The Power of Light: Red Light Therapy For Your Wellness Routine

What’s The Rage with Red Light Therapy?

It’s the reason people step outside in the middle of a busy work day, or roll over on cold winter morning and flip on their bedside blue lights. Everyone’s familiar with the power of light. UV light and blue light are part of the ‘bioactive’ spectrum of light, meaning they’re able to penetrate the body at different depths and affect cellular activity. UV light promotes the production of vitamin D, and blue light plays a big role in improving quality of sleep.

More and more evidence is illuminating the power of red and near-infrared light to improve the ways the body makes energy. Red light has the ability to penetrate the depths of the skin and promote efficient activity in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. The light exerts a temporary stress on the cells, the same effect people are aiming for when they exercise. The stress creates an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant response, and the cells get stronger. When energy is more efficiently produced, it’s more available to be transported and used where the body needs it most.

Red light therapy is also called Low-Level Laser therapy, and it refers to the safe, non-invasive method of exposing the body to red and near-infrared light, reaping the benefits at a cellular level. For years, the cosmetic applications of red light therapy have been well-proved. Studies show the treatment can stimulate the production of collagen and fibroblasts, improving skin firmness, reducing wrinkles, healing sun damage, delaying aging and promoting a healthy, even skin texture.

But more and more studies have shown the applications far exceed skin care. The CDC has estimated that 20% of Americans are struggling with chronic pain on a near daily basis. Red light therapy tackles the problem from the inside out, penetrating the body’s tissues to optimize the cellular performance. The body produces less inflammation, and pain is drastically reduced.

Studies report positive findings regarding the application of red light therapy for osteoarthritis, joint pain, and morning stiffness. It’s been shown to lower blood pressure, improve sleep, and help prevent cardiovascular disease. The treatment has gained popularity in the sporting world as a major ingredient for athletic recovery. Muscle repair, performance enhancement, and endurance improvement — the list is long and growing.

A Real One Stop Shop For Wellness?

The answer is yes, and the answer is no. With a long list of benefits, supported by data and user cases alike, there’s something for everyone to gain by incorporating red light therapy into their wellness routine. But like most worthwhile endeavors, there’s a right and wrong way.

Red light therapy has been readily adopted by spas, dermatologists, and high end gyms. Rightfully so — a facial treatment at a spa and a red light room session at the end of the workout will do no harm. But the treatment works its magic when it’s used on a regular basis. Spas and gyms are able to charge a good margin for relatively short sessions, and even if money’s no item, it’s hard to reap the same benefits of a more consistent routine.

Luckily technology has rapidly advanced, as technology does, and at-home treatments are more powerful and more accessible than ever. Panels that can be installed, panels that can be carried from room to room, and treatments people can travel with — it’s never been easier to reap the benefits of red light therapy. But not all units on the market have been created equal, so it’s important to do some research before committing.

Check List For A RLT Take Home

First, it needs to be the right red light. “There are two optimal wavelengths for red light therapy,” says Marc Poirier, Founder of Rouge, a manufacturer of red light therapy devices. “A 660 nanometer wavelength is the visible red light which reaches a depth of about 1-2mm below the skin. Near InfraRed light is almost invisible, an 850 nanometer wavelength which reaches deeper depths.” The best products on the market are the ones that use both wavelengths in combination to promote a well-rounded effect.

While there are no known side effects to red light therapy, it’s important to check your device for proper certification. Superior products are certified with the FDA as medical devices. Of the certified manufacturers, Rouge is considered a leading brand. All their panels are certified with the FDA as class II medical devices, and they remain among the most powerful units on the market.  

Lastly, it’s important to consider the unit that will best suit lifestyle and treatment preferences. “These days, with so many advancements in the technology, units can be about as large or small as you can imagine,” says Poirier. Wall sized panels can be easily installed for a full body home treatment, and smaller panels are perfect for spot specificity and travel convenience. With a variety of sizes at affordable price points, there’s no limit to the ways red light therapy can be used as a long-term investment in one’s health and wellness.

JL Staff

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