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.
It can be proved that non-heating FIR has real and significant biological effects, then the possible future applications are wide ranging. Not only could bandages and dressings made out of NIR emitting fabrics be applied for many medical conditions and injuries that require healing, but there is a large potential market in lifestyle enhancing applications. Garments may be manufactured for performance enhancing apparel in both leisure activities and competitive sports areas. Cold weather apparel would perform better by incorporating FIR emitting capability and sleeping environments could be improved by mattresses and bedding emitting FIR.