An amazing new treatment for SAD

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I discovered an amazing new type of treatment that works extremely well for seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Knowing myself just how miserable SAD can be, I am posting up the details of this treatment I discovered myself in the hope it will help other people with SAD as much as it has helped me.

The treatment simply involves sitting in front of a far infrared ceramic heater, and letting the infrared rays warm you for around 20 minutes or so every day. That's it!

Every time I gave myself a good dose of far infrared like this for around 20 minutes, it would immediately make me feel VERY HAPPY AND ENTHUSIASTIC – like you feel on a hot summer's day – even though in fact it was the middle of a cold, dark, miserable winter, a time when I would normally have winter depression.

The infrared rays work even better if you take off your shirt, sitting two or three feet in front of the infrared heater. I usually have my back facing towards the heater, letting the heat penetrate nice and deeply into my muscles and bones (it helps melt away backaches also). Unlike ultraviolet light, infrared rays are actually healthy for the skin, and your whole body. You may start perspiring a little after 10 minutes in front of this warmth, but this is fine, and a good sign that your are being warmed.

These far infrared ceramic heaters use the same heating elements that you find in regular far infrared saunas. In fact, the treatment method I am describing here is just like having a far infrared sauna, except that you don't enclose yourself in a cabin, but instead bathe directly in healthy infrared rays by sitting right in front of the infrared heater. You can do this in any room in the house. The room air does not get hot, so you breathe easily; but the body soon gets warmed up in these infrared heat rays.

These far infrared ceramic heaters are very cheap compared to buying a home infrared sauna: you can buy an far infrared ceramic heater for around £100 or less. These heaters typically output around 1400 Watts or so. (Note, there are also quartz halogen far infrared heaters that you can buy for around £20, but these do not work as well; you really need the far infrared ceramic heater, as the ceramic type emits a deeper infrared which can penetrate further into the recesses of your body. Also, don't confuse these \"far infrared ceramic heaters\" with fan heaters that are sometimes called \"ceramic heaters\".)

I know that SAD is often treated with full spectrum light boxes that are designed to produce bright white light with some ultraviolet light too, but the infrared treatment I am describing has nothing to do with this. You don't shine the infrared rays from the heater into your eyes, but rather let these rays penetrate deep in your body.

Believe me, even in the middle of a dark winter, after just 20 minutes of this infrared treatment, your mood will really soar upwards. You will suddenly find yourself becoming enthusiastic for life, as if it were summertime, rather then being a recluse within your winter blues.

If you know somebody that has a far infrared ceramic heater (many homes and workplaces have them these days), you might ask to borrow it, and try out the treatment described. If it works for you too, then perhaps you can consider getting one yourself.

This far infrared ceramic heater treatment worked like a dream for me, and I think it will benefit anyone with SAD.

What is the mechanism behind this far infrared therapy for SAD? Those with some scientific background may be aware that SAD has been associated with a lack of a factor called BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin). BH4 is a crucial factor the body needs to make the all important serotonin. Low serotonin causes depression, so when you don't have enough BH4 to make serotonin, you will feel depressed.

Fortunately, far infrared will strongly increase your body BH4 levels, which then increases your serotonin levels, which in turn rapidly banishes your winter blues. So this is how the far infrared ceramic heater treatment most likely works to treat winter blues: by raising BH4 levels.

There are not really any effective dietary supplements or drugs that you can take that substantially increase your BH4 levels, but fortunately the far infrared approach works well.

The summer sun provides an abundance of natural infrared light to make BH4, so all you are doing by sitting in front of your infrared heater is getting the warm, infrared rays that you are so desperately missing during those long, cold winters.

Unfortunately in the northern hemisphere winter is now coming to an end, so you may have to wait until next year to test this infrared treatment method for SAD.

But do try this infrared treatment. It may greatly improve your life.

Please post up your experiences with this treatment, because I would like to see just how well infrared treatment works for other people with SAD.

Note that I am just putting this information up for the benefit of others. I found great improvements in my own SAD using this simple infrared therapy, and I really hope that this treatment works well for everyone with SAD.

15th April 2011.

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  • Posted

    Some makes of infrared ceramic heater are:

    Fireball OR Sealey OR Rhino infrared ceramic heaters

    so if you Google search for images of these, you see what they look like:

    They are similar in concept to those special \"red light bulbs\" that emit warming infrared, but the ceramic infrared bulbs are (a) much more powerful, and (b) emit a much deeper, more penetrative and effective frequency of infrared that those red light bulbs.

    I use 400 to 800 Watts when I do this infrared treatment. My heater has three 400 W ceramic bulbs, and I typically have one or two of these switched on. It does not use much electricity, because you only need to do this for 20 minutes a day. That's going to cost only a few cents, if that.

    The white (or cream-colored) ceramic bulbs you see on these heaters are basically a solid piece of ceramic \"stone\" that have electric wires imbedded within them, and the current heats them. But they never get hot enough to glow with visible light, so pretty much all the light is emitted in the deep infrared range.

    One possible substitute for the ceramic infrared heater is the quartz (halogen) infrared heater:

    These are much cheaper, and are found for sale everywhere. They use a quartz glass tube with a filament inside that heats up to produce infrared heat. However, the infrared light output by these quartz infrared heaters, although equally as powerful as the the ceramic types, is again not so deep in frequency, so I am not sure if it will work as well as the ceramic infrared heaters.

    The infrared saunas that have become popular use exactly these ceramic infrared heaters, because ceramic infrared heaters emit the right frequency of infrared.

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  • Posted

    Is this a suitable heater?

    The Rhino Junior utilises a slightly different infra-red heating technique. The two ceramic emitters radiate at 'long wave' infra-red, giving a more gentle over-all heating effect.

    Wikipedia says long wave infrared is different to far infrared.

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  • Posted

    Yes, the Rhino Junior Infra-red Heater is fine. These heaters give a lovely heat in the winter, by the way, quite apart from their potential SAD benefits. I often use my infrared heater as a personal heater, to warm me went I am sitting at my desk at home, and I find the deep infrared wavelength penetrates right into your bones, and warms you up nicely inside.

    Any heater like the Rhino Junior Infra-red Heater, which has these white ceramic infrared bulbs or plates is fine. These ceramic elements emit wavelengths roughly in the 2 to 10 µm range, which looking at the Wikipedia article, actually corresponds to mid-infrared. However, manufacturers seem to refer to these heaters as ceramic far infrared heaters, for some reason.

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  • Posted

    Thanks. I am really hoping it works smile
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  • Posted

    Thanks. I am really hoping it works smile
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  • Posted

    In addition to the Rhino Junior Ceramic Infrared Heater, the following ceramic infrared heater are also fine:

    Rhino Ceramic CH3 Heater

    Sealey CH2800 Ceramic Heater

    SIP Fireball 37 Ceramic Heater

    SIP Fireball 35 Ceramic Heater

    Clarke Devil 330 Ceramic Heater

    If you perform the following Google image search, you can see various different models of ceramic infrared heaters:

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  • Posted

    Be good to get your feedback, Daronj, on whether this infrared heater works for your SAD or not. Of course, it will not be until next winter that you can really test it.
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  • Posted

    I will endevour to let you know, if I am not depressed in Jan/Feb then that will be a miracle!
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  • Posted

    Very nice of you thank you Will give it a try
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  • Posted

    Anyone reading this thread should not get their hopes up that this will cure SAD. I tried it and it's not the solution. 

    I've suffered from SAD all my life and bought the Sealey CH2800S far infrared heater after reading this thread, as i saw one selling for a fraction of the normal price on ebay. So it was no big deal for me to buy one to try. If it didn't work then i could sell it again and get my money back or use it as a heater. So i went ahead with the purchase and used it every day for a week and for half an hour each time on my bare back. I had it on half power at a distance of 1 metre away and it was still really hot and made me sweat after a few minutes. Despite this, it did not have much effect on my SAD.

    Yes, it did help with a couple of the symptoms of SAD. For example, it helped relieve stress and helped me sleep better. For that i am thankful, but those are two symptoms out of maybe a dozen or more symptoms of SAD. It had very little effect on my mood, which is the main problem with SAD, other than maybe a slight lift in mood thanks to sleeping a bit better the night before.

    So it's all very disappointing. I cannot answer why the OP had such a positive experience. Perhaps it was an example of the placebo effect at work. 

    I went on to buy one of those far infrared portable saunas that i read about after looking into far infrared. I enjoyed the sauna but I'm under no illusion that it did anything for my SAD.

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    • Posted

      you didn't benefit probably because you weren't facing the light. it's essential to have indirect eye contact in full spectrum light so perhaps this is no different.
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  • Posted

    Thanks very much for the feedback, dz1. You are the only person I am aware of who has actually tried out this experimental far infrared therapy for SAD. 

    Sorry to hear that the far infrared did not help your SAD. 

    One thing worth mentioning is that I also have some mild bipolar depression. Some researchers think bipolar disorder and SAD may be interelated. Anyway, I noticed that there is a clinical trial on the far infrared treatment of bipolar (see here: ), so presumably some researchers think that far infrared may help bipolar depression.

    So the reason that far infrared helped me might be because I have some bipolar depression along with the SAD depression, and the far infrared was providing support for my bipolar, thus reducing the level of my winter depression.

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