Red Light Therapy, Now Available In Your Home With Full Benefits
Getting yourself the healing power of red light therapy at home could be one of the best decisions you make this year. These devices have cropped up in salons, gyms, and other wellness institutions across the world, it wasn't until recently that affordable and safer models were designed for private home use.
Consistency is key if you're going to reap maximum benefits from red light therapy. Experts recommend a 15-minute session every day, 5 days a week, lasting up to twelve weeks at a time. If you have to travel to a commercial place, this routine will become expensive and inconvenient.
On the other hand, having your own red light equipment allows you to sustain the therapy for as long as you need to. Before you proceed to buy one, however, it's important to know what red light therapy is, how it affects your body, any potential risks you should be aware of when using the gadgets at home.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy (RLT) is a form of treatment that involves exposing the skin to controlled levels of long-wavelength light. Red light and near-infrared light (NIR) between 600nm and 1300nm is beneficial to the skin, unlike the harmful short-wavelength UV light.
RLT is one form of light therapy or phototherapy, which refers to the use of light to change the medical or cosmetic properties of the skin. This practice is called photobiomodulation, and has various applications depending on the type of light used.
When red light is irradiated on the skin in low doses, it is absorbed deep into the skin and affects different cells in the body. The most important effects are observed on the skin's epidermis, where it helps to increase skin elasticity, reducing wrinkles, healing wounds, and more.
In order to get the highly specific wavelengths of light required in red light therapy, devices known as Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are used. These small devices are much safer because they allow better control over the energy and wavelength of light produced, unlike older technology.
Brief History of Red Light Therapy
Therapeutic procedures using long-wavelength light are not new, despite influencers making them sound like a recent fad. In truth, the Danish physician Niels Ryberg Finsen pioneered the field of phototherapy, for which he won the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physiology.
In the 1920's, a new fad exploded in which the artificial tanning booth became massively popular, but we now know that exposure to low-wavelength light can be harmful.
Phototherapy found more serious applications including easing pain from rheumatoid arthritis, rehabilitation of soft-tissue injuries, and later by NASA to reduce muscle atrophy in space and to accelerate healing. In many of these treatments, red light is used together with light therapy for maximum effect.
In all this time, the efficacy of red light and NIR light therapy has been tried and tested in many ways. A conclusive clinical trial performed in 2014 showed vast evidence of the positive results of using the procedure, even though scientists still don't fully understand how it works.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Most scientists agree that red light therapy works by stimulating cells to produce more energy, regenerate faster and become more active. It is known that the skin absorbs light energy, but the peculiar effect of red light absorption is that it triggers more energy production in the mitochondria of cells.
Mitochondria are known as cellular powerhouses. By generating more energy molecules (called adenosine triphosphate or ATP), you have increased cell activity which can have different effects depending on the type of cell.
For example, fibroblasts under the skin respond to RLT by producing more collagen, the connective tissue that increases skin elasticity and firmness. This is what makes red light therapy for wrinkles and signs of aging an effective solution to help you achieve that youthful and radiant skin.
Immune cells are also triggered to deal with inflammation and organ damage faster. RLT even activates natural antioxidants to neutralize harmful free radicals.
Epidermal stem cells regenerate much faster under RLT to replace the older and damaged skin cells. This causes a wide range of benefits including more youthful skin to increased hair growth, especially in those with alopecia.
Why You Should Try Red Light Therapy at Home
Red light therapy has a whole range of medical and cosmetic benefits. Not many people have access to the full-body red light equipment required to reap the whole range of RLT benefits, but some of these devices are now available for purchase and use at home.
It's true that a high-end, full-body RLT unit could be a significant investment, but here are several reasons why such a unit is worth every penny and more.
1. Cosmetic Benefits — Anti-Aging
Red light therapy has powerful anti-aging effects. It effectively reverses the signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, spotting, and sagging by stimulating the production of more collagen and collagen-producing cells, called fibroblasts. Regeneration of epidermal cells and increased blood flow in the skin also gives you a radiant, more youthful look.
2. Wound Healing
The anti-inflammatory and immunity-enhancing qualities of red light therapy make it a valuable treatment for chronic wounds. Studies suggest that RLT has "medical applications" in improving tissue repair and promoting tissue regeneration.
3. Pain Relief
The same studies also show proof of pain relief and reduced inflammation associated with red light therapy. It's still not clear to researchers how this works, but it has been shown in numerous studies that red light therapy can help to mitigate pain from nerve pain, back pain, arthritis, and inflammation.
4. Muscle Repair
Thanks to increased cell regeneration and repair, muscle repair and recovery is a common effect of RLT. Muscle cells have much more energy-producing ATP molecules, so athletes have a lot to gain from red-light therapy in post-workout recovery.
Dangers and Side Effects of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy poses no danger or side-effects. It is non-invasive, and the long wavelengths of light used do not alter cell functions in any intrinsic ways like short wave UV light does. The only possible dangers would be:
- The risk of burns from overdosing. There are reports of people who fall asleep with red-light equipment or inside full-body red light boxes. You should only take a single 15-minute session daily, a maximum of 5 times a week
- Low-quality equipment not tested and approved by the FDA can cause electric shocks and bursts of intense light.
With these concerns, the biggest issue is to make sure that you buy top-quality, approved red light equipment for use at home. There still aren't very many vendors of these, given that many are focused on medical and commercial applications.
However, the team at Red Light Therapy is happy to bring you our full collection of RLT equipment for home use. This includes our full-body my RLT panel and the smaller portable version. Pick up your home RLT kit today and enjoy a different, rejuvenated life every day. Contact us today!