What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is an every-day term for the science of photobiomodulation.
It has been proven effective for a wide range of healing and rejuvenating uses including anti-aging, hair loss prevention & regrowth, skin conditions, wound care, pain relief, and much more. It is a 100% natural therapy with zero side effects. And yes, it works.
What red light therapy is depends on who you ask. There are two very different ways to look at it: first, from the viewpoint of Western traditional medicine; and second, from the viewpoint of Eastern, energy medicine.
Red Light Therapy & Western Medicine – Photobiomodulation
Western traditional medicine likes to deal with what we can measure in a lab and prove to the FDA. Once NASA came down with undeniable wound healing results from red light therapy, conventional medicine started paying attention. Over 10 years later, red light therapy has now been thoroughly researched and FDA approved for anti-aging and pain relief, with wound care applications soon to follow.
Western doctors and researchers often call red light therapy by other names such as:
- LLLT (low level laser or low level light therapy)
- LILT (low intensity light therapy)
- biostimulation (BIOS)
- photonic stimulation
- and others
All of those are red or near infrared light therapy just the same, and all the information on this website applies to them.
Red Light Therapy & Eastern Medicine
Red light therapy is also used in Eastern medicine practices which focus on the energy systems of the body, specifically meridian points and chakra zones. For example, “Colorpuncture” uses a narrow beam of red light to stimulate acupuncture points instead of needles. A brand name “Photonic Light Therapy” does the same thing for animals. Red light therapy could also be called red color therapy and used to fuel overall vitality.
While western science and eastern medicine may not often agree, the facts remain: light is energy, and our body is energy. Red and infrared light energy penetrate deep into the body, and has profound effects in the hands of both western and eastern healing professionals alike. The good news is, it will likely have the same rejuvenating, healing and balancing effects in your hands as well, at a fraction of the cost.
Red Light Therapy Reviews
We have big plans in the works for red light therapy product ratings and reviews, but for now, you can check out 9 practical red light reviews on this page.
Risks & Benefits of Red Light Therapy
There are so many benefits of red light therapy that we gave them their own page and you can find that here.
In study after study all over the world, there are no reported adverse side effects from red light therapy. There are some precautions you should consider before beginning your treatment, however. Please review them by reading the article, “Red Light Therapy Side Effects,” here.
Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Yes, it really does. This post will tell you what you can expect from various treatments.
How Red Light Therapy Works
Visible red light is capable of penetrating the skin to a depth of about 8 to 10 mm. Once absorbed, the light energy is converted to cellular energy, stimulating the body’s natural processes on a cellular level and kicking off a whole series of metabolic events, including:
- Increased circulation and the formation of new capillaries. 1
- Increased lymph system activity.
- Increased production of collagen and fibroblasts. 2
- Increased release of ATP, or raw cellular energy. 3
- Increased phagocytosis, or cellular clean up.
- Tissue granulation stimulated. 4
- Inflammation reduced. 5
All of these things work together to produce many benefits for you in the areas of anti-aging, the healing of wounds and injuries, and the relief of pain, as we’ll see below. But no matter what the application, red and infrared light therapy share the same benefits overall.
Red Light Therapy For Your Skin
By far the most popular use for red light therapy is anti-aging of the skin. If that’s why you’re here, please visit this page to learn exactly how red light is going to make you look younger. But before you go, it’s important to know that red light therapy can be used to treat a growing list of skin conditions including:
- cold sores and herpes
- everyday cuts, scrapes burns & bruises
The Wavelengths of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy uses wavelengths of light roughly between 620 nm and 700 nm. Popular wavelengths used in research and in-home products are 630 nm and 660 nm. Regardless of claims of only “specific wavelengths” being effective, the whole range of visible red light wavelengths are effective and beneficial. In fact, many devices today are including two or three of them instead of just one.
Red LED Light Therapy
Red LED light therapy is very popular today, especially for anti-aging, acne and rosacea treatment. What’s so special about it? Red LED light therapy is red light therapy, just using an LED light source instead of incandescent, fluorescent, or laser. But red LED light therapy does have some unique benefits of its own.
LEDs were NASA’s choice for red light therapy when it brought the technique into space around the year 2000. They chose this technology for its low energy requirements, as well as its low heat emission and light weight.
Those same qualities made later research more accurate, and, to date, hundreds of studies from around the world have shown the benefits of red light therapy in the fields of anti-aging, healing, and pain relief.
What makes Red LED Light Therapy different?
1. Tighter Wavelength Span. Red LED light has a tighter wavelength span than other types of bulbs. For example, while a fluorescent or incandescent red light might have a 660nm peak, they could include wavelengths of plus or minus 40nm or more. However, in the case of red LED light with the same 660nm peak, the useful wavelengths are only plus or minus about 10nm. For this reason, some consider LEDs a superior vehicle for delivering the necessary light for a given application.
2. No heat. There is very little heat generated with red LED light therapy, which makes the technique safer and more pleasant.
3. Durable & Long Lasting. Today’s LED devices use solid state electronics and plastic or metal housing which is much more durable and long lasting than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs made of glass.
4. Compact & Portable. LEDs are tiny little things, so it’s easy to pack them into a small, hand-held, portable device.
5. Earth Friendly. Red LED light therapy is more eco-friendly than using incandescent or fluorescent bulbs because they can produce the same amount of light but do so while using a small fraction of the energy.
That’s it! Those are the major things that make red LED light therapy any different or better than red light therapy from any other light source.
Effective red light therapy can be accomplished with any red light source including incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, LED, low level laser or cold laser. Each type of light has its benefits and drawbacks, but ineffectiveness is not one of them.
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is Red Light Therapy?,” let’s find out what red light therapy can do for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ #1 – What is the best product for x? I am working on an article for you now to help you answer that question. I’m planning to publish it by the end of the week. Check our home page in the next couple of days.
FAQ #2 – Can I use red light therapy for [insert your condition here]? For that answer, please see this blog post.
FAQ #3 – Where can I find this therapy near me? We’re starting a provider directory in February 2017. Till then, please check your local gym, medical spa, day spa, chiropractor or physical therapist.
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