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  • Writer's pictureDr. Angela Mawson

What is red light therapy?

Updated: Dec 12, 2023


red light therapy table inside photo

Originating from NASA's research on plant growth, red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), red light therapy utilizes low-level red light to provide a non-invasive cellular rejuvenation treatment. Not to be confused with light therapy, PBMT therapy involves the use of low level laser (LLLT)and LEDs that the skin is exposed to.


This application of specific wavelengths of red light has gained popularity in various wellness and medical fields due to its effectiveness and clinical research. By using LEDs emitting specific wavelengths within a specific frequency and power range, red light therapy has shown promising results in treating a wide range of conditions.


As clinical research on red light therapy and studies of treatments continue to gain traction, understanding its baseline and the subject's potential becomes essential for those seeking alternative therapies.


Benefits of Red Light Therapy


Stimulates Collagen Production for Skin Rejuvenation

Red light therapy, also known as LED therapy, stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that gives skin its elasticity and youthful appearance. This can lead to reduced wrinkles, and fine lines, and overall improvement in skin texture, complexion, and roughness by stimulating skin cells with laser therapy.


Enhances Muscle Recovery and Reduces Inflammation

This therapy aids in muscle recovery and skin rejuvenation by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Studies have shown significant improvement with these treatments. Athletes often use skin rejuvenation to help improve and speed up healing from injuries or intense workouts, according to a study.


Improves Sleep Quality and Circadian Rhythm Regulation

Red light therapy has shown promising results in regulating the body's internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. It aids in insomnia treatment and promotes better overall sleep patterns, according to recent studies.


Boosts Cellular Energy Production for Overall Health Benefits

By boosting cellular energy production, light technology therapy provides a wide range of benefits for overall health. Studies have shown the effectiveness of light sources in treatment. A study found that nm treatment enhances mitochondrial function, which is crucial for various physiological processes in the body.


Incorporating red light therapy treatment into your routine can have significant benefits for your complexion, based on a study. It can improve skin condition, sources suggest faster workout recovery, better sleep patterns, and enhanced overall health.


Various Uses of Red Light Therapy


Red light therapy is a versatile treatment option with applications for improving skin complexion, skin feeling, and addressing different groups of conditions.

Dermatology and Wound Healing

  • Utilized in dermatology for treating acne, promoting wound healing, and improving skin complexion and skin feeling. This treatment is supported by a recent study.

  • Clinical photography often documents the positive effects of red light therapy (RLT) treatment on skin conditions. A recent study (t30) further supports the efficacy of RLT in skin elt.

Sports Medicine and Injury Rehabilitation

  • Applied in sports medicine, RLT is used to aid in injury rehabilitation, helping athletes recover faster.

  • Athletes use red light therapy as part of their recovery treatment routine due to its potential to reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair.

Pain Management for Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief

  • RLT is used in pain management treatment to provide relief from arthritis and joint pain.

  • Many individuals find red light therapy treatment beneficial for reducing discomfort and improving mobility associated with these conditions.

Mental Health: Mood Enhancement and Depression Treatment

  • Employed volunteers in mental health groups for enhancing mood and as a treatment for depression.

  • Research suggests that regular sessions of red light treatment therapy may positively impact serotonin levels, contributing to improved mood.


Side Effects and Risks of Red Light Therapy


Minimal Side Effects

Red light therapy treatment typically has minimal side effects, with temporary eye strain or headaches being the most commonly reported by volunteers. These elt effects are usually short-lived and resolve on their own without any treatment intervention. Volunteers and groups may also be involved in addressing these effects.


Low Risk of Burns

One of the significant advantages of red light treatment therapy is its low risk of burns, making it suitable for use in various groups. This is attributed to the controlled intensity of the light used in these treatments, which minimizes the likelihood of skin damage or burns for all groups.


Not Recommended During Pregnancy

It's important to note that red light treatment therapy is not recommended during pregnancy due to limited safety data available. As a precautionary measure, expectant mothers are advised to avoid undergoing red light therapy until more research establishes its safety during pregnancy.


Fat Loss Enhancement with Red Light Therapy

Red light treatment therapy has gained attention for its potential in enhancing fat loss. Let's delve into the effects of red light therapy treatment on weight loss and collagen intensity.


Weight Loss

  • Studies suggest that red light therapy may lead to improvement in weight and fat reduction, making it an effective treatment.

  • Some research indicates an increase in intradermal collagen density due to light sources, potentially contributing to fat loss treatment.

Adipocyte Modulation

  • Targets subcutaneous fat layers without invasive procedures.

  • Promotes natural slimming effects through improved lipid metabolism.

Metabolism Boost

  • Enhances weight loss efforts by stimulating the body's metabolic processes.

  • Supports a healthy lifestyle by aiding in shedding excess fat.

Results and Measurements

  • The treatment effect of red light therapy on fat loss and collagen density has shown promising results in various studies.

  • Measurements of intradermal collagen density and skin roughness among different treatment groups have provided valuable insights into the impact of red light therapy.

By utilizing red light therapy devices, individuals can experience targeted fat reduction and enhanced weight management without resorting to invasive treatments or surgeries. The therapy promotes a natural approach to achieving a slimmer physique by leveraging the body's own metabolic functions.



Red Light Therapy for Skin Health

Diminishes Wrinkles, Fine Lines, and Age Spots


Collagen Intensity Improvement

  • Red light therapy treatment is linked to an increase in collagen density, which could have a positive effect on skin roughness.

  • Research findings show improvements in skin roughness for individuals undergoing red light treatment therapy compared to control groups.

Skin Rejuvenation

  • Red light therapy stimulates collagen production, reducing wrinkles and fine lines.

  • It diminishes age spots, enhancing overall skin tone and texture.

Alleviates Symptoms of Psoriasis, Eczema, and Rosacea

Skin Conditions Relief

  • It eases symptoms of psoriasis by reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

  • Red light therapy alleviates eczema and rosacea symptoms through its anti-inflammatory effects.

Accelerates Wound Healing by Promoting Tissue Repair

Wound Recovery

  • The therapy accelerates wound healing by promoting the repair of damaged tissues.

  • It enhances overall skin elasticity, aiding in the recovery process post-injury.

Incorporating red light therapy into your skincare routine can significantly improve skin health. Not only does it address common concerns like wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, but it also provides relief for various skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. Furthermore, its ability to accelerate wound healing by promoting tissue repair showcases its potential in aiding recovery from injuries. This non-invasive treatment option is gaining traction due to its promising results across different skin-related issues.


Red Light Therapy for Brain Health and Injuries


Red light therapy has shown potential in aiding sports injury rehabilitation by mitigating traumatic brain injuries, supporting cognitive function improvement post-stroke or concussion, and assisting in managing neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease.


Mitigates Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • Red light therapy reduces oxidative stress, which can help mitigate the impact of traumatic brain injuries sustained during sports activities.

Supports Cognitive Function Improvement

  • This therapy may aid in the improvement of cognitive function after a stroke or concussion, potentially speeding up recovery for athletes.

Assists in Managing Neurological Conditions

  • For athletes facing neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, red light therapy shows promise in providing support and management of these challenging conditions.

By reducing oxidative stress and promoting tissue repair, red light therapy offers potential benefits for athletes recovering from sports-related injuries. With its non-invasive nature and minimal side effects, this treatment option is gaining attention within the medical professional community.


Where to Get Red Light Therapy

Places Offering Red Light Therapy

  • Spas and wellness centers: Many spas offer red light therapy as part of their skincare or wellness services.

  • Tanning salons: Some tanning salons have incorporated red light therapy into their offerings to provide additional benefits to their clients.

  • Chiropractic offices: Chiropractors often utilize red light therapy as a non-invasive treatment option for various conditions, including pain management and injury recovery.

Considerations When Choosing a Provider

  • Reputation: Look for providers with positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers.

  • Expertise: Ensure that the practitioners administering the therapy are knowledgeable and experienced in the field.

  • Safety measures: Verify that the facility follows proper safety protocols and uses high-quality equipment for red light therapy sessions.

Summary of Red Light Therapy

You've just uncovered the incredible world of red light therapy, and it's clear that this innovative treatment has a wide range of benefits for both your body and mind. From enhancing fat loss to promoting skin health, and even aiding in sports injury rehabilitation, red light therapy is a versatile tool that can support your overall well-being. If you're ready to experience these amazing benefits for yourself, consider exploring where to get red light therapy in your area or investing in a device for home use. Whether you're an athlete looking to recover from an injury or simply seeking ways to improve your skin health, red light therapy could be the game-changer you've been searching for.


FAQs about Red Light Therapy

Is red light therapy safe for all skin types?

Red light therapy is generally considered safe for all skin types, as it does not cause damage like UV rays. However, individuals with certain medical conditions or medications should consult with a healthcare professional before starting red light therapy.


How often should I undergo red light therapy sessions?

The frequency of red light therapy sessions can vary depending on the specific goals and the device being used. Typically, initial treatments may involve multiple sessions per week, followed by maintenance sessions at a reduced frequency once desired results are achieved.


Can I use makeup or skincare products before undergoing red light therapy?

It's best to remove makeup and skincare products before undergoing a red light therapy session. These products can create a barrier that reduces the effectiveness of the treatment by hindering the penetration of the red light into the skin.


Are there any potential side effects of red light therapy?

While rare, some individuals may experience mild side effects such as temporary eye strain or headaches after prolonged exposure to bright red lights during treatment sessions. It's important to follow recommended guidelines and consult with a healthcare professional if any concerns arise.


What areas of the body can benefit from red light therapy?

Red light therapy can be applied to various areas of the body, including the face, scalp, abdomen, back, arms, legs, and more. Its versatility makes it suitable for addressing a wide range of health and wellness concerns throughout the body.

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