Physical therapists increasingly use low-level infrared light therapy as an alternative to traditional electric heating pads for relieving muscle aches and tension - not uncommon side effects of long flights and active days exploring. Infrared light waves have been shown to permeate below the skin surface, heating and stimulating tissues at a deeper level, but at a lower temperature and shorter treatment duration than regular electric heating pads. BioCare has introduced a travel-friendly infrared therapy device, LumiWave, that uses four linked LED-powered pods to drape around an aching area or fasten around a wrist or ankle with the adjustable elastic strap.

The pods, each of which emits infrared light and heat from 50 embedded LEDs, are powered by an AC adaptor and regulated via a detachable wand that controls the time dosage (10 or 20 minutes), then shuts off automatically. A series of lights and beeps lets you know when the LumiWave is ready for use and when it's done. In testing, the heat against the skin felt milder than a heating pad and did soothe sore muscles, especially after a few treatments (up to three per day are recommended). The whole system packs into a space about the size of a coffee mug. The LumiWave is also available in an eight-pod version, which covers larger areas. The LumiWave is not cheap. But what new technology is?

LumiWave Infrared Light and Heat Therapy System is $299 for four-pod version, $449 for eight-pod model, at