
How is this a thing, you ask? Well, it turns out that infrared radiation is extremely helpful in allowing for a transfer of multiple forms of energy into the subcutaneous tissue of the body - that's the innermost layer of your skin that houses all sorts of blood vessels and nerve endings and plays an important part in regulating things like body temperature, healing, and the pain response. Sure, this same effect has also been exhaustively measured and recorded with therapies like deep tissue massage and heat therapies, but with FIR, this transfer of energy appears to take place without the addition of excessive stimulation, or excessive heating or cooling. This makes it a wonderful option for people who for whatever reason, perhaps cannot tolerate excessive manual stimulation or temperature fluctuation, making it an exceptionally non-invasive way to help address a host of health issues. It also makes FIR an exceptional adjunct therapy that can be employed for holistic, complementary therapies and practices like Reiki, Massage, Aromatherapy, and meditation - just to name a few. The crystal FIR mats currently on the market utilise the energising negative-ion producing qualities of natural crystals like amethyst, tourmaline, and jade to help conduct the FIR.
Thus far, early studies of the effects of FIR have been shown to help improve both arterial and peripheral blood circulation, alleviating pain and fatigue, and reducing blood pressure. Overall, the aim is to promote expedited healing, and the restoration of the body's homeostatic functions (that's fancy talk for "re-booting your normal operating systems.")
While FIR does not require high temperatures to be effective, the FIR crystal mat uses a few different heat settings, making the treatment a deeply relaxing experience that requires that you only lie back, relax, and enjoy!
Still not convinced? Have I blinded you with science? Think of it this way - you will be all wrapped-up snug, lying on a warm bed of glistening amethyst crystals! HOW COOL IS THAT!?
More of the science behind FIR therapy:
Joy Hussain, Marc Cohen
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018; 2018: 1857413. Published online 2018 Apr 24. doi: 10.1155/2018/1857413
Yun-Mi Jeong, Xian Wu Cheng, Sora Lee, Kyung Hye Lee, Haneul Cho, Jung Hee Kang, Weon Kim
Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 13718. Published online 2017 Oct 20. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14219-w
Soo Jeong Choi, Eun Hee Cho, Hye Min Jo, Changwook Min, Young Sok Ji, Moo Yong Park, Jin Kuk Kim, Seung Duk Hwang
Kidney Res Clin Pract. 2016 Mar; 35(1): 35–41. Published online 2015 Dec 31. doi: 10.1016/j.krcp.2015.12.001