Cramping, back pain, and mood swings sound familiar? For most women between the ages of 12 and 55, a period comes once a month. This natural process happens in a cycle, and many women experience extreme cramping, abdominal and lower back pain for a few days to a few weeks each month. Discomfort in the body along with PMS symptoms like bloating, fatigue, headaches, and sleeping too much or too little can cause unwanted stress in a woman’s everyday life.
However, having a period is a regular occurrence, so knowing how to soothe a cramped-up abdomen is a handy tool. Did you know that infrared heat works similarly to a heating pad? Let's look at a few ways infrared heat therapy can make that time of the month a bit smoother.
Reducing Period Pain and Dysmenorrhea
One of the most common complaints women have during their cycle is cramping which is also known as dysmenorrhea. To find out if infrared exposure could help, the Korean Academy of Nursing conducted a study. They compiled one group of over twenty and another of about two dozen. The group that experienced infrared therapy reported lower menstrual pain, less dysmenorrhea and lower blood pressure than the other group. The data led researchers to conclude that infrared treatments could be a useful and effective nursing intervention for dysmenorrhea.
Further, a study conducted at the Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital and the Korea University Guro Hospital studied over one hundred women during seven of their menstrual flows. In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial researchers set out to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a far infrared-emitting sericite belt for patients with dysmenorrhea.
To test their infrared emitting belt scientists put together a group of over one hundred women. The randomized group wore either the infrared or placebo belt during sleep for five menstrual cycles. Heating packs were used to heat the ceramics and ensure minor pain relief in both groups. The severity of cramping did decrease for both groups which highlights the magic of heat for reducing pain! The number of patients who took painkillers was also reduced, and no serious adverse effects were reported. This data suggests that an infrared device can be used as an effective and safe option for women with dysmenorrhea along with a continued effect after treatment.
How to Get Rid of a Headache with Infrared Heat
Headaches are another common period symptom, but not to worry! Soothing infrared sessions can provide relief in several ways. Think warming up the body couldn’t possibly make a difference? Think again. Warming up the body and increasing circulation can have noticeable effects. A low body temperature has been shown to contribute to numerous health problems, including headaches and migraines.
Infrared can increase blood flow and bring oxygen and nutrients to any area of the body in need of pain relief, including the skull. Infrared therapy has also been known to increase circulation and work on loosening tight muscles, which often contribute to head and neck pain. When we experience tension anywhere in the body, it may translate to pain in the head, neck and shoulder region. Hence the reason we often end up with tight shoulders! Infrared is phenomenal for pain relief. As it penetrates into the body, it can help the body sweat to release toxins, but it also acts directly on irritated nerve endings providing rapid relief and tension reduction.
Can Infrared Help with Menopause Symptoms?
Infrared sessions can provide reprieve for menopausal symptoms in a variety of ways. Scientists in Taiwan conducted a study on the effects of thermal therapy on menopausal symptoms and bone mineral density. A group of Northern Taiwanese female volunteers was split into two groups. The first group received infrared therapy on their backs for 20 minutes a day, twice a week and the second group received no treatment. After ten weeks and twenty sessions, the menopause-related symptoms for the group that received infrared treatment were significantly lowered. The scientists reported vasomotor (blood pressure regulation) changes as well as musculoskeletal, urologic and psychologic changes. This led them to conclude that local thermal therapy with infrared heat can provide a significant reduction in menopause-related symptoms. And that’s not all infrared can do. During an infrared session, the body produces sweat, promoting detoxification. Since menopausal symptoms can increase or alter cholesterol levels sweating out toxins with infrared can help.
If PMS or menopause is getting you down, try an infrared session. Let the soothing heat help your troubles melt away. Killer cramps? Warm up with infrared. Pounding headache around your time of the month? Book your infrared session! Your tired and possibly stressed out self will thank you!
- Sciencedirect.com. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of a far infrared-emitting sericite belt in patients with primary dysmenorrhea. [online]
- Effects of Heat Therapy Using a Far Infrared Rays Heating Element for Dysmenorrhea in High School Girls.. [online]