Red light therapy (also known as photobiomodulation therapy and low-level laser therapy), has become increasingly popular in recent years… and for good reason. It uses the power of light to stimulate a variety of internal and external responses. Virtually everyone can benefit from this quick, easy, painless and customizable treatment!
I was first introduced to red light therapy by an aesthetician, who used it on me at the end of a facial a year or so ago. And this past Christmas, my mother-in-law gifted me an at-home LED light mask for my face and neck, that I put on sometimes watching t.v. or just relaxing on the couch. My husband definitely gets a kick out of it!
I had never gotten to experience full body red light therapy until I started working at Holland Health last month. I’ve now done it 4-5 times in the past couple of weeks and must say, I’m a fan! I find it to a very calming and enjoyable experience. I like listening to worship music, deep breathing and stretching in front of the panels. They do put off a little heat, which is great, because I’m usually cold!
We know that light has the ability to affect our biology in several ways. For example, getting bright morning light helps increase melatonin production later in the day, which can improve sleep. On the flip side, too much blue light from screens in the evening may suppress melatonin and keep us awake. We also get vitamin D from the UV rays of the sun. But one of the great things about red light is that its rays are not harmful to the skin, so there is no risk of sun burn or skin cancer. Honestly, I’ve not come across any negative side effects at all!
Red light therapy uses a combination of visible red light and invisible infrared light. As you can see, it is able to penetrate deeply, beyond many other wavelengths of light. And that leads to a great deal of benefits, all the way down to the cellular level!
In the Journal of AIMS Biophysics, Harvard researcher Hamblin further found that “PBM (photobiomodulation) has an almost complete lack of reported adverse effects, provided the parameters are understood at least at a basic level.” He goes on to say that “the remarkable range of medical benefits provided by PBM, has led some to suggest that it may be “too good to be true”. However one of the most general benefits of PBM that has recently emerged, is its pronounced anti-inflammatory effects.”
In the functional medicine realm, we are keenly aware that inflammation is at the root of a lot of the chronic issues people experience; so the fact that red light therapy has pronounced anti-inflammatory effects can make it a very valuable asset to overall health!
Some other research based benefits of red light therapy include:
- better sleep
- weight loss
- treatment of cold sores
- vision protection
- increased libido
- boosts the immune system
How often to use red light therapy can vary between people. For the majority, it is ideal to start off by doing 10-20 minute sessions 3-5 times a week, and then decreasing the frequency over time. And you want to expose as much skin as possible during the sessions, especially any areas you are specifically focusing on treating. It is not necessary to use eye protection, but some people may choose to if they are sensitive to bright light.
At Holland Health Functional Medicine, all of our memberships include some red light therapy sessions. We have Platinum LED panels, which offer the most powerful and effective red light therapy available. Our red light therapy room is also equipped with hand weights, a shake plate and an ottoman…so you can move your body or sit and relax!
**For a limited time, we are offering anyone to come in and try red light therapy for our member price of $25 per session! If you are interested, just give us a call at 479-389-2903 or contact us through our website, by clicking here.**
Corey and I have an unfinished second level in our home and I dream of turning part of it into a spa area someday. If that dream ever comes true, red light therapy will definitely be a part of it!
Reviewed by Dr. Shane Holland, D.O.
Although I am a nurse by trade, I am not a doctor or an expert, and the information I provide on this blog is for educational purposes only. Each person is unique and their needs and circumstances vary, so I always recommend that you consult your medical provider before making any changes.