Graph of full spectrum of light rays from the sun: microwave, radio waves, gamma rays, x-rays, UV rays, visible light, infrared rays, which is broken down into near, medium and far infrared rays.

What is FAR INFRARED LIGHT & How does it help us?

As you can see by the graphic to the left, most of the spectrum of light is invisible and far infrared rays (fir) are just one part of the infrared piece of the spectrum. Approximately 80% of solar energy is made up of far infrared rays, which are responsible for all life on Earth.  Far infrared rays are responsible for photosynthesis which allows all plants to grow, as they are the "life giving and energizing" part of the electromagnetic spectrum.  So it's no wonder that these same light rays can be responsible for healing us. 


FIR are the radiation we feel, but cannot see, from the sun that make us feel better as they penetrate our bodies and give revitalizing energy.  Far infrared rays can penetrate through our skin and into the body tissues of our internal organs due to their length.  Every part of the electromagnetic spectrum comes with a corresponding heating temperature and FIR have a heat signature that isn't only beneficial for our health, but also long enough to penetrate to do the work.  


Biomats produce far infrared rays that penetrate the body, raise it's temperature and work at healing it.  But Biomat benefits don't stop there.

Far Infrared Rays help increase circulation in the body.  When circulation is increased, every organ and system in the body functions at it's optimum capability.  FIR can help increase immunity over time.  Consistent far infrared therapy can increase energy.  Short term use of far infrared therapy alleviates pain, stress and helps people sleep better.

William Herschel sitting at desk with pen in hand and other hand on a book.


Far infrared light was discovered by William Herschel in 1800 as a byproduct of measuring the temperature of the colors of the visible light spectrum. At the time, it was unknown that the light spectrum continued into the invisible.  As he moved through the spectrum, he noticed one color was warmer than the next and that red was the warmest. But as he moved past red, he noticed the temperature got warmer but that there was no corresponding color to go wtih the new temperature.  This is the moment far infrared light was discovered. In Greek, "infra" means "below".  The new, invisible part of the light spectrum was "beyond" red, or infrared.  Herschel had discovered infrared light but it wasn't until the late 1800's that it was first used to benefit the human body.


At the end of the 19th century, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the same man who invented Kellogg's Frosted Flakes), invented the incandescent light bath and he treated many patients, including King Edward of England, with it that had a wide variety of illnesses.  However, Kellogg had no idea that infrared light was the main reason for his invention's success.  He had no idea of the effect infrared light had on human cells. Even a hundred years later, humans were using infrared light to heal and were not aware of it.  But in 1965 that changed when NASA started studying how light effected the human body.

In 1962, U.S. President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to get to the moon.  In the midst of the Cold War with Russia this challenge, coupled with the necessity of besting Russia, produced some of America's biggest discoveries, not only in space technology, but also in medicine.  NASA was charged with a huge amount of this responsibility and began to research the effects light had on the human body in an attempt at keeping our astronauts in good health until they returned.  Experiments in zero gravity at the time showed the effects it had on the human muscular and skeletal systems in terms of serious atrophy.  In the course of trying to find a solution to this problem and experimenting with light's effects on the body, NASA stumbled (just like Herschel and Kellogg had) onto the benefits of infrared light.

NASA found that by exposing their astronauts to infrared light, a cellular regeneration of muscle tissue and bones occurred. Obviously, discovering this fact sparked more research and NASA was the first to identify two totally separate bands within the infrared part of the light spectrum: near and far infrared light, and that each had different effects on the human body.


As NASA further studied far infrared light, it discovered that it had the unique ability to move through human skin into the soft tissues of the body.  It was at this time, in the late 1960's, that far infrared light became a focus in the medical community as a medical treatment.  


Over a decade later, the National Institute of Health (NIH) did a study on the healing effects of far infrared light on rats and had considerable success with healing wounds, concluding that FIR would have a substantially postive effect on human cells.


And what followed was a far infrared light revolution as the first infrared saunas hit the market.

Astronaut in black and white photo sitting in cockpit chair.


Richway & Fuji Bio Inc. logo

In 1997, Richway developed the Jade Biomat, which would become the world's best known mat that produced far infrared light (FIR).  Initially, the thought was that the healing properties of the Biomat came from the infrared heat it produced, but after three years of research, Richway found that the healing actually came from the vibrational energy that far infrared waves produced.  More research was then done on finding the most natural frequencies of far infrared rays and negative ions. It was found that amethyst actually held the vibrations more consistently than jade so that's when Richway started to phase out the jade and the Richway Amethyst Biomat was born.


Today, millions enjoy the healing and soothing benefits of the Richway Biomat and the far infrared technology that was a couple hundred years in the making.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to the scientists and inventors that got us here.  


The healing benefits of far infrared light are still being discovered and researched.  As we write this, dozens of studies all over the world are being conducted on far infrared light, the invisible, healing part of the light spectrum.