Red Light Therapy is a wellness modality that has been smashing into the world of professional athletes, the US military and doctors in the know.
Red Light Therapy Devices are full-body applications for Red, Near Infrared and Green or Blue LEDs’
Over 6,000 clinical trials suggest promising results across multiple biomarkers in the body:
Red Light Therapy Beds present extraordinary positive effects to help muscle tissue and other parts of the human body heal. It works by exposing the body to low levels of red or near-infrared light to parts of the body or the whole body. Studies suggest athletes will increase single rep max, total reps prior to failure and total reps in a given time. That translates to improved speed, strength, endurance and it has been shown to protect the athlete against mechanical damage that happens during intense training and competition.
Red Light Therapy has pain-relieving benefits in that it deadens nerve pain. Green Light Therapy works through different pain pathways.
Although Red Light Therapy is new to the public and more clinical research data is needed to document its potential, it shows where the future of wellness therapy is going.
Red Light Therapy History
In the 1990s, scientists first used Red Light Therapy when they tried to grow plants in space. In the work process, they found that light from red light-emitting diodes helped the growth and photosynthesis of plant cells. These results gave them the idea to study red light for its potential application in medicine to determine if it could increase energy inside cells. The hope was that RLT could be an effective way to treat muscle atrophy, help wound healing, and offset bone density issues caused by weightlessness during space travel.
Cellular Benefits of Red Light Therapy
LED Red Light Therapy affects the bioenergetic matrix that builds into cells. The massive list of positive benefits for the cells are then transmitted down into the tissues, organs and systems of the body.
Red light can penetrate the skin to a depth of 1 – 3 mm, and it works by acting on the “power plant” in your body’s cells called mitochondria to produce more energy called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). More specifically, cells absorb light photons, stimulating them to do their job more efficiently with more energy, such as repairing skin, boosting new cell growth, and enhancing skin rejuvenation.
Research has shown that this stimulation has the potential of encouraging cells to produce more collagen and elastin, adding volume to the skin, as well as extra firming and toning. Red light penetrates the bottom of the dermis down to the fatty layer, making it beneficial as a natural anti-inflammatory. Research studies have shown red light gets to the epidermal layer and begins to heat the skin’s dermis. Аt higher temperatures, new collagen and elastin are naturally produced by our body, delivering powerful therapeutic benefits to living tissue. Studies suggest that skin cells can grow 150 – 200 percent faster when exposed to specific light wavelengths.
Research suggests that Red Light Therapy has potential benefits in:
- Increase circulation and nutrient transfer
- Detoxify waste and free radicals
- Present an analgesic benefit for nerve cells
- Reduce inflammation the root cause of most autoimmune diseases
- Stimulating collagen production
- Increasing fibroblast production
- Increasing blood circulation to the tissue.
Red Light Therapy for Face
Red Light Therapy research is revealing encouraging results for the treatment of acne. Sebaceous glands produce sebum, which clogs the pores and causes acne. Although sunlight may help calm overactive glands, many people have an issue with sunlight exposure because it comes with exposure to ultraviolet and UVB rays which can cause other skin issues over time.
Research suggests Red Light Therapy, alone or combined with other light treatments, is an effective treatment for acne vulgaris as light penetrates the skin and has the potential to reduce inflammation and irritation without exposure to ultraviolet and UVB rays, while also positively affecting sebum production.
Some of the possible effects of Red Light Therapy are:
- Reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots
- Improvement of facial texture
- Improvement of acne
Red Light Therapy for Skin
Studies indicate that RLT may improve skin rejuvenation, and improve the feel and complexion of the skin. The application of Red Light Therapy provides a safe, non-ablative, non-thermal treatment. This therapy may have the potential to extend the spectrum of anti-aging treatment options available to patients looking for mild and pleasant light-only skin rejuvenation.
Red Light Therapy researches suggest optimistic results regarding some common skin conditions, including:
- Wound healing
- Stretch marks
- Rosacea and eczema
- Sun-damaged skin
- Hair loss in people with androgenic alopecia
Other Red Light Therapy Benefits
Red Light Therapy for Back Pain
Red light therapy has been shown in research to have an analgesic effect on nerve fibers. Green light has been shown to add an extra pain pathway not presented with Red/Nearinfrared. Together, multiwave photobiomodulation helps to reduce pain in the body.
Studies suggest that Red Light Therapy can promote faster back pain healing by penetrating deep into the skin and improving blood circulation in the body. When red light reaches the cells, mitochondria absorb it, increasing the cell’s metabolism and stimulating muscle, bone, skin, and subcutaneous tissue healing. Improving the metabolism of the cells will increase blood flow, and this will help bring oxygenated blood and nutrients to the all body. Increased blood flow means faster waste drainage. Photobiomodulation devices such as the Red Light Therapy bed are considered a good choice for patients seeking non-invasive and pain-free therapy for their back pain.
Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss
Since the last decade, Red Light Therapy has been investigated as a pain-free wellness modality for weight loss, cellulite reduction, and blood lipid profile improvement. Researchers suggest that RLT promotes the photoactivation of cytochrome c oxidase in hypertrophic adipocytes. That reaction then results in the formation of transitory pores within the adipocytes’ membrane. Newly formed pores release intracellular lipids, which are further metabolized by the body.
The underlying mechanism of action for such effects still seems unclear, and more studies are needed to understand how RLT can work to reduce weight. Red light therapy alone will not reduce weight in the body however. Weight loss is a function of a complete protocol where exercise and vibration push the lipids out of the cells after permeability is increased.
Efficacy of Red Light Therapy
Studies suggest potential benefits for a broad spectrum of skin conditions. As scientists learn more the emergence of Red Light Therapy as a primary tool to treat skin conditions is expected to grow.
Red Light Therapy Side Effects
Red Light Therapy is considered safe, painless, and non-invasive. However, when working with it, everyone must follow safety protocols. Generally speaking, the contraindications for Red (LED) Light Therapy include pregnancy, cancer, epilepsy (if pulsing), and pacemakers. Due to its heavy effect on circulation people on medications should start with lower doses to avoid too heavy a detox.
Red Light Therapy Research
A total of 136 volunteers participated in a controlled study in which 113 subjects were treated twice a week with either 611–650 or 570–850 nm polychromatic light and were compared with controls. Irradiances and treatment durations varied in the different treatment groups. The data collected at baseline included blinded evaluations of clinical photography, ultrasonographic collagen density measurements, and mechanical digital profilometry. The data also included an assessment of patient satisfaction.
Results: The subjects experienced significantly improved skin complexion and feeling, profilometrically assessed skin roughness and ultrasonographically measured collagen density. The photographs confirmed improvement in the intervention groups compared with the control groups.
Conclusions: Broadband PBM showed results close to the red-light-only spectrum. However, both novel light sources that have not been previously used for PBM have safely demonstrated efficacy for skin rejuvenation and intradermal collagen increase compared with controls.
Red Light Therapy (RLT) Frequently Asked Questions
Difference between Photobiomodulation and Red Light Therapy?
Photobiomodulation is the umbrella term for the different therapies with wavelengths of light. Red Light Therapy is one of them.
How does Red Light Therapy work?
Researchers offer the explanation that Red Light Therapy works by stimulating the “power plant” in your body’s cells called mitochondria to produce more energy called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which can enable cells to work more efficiently and with more energy to support biological functions such as repairing skin, boosting new cell growth, and enhancing skin rejuvenation.