Red Light Therapy:
A Magic Pill?
"If there were a pill that was proven to have powerful anti-aging effects on our skin, combat neurological disease, fight depression and anxiety, increase fat loss, speed recovery from exercise, increase strength and endurance, combat certain autoimmune conditions, fight hair loss, and speed healing from injury, all with little to no side effects - it would be a billion dollar blockbuster drug. Doctors all over the world would call it a "miracle drug."
Author of "The Ultimate Guide to Red Light Therapy"
1. Enhanced Energy Production:
Red light therapy helps improve ATP (energy) production by flushing out harmful byproducts of stress that hinder energy.
This works by enahcning mitochondrial health.
Mitochondria are designed to turn oxygen, food, and specific wavelengths of light into ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate, AKA energy). ATP can be looked at like cellular Currency, the more you have, the more your cels can invest into running program that keep you healthy and happy.
2. Enhanced anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory defense systems:
This process is called "Hormesis," where a metabolic stress response stimulates adaptations that actually improve health.
Help your cell become more tolerant to stress
Boost natural immunity
And uitimately help your cells become more healthy, energetic, and resilient.
Backed by Research
The long list of benefits on red light therapy is backed by thousands of clinical studies resulting in its long list of proven benefits. Its benefits are so powerful that it has even been compared to drug therapy without any of the nasty side effects.
A 2013 study on red light therapy conducted by Harvard researchers showed high regard for its “noninvasive nature and almost complete absence of side effects.”
Enhanced Muscle Recovery
Increased Fat Loss
Improved Hair Health
and Skin Complexion
Boosts Immune Health
More Benefits Behind
Red Light Therapy
Studies have shown that red/NIR light affect muscle performance, recovery from exercise, and adaptations such as enhanced strength, muscle growth, endurance, and fat loss. A 2016 study on muscle fatigue showed that only 60 seconds of red light therapy improved the number of reps athletes were able to perform by 27%.
- Preventing oxidative damage to muscle tissue
- Decreasing lactic acid production
- Promoting the development of muscle stem cells
- Helping prevent muscle fatigue during exercise
Red and NIR light can dull pain by blocking conduction at nerve fibers and decrease pain for a multitude of symptoms It has shown to be effective in virtually any area of the body. This is thanks to changes in opioid receptors, and interference with nerve transmission. Studies have shown to help several conditions such as
- Chronic neck pain
- Low back pain
- Chronic tooth pain
- Tendinitis and myofascial pain
- Osteoarthritic pain
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Chronic pain in the elbow, wrist, and fingers
Red/Nir light has been shown to benefit brain function by showing improvements in cognitive performance and memory, improved functioning after traumatic brain injury, improved mood, as well as improvements in certain neurological diseases ( e.g. Alzheimers disease. A lot of this is attributed to red/NIR lights effect on inflammation, mitochondrial function, and Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor. Studies have shown to improve
- Cognitive performance and memory
- improved mitochondrial function of brain cells
- A protective effect of neurons
- Improve cellular repair of neurons
- Decrease brain inflammation
- Increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor
Numerous beneficial effects on skin wrinkling and laxity, cellulite, collagen production and other aspects of skin health. Anti-aging purposes are one of the most common uses of red/NIR light. Studies have shown that red/NIR helps
- Reduce signs of damage , DNA damage, and again from UV rays
- Reduce wrinkles
- Reduce color patches, hyperpigmentation, and skin discoloration
- Enhance collagen synthesis and collagen density by up to 31%
- Speed wound healing by enhancing skin tissue repair and growth of new skin cells
- Combat other skin conditions like acne, keloids, vitiligo, burns, herpes virus sores, and psoriasis
Red/NIR has also shown to be beneficial in hair re-growth, and improving certain phases of hair growth. A part of this is a factor of improved blood vessel dilation and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Red/NIR light helps hair stay in the growth phase and thus grow more hair.
Healing joints, tendons, wounds
One of the most common uses for red/NIR light therapy is for injuries and tendonitis. Red light therapy helps speed up wound healing, collagen production, and reduce inflammation.
- A systematic review of research concludes that red/NIR light is effective in treating tendon disorders across all 12 studies.
- Because NIR is able to penetrate deeply into joint capsules it makes it an effective/powerful treatment for joint related disorders and dysfunctions.
Red light therapy has a profound effect on reducing fat layers and eliminating cellulite. It has also shown to enhance weight loss, fat burning, and shrink waist circumference. Researchers believe this is caused by making fat cells release stored fat into the blood stream, where it can be burned off during energy expenditure or via exercise.
- A 2015 study showed that when using red/NIR light, participants saw double the fat loss from exercise, and double the improvements in insulin resistance.
- One study showed that in just four weeks of use it helped shave an entire 3.5 to 5.17 inches off waist and hip circumference by reducing the fat mass layer.
Red/NIR light therapy is also one of the only scientifically proven ways to reduce cellulite, and likely the most powerful.
Melatonin and Sleep Quality
Studies have shown that red/NIR light can help increase levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone).
One study in 2006 reported that out of 50 people being treated with red/NIR light for insomnia, 82% of participants symptoms improved significantly.
A lot of people know that melatonin is our sleep hormone, even fewer people know that melatonin plays a vital role in mitochondrial health.
Melatonin also helps prevent free radical damage directly in the actual mitochondria, and is vital for mitochondrial regeneration while we sleep.
Oral health is a both a common concern and common problem among most people. Fortunately, there is promising research regarding red/NIR light therapy on oral health. Studies have shown:
- Reduces mouth pain
- Facilitate tooth growth/tooth movement for individuals with corrective mouth ware
- Fight gum disease and gingivitis
- Combat oral and bacterial infections of the mouth
- Reduce thrush
Improve Eye Health
Research has shown that red/NIR light can heal damage from excess bright light in the retina. This is the same damage that occurs in age related macular degeneration (AMD).
- One study in patients with AMD showed that red/NIR light improved vision, and that improvements were maintained for 3-36 months.
- It is also shown to improve edema, bleeding, metamorphosis, scotoma, and dyschromatopsia in some patients.
Combat Depression and Anxiety
We know that bright light therapy has shown great promise for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but what about red/NIR light?
- Current research is showing promising evidence in treating depression, anxiety, and traumatic brain injury.
- Part of this is thanks to increased blood flow to the prefrontal cortex of the brain
- A 2009 study involved in treating depression and anxiety with red/NIR light showed that after four weeks of treatment 6 out of 10 patients saw a remission in their depression, and 7 out of 10 patients experienced a remission in anxiety.
Several studies have shown profound benefits of red/NIR light therapy for autoimmune hypothyroidism. This is one of the only treatments that has been shown to potentially reverse or at least greatly slow the progression of hypothyroidism.
- a 2013 study showed that people who got near infrared light therapy, thyroid function improved dramatically. Even greater was that 47% of participants were able to stop their medication completely.
- A 2003 study showed that red light therapy can decrease thyroid medication needs by 50-75% in people with post surgical hypothyroidism.
Red/NIR light is extremely effective at suppressing the production of inflammatory cytokines, and dramatically reducing inflammation throughout the body. Since chronic inflammation is a major contributor of chronic diseases such as alzheimers, heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, and disease, this is a very big deal.
- Research is showing that red/NIR light therapy produces powerful anti-inflammatory effects that are on par with NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
- Recent studies are showing promising results on red light therapies effect on problems which originate with inflammation like lupus, and multiple sclerosis, and even rheumatoid arthritis.
Considering that red/NIR light plays a significant role on energy production, it's no surprise that it has the potential to give you more energy throughout the day.
This is thanks to red/NIR lights impact on mitochondrial function, brain function, and inflammation, which are all key areas of concern regarding chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Red light therapy is shown to be effective at restoring energy and vitality in persons suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome.
The Benefits: Too good to be true?
The giant list of benefits that comes from red light therapy might seem too good to be true, but there is one simple reason as to why it can benefit a wide list of different conditions and symptoms. Simple truth: The health of every organ and every cell in the body depends on the energy produced by the mitochondria in those cells.
Because red light therapy works to enhance mitochondrial energy production in essentially every type of cell in the body, it can enhance the cellular processes and cellular health of the entire body. Whatever cells you shine red/NIR light on, whether it's a muscle, gland, your brain, or skin - those cells will work better because the mitochondria in those cells are producing more energy.
People Are Talking
The biggest difference I can tell so far is with my mind. I feel less brain fog and a lot more clear. Learning is easier and so is handling my emotions. I have one at home and one in the office
- Jared L.
I cant imagine not having my device anymore. I use it for everything. Skin care, recovery from weightlifting, I am obsessed!
I travel a lot and this size model was absolutely perfect! I also like how I am able to have a small device with both red and near infrared light. My skin is glowing.
- Carly L.
Red Light Therapy is Used In:
Featured in Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, SHAPE, Women’s Running, Healthline, The New York Times, UFC, The Joe Rogan Experience, Mercola, Paleo Magazine, Mindbodygren, ONNIT, Bulletproof, Huffpost and more.
Who Uses Red Light Therapy?
Thanks to the large database of research surrounding red light therapy and it's unending benefits and safety, some of the worlds top doctors and medical researchers recommend it's use.
Professional athletes across all major sports like the NFL, NHL, MLB, UFC, and institutions like NASA all use red light therapy.
Red light therapy offers an affordable medical grade dose of light right at your home. It is used for a wide variety of reasons from people seeking relief from chronic conditions, to those who want to boost their performance, mood, and recovery. Everyone can benefit from red light therapy.