Red light therapy has been drawing the attention of everyone from Olympic Athletes, Hollywood celebrities, and the world’s most progressive medical experts. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the well-researched treatment of red light therapy.
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation (PBM) has been around for nearly 50 years and was originally developed by NASA. It combines two specific wavelengths of light, that when shined on your body, produce healing benefits. The red LED used in this therapy produces red light and infrared light of low-level wavelengths that penetrate the skin without destroying it or causing any discomfort (in a non-invasive way). Red light therapy has been proven as a non-invasive, non-toxic, beneficial healing modality with little to no side effects.
The history of red light therapy
NASA scientists then used this technology to support astronauts with wound healing while in zero gravity, and since then, it has been proven to provide a wide range of health benefits for users in just 10-minutes a day. Red light therapy has been used across the world as a non-invasive, non-toxic, beneficial healing modality with little to no side effects.Science has proven that the different types of light affect our bodies in certain ways. Some light is making us sick, while others help health and rejuvenate the body. It turns out that light is in fact an essential nutrient for humans. Your health depends on getting the right dosage of light on a daily basis. Each spectrum of light plays it’s unique role in your bodily functions. Your overall energy levels, immunity, and circadian rhythm are all directly related to the quality and quantity of light you receive.
How does red light therapy work?
Red light therapy uses red and near-infrared light to penetrate deep into the skin for a healing effect. Red light therapy is like photosynthesis for your skin and body; it essentially gives damaged cells the energy necessary to heal themselves with the help of specific wavelengths of light. You’ll step away from your device feeling happier, less stressed, and you’ll enjoy deeper sleep. It may surprise you, but after millions of years of evolution, your body is capable of utilizing red and near-infrared light from the sun to help power your cells.Red light therapy has been scientifically proven to accelerate the body’s self-healing process. Light at specific red and near-infrared wavelengths triggers a physiological healing response. This has been demonstrated by thousands of peer-reviewed studies, including research at NASA, where near-infrared light helps astronauts heal faster.
Does red light therapy really work?
Yes! It has even been approved by the FDA!The physiological effects of red-light therapy have been scientifically proven and has established the main areas of therapeutic benefit including increased collagen production, repair and recovery of muscles, and relief from symptoms of inflammation. Additional studies have shown beneficial results in preventing neurodegeneration from diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Red light therapy increases blood circulation, reduces oxidative stress and increases cellular function and ATP energy production.
The science of red light therapy
Scientists have discovered that when red and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths penetrate the skin, they work in particular on the cell’s main energy producers, mitochondria. Red and near-infrared wavelengths stimulate mitochondria, causing them to produce more of the compound known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of energy that’s used and stored at the cellular level.Most of red light therapy’s effects come from your body’s mitochondria absorbing the natural red light. In various clinical studies, the cytochrome c-oxidase in each of your mitochondria absorb red light, which causes the release of nitric oxide – increasing ATP production and decreasing oxidative stress . According to the latest research, this reaction that occurs in your body causes a chain reaction in the cells and spurs a cascade of effects such as increased cell formation, movement, cell death, and decreased inflammation occurs . Red and near infrared light are able to improve the efficiency of a process called cellular respiration as well .
How red light impacts the body and it’s cells
When it comes to how red light therapy works and improves our body’s functions, it’s pretty complex. There is still a lot of research required to understand how it works fully, its benefits, and the long-term effects. If you want to dig more into the science and mechanisms, check out this article here titled: “The Mechanism of Low Level Light Therapy”, by Michael R. Harvard Medical School (link
). We have outlined the major mechanisms behind the effects of red light therapy below.
- Cells receive a boost of energy: When red light is absorbed, each cell’s mitochondria can produce more energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
- Activating the lymphatic system, an important part of our immune system that helps carry waste out of the body
- Cellular regeneration and repair: Experts believe that because of excess energy from red light therapy, they gain an enhanced ability to repair and restore themselves
- Collagen production: Red light therapy protects existing collagen and boosts new production to reduce wrinkles and fine lines
- Enhanced immunity: Red light therapy increases nitiric oxide, the compound that health the cells and increased blood flow which stimulates and strengthens your immune system to fight illness and disease
- Increase Antioxidants: Red light promotes antioxidant production which plays a central role in reducing oxidative stress which is the root cause of muscle fatigue, joint pain, and inflammation
- Improve Circulation: Red light improves blood flow by opening up veins and arteries, allowing for our cells to receive more oxygen resulting in improved skin health, wound healing and hair growth
- Reduce Oxidative Stress: red light reduces oxidative stress, prevents further damage to cells, and slowing the aging process of the body – helping you look and feel younger
The health benefits of red light therapy
Red light therapy works by delivering your body the natural light that it needs to function at its best health. Red light therapy is able to penetrate deep into the human body. Once in the deeper tissues, red and near-infrared light have incredible healing effects on the cells – leading to reduced inflammation, enhanced energy production, cellular regeneration and anti-aging, and much more.
16 health benefits of red light therapy
The benefits are numerous— you can expect everything from decreased inflammation and pain to rapid wound healing and increased skin collagen. Because red light works on cellular health, the benefits are wide-ranging across the human body.
- Decrease pain in joints and muscles
- Lowers inflammation in the body
- Improve mental health disorders such as depression, SAD, and anxiety
- Skin health, antiaging, and natural collagen production
- Lose fat, and prove the appearance of cellulite
- Combat hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth
- Stimulate muscle recovery
- Improve hypothyroidism conditions
- Improve oral health
- Build resistance to stress at a cellular level
- Speed up and wound healing and lesions
- Increase testosterone production and fertility
- Improve hormonal health in and women
- Optimized brain function and cognitive abilities
- Combat fatigue and improve overall energy levels
- Fight the root cause of aging – oxidative stress
Is red light therapy safe?
Yes. Red Light therapy is safe and free of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Unlike using other laser therapies or tanning beds, red light therapy does not use UV light (which can cause skin damage). With every Vital Red Light therapy treatment, you can rest assured that you are getting the right dose of light without any negative side effects. There have been hundreds of studies around the world that provide the safety and effectiveness of red light therapy on all parts of the body.
Are there side effects to red light therapy?
Everyone is different, and although there are not very many side effects of red for near-infrared light therapy it’s always possible an individual could experience problems that no one else does. Therefore, when beginning with any type of light therapy one should start out slowly and always do an initial patch test to confirm that no negative reactions will occur. Some individuals are sensitive to intense light, and some do not know it until trying to use an intense light therapy device.
The difference between red light therapy and the sun
It is important to note that red light therapy is not a replacement to sunlight. But it does provide the body with two of the most critical wavelengths of the sun – red and near-infrared light . As we learned, red and near-infrared light (either from the sun or your red light therapy device) are scientifically proven to increase ATP production in the mitochondria. This simply means that your cells are able to produce energy better after exposure to red and near-infrared light.
The main difference between sunlight and red light therapy is that sunlight contains a broad spectrum of light – blue, UV, infrared, red, near-infrared and more. Each of these wavelengths serves a specific purpose. Red & near-infrared light are two of the most important because of their ability to upregulate mitochondria production. Not everyone lives in a place that is sunny all year round.And not everyone has the ability to get outdoors in the sun every day during the time of day where it’s warm and sunny. With a red light device, you receive a consistent and predictable spectrum of light with each use.
How do you use red light therapy?
Light therapy is an easy way to add healthy light to your life, in the comfort of your home, at any time of day, no matter the weather or season. It is truly amazing what just 10-minutes of natural light can do for you. Red light therapy is becoming a go-to for people seeking relief from chronic skin conditions, muscle and joint pain and for those who want to reduce the visible signs of aging.
How often should I use red light therapy?
The frequency of the sessions depend on which condition you want to treat. Treatment of certain skin conditions can happen immediately, while stimulating hair loss takes longer. Regardless of what you were looking to achieve, you will see noticeable effects after some use.Daily use is key. To get the most out of your Vital Red Light, consistency is vital. We recommend minimum once daily, however 2-3 times per day can be beneficial when using for multiple goals such as sleep, training, and mental acuity!Daily use is key. To get the most out of your Vital Red Light, consistency is vital. If you’re wondering how often you should use red light therapy for the best results, the short answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But most people get good results with a 15-minute daily session 3-5 times per week for several months.
How long does red light take to work?
You can experience a reduction in symptoms as early as after the first treatment session with red light therapy. To get the most out of your Vital Red Light, consistency is key. We recommend once daily use, although using your device 2-3 times a day may be beneficial for symptomatic areas. Red light therapy has been proven to work fast and effectively. Consistently using red light is key. We must note, for the “healthy glow” of a photo facial, you’ll see a difference right away.
Who can benefit from using red light therapy?
Red light therapy treats the underlying root causes of disease and cellular dysfunction at the source, enabling such a wide variety of health benefits to people of all ages. Whether you’re an athlete, a busy mom, or a health expert, you can benefit from more healthy light in your life. Light is for everyone, and light therapy supports greater balance within the body.Our general rule of thumb is that if it is safe and tolerable for a person to be outside in the sun for 10 minutes, then it is probably safe to use RLT for 10 minutes. For preexisting conditions, light sensitivities, use of photosensitizers, or photosenstizing drugs, then it is always best to consult with a doctor before starting a new health activity like red light therapy.
Benefits of an At-Home Red Light Therapy Device
One of the best parts about having a high quality Red and Near Infrared (Red/NIR) light therapy device in your own home is that you use the device where and when you please. No more $100-$150 salon or spa sessions to get your daily dose of red light. Vital Red Light provides the salon like benefits of red light therapy in the comfort of your own home without compromising power, irradiance, or safety like many other devices on the market today
Red Light Therapy is a safe and natural way to heal your body in the comfort of your own home. Vital red light therapy devices are easy to use and a simple way to get a healthy dose of daily natural light. In only 10-minutes a day, a Vital Red Light therapy device is everything you need to keep your cells young and healthy.Professional athletes, medical practitioners, and beauty experts all use Vital Red Light for the most effective and proven red light therapy treatment. With an at-home Vital Red Light, you get a salon experience with every use. Stop spending $100 on a light therapy treatment at a salon, and start doing it at home.Citations