What Else Do I Need To Know About Red Light Therapy
There are a lot of variables to consider when thinking about red light therapy:
- Is RLT covered by my health insurance? Red light therapy is typically not a covered treatment. You may want to call your health insurance company before seeking treatment.
- How many treatments will I need? Youll likely need ongoing treatments. This is not a one-time treatment for most skin conditions. Youll need to be seen one to three times a week for weeks or even months. Also, is there a need for additional touch-up treatments? This may add up to a lot of time and considerable out-of-pocket costs.
- Will I achieve the desired results? Everyones skin is different so results can vary. Also, the wavelength of the red light source ranges. The wavelength affects how deeply the light penetrates your skin. The wavelength of the red light device being used in a doctors office versus in your at-home device could affect your desired result.
- Do you trust the experience of the person providing the red light therapy? For example, is a tanning salon a place you feel comfortable receiving this treatment or might it be better to first be seen and possibly treated by a medical professional?
- Is red light therapy an appropriate treatment for my skin condition? Are other, more scientifically vetted approaches a better choice for my skin condition? See your healthcare provider to confirm a diagnosis and discuss appropriate treatment options.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Top Benefits Of Red Light Therapy Reduction Of Inflammation
We all know that the human body uses inflammation to defend against injections. It is also a part of the healing process. However, if the inflammation is prolonged or if it becomes chronic, it can lead to several disorders. These may include heart complications, cancer, diabetes, depression, and loose motion.
Studies conducted on animals have revealed that red light therapy can reduce inflammation. This is possible when inflammation-inducing molecules called pro-inflammatory cytokines are decreased by red light.
Improve Muscle Recovery With Red Light Therapy
Muscle recovery is also a key factor in improving athletic performance. Quicker recovery means less rest time between workouts, and less time feeling sore.
Red and near-infrared light helps with muscle recovery by increasing circulation and oxygenation, as well as cellular regeneration, all of which have long been proven to help with post-exercise muscle soreness, fatigue, and stiffness, among other issues.
Research also suggests that red light therapy can result in a decrease in muscle damage and oxidative stress , both important barriers to muscle recovery.
Other studies have shown that red light therapy alone is more beneficial to muscle recovery than both cryotherapy alone and a combination of cryotherapy and red light therapy, and it has been found to be more effective than cold water immersion therapy for improving short-term post-exercise recovery. And not only is red light therapy more effective, it also carries significantly fewer health risks, if any at all.
Red light therapy is not just useful for run-of-the-mill post-workout soreness. It has also been shown to significantly decrease return to play time after a sports-related injury, with no adverse effects.
Also Check: Car-t Therapy For Pancreatic Cancer
Cost Of Red Light Therapy
A professional red light therapy treatment can range from $25 for a facial add-on all the way to $200 for individual treatment. Some providers even include it in their treatment prices. It also depends on whether you are treating just your face or an entire bed.
You can find home facial devices ranging in price from $65 to $600 based on factors such as energy output , surface area, frequency shown in nanometer, and the variety of features & treatments the device offers. The price range for a full body panel or bed is $2,000 to $12,000, depending on the model.
Red Light Therapy Is Good For Pain
Red light therapy also has a therapeutic effect on the body when it comes to chronic pain. One of the most notable clinical studies on red light therapy and chronic pain was published in 2015. The researchers concluded that infrared light can offer relief for chronic pain through improved circulation, reduction of tissue inflammation and degradation of the tissue matrix . Red light therapy is also good for relieving joint stiffness. This is likely due to the fact that red light therapy can enhance the cell signaling pathways involved in bone formation, repair, and proliferation. The researchers further report that red light therapy significantly reduces the severity of arthritis.
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Treat Hypothyroidism With Red Light Therapy
There is mounting evidence of its effectiveness on Hashimotos Hypothyroidism. It appears to improve thyroid function and significantly lower thyroid antibody levels. Consistent, continued use of red light therapy may even allow patients to dramatically reduce their thyroid medication dose, and in some cases, eliminate it altogether.
Help Prevent A Decline In How Well Your Brain Functions With Age
The best way to combat a cognitive decline , is to use red light therapy that’s specifically targeted at your brain. LED panels are thus suboptimal for this purpose.Most people’s brain functions decline with age, but red light therapy can slow that process.This effect kind of overlaps with preventing and combating Alzheimer’s, and other nervous system diseases.
Read Also: Pros And Cons Of Red Light Therapy
Choosing The Right Light Therapy Device
It’s great news that handheld red and NIR light therapy device are becoming more easily available. But how do you know the device you buy has therapeutic benefits? That’s a good question!
For maximum benefit, look out for the following:
- Efficient and durable LED lights
- Clinically proven red light waves between 630-680nm
- Clinically proven near-infrared light waves between 800-880nm
- A low electromagnetic frequency output
Devices that fall outside the recommended wavelengths, such as 600 or 700nm, will not affect your cells.
Our portable red and NIR light therapy device offers a light-weight and convenient way to get the amazing benefits of red light. It has a surface area of 12cm x 14cm and provides powerful wavelengths of 660nm and 850nm. The power density of our light is 20mW/cm at 50cm and 100mW/cm2 at 5cm.
Our super charged red light therapy power panel range provides high powered targeted treatment with 40 x 5w high powered LED’s providing 660nm red and 880nm near infrared wave lengths for maximum mitochondrial stimulation and energy and healing and recovery benefits.
The power density of these panels are the most powerful avaliable on the market with the PowerPanel MEGA providing a massive 161mW/cm2 at 6 inches.
Hair Loss: Grow Healthier Thicker Hair
Red light therapy makes for a great alternative to hair loss medications like Minoxidil and Finasteride .
Especially if you experience any of the side effects.
Men and women who use Minoxidil commonly report irritation, eczema, burning, and even worsening of hair loss . While men who use Finasteride commonly report erectile dysfunction, decreased sex drive, and sometimes breast enlargement .
Isnt that crazy?
Thats a lot of potential adverse side effects just to regrow your hair.
Fortunately, recent human studies have shown that red light therapy can improve hair growth by over 35% in both men and women with androgenetic alopecia .
And best of all?
RLT works with your body, stimulating its natural growth processes instead of forcing changes to it as many medications do.
It is important to note, however, that RLT is not a miracle hair growth device. If youre already bald, RLT will not restore your hair. This therapeutic technique requires your hair follicles to be alive for it to work.
Also Check: Difference Between Coaching And Therapy
Build And Tone Your Muscles
Red light may help you better exercise results. To build and tone your muscles, you need to be careful to exercise them and rest them at a good rate. When exercising your muscles, you are actually causing small tears in their fibers, which then continue to merge together and form bigger and stronger muscle mass. For this to happen, you need to allow enough time for such tiny muscle tears to heal.
Red light therapy may help you with this process by getting your muscles to heal faster. Reducing the down-time, red and infrared light may make your muscle-building exercises more effective.
Besides these effects, there are studies showing red light therapy boosting results of the strength exercises.
The Benefits Of Red Light Therapy Are Real And Proven
The idea of affordable, convenient, at-home self-care for a variety of issues seems too good to be true. As were all too well aware in the era of multi-level marketing, social media and viral hoaxes – if it seems too good to be true then it probably is. So its natural to be skeptical of a something like red and infrared light therapy which has been demonstrated to be easy, inexpensive, do-it-yourself, and most importantly, effective for a wide variety of applications.
But theres a big difference between red light therapy also called photobiomodulation therapy or PBM laser therapy, low level laser therapy and cold laser therapy and any other at-home DIY quick-fixes. The difference is that red and infrared light therapy benefits are real and scientifically proven. Thousands of peer-reviewed medical studies on the health benefits of red light therapy have shown unequivocally that red LED light therapy has positive effects on many different bodily systems and multiple aspects of your health.
Because the light needs to reach the mitochondria within the cells for red light therapy to work, many of the most studied benefits are skin-related. With near-infrared wavelengths of light, however, the photobiomodulation effect can penetrate the surface layer of skin cells and activate the mitochondria deeper in your tissues, allowing for benefits like reduced arthritis pain and stiffness, improved joint health, and quicker post-workout recovery.
Acne And Inflamed Acne Marks
Although Red Light is not used to kill acne-causing bacteria, it will help reduce the inflammation brought about by acne. Red and Infrared lights penetrate the skin at different levels and power up the cells to repair the skin from within. It repairs the skin tissues that acne has destroyed. This leads to faster healing of the acne and prevents further tissue damage that may lead to pitting acne scars. On the other hand, Blue Light Therapy is clinically proven to starve off P. acnes bacteria that is the most common cause of acne.
Red Light Clears Your Nose & Helps You Breathe Properly
In other words, red light therapy clears your nasal passages. This effect is especially helpful for people who have certain allergies, such as hay fever.Don’t want to buy a red light panel, but want to treat your sinuses with red light anyway? Buy a red light device that’s specifically targeted towards treating your nose. There are cheaper variations which have decent reviews, and higher-quality ones which are recommended for longer-term use On the one hand, there are not many studies which have investigated the effects of red light therapy on blocked nasal sinuses. On the other hand, there are thousands of customer reviews of red light devices that indicate that red light therapy alleviates a blocked nose.If you’ve got problems with allergies, I highly recommend trying a cheaper red light therapy device that can be put in your nose first. There’s almost no downside risk to trying, and a huge improvement in your life as a possible beneficial upside.Don’t walk around with clogged sinuses all the time – you can do something about that problem. If red light therapy does not work, I can help to improve your breathing pattern.
Is Red Light Therapy Effective
Most experts say that they dont know yet if RLT is effective for all its claimed uses. Most say that the studies published so far show some potential for certain conditions, but that more studies need to be conducted. Red light therapy is still an emerging treatment thats generating growing interest. But at this point in time, theres not enough evidence to support most uses.
The gold standard of studies to determine if a product is effective is a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. This means that a certain number of people with the same range of characteristics get either the study treatment or a placebo for treatment of the same condition. Some studies also include a comparison to another commonly used treatment. Results can then be compared between the emerging treatment versus no treatment or versus a current standard treatment.
Many of the published studies using RLT included only a small number of people, didnt include a placebo group, werent conducted in humans or were limited to cell tissue itself. Most researchers say results so far look promising, but that more quality studies with larger numbers of people are needed.
Can You Do Red Light Therapy At Home
While gyms, hospitals and other facilities have red light therapy beds, they are often expensive per session and cause the inconvenience of leaving your house. Now there are multiple at-home, portable red light therapy devices available for you to use.
If youre looking for a red light therapy device to use at home, here are some criteria to keep in mind:
- Optimal wavelengths: Studies show that certain wavelengths may be more powerful than others. This is important in choosing the right device.
- Light combinations: Depending on your treatment goals and pain points, you should search for devices that combine wavelengths for maximum effectiveness, like a device for skin treatment that has both red and blue light therapy, or a device for chronic pain that has both red and infrared light therapy.
Reviews: Of course, before you buy a red light therapy device to use at-home, read the reviews to see if people experienced results with the product.
What Is Red Light Therapy And What Is It Used For
As you may have seen in your dermatologists office or in online ads for home devices, red light therapy usually takes the form of a face mask, light panel, or wand built with tiny LED bulbs that emit low-level wavelengths of red or near-infrared light.1 These devices are then appliedpanels and some masks are kept a short distance from your face other masks and wands are applied directlyto the skin for brief periods of time to help treat various skin conditions. These skin concerns can range from the medicalincluding actinic keratosis , acne, and rosaceato the cosmetic, namely fine lines and wrinkles.
So how does all of this happen just from pointing red light at your face? Red light waves stimulate the mitochondria, which is the energy center within each cell. We believe that sets off a cascade of changes within the cell that allow for the different benefits that were able to see, such as the upregulation of collagen production and the reduction of inflammation, pigmentation, and redness in the skin, Jared Jagdeo, MD, founding director of the center for photomedicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and chief medical officer of Ever/Body cosmetic dermatology spa in New York City, tells SELF.2 Weve also found it helps prompt cellular repair and circulation, which, along with the increase in collagen, can lead to healthier-looking skin and a more vibrant complexion.3 4
Red Light Therapy: Nasa Says It Works
Red light therapy has been used by NASA to promote faster cell growth to aid in wound healing. It is also used to combat the effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients. Using the same principle, red light is used to stimulate collagen production that is essential in keeping younger and firmer skin. Because of NASAs intensive study, the use of red light therapy as an anti-aging treatment is promising.
Our Experience Using Red Light Therapy
After much research, the Green Child team opted to try the Joovv Duo Light Therapy device. The unit is long enough to cover a large surface area of the body head to almost knees for most women of average height.
Since using 4 or 5 times a week for about 15 minutes for the past two years, here are the red light therapy benefits weve noticed:
- Significantly improved sleep Weve found if we use the Joovv light right before bed without exposure to any fluorescent lights or smart phone screen, falling asleep is faster and its easier to stay asleep longer .
- Fading scars and stretch marks Some of us have had pregnancy stretch marks for 15+ years and were surprised to learn they can fade after so long. We add collagen peptides to our tea, coffee, and water, which seems to help boost the skin and joint benefits of red light therapy.
- Forehead lines are less noticeable This seems to be a benefit in conjunction with drinking more water, but hey well take it!
- Increased libido This was a side benefit we didnt know to look for. When we tried to research it, all the studies are on men and their testosterone levels. So we dont know if its testosterone for our all-female team or increased blood flow, but it worked for us within a matter of minutes.
- One of the Green Child grandmas suffers from arthritis in her ankle and has found relief by propping her foot on a stool in front of the Joovv light for 10 minutes a day.
What Other Medical Conditions Is Red Light Therapy Being Promoted For
Other potential medical uses being investigated include:
- To reduce cancer chemotherapy side effects, including oral mucositis.
- To relieve pain and inflammation associated with ankle tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis of the knee.
- To prevent cold sores from herpes simplex virus from recurring.
Lots of other uses are being touted on the internet. Theres no scientific evidence to support red light therapy use in weight loss, cancer, cellulite removal or mental health concerns like depression and seasonal affective disorder .