What is Red Light Therapy for?
What is Red Light Therapy?
We are so excited to add Red Light Therapy products to our healthy living range here at Earthing Oz. Thousands of published medical studies have shown its positive effects on sleep, anti-aging, depression and anxiety, autoimmune conditions, recovery from exercise and much more.
Red light therapy - also known as photobiomodulation (PBM) - is a non-invasive therapy that delivers the same wavelengths of red and near-infrared light as natural sunlight to your skin and to your cells.
Creating cellular energy boosts with Red Light Therapy
Applying red light and near-Infrared light as a source of energy to any part of our body, strengthens the cell’s mitochondria to produce and convert energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, and ATP is the principal molecule for storing and transferring energy in cells. ATP is the energy required for other reactions to occur within the cell – including cell function and growth. Different cells in our body have different amounts of mitochondria because some may need more energy. So for example, the muscle has a lot of mitochondria, the liver does too, the kidney as well, and to a certain extent, the brain, which essentially lives off of the energy those mitochondria produce.
With natural aging, external toxins, injuries, illnesses and ailments contributing to a cell's mitochondrial dysfunction, healthcare consultants are suggesting to include the application of red light therapy to benefit cellular function and assist healing. Red Light Therapy has the benefit of affecting multiple levels and systems in the body. Red light and near-infrared light can be used as a boost of antioxidants which plays a role in reducing oxidative stress associated with cell injury. This all optimises cellular conditions and circulation for skin repair, relief of pain and discomfort, immunity revival and over all, the reduction of inflammation to help regain performance.
Red Light vs Near Infrared Light
Red Light Therapy uses a combination of visible red light and near-Infrared Light which is invisible to the human eye.
The visible red light occupies the “long end” of the visible spectrum with wavelengths in the mid 600nm–800nm. Red light boosts the formation of collagen and elastin and assists in the cells’ communication. It penetrates superficially to improve the skin with restoration and repair of various skin conditions.
Near-Infrared light is invisible to the human eye with wavelengths that span from mid 700nm to 1200nm. It is effective for use on the surface of the skin as well as penetration into the body. Near Infrared light is invisible and penetrates deeper into the muscle tissue making it best for targeting pain for easing joint pain and recovery.
The higher the number, the higher penetration on the skin. The optimal wavelengths for beneficial therapeutic results range from 630nm to 850nm.
15 Health Benefits of Red and Near-Infrared Light Therapy
The reported health benefits of Red Light Therapy are numerous and wide-ranging.
1. Pain and Inflammation – With Red Light Therapy targeted and penetrating the muscles tendons and other tissues, it increases blood flow, antioxidant activity and inflammatory markers to improve chronic pain symptoms; joint pain, back pain and fibromyalgia.
2. Skin Health and Appearance – Red Light Therapy boosts blood flow to bring oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells and stimulates collagen-producing cells called fibroblasts. RLT has been found to improve the complexion with firmer skin and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
Research indicates that improved results can be achieved for those with:
– Acne | See study Red Light Therapy acne evaluation here
– Sebum production
– Scars | See Red Light Therapy scars evaluation here
– Skin inflammation | See more on restorative evaluation here
– Burns | See Red Light Therapy burns evaluation here
– Sun damage | See Red Light Therapy photoaged evaluation here
– Skin discolouration
3. Eczema and Psoriasis – With the healing and reduction of inflammation achieved through Red Light Therapy, the healing of troubling conditions like Eczema and Psoriasis is sped up, resulting in 60 – 100% reduction in psoriasis.
4. Wound Healing – Red Light Therapy boosts circulation to provide more oxygen and healing nutrients to damaged areas. This encourages the formation of new blood vessels and tissues, improving collagen levels. In 2014 a study with heart surgery patients found RLT to reduce pain, bleeding and increase wound healing.
5. Diabetic Neuropathy – Red Light Therapy boosts circulation to improve the common symptoms of numbness in the legs and feet. Regular treatments have been shown to reduce pain and cell damage.
6. Exercise Performance and Recovery – Our muscles are loaded with mitochondria and RLT stimulates ATP production. Physical performance, muscle gains and recovery is improved through pre and post exercise treatments. Read the studies a), b), c), d) with research suggesting RLT can :
– Improve muscle strength
– Reduce muscle fatigue
– Reduce muscle damage
– Lower lactic acid production
7. Arthritis and Joint Health – The reduction of inflammation and the boost to collagen synthesis which is initiated through RLT causes the regeneration of cartilage to lower joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Research shows this is beneficial when treating symptoms of degenerative osteoarthritis and inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis improving one's range of motion and physical ability.
8. Bone Healing – For fractures or those with osteoporosis, applying targeted Red Light Therapy treatments to penetrate and reach bone tissue the cellular energy, circulation, blood vessel formation and collagen synthesis, can speed up bone repair.
9. Hair Growth – A safe and natural way to increase circulation in the scalp and hair follicles, encouraging hair growth for men or women. A study in 2014 found women with alopecia undergoing regular Red Light Therapy treatments resulted in a 37% increase in hair growth.
10. Headaches and Migraines – The anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and circulation-boosting effects of red light therapy make it great for reducing the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines.
11. Eye Health – Low-level red light therapy can improve age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is known that the consistent exposure to bright artificial light such as Blue Light is damaging to the retina. Animal research has shown that red light therapy could heal the damage done to the retina of the eye by bright artificial light. These studies are yet to be conducted on humans.
12. Thyroid Function – Cases of compromised thyroid function such as Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's Thyroiditis have experienced improved thyroid function and health as well as the benefits of regulating the immune system too.
13. Brain Health – When applying Red Light Therapy to the head the improved circulation helps with oxygenation and energy production to support brain health. With the photons reaching below the skull it has been shown to be good for learning, reaction times and positive moods. RLT can assist the treatments for traumatic brain injuries and neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia.
14. Anti Aging – Our cell’s Mitochondrial function and ATP production degenerate with age. Red light therapy targets and boosts Mitachondiral function to benefit ATP production for:
– Improved energy
– Better vision
– Stronger bones and muscles
– Greater skin elasticity and skin appearance
– Improved cognitive function
– Lower levels of inflammation, pain and stiffness
15. Restful Sleep and Fatigue – Encourage a restful sleep and regulate your natural circadian rhythm with the exposure to Red Light Therapy before bed. RLT triggers the mind and body to generate the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Furthermore, Red Light Therapy contributes to overall well-being through improved sleep and increased production of the key cellular energy molecule ATP.
In 2012 a study indicated that treatments had improved sleep quality and the blood levels of melatonin. With improvements to sleep our overall health benefits and these results are particularly exciting for those suffering with insomnia or poor sleep quality. In terms of general fatigue, or those with chronic fatigue syndrome Fibromyalgia or Multiple Sclerosis can experience reduced pain and a decrease in the degree of fatigue.
Since the breakthroughs in LED lighting technology, more affordable at home therapeutic devices have become available. You can now take skincare and healthcare treatments into your own hands and into the comfort of your home with the Red Light Therapy Power Panel Portable or Power Panel + Stand, to conveniently target and stimulate various levels of your body and its systems.
The at-home Red Light Therapy Power Panel devices available through Earthing Oz, have LED lights within the optimal wavelength spectrum; delivered as visible red light at 660nm focusing on skin restoration and repair and invisible near-infrared at 850nm light for targeting deeper tissue. This medical-grade light irradiance creates a safe, non-invasive exposure with no excessive heat.
You can customise your treatment for either, deep red light at 660nm or near-infrared 850nm. Or, as recommended, you can run both at the same time. The timer buttons allow you to treat yourself for either 10, 15 or 20 minutes per session. Regular treatments are recommended to become effective – you can start with three sessions a week for example.
Discover more about our available Red Light Therapy options here.