Red light therapy has become a standard-practice optimization for many professional sports teams, training clinics, wellness & aesthetic clinics, and physicians.
We tend to spend much more time indoors & in front of screens & monitors these days putting you at a higher risk for developing health conditions. This can be issues with sleep, cancer, & even cardiovascular disease. Sunlight, has therapeutic effects on chronic disease, joint pain, gastric inflammation, and much more.
Certain wavelengths of sunlight are more beneficial than others, with red and infrared wavelengths having the unique ability to boost mitochondrial function. Improved mitochondrial function, which impacts virtually all cellular metabolic activity, has been widely demonstrated to improve health in a whole host of ways—including enhanced muscle recovery, reduced inflammation and pain, better sleep, and better overall skin health.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Legit light therapy products shine specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared (NIR) light on your body using high-quality LED technology.
Light therapy is a natural, non-invasive therapy that delivers beneficial wavelengths of light to your skin and cells. Full-spectrum light includes many colors, including wavelengths we can’t see, but only a select range of red and near-infrared light is clinically therapeutic for the purposes of PBM.
A high-quality light therapy device uses medical-grade LEDs to deliver clinical doses of light power to your skin, without excess UV rays or major side effects. Red light therapy works because the wavelengths of red and NIR light react with the mitochondria in your cells. Photons of red light stimulate electrons during the cellular respiration process to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things. The more efficiently you can make ATP, the better your body is at clearing inflammation and repairing yourself.
Common Health Benefits
- Muscle recovery & physical performance: Red light gets your cells making energy on high octane so you can perform at your peak. It also boosts your muscle gains by stimulating growth.
- Skin health: Studies have found light therapy improves skin tone & complexion, diminishes signs of aging, and even can boost your collagen production. It boosts ATP energy production in cells.
- Better blood flow: Standing in the glow of red light really gets the blood pumping, literally. When your cells take in all those photons of red and NIR light, your tissues are able to use more oxygen and improve the efficiency of your circulation.
- Anti- Inflammatory: One of the primary benefits of red light therapy treatments is a proven anti-inflammatory effect. Inflammation is natural and necessary, but you have to process it and deal with it or it can become chronic and painful. When I’m sore or tired, red light therapy sessions help me control the inflammation and start the healing process efficiently.
Research continues to support red light therapy for healing, prevention of disease, pain, and more.
Hormonal, Gut & Cognitive Help
Way back in 1903, a Danish physician named Niels Ryberg Finsen won the Nobel Prize for pioneering some of the first clinical light therapy treatments.
He used red light to treat smallpox and other light spectrums to address chronic diseases such as tuberculosis. In the decades following, Finsen phototherapy became more developed as a cutting-edge therapeutic intervention in modern medicine.
More recently, in the 1980s, NASA studied red light therapy use in space for health and plant growth. Since then, NASA has continued to work with a Wisconsin-based company called Quantum Devices Inc., the developer of a far-red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatment called High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate (HEALS). The HEALS device has proven therapeutic for painful cancer treatment side effects and even the reduction and potential elimination of cancerous tumors.
More than 1,000 peer-reviewed studies have been published on red light therapy treatments in the last two decades alone. The biggest consensus across these trials and studies is that red light therapy treatments are safe and well-tolerated by patients, with very few side effects. Some of the most common findings across studies are how red light treatments can increase cellular energy output and reduce a person’s inflammation response, which has shown a large range of benefits for skin, sleep, fitness, recovery, and more. Newer, emerging research is also pushing the boundaries of what red light treatments can do.
#1: Red Light Therapy And Hormones
As we age, our natural hormone levels start to decline in both men & women.
So how does shining light on your body help women boost progesterone and men improve their testosterone levels?
Wavelengths of red and NIR light appear to support the mitochondria in the adrenal glands, which are responsible for generating cortisol and adrenaline. They also synthesize dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) an endogenous hormone precursor that plays a major role in the production of sex hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. DHEA levels diminish with age in both men and women, which results in lower levels of progesterone and testosterone.
Every organ in your body, including the adrenal glands, age over time and become less efficient at producing hormones.
#2: Red Light Therapy And The Gut
Gut health is CRUCIAL is for overall health and longevity.
Research shows that red light therapy can improve gut health and help control the body’s production of harmful cytokines during the natural inflammatory processes. That alone can have a huge impact on limiting chronic diseases, from cardiovascular issues to other autoimmune and metabolic problems.
Researchers believe a potential mechanism of action for light therapy treatments is the reduction of inflammation in the adipose tissue of the abdomen. The anti-inflammatory benefits of red light therapy are already well-established. Research has also shown that light therapy treatments can protect against an overload of cytokines released into the body—associated with inflammatory diseases.
#3: Red Light Therapy And Cognitive Health
The human brain is deeply affected by light intake, particularly in regards to your sleep and circadian rhythms.
Research is also showing how red light on your head and brain cells may also improve your cognitive functions like memory and executive function.
Evidence show the brain can process difficult cognitive tasks more effectively after light therapy exposure.
Wavelengths of near-infrared light can reach the brain and brain cells and have a significant effect on cognitive abilities, inflammation, and cognitive repair.
When I do look back at the thousands of articles that I have written, spanning a nearly boundless number of subjects…
Testosterone optimization is a topic that is in demand likely in part because hormonal health has a profound effect on our quality of life. Testosterone affects physical and mental virility. In addition, testosterone is also an incredible component of a woman’s virility, libido, sexual health, and overall wellness.
The theory that exposing the testes to light increases testosterone is close to a century old. In a 1939 study, Dr. Abraham Myerson measured initial levels of circulating testosterone in men and exposed their various body parts to ultraviolet (UV) light. After five days of UV exposure to the chest, circulating testosterone increased by 120%. After eight days without additional UV exposure, testosterone returned to its initial levels. When the genital area was exposed, testosterone levels increased by a whopping 200%.
The research is increasingly clear that light therapy has a positive effect on testosterone.