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Far-infrared heat follows the same principle as radiant heat saunas: warm the injury site to speed healing. Why is infrared heat better than say, a heating pad? Because the vibrational energy of far-infrared light is unlike that of the heat energy we use for everyday functions, like cooking. Boiling water could actually damage our skin but it doesn't heat internal organs.
Sunlight heats us in a profound way, however, because it contains penetrating far-infrared rays as well as the full range of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum.
I know what you must be thinking - how can I benefit from the sun's infrared rays? I don't live near the equator. Besides, I thought the sun's rays were damaging to my skin. While it's true the sun's rays should be used judiciously, especially by fair-skinned people, the fact remains that infrared radiation promotes health.