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Far Infrared Radiation (FIR): Its Biological Effects and Medical Applications

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Far infrared radiation (FIR): its biological effects and medical applications

Fatma Vatansever and Michael R. Hamblin
Fatma Vatansever, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA;
and Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA;
Contributor Information.
Corresponding author: Michael R. Hamblin, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General
Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, [email protected]
Copyright notice


Far infrared (FIR) radiation (λ = 3–100 μm) is a subdivision of the electromagnetic spectrum that has
been investigated for biological effects. The goal of this review is to cover the use of a further subdivision (3– 12 μm) of this waveband, that has been observed in both in vitro and in vivo studies, to stimulate cells and tissue, and is considered a promising treatment modality for certain medical conditions. Technological advances have provided new techniques for delivering FIR radiation to the human body. Specialty lamps and saunas, delivering pure FIR radiation (eliminating completely the near and mid infrared bands), have became safe, effective, and widely used sources to generate therapeutic effects. Fibers impregnated with FIR emitting ceramic nanoparticles and woven into fabrics, are being used as garments and wraps to generate FIR radiation, and attain health benefits from its effects.

Keywords: far infrared radiation, radiant heat, blackbody radiation, biogenetic rays, FIR emitting ceramics and fibers, infrared sauna

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