Defeat SAD with Infrared

Posted March 4, 2019

I was recently asked by one of our employees in Chicago whether or not infrared exposure is good for treatment of seasonal affective disorder, aka SAD.

“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.”¹

Lack of sunshine and extreme (mainly cold and cloudy) weather conditions can cause this disorder.  Light therapy is good to counter the symptoms and to improve your mood.  Infrared is one form of light therapy and has been shown to be an effective way to treat the symptoms of SAD.

Here are two studies to support the use of infrared as a treatment for SAD…

“Thirty-eight patients with SAD participated in a light visor study addressing two questions. 1. Can the development of a depressive episode be prevented by daily exposure to bright light started before symptom onset in early fall and continued throughout the winter? 2. Does the light have to be visible in order to have beneficial effects? Three groups participated in the study: I (n = 14) received bright white light (2500 lux); II, (n = 15) received infrared light (0.18 lux); III (n = 9, control group) did not receive any light treatment at all. Infrared light is just as effective as bright white light. Both are more effective than the control condition. Light visors can be effectively used to prevent the development of SAD. The fact that exposure to infrared light was as effective as exposure to bright white light questions the specific role of visible light in the treatment of SAD.”²

“Light therapy was only partially effective in treatment of depression when compared with summer’s sunlight. The antidepressant effect of infrared irradiation was evaluated using an experimental animal model. Seventeen mice were randomly assigned to the exposure group (n = 9) and the control group (n = 8). The mice in the exposure group received infrared irradiation for 60 min daily during the study period of 4 weeks. The two groups were given forced swim test once a week to evaluate depression with the measurement of the immobility time. We found that the exposure group showed a tendency of less immobility time by the end of the 3rd week when compared with the control group, and at the end of 4th week the difference reached a statistical significance (t(15) = 2.873; p = 0.012). The result indicates that the immobility time in forced swim test, the sign of depression, can be reduced after prolonged (4 weeks) exposure to infrared irradiation in the animal model. The result suggests that a continuous application of infrared irradiation has antidepressant effect.”³

I hear all the time and I read reviews from customers of HOTWORX the same post workout comment.  “I feel so good after a workout in the infrared”. 

Infrared has a very uplifting effect on your mood and now has been shown through scientific research to be a positive treatment for SAD!


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Stephen P. Smith, MA

CEO and Creator of the HOTWORX
Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player
Certified Professional Trainer