To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Body & Spa: Infrared Technology [for] Pain Relief and Client Satisfaction,” , in the October 2011 issue. Article summary: Pain-relieving and relaxing infrared light and heat can be delivered through sauna, hand-held lasers and other small applicators, and larger tabletop or standalone units.

Some investment is necessary to implement infrared technology in a massage practice. The cost for hand-held infrared units begins at about $100 and tabletop models start at about $350. Purchasing the units for in-office use can bring in extra cash and add to a service menu. But more significant revenue can be gained by carrying these smaller, portable devices for resale.

“When they resell the device, massage therapists are sending their hands home with the customer. This keeps the massage benefits up, increases collagen and evens skin tones,” says Cassandra Austin, DPL Therapy medical/pain sales director at LED Technologies LLC. “It’s in our hearts to help small companies while offering a good product.”

A stand-alone sauna unit, like Health Mate, requires no special installation, ventilation, wiring or plumbing and is constructed of Canadian Western Red Cedar, which resists mold, mildew and fungus, according to Logan Ross, national sales executive for PLH Products.

Since the units are portable, they are easy to move from one room to another and the company’s medical discount program enables massage therapists to implement infrared sauna into their practices for as little as $1,500. Ross reports operating costs will not break the bank either. Monthly electricity costs hover in $3 range, based upon daily use, he says.

Some infrared equipment can be a bit pricier, but the benefits outweigh the costs. For instance, the Collagentex line features three different nanometer wavelengths: 633, 710 and 852. The equipment begins at $6,995 and can be shipped directly from the factory, according to Kirk Kiremitci, president of Collagentex Inc. He notes that periodic factory direct specials and no down payment, low-cost leasing plans provide affordable alternatives for therapists. “Each session will cost the massage therapist less than eight cents for a 10-minute session,” he says.

Massage therapists can typically charge anywhere from $25 to $75 per 10-minute session, depending on geographic location and clientele, according to Kiremitci. He points out that three sessions each week or multiple treatment packages of 12 to 16 sessions can enhance the therapist’s bottom line. “Similar treatments have been available by using $100,000 equipment with laser technology and would cost an average of $175 per session or $1,500 for a treatment package with a specialized laser certified technician,” he says.

Ross says massage practices that bill insurance companies using CPT (current procedural terminology) codes can be reimbursed for infrared therapy, which eases the financial burden for the client and may prompt more sessions.

Massage therapists who feature infrared technology as part of their service menu are in good company. According to Ross, thousands of health care professionals recommend and use infrared saunas nowadays. “They range from medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists, dieticians and everyone that works on healing the body from within,” he says.

Phyllis Hanlon has written nonfiction articles and book reviews as well as human-interest stories, profiles and award-winning essays. Her specialty areas include health and medicine, religion, education and business. She regularly delights in the joys of massage. She recently wrote “Mud, Masks, Scrubs & Salts: How to Provide Wet-Room Techniques in a Dry Room” (September).