What Is Red Light Therapy?

Today, we take a look at What is Red Light Therapy, so that you can have a better understanding of what it is, what it actually does, and how you can benefit from using this type of therapy. In this article, take the time to relax, settle in with your favourite choice of beverage, be it wine, coffee or a good Chai Latte and let's begin!

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a safe, simple treatment that delivers concentrated light to your skin and cells using the same wavelengths as natural light from the sun without the harmful UV rays (now that’s a win!)

Like natural light, RLT helps stimulate the mitochondria in our body. Mitochondria are the tiny powerhouses within the cell responsible for energy production. This process for energy production is known as Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Every living organism on earth creates ATP which becomes the energy we use each day. As we age and have restricted access to sunlight due to our busy lives our ATP production slows down leaving us feeling sluggish (you know, that feeling like we had a few too many beers?) Fear not, because this is where red light therapy swoops in and saves the day!

 Not only does RLT create more ATP, it also helps with antioxidant production, which plays an important role in reducing the oxidative stress associated with cell injury, muscle fatigue and joint pain & inflammation. These antioxidants increase the production of heat proteins, which are special enzymes in the body that help protect cells from stress and early ageing. Say goodbye to expensive wrinkle creams ladies and gents!

Numerous studies have also found an increase in circulation following RLT indicating the tissues are receiving more oxygen, which is essential for healing and ridding themselves of toxic byproducts.

💡 Fun Fact: Red light therapy is also known as Photobiomodulation (PBM), Phototherapy, LED therapy, LED light therapy, Infrared therapy, Low-level laser therapy or Low level light therapy (LLLT).

But here's the thing - not all wavelengths are equal. Only certain wavelengths will deliver light effective enough to produce optimal health benefits. Natural light covers a wide spectrum that encompasses many wavelengths and colours, and researchers have found that red light in the mid-600 nanometer range, and near infrared light in the mid-800 range are most beneficial for our health. 

According to extensive research by Michael Hamblin, M.D., an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, the most effective wavelengths within the natural light spectrum found to be extremely beneficial at the cellular level are 660 nanometers (Red Light) and 850 nanometers (Near Infrared Light). The former, 660 nm, is more quickly absorbed by the skin, making it ideal for cosmetic treatments, while 850 nm penetrates deeper into your body to help with muscle recovery, joint pain & inflammation, and full body health.

As you can see on the following diagram, wavelengths of 650nm and higher are able to penetrate deeper into the body, providing a much more effective treatment.

🤯 Did You Know? In the 1990s, Red Light Therapy was used by scientists to help grow plants in space. They found that the light from red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) helped promote growth and photosynthesis of plant cells.

To deliver an effective treatment, these wavelengths must be delivered using a device powerful enough to distribute a certain amount of energy into the body during a session. 

Think of it like charging a phone battery 📲. If you only charge your phone for a few minutes it doesn't receive enough power to recharge completely, and your phone won't have enough charge to last the day! We all know how that feels 😳.

🤓 For the nerds in the crowd, here is the scientific explanation:

The total amount of energy delivered per area during treatment is measured in Joules/cm2. This is calculated by multiplying the irradiance of the device by the treatment time in seconds, divided by 1000.

👨🏼‍🏫 For example: The irradiance of an Infraredi device @ 15cm distance from the body is 100 mW/cm2, and the recommended treatment time is 10 minutes, so the calculation is as follows:

100 mW/cm2 x 600 seconds / 1000 mW/watt = 60 joules/cm2

The total energy output in a 10 minute session is 60,000 joules.

Now that you understand what red light therapy is, let’s look at a few ways the therapy has been clinically proven to improve certain health symptoms:

  • Reduces joint pain and arthritis
  • Increases muscle recovery after exercise
  • Improves skin health
  • Improves thyroid function
  • Increases testosterone in men
  • Helps to aid in weight loss

Sign me up!! 🙋‍♀️

As well as these amazing health benefits, there are many clinical trials being conducted to see how it may help to reduce certain mental disorders and diseases such as Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Dementia & Alzheimer's and much more.  

If you'd like to learn more about the health benefits you can click here to visit our blog. 

At Infraredi, we specialise in providing high quality, affordable Red Light Therapy devices.

If you’re interested in learning more about our devices, you can click here to check them out.

Get Started with Red Light Therapy at home!

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