Peruse our Healing Knowledge Base Term Definitions & Explanations.
Anabolic State or Anabolism
The constructive phase of Metabolism, in which the body cells synthesize protoplasm for growth and repair; the opposite of Catabolism. Anabolic processes are characterized by the conversion of simple substances into the more complex compounds of living matter using energy.
Allopathic Medicine (Traditional or Conventional or Western)
Mainstream “Western Style” medical approach that relies heavily on pharmaceutical (drugs) and physical interventions such as surgery. Tends to treat symptoms of disease only without curing the disease itself. A non holistic approach that usually ignores or disregards the role of spirituality and the mind’s impact on health or healing.
Non traditional medicine. Sometimes lumped together with complementary medicine CAM – Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Alternative medicine is a replacement for allopathic techniques and complementary medicine represents adjunctive methods used alongside traditional medical intervention. Alternative medicine includes Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Chinese medicine, Chiropractic, Nutritional Balancing and more. Considered by mainstream medicine to be quackery and non evidence based.
Amperage (Amps or A)
The SI (International System of Units) measure of electrical current. Amperage is the amount of charge transiting per unit time. The current drawn by typical constant-voltage energy distribution systems is usually dictated by the power (watts) consumed by the system and the operating voltage. Most United States, Canada and Mexico domestic power suppliers run at 120 V. Household circuit breakers typically provide a maximum of 15 A or 20 A of current to a given set of outlets. For example a Tungsten light bulb might use (60–100 W): 500–830 mA (milliamps)
Catabolism (Catabolic State)
Destructive metabolism; the breaking down in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones, with the release of energy
The opposite of Anabolism. An example is digestion. When we eat our body breaks down the organic nutrients – this breaking down process releases energy, which is stored inside molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body.
Cellulite is a condition in which the skin appears to have areas with underlying fat deposits, giving it a dimpled, lumpy appearance. It is most noticeable on the buttocks and thighs, and usually occurs after puberty. A condition with multiple underlying causes cellulite can occur in relatively thin people. Cellulite sufferers are often very concerned about the cosmetic appearance. Nera Infrared light alone and in combination with other modalities has been shown to decrease cellulite.
Circulation (Flow of Blood)
Your heart and blood vessels make up your overall blood circulatory system. Your blood circulatory system is made up of four subsystems:
- Arterial Circulation: involves arteries, like the aorta and pulmonary arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart. (The exception is the coronary arteries, which supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood.
- Venous Circulation: involves veins, like the vena cavae and pulmonary veins. Veins are blood vessels that carry blood to your heart.
- Capillary Circulation: where oxygen, nutrients, and waste pass between your blood and parts of your body. The importance of capillaries lies in their very thin walls. Oxygen and nutrients in your blood can pass through the walls of the capillaries to the parts of your body that need them to work normally.
- Pulmonary Circulation: includes both arterial and venous circulation. Oxygen-poor blood is pumped to the lungs from the heart (arterial circulation). Oxygen-rich blood moves from the lungs to the heart through the pulmonary veins (venous circulation).
Color Therapy (Chromotherapy)
Chromotherapy or Color therapy is a method of treatment that uses the visible spectrum (colors) of electromagnetic radiation to cure diseases. It is a centuries-old concept used successfully over the years to cure various diseases. Color therapy is often classified as a vibrational healing modality. Vibrational healing applies vibrations of one kind or another in such a manner that the body can be put back on the health track. Most systems induce vibrations indirectly, but there are a few in which the vibrations are used directly upon the body, and chromotherapy is one of them.
Congestion of Internal Organs
This phrase refers to the sluggish function and decreased blood flow often found in our major organs such as the spleen, kidneys, and most notably the liver. The Liver is an extremely complex organ performing at a minimum over 500 functions. The major organ of detoxification, the liver is often overwhelmed in today’s toxic world. People often have fatty, congested, and toxic livers. Near Infrared sauna use is a cornersone in restoring healthy liver function.
Detoxification is one of the more widely used treatments and concepts in alternative medicine. It is based on the principle that illnesses can be caused by the accumulation of toxic substances (toxins) in the body. Eliminating existing toxins and avoiding new toxins are essential parts of the healing process. Detoxification utilizes a variety of tests and techniques.
Saunas play an major role in Detoxification. The skin is an important organ of toxin elimination. Near Infrared (NIR) Saunas provoke a sweat response through hyperthermic and NIR light therapy. This sweat response results in profound detoxification aided by the parasympathetic stimulation achieved in a NIR sauna.
Electro-magnetic field (EMF)
A physical field generated by electrically charged objects. One of the four fundamental forces of nature. The field can be viewed as the combination of an electric field and a magnetic field. The electric field is produced by stationary charges, and the magnetic field by moving charges (currents); these two are often described as the sources of the field. Electrical wiring of devices and in houses consists of a flow of electrons (negatively charged objects) called electrical current, so EMFs are generated around the current. The EMF strength measurement depends on its source and the distance from the source; EMF strength decreases farther away from the source. Using a gaussmeter, the magnetic force component of an EMF can be measured to determine EMF strength in milligauss (or microtesla).EMF’s that extend out from their source are called EMR (electromagnetic radiation). EMR is widely accepted as harmful to human health.The US, members of the EU and other countries have established safe exposure levels. The US has set higher levels than the EU and has lagged behind other countries to reduce exposure especially to pregnant women and children. EMR is linked to many diseases and disorders including cancer, Alzheimer’s, impaired immunity, heart disease, and many other ailments
Enzymes are critical to the function of our bodies. Diseases and Disorders are often associated with abnormal enzyme levels, often elevated enzyme levels as in hepatitis where liver enzyme levels increase reflecting the ongoing injury to the liver. In some cases enzyme levels are too low. Enzymes may be at proper levels but have diminished or abnormal function related to toxins and other factors.
Far Infrared (FIR) Light
Far infrared (FIR) is a region in the infrared spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. Far infrared is often defined as any radiation with a wavelength of 15 micrometers (µm) to 1 mm (corresponding to a range of about 20 THz to 300 GHz), which places far infrared radiation within the CIE IR-B and IR-C bands. This portion of the Infrared spectrum generally lies outside the absorption range of light sensitive biological systems. Far Infrared emitters are used in Far Infrared saunas to heat the sauna. Without expensive shielding FIR emitters can produce harmful EMF levels. This band of Infrared light only penetrates into the body a short distance and is contained in sunlight.
Human genetic information necessary for reproduction is contained within germ cells, both sperm and ova. New organisms are created by the joining of germ cell DNA. A variety of chemical and physical agents can alter this DNA producing mutations which are generally harmful. These mutations are then passed on to new generations unless they are fatal. In our toxic world many chemicals as well as exposure to ionizing radiation can result in genetic effects that are irreversible and heriditary.
Heat Shock Proteins
Heat shock proteins (HSP) are a family of proteins that are produced by cells in response to exposure to stressful conditions. Heat shock proteins (or HSPs), as the name implies, are induced by heat and are a prime example of hormesis. Intermittent exposure to heat induces a hormetic response (a protective stress response), which promotes the expression of a gene called heat shock factor 1 and subsequently HSPs involved in stress resistance. HSPs can prevent tissue damage by directly scavenging free radicals and also by supporting cellular antioxidant capacity. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) chaperone other cellular proteins, guarding them from going astray, folding improperly or misassembling while forming larger aggregates.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Growth hormone (GH or HGH), also known as somatotropin or somatropin, is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals. HGH is considered a very complex hormone, and many of its functions are still unknown. Effects of growth hormone on the tissues of the body can generally be described as anabolic (building up). HGH levels decrease as we age leading to age related muscle loss and atrophy. HGH plays a crucial role in both mental and emotional well-being and maintaining a high energy level. HGH also appears to improve memory and learning.Natural ways to increase your HGH levels include exercise, fasting, and Sauna use (hyperthermic conditioning)
Hyperthermia simply means a state of elevated body temperature. This term is used in a number of different situations. Hyperthermia is used to refer to heat stroke, the loss of the human body’s ability to regulate body temperature when exposed to extreme heat conditions. This may result in severe injury or death. Malignant Hyperthermia is a rare inherited condition that causes uncontrolled fever when certain general anesthetic are administered in the operating room.
Elevated body temperature can also be a very beneficial state. Increasing the body temperature helps to kill cancer cells and infections. Saunas increase body temperature resulting in numerous health benefits.
Heat acclimation through sauna use can promote physiological adaptations that result in increased endurance, easier acquisition of muscle mass, and a general increased capacity for stress tolerance. Deliberately acclimating yourself to heat, independent of working out, can be defined as “hyperthermic conditioning.” Saunas raise the core body temperature resulting in many beneficial health effects. There are positive effects of heat acclimation on the brain, including the growth of new brain cells, improvement in focus, learning and memory, and ameliorating depression and anxiety. Modulation of core temperature might even be largely responsible for “runner’s high” via an interaction between the dynorphin/beta-endorphin opioid systems. Hyperthermic Conditioning results in a sweat response leading to detoxification and suana use especially NIR lamp saunas lead to stress relief and relaxation promoting a parasympathetic response.
Hypoallergenic substances and materials are considered to have a very low chance of inciting an allergic response. This does not mean no chance of allergy, simply a reduced probability of a reaction. Various forms of hypoallergenic certification are being developed.
The immune system is the body’s defense against infection and other invasions. Organisms and substances that invade the body trigger the immune response, a series of cascades and steps that defend the body from injury and disease. The immune system is a layered network of cells (such as white blood cells and lymphocytes), tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. Toxic substances in our environment, medications, and diseases (like HIV/AIDS) can depress the immune system making people more susceptible to infection and cancers. When the immune system is hyperactive the body may attack itself causing autoimmune disorders such as Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis and Type I diabetes.
An infrared emitter is simply anything that emits energy in the infrared spectrum. 52 -55 % of sunlight reaching the earth is infrared light. Infrared light is often categorized as near, mid, and far infrared. Near infrared light has wavelengths between 700 and 1400 nanometers. Infrared lamp saunas use tungsten filament heat lamp bulbs to emit near infrared and red visible light. Infrared light can be produced by ceramic emitters (far infrared), LEDs, lasers, and diodes.
Light Therapy (Phototherapy)
Phototherapy refers to the use of specific wavelengths of light to treat various illnesses, diseases, and conditions as well as generally promoting a more healthy state. This includes the use of near infrared saunas which expose the body to healthy and beneficial near infrared light.
Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT)
Synonymous with Photobiomodulation, the biological reaction to light. Often used to mean Low Level Laser Therapy, Low Level Light Therapy is a better term since non-laser light sources may also utilized to treat the many diseases and disorders that respond to Light therapy (Phototherapy). LLLT, rather than inducing heat effects, causes photochemical reactions of certain wavelengths of light with our cell membranes, cellular organelles and enzymes. Virtually all LLLT research and clinical efficacy is based on the Near Infrared spectrum, specifically light between 600 and 950 nanometers (nm) in wavelength. All of our light sensitive biological systems absorb light in this portion of Near Infrared Light. Other substances in our bodies such as water and hemoglobin absorb all the light outside this range.Only Near Infrared Light penetrates deeply into our bodies (up to 9 inches) to reach the critical systems. Nature has designed us to use Near Infrared Light but not Far Infrared Light and Mid Infrared Light. We do not have receptors (Chromophores) for Far or Mid Infrared Light.
Age related macular degeneration, ARMD or AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Americans aged 65 or older. AMD results in degeneration of the macula, the central portion of the retina responsible for sharp central vision that is key to reading or driving. AMD is broken into two categories, wet and dry. Most people suffer from dry AMD but wet AMD is more serious and involves neovascularity ( new blood vessels) invading the macula. There are many risk factors. AMD risk is lowered with good nutrition including the use of the pigments lutein and xeathanthin. Scientific studies have shown that near infrared light can improve vision in patients with AMD.
Near Infrared (NIR) Light
750 – 1400 nm wavelength band of the sunlight’s spectrum.
An opportunistic infection is caused by bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic (protozoan) organisms that infect a host with a weakened immune system or an altered microbiota (such as a disrupted gut flora). A person with a depressed immune system may become infected with pathogens that do not generally affect healthy people.
Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints. Joint or articular cartilage provides both a smooth surface for joint motion and cushioning. The breakdown of this cartilage leads to OA. About 27 million Americans suffer from OA. This disorder is most common in older patients. Risk factors include age, family history, obesity, and prior joint injury or overuse. Weight bearing joints are most commonly affected along with finger and toe joints.
Oxygen in the lungs diffuses from the small pulmonary air sacs (alveoli) to the pulmonary capillaries and then binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells (RBC’s). Oxygen is then delivered to tissues via the bloodstream. The acquisition of oxygen by the RBC’s and the final diffusion of oxygen into cells and tissues can both be described as oxygenation. The term is often used in reference to factors that increase or decrease tissue and cellular oxygen levels.
Parasympathetic Nervous System
The human nervous system has two major divisions, the voluntary and the autonomic systems. The voluntary system is concerned mainly with movement and sensation. It consists of motor and sensory nerves, among many others. The autonomic system mainly controls functions over which we have less conscious control. These include the digestion of food, the blood pressure and the heart rate. Its nerves leave the spine and connect to all the major organs and glands, either inhibiting or stimulating their activity. The autonomic system has two branches. These are called the sympathetic and the parasympathetic branches. The parasympathetic system of nerves is concerned with nourishing, healing and regeneration of the body. It is anabolic, or concerned with rebuilding the body. Its nerves stimulate digestion as well as the immune and organs of elimination. These organs include the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines. The parasympathetic nervous system, when activated by rest, relaxation and happy thoughts, is essential for balanced living and for all healing. Moving yourself into a healthy parasympathetic state, and staying there as much of the time as possible, helps heal all health conditions, both physical and emotional.
This is a much less important and less common situation than sympathetic dominance. It can be of two types, healthy and unhealthy. Healthy parasympathetic dominance occurs very rarely. It occurs only in the spiritually developed people. They live most of their lives in the present moment. They are almost always relaxed, do not react to stress, and live in a state of peace and contentment. Unhealthy Parasympathetic Dominance. Today, fearful thinking, electromagnetic pollution, toxic metals and toxic chemicals in the food, air and water disturb the functioning of the autonomic system. The end stage of sympathetic dominance is that one essentially gives up hope of fighting back at all. These people are essentially in a state of give-up or hopelessness about their situation or health condition. Unhealthy parasympathetic dominance is just a late stage of excessive sympathetic activity due to the vicious cycle spoken of above.
The human body is an indivisible, integrated organism, not a collection of various unrelated parts. In this vein, there are various mechanisms in your body that work together to maintain a proper pH balance throughout your body.
The acidity or alkalinity of a substance is measured using pH. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline, and 7 being neutral. To survive, our bodies must maintain the pH very close to 7.4, which is just on the alkaline side of neutral. If your body’s pH varies too much from this ideal, it becomes difficult for various enzymes to function properly.
Maintaining this slightly alkaline state is a constant challenge, primarily because of the acid-forming functions that take place within the body, and the overabundance of acid-producing foods we consume.
Saturated Fats and Oils
A saturated fat is a fat that consists of triglycerides containing only fatty acids that are saturated. Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between the individual carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. That is, the chain of carbon atoms is fully “saturated” with hydrogen atoms. There are many kinds of naturally occurring saturated fatty acids, which differ mainly in number of carbon atoms.
Various fats contain different proportions of saturated and unsaturated fat. Examples of foods containing a high proportion of saturated fat include dairy products like butter and cream as well as tallow, lard, and fatty meats. Certain vegetable products have high saturated fat content, such as coconut and palm oils.
A room or other enclosure that uses heat to induce a sweat response. Saunas are often categorized as traditional, far infrared and near infrared saunas.
Traditional saunas produce heat generated by electricity or less commonly wood burning. They may be dry or wet. Wet saunas create steam by utilizing steam generators or by throwing water on electrically-heated hot rocks. Dry saunas use electric heaters that typically emit harmful levels of electromagnetic energy (EMF). A typical dry Finnish-type sauna operates at 180°F or greater and heats the body from the outside in.
Far infrared saunas use heating elements that mainly emit light in the far-infrared range (NIR-C, 3000nm – 1mm).
These far infrared heating elements typically emit harmful levels of EMF. Far infrared sauna manufacturers are forced to use expensive metal shielding to lower these high EMF levels, which increases costs & results in decreased far-infrared light emission into the sauna. In other words, low-EMF far infrared saunas are little different than traditional saunas. Furthermore, there are no photoreceptors for far infrared light in the human body, so that unlike near infrared lamp saunas, far infrared saunas only provide heat therapy, not near infrared phototherapy.
Near infrared (NIR) lamp saunas combine the heat therapy of traditional saunas and NIR phototherapy (low level light therapy). The tungsten filaments in Edison heat lamps produce the same beneficial visible red & near infrared (also called NIR-A, 600nm – 950nm) elements of natural sunlight. Nature has designed us to benefit directly from near infrared light. The cells in our bodies contain tiny photoreceptors called “chromophores” which absorb near infrared light (NIR-A) but not mid or far infrared light (NIR-B or NIR-C). Tungsten heat lamps produce almost no EMF and gently heat the body from within.
A secondary infection is an infection that occurs during or after treatment of another pre-existing infection. It may result from the treatment itself or from changes in the immune system. For example, a vaginal yeast infection that occurs after antibiotic treatment of a bacterial infection is a secondary infection.
Sympathetic Nervous System (also see Parasympathetic Nervous System)
The sympathetic branch activates the glands and organs that defend the body against attack. It is called the fight-or-flight system. Its nerves direct more blood to the muscles and the brain. The heart rate and blood pressure increase, while it decreases the blood flow to the digestive and organs of elimination. It also activates the thyroid and adrenal glands to provide extra energy for fighting or running away. Nervousness, stress or feelings of panic are what one feels when in a sympathetic state of readiness.
The sympathetic system is catabolic, which means it tears down the body. Energy is used to prepare for defense, rather than for nourishment or for elimination of wastes. An excellent analogy is to imagine placing all of the nation’s resources in its military defense. While helpful in an emergency, if continued too long, the nation becomes much poorer for lack of productive commercial activity. The feeling of an ‘adrenalin rush’ is a product of the sympathetic system. It may feel good at first, but is always followed by a feeling of fatigue, as this system uses up energy and depletes the body.
Sympathetic Dominance (also see Sympathetic Nervous System)
Relatively few people today have a strong and balanced autonomic system. Most people favor the sympathetic branch. Learning which metabolic type you are can be very helpful for designing diets and nutritional supplementation to balance the body. People in Sympathetic dominance remain in a more sympathetic state most of the time. These people tend to be more outgoing, aggressive, belligerent at times, and often sweat more, have higher blood sugar and blood pressure levels and have more frequent bowel movements. They are more prone to anxiety, irritability and nervousness in general. They have more active or overactive thyroid and adrenal glands, as these are activated by the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic system is exhausted, but they continue to use it or stimulate it anyway. As a result, they do not spend enough time in a parasympathetic state to fully rebuild their bodies. Their bodies eventually become nutritionally depleted and they become quite literally ‘burned out’. Today, even children are often burned out, in this sense, due to stress, poor diets and nutritional deficiencies they are born with.
Ultraviolet (UV) Light
Ultraviolet (UV) light is an electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength from 400 nm to 100 nm, shorter than that of visible light but longer than X-rays. UV light is present in sunlight and also produced by specialized lights such as tanning lamps, and black lights. Although lacking the energy to ionize atoms, long-wavelength ultraviolet radiation can cause chemical reactions and biological effects of UV are greater than simple heating effects. Suntan, freckling and sunburn are familiar effects of over-exposure, along with higher risk of skin cancer. Living things on dry land would be severely damaged by ultraviolet radiation from the sun if most of it were not filtered out by the Earth’s atmosphere, particularly the ozone layer. Ultraviolet is also responsible for the formation of bone-strengthening vitamin D in most land vertebrates, including humans, so its effects are not all harmful.
Unsaturated Fats and Oils
An unsaturated fat is a fat or fatty acid in which there is at least one double bond within the fatty acid chain.
A fatty acid chain is monounsaturated if it contains one double bond, and polyunsaturated if it contains more than one double bond. Where double bonds are formed, hydrogen atoms are eliminated. Thus, a saturated fat has no double bonds, has the maximum number of hydrogens bonded to the carbons, and therefore is “saturated” with hydrogen atoms.
Volatile Organic Content (VOC)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air. VOCs are numerous, varied, and ubiquitous. They include both human-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds. Most scents or odours are of VOCs. The EU definition of VOC is simple – A VOC is any organic compound having an initial boiling point less than or equal to 250 °C (482 °F) measured at a standard atmospheric pressure of 101.3 kPa. VOC’s are thought to play a significant role in many disease states especially related to chronic exposure. Some people are exquisitely sensitive to VOC levels in their environment. Most governments have set standards to measure and regulate VOC levels in a variety of products and settings. VOC’s are commonly found in our homes from paint and protective coatings. Most synthetic flooring and floor covering, upholstery fabrics, construction materials, and plastics contain VOC’s.
Voltage, electric potential difference, electric pressure or electric tension (denoted ∆V or ∆U and measured in units of electric potential: volts, or joules per coulomb) is the electric energy charge difference of electric potential energy transported between two points. Given two points in the space, called A and B, voltage is the difference of electric potentials between those two points. A simple analogy for an electric circuit is water flowing in a closed circuit of pipework, driven by a mechanical pump. This can be called a “water circuit”. Potential difference between two points corresponds to the pressure difference between two points. If the pump creates a pressure difference between two points, then water flowing from one point to the other will be able to do work, such as driving a turbine. Similarly, work can be done by an electric current driven by the potential difference provided by a battery. For example, the voltage provided by a sufficiently-charged automobile battery can “push” a large current through the windings of an automobile’s starter motor. If the pump isn’t working, it produces no pressure difference, and the turbine will not rotate. Likewise, if the automobile’s battery is very weak or “dead” (or “flat”), then it will not turn the starter motor. Instruments for measuring voltages include the voltmeter, the potentiometer, and the oscilloscope. Common voltages supplied by power companies to consumers are 110 to 120 volts (AC) and 220 to 240 volts (AC). The voltage in electric power transmission lines used to distribute electricity from power stations can be several hundred times greater than consumer voltages, typically 110 to 1200 kV (AC).
Wattage (watts or W)
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units (SI), named after the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736–1819). The unit is defined as joule per second and can be used to express the rate of energy conversion or transfer with respect to time. The kilowatt is equal to one thousand watts. This unit is typically used to express the output power of electric light bulbs, motors, tools, machines, and heaters.