We know what it’s like to live in pain. We understand the stress, the frustration, and the hopelessness that surrounds the search for relief.
In fact, it was desperation to ease the suffering of a loved one that led us to create the Gladiator Far Infrared Blanket. That first prototype was nothing more than a few patented ceramics wrapped in a sock.
We had long known that far infrared could do impressive things. We had built another company, WorldKlass Technologies, on its ability to make fuel burn cleaner and more efficiently in tractor trailers, locomotives, and heavy machinery. All our lab and field data proved that engines using far infrared could produce more power using less fuel without belching noxious streams of black carbon smoke into the environment.
But as businessmen with corporate backgrounds, it never occurred to us that far infrared could also be used to combat pain.
There hadn’t been any reason for us to consider it for health purposes. That is, not until May 19, 2009, 10 days after Mother’s Day. That Mother’s Day, CEO Bill Grovatt’s wife, Kathy, contracted necrotizing fasciitis. Sometimes called “flesh-eating disease,” necrotizing fasciitis is a fast spreading bacterial infection of the tissue surrounding muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels. It’s a serious and potentially deadly disease. Patients may lose limbs and often require multiple surgeries to replace dead skin.
On May 19th, Kathy was in excruciating pain from a skin graft that ran the length of her right arm. On that day our partner, Dr. Albert Wey, explained the additional uses for far infrared. He knew from his research at NASA that far infrared could ease pain and promote healing.
And that’s what it did. Pulling a sock lined with patented ceramics over Kathy’s arm eased her pain, helped her sleep, and saved her two fingers that had started turning black from lack of circulation. Today, those fingers function nearly perfectly.
Word spread among our family and friends. Pretty soon we were lending out crude prototypes made of duct tape to people in pain, and hearing how they were feeling better, sleeping sounder, healing faster.
We started experimenting with better designs and discovered a local supplier of hypoallergenic silicone rubber. We created prototypes utilizing the silicone rubber, circulated those blankets, and listened to the feedback.
We were particularly struck by the comments from people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. They said they were using the blanket as a prophylactic measure and having fewer flare-ups. They also said they were using it during flare-ups and it reduced the duration of their symptoms. They told us that while it wasn’t curing them, the patented ceramic blanket was keeping their symptoms in check and helping restore their quality of life.
We were amazed. We knew we had something that could help many, many people. By then, we understood the research behind the health benefits of infrared in general, its commercial uses in the healthcare arena, and our potential competitors’ products.
We knew our product was different because it didn’t require a heat source, which meant users didn’t have to worry about leaving the blanket on too long and damaging their muscle tissue. It didn’t require assembly, a trained technician, or an appointment. The size of our patented ceramics, while bulkier than the powder form that is embedded in some commercial clothing, allows them to emit a greater number of healing photons. Their shape ensures that those photons are strategically directed into the body and nowhere else, clearing the pathways in which blood flows.
We spoke to medical professionals and learned how difficult it is to improve circulation, and how efficient blood flow is the essential starting point for health and well-being.
We know what it’s like to live in pain. We know what it’s like to feel like you’re running out of options. And we’ve seen this technology change people’s lives, people we love.
It can change yours, too.