Red Light Therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, is a therapy designed to use the power of light at a certain wavelength (red and infrared spectrum) to stimulate the healing power of the body. This FDA-approved treatment is safe and effective for numerous health concerns.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Photobiomodulation is directly pro-metabolic as it induces an increase in ATP (energy) production from the mitochondria. Our mitochondria require light to function properly. Red light therapy supplements environmental light with concentrated doses of red and near-infrared light, which is the specific spectrum the mitocondria use to product ATP.
During a treatment, a light source is applied near or on your skin, allowing the photons to penetrate your skin tissue. A chain of complex physiological reactions occur, particularly in damaged tissues, and the process of cell repair is activated and accelerated. Red light therapy sessions last for 10-20 minutes and it is recommended to use it multiple times per week for several weeks to see the full benefits of the treatment.
Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Energy Production, Metabolism, and Thyroid Health
The primary function of red light therapy is to increase energy production. Red light strengthens the mitochondria, the part of the cell that creates energy. By doing so, this procedure increases energy levels. The procedure also improves thyroid function.
Inflammation and Pain Relief
Red light therapy is often used to treat wounds and damaged muscles or tissues. Early in the 1960s, scientists found that red light improves wound healing and reduced pain, inflammation, and swelling. The treatment also prevents cell death and tissue damage.
Fitness, Performance, and Muscle Recovery
Studies show that red light therapy reduces muscle soreness after strenuous exercise. Muscle soreness/damage is correlated with serum creatine kinase (CK) levels in the blood. A 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis showed that red light therapy reduced CK levels after exercise, also proving it’s usefulness in muscle recovery after exercise. Red light therapy has also been shown to be great for runners in particular, studies show that it increases exercise performance, decreases exercise-induced oxidative stress and muscle damage.
New evidence suggests that red light therapy stimulates Leydig cells in the testicle to produce more testosterone and treat low libido and sexual dysfunction in men.
Brain and Cognitive Health
Red light therapy is now also being used to treat degenerative or traumatic brain disorders. The treatment also aids visual processing in the brain by improving visual acuity and reducing the prevalence of vision-related illnesses, such as scotoma.
Skin and Hair Health
Red light therapy is also often used for its skin and hair benefits. There is a general “skin rejuvenation” effect, as it helps to build collagen in the skin and decrease acne through it’s anti-inflammatory effect. Red light also treats alopecia, a condition where bald spots develop randomly on your head.
This treatment also strengthens our immune system, helping us fight against many other diseases. The procedure also improves your quality of sleep and fastens the healing of ulcers! Red light therapy has also been known to reduce the recurrence of herpes.
Red light therapy is available at a variety of locations or devices can be purchased for at-home use.
We recommend a device that provides light in both the red and near-infrared spectrum. Some of the more popular devices on the market include:
Red light therapy is a safe treatment method that stimulates cellular rejuvenation and mitochondrial energy production. Its plethora of health benefits and ease of use make it an excellent addition to a comprehensive wellness regimen.