What is All This Buzz About Light Therapy?
You’ve undoubtedly heard about red and near-infrared light therapy as a way to treat sore muscles, injuries, osteoarthritis joint pain, and even to enhance bone health only to name a few.
Only red light therapy can reach all the way into a cell’s mitochondria to stimulate healing and regeneration to help improve your appearance, performance, and overall well-being.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red Light Therapy is a process of emitting light wavelengths through the skin to stimulate your body's natural healing and regeneration processes.
When delivered within the optimal wavelengths and energy levels, red and near-infrared light protect your body’s cells from nitric oxide damage, which can otherwise stop the cell’s production of ATP when you’re stressed or ill. Red light photons allow your cells to continue utilizing oxygen effectively by minimizing the absorption of nitric oxide.
Radiation & Light Therapy
The term “radiation” can be scary, but all light (and all heat) is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Some of this radiation is perceived by the human eye as light; some is perceived as heat. Wavelengths over 780 nanometers (nm) are considered infrared (IR).
NIR wavelengths (780 to 1000 nm but most commonly 810-850 nm) are used in red light therapy devices. These wavelengths absorb just below the skin, where they stimulate cellular energy and health by increasing mitochondrial production of more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary fuel of the body’s cells. This benefits the cell directly, and on a bigger scale, the system to which the cell belongs.
NIR wavelengths also increase blood flow, stimulate collagen synthesis, and reduce inflammation to promote accelerated wound healing and muscle recovery.
Benefits of Red Light Therapy in our Wellness Clinic
The benefits of red light therapy are numerous, common benefits include:
Increased cellular energy, leading to enhanced cellular performance
Reduced chronic inflammation that could be contributing to pain
Activation of stem cells to speed up the healing
Increased collagen production to help repair damaged muscle and connective tissue
Increased blood circulation and lymph flow
Uses of Light Therapy
Near-infrared light therapy is making huge strides in the health and wellness community both as a complementary and primary treatment. Here are some ways that this natural, safe, non-invasive, and pleasurable treatment can help you achieve optimal results.
Management of Acute and Chronic Pain
Near-infrared light therapy has been consistently shown in clinical trials to be effective for treating sports injuries, overuse injuries, osteoarthritis, chronic low back pain, neuropathic pain, and even broken bones.
Rehabilitation After Injury
Near-infrared light therapy has been shown to accelerate the healing of muscles, connective tissues, bones, and the brain, and even heal nerves following injury. Photobiomodulation also effectively supports the treatment of wounds that won’t heal.
Improving Bone Health
What if the injury includes broken bones, or if the patient is suffering from osteoporosis or other degenerative bone loss disorders? Near-infrared therapy can help.
NIR light has been proven to improve bone density by suppressing sclerostin, a glycoprotein that slows bone formation. And the stimulation of mitochondrial energy production, which is the hallmark of NIR light therapy, has a powerful ripple effect, reducing cell damage from oxidative stress, improving blood vessel formation, and stimulating bone growth by increasing collagen and procollagen production.
Conditions It Can Treat
When used as directed, red/NIR light therapy is safe. Some people may experience temporary tightness and redness of the skin, which is most likely due to increased blood flow to the area. Near-infrared light therapy is FDA-cleared based on numerous studies and is a safe modality for treating a wide variety of physical conditions including:
AC joint and shoulder pain
General pain relief
Improved physical performance (strength and endurance)
Arthritis pain relief
Faster recovery from a sports injury
Hip, Knee, Ankle pain
Neck or Back pain
Tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome,
As well as other sympathetic benefits, including anti-aging and skin care treatments such as acne, wrinkles, or psoriasis
Results Show with a Medical Grade Light Therapy Device
To achieve the desired results, it’s important to use a powerful medical-grade light therapy device – and you don’t have to seek out laser devices. Many studies used lasers to deliver red and NIR light to the skin. Yet light-emitting diode (LED) devices (like the red light in our office) are proving to be not only just as effective, but less expensive, safer, and more convenient.
Not just any LED device will do, however, because they’re not all suitable for professional use. Hand-held devices, masks, and pads can work to some extent, but not as effectively or efficiently as medical-grade devices.
What To Expect During your Session
10 to 20 minutes is the recommended exposure time during a single session. What is more important than the length of the treatment is consistency since the treatment works at a cellular level. The best results come from daily treatment for acute conditions and three to five times per week for chronic conditions. Most conditions will require at least one month of treatment to see profound results.
Experience the Benefits of Light Therapy
The Red light therapy unit that is used in our office at Health In Motion Chiropractic is a perfected blend of 5 different wavelengths of light that offers therapeutic benefits for a wide array of applications and deeper penetration for maximum results. Extensive scientific studies confirm that this helps create the most advanced and powerful LED therapy light ever designed.
NIR light therapy is not a quick fix – While it does offer some immediate relief, the real benefit comes from consistency. It takes time to produce collagen, regrow tissue, allow cells to heal from chronic inflammation, and so forth. NIR is a long-term approach, not a band-aid.