Near Infrared Light Therapy

The picture below shows where on the spectrum of  light Near Infrared Light is found. It should be noted that Near Infrared Light is not visible to the human eye. 

Near infrared light is known to have a penetration depth of 20-100mm. That’s up to almost four inches!

The average male skull is .25 of an inch thick and an average female skull is .28 of an inch thick. See the picture below. So Near Infrared Light penetrates through the skull and the protective layers between the skull and brain.

Near infrared light also penetrates into the muscle tissue where blood vessels, capillaries, and nerves can be found.


Often, people ask about saunas and how they compare to near infrared light. There are two types of saunas. Far infrared and near infrared. Far infrared use a heating element which emit light in the far infrared range. If you look closely at the first picture, you will see far infrared on the far right of the spectrum. Far infrared light does offer some light therapy, but it doesn’t penetrate the body as well as near infrared light does.

That brings us to near infrared saunas where you sit in front of near infrared lights. In this case having the near infrared light can be beneficial, however, the further away you are from the light, the greater the reduction of the benefits. One in away from the skin reduced effective delivery of the wavelengths up to 50%. There are light therapy devices on the market which have near infrared in them and you can place those devices directly on the skin.

(Near infrared sauna pictured)

Some near infrared light benefits include:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased lymphatic flow
  • Pain relief at deeper levels
  • Increased detoxification of the cells
  • Increased circulation in deeper and larger vessels
  • Increased ATP production
  • Collagen synthesis
  • and more

If you found this blog interesting check out Photonic Therapy Institute for upcoming “Intro to Equine Light Therapy” classes and our free weekly Office Hours webinars where we welcome anyone who would like to learn more about Light Therapy & Photopuncture.

Owner of Connolly Photopuncture, Certified Human and Equine Light Therapy Instructor, Certified Pet Light Therapist, Secretary for the Board of Advanced Natural Health Sciences