How does red light therapy work?
Red light therapy is gaining more and more popularity these days and for good reason. There are thousands of studies that have been done on the therapeutic applications of infrared light, and we have just scratched the surface. What is it about infrared light that provides us with so many benefits? How could something as simple as sitting in front of a red light change our lives for the better?
The answer lies within your cells, your mitochondria to be exact. Your mitochondria are tiny structures within your cells that have evolved to be the powerhouse, or energy factories of the cell. They are almost like a cellular digestive system that takes in nutrients from the food we eat, breaks them down, and produces energy for your cells. This process of energy creation is called cellular respiration. Not only do our cells produce energy from the food we eat, but also from the light we absorb. The energy we produce from this act of cellular respiration is called ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate), this has also been referred to as the “energy currency” of life. Only certain wavelengths of light have been proven to be effective at producing more ATP. These wavelengths of light happen to be red light at 660nm, and near infrared light at 850nm (which happens to be invisible to the human eye, and also the wavelengths your ATaPa device are calibrated too). So as you absorb these specific wavelengths of light, you're creating more power for your cells to thrive.
Remember, your cells run on ATP, without ATP your cells lose their energy source and begin to degenerate. This is where the red and near infrared plays a huge role.
Not all light is created equal. (This gets heavy for a second, hang with us)
However, there is more to this game of ATP production. Researchers in photobiomodulation have found that In the 4th phase of cellular respiration, certain wavelengths of red and near infrared light have an amazing ability at activating an enzyme called Cytochrome C- Oxidase (CCO). What does this mean?
Our cells will produce excessive Nitric Oxide (N.O) as a byproduct of cellular stress, which will bind to CCO and ultimately halt the normal production of ATP. This is NOT good. In short, cellular stress produces too much N.O which binds to C.C.O and stops ATP production. No ATP, no energy. This is where red light and near infrared light comes in. Those specific wavelengths of light mentioned earlier (red 660nm and near infrared 850nm) do an amazing job at breaking that bond between N.O and C.C.O during that last phase of cellular respiration. This allows oxygen to bond with NADH, restoring the normal pathway for hydrogen ions to create the potential for ATP, which is how light charges your cellular batteries. For this reason, light is an important and powerful signal, just as important as food; and in today's modern world were getting just as much junk light as were are getting junk food.
The act of cellular respiration is the most important job the mitochondria have, and in each cell there could be anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand mitochondria within your cells. It is shown that by weight, up to 10% of the human body is mitochondria, from this point of view; you could say there is indeed strength in numbers.
There is also a medical theory called the “Mitochondrial Theory of Aging”, which argues that aging and any of the diseases that are associated with it, is caused by a slow degeneration in the quality of our mitochondria. This theory exists because during the period of cellular respiration where the mitochondria burn up the food we eat using the oxygen we breathe, free radicals are created which attack adjacent structures including the DNA within the nucleus. This happens daily and the repair happens quickly without us feeling the true effects of it. However, when the quality of our mitochondria become compromised, and we produce less energy (ATP), the damage from free radicals reaches a threshold and cells begin to die. This process is what's said to be the process of aging, and the cause of many degenerative diseases. This is but one more reason why red and near infrared light are amazing for anti-aging purposes.
So now that you know the important role your mitochondria play in your life, how do our ATaPa red light therapy devices work?
Our devices work by using medical grade LEDs to deliver red and near infrared light at clinically proven wavelengths to your cells. These natural wavelengths of light penetrate your skin without the excess heat or dangerous UV rays. We offer multiple models for both targeted use and full body light therapy. Obviously, the more coverage the better, but regardless of size, it's where the light hits and your reason for pointing it there that matters.
The red light sweet spot.
As mentioned earlier, not just any light will prove beneficial to your cells. In this case, its red light at 660nm, and near infrared light at 850nm (which also accounts for up to 40% of all sunlight) that come with all the benefits. This is why we suggest light therapy as opposed to infrared heat lamps which are becoming more and more popular. Heat lamps have their place, but don't come anywhere near the amount of benefits that come from light itself. You can read more about heat lamps HERE.
Red light at 660nm helps add more electrons to your body and is more readily absorbed by your skin; leading to better skin health and greater collagen production. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and assists in keeping your hair, skin, nails, and fascia healthy. Red light at 660nm has also been shown to increase the healing time of wounds, improve mental clarity, improve the appearance of scar tissue, improving oral care, and even the reversal of hair loss.
Near infrared light at 850nm which is outside the visible light spectrum, penetrates much deeper within your body; as much as 4 inches! This makes near infrared light perfect at reducing joint pain and increasing muscle recovery times after intense workouts. It also helps with detoxification, structuring the water in your cells, DNA repair, cellular regeneration, reduces body fat, improves circulation, reduces inflammation, and increases energy. In short, Near infrared activates the mitochondrial healing systems.
This is what makes the combination of red and near infrared light absolutely amazing, protecting you from early onset mitochondrial dysfunction. Let us also not fail to mention that red and near infrared light can improve sexual performance in both men and women. It has also shown to improve testosterone protection, improve mood disorders, autoimmune dysfunctions + so much more!
These fact make red light therapy an absolute no brainer for most. Getting the benefits is as easy as turning your ATaPa red light therapy device on, doing whatever you wish in front of it, and to begin enjoying the benefits. Remember to keep as much as your skin exposed as possible. If you already have your red light therapy device, you can find out how to get the best use out of it HERE. Whole body light therapy is ideal because everything in your body requires energy which is produced by your mitochondria in order to work. So by directly affecting our mitochondria, we increase our energy production and everything improves as a result. You will also find that the warm red lights give you a relaxing sensation, and act as the perfect light the do work in front of, exercise with, shower, or even sit in front of the T.V with. Simply put, these red light therapy devices are the best way to take your life to the next level in every way.
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