Red Light Therapy for Dummies
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red Light Therapy is becoming increasingly known in the Netherlands, but especially in America and Australia. This is because of red light scientifically proven benefits can provide for the skin and physical health. Physiotherapists have been using red and infrared heat lamps to relieve physical problems for decades, but this is an outdated technique. I will explain below why this is outdated. Clinics and hospitals have also been using more red light therapy in the form of laser since the 80s, I will also explain the pros and cons of this below. With the new technology of LED lighting it has become possible to offer Red Light Therapy with the advantages of affordability and the performance of much more expensive devices such as low level laser therapy.
What are the proven effects of Red Light Therapy?
Scientific research from 100 years ago, but mainly the research and studies from the 80s to the present, countless positive effects on the body have been proven. Because many of these studies are specialized for, for example, the cure of cancer, we will only list the positive effect that can be immediately useful for you.
- Better skin: The use of red and infrared light on the skin can make the skin more beautiful through fewer wrinkles, more elasticity, better toning (skin texture and color) and less inflammation. You reduce wrinkles due to the production of collagen, which is a kind of foundation for smooth, tight skin. The blood circulation also improves, so that the skin is better nourished and can renew and repair better. Red light also produces healthier cells, making the skin and underlying tissue healthier and looking healthier. I will explain below how red light makes cells healthier.
- Muscle mass and muscle recovery: Endurance athletes and bodybuilders can also benefit greatly from a Red Light Therapy module. This is because red and infrared light ensures better blood flow, which of course benefits muscle recovery and muscle growth. This light also provides more ATP by directly feeding the cells.
- Testosterone: It has long been proven that the Exposing testicles to sunlight can help increase testosterone levels. However, the disadvantages are that many people do not have the opportunity to sunbathe naked and that the sun can sometimes burn the skin quickly and become too hot. The advantage of red light therapy is that you can now treat the testicles in the privacy of your own home and that burning and heat with red LED light is not applicable. (cheap red light therapy devices can contain too warm or harmful light). Illumination of the thyroid gland can also increase testosterone. More about this is described in the article 'Testosterone'.
- Inflammations: Red light and infrared light therapy reduces inflammation. Red light mainly superficial inflammations while infrared light can penetrate deeper into the body so that deeper inflammations such as joint inflammation can be treated. This light therapy is therefore not only good for skin infections but also for relieving arthritis, for example.
- More energy and stamina: This is of course also a great advantage for athletes, but also for people with chronic fatigue or other energy problems. For athletes it is also good to know that studies have shown that delayed muscle soreness reduces, which has the advantage that you can start the next training easier, faster and better. This of course also has an advantage on muscle growth.
- Fat and size lose weight: Many studies, mainly done on belly fat / waist circumference, have shown that the use of rood and infrared light therapy, mainly in combination with exercise, reduces the size and fat mass faster. This is beneficial for people who want to lose weight for cosmetic or health reasons.
- Peace and joy: We have experienced that many people who really take a moment to immerse themselves in red and infrared light for 10 to 20 minutes, experience that it makes you happy and also an underlying feeling of peace.
Why is LED Light Therapy better than the old heat lamps?
Old-fashioned lamps are full-spectrum lamps, which means that they emit the full spectrum of light with possibly an extra peak radiation in a specific area. Because all this extra light is also emitted, the efficiency of the working part is less than that of LED or Laser because they only emit very specifically which is useful for the promotion of the body.
All this extra light also causes the lamps to become very warm, causing the body to change the composition of the enzymes and proteins and to lose their effect. This does not mean that a full-spectrum lamp is of no use, but, as used in saunas, it has a heat stress effect while LED light therapy is specifically looking for photobiomodulation. photo = light bio = organic life and modulation is influencing.
Is Red Light Therapy the same as Sauna?
This question is often asked because the red light therapy modules often also contain infrared light. The difference is that a good red light module contains shortwave infrared LEDs (NIR) which emits a very specific wave of only shortwave infrared light and it emits very powerful and bundled. The infrared that is in saunas is usually long-wave infrared (far infrared) which gives off much more heat. Also some saunas have full spectrum as explained above. The purpose of the sauna is heat stress, which, in addition to exuding toxins, produces HSP (Heat Stress Proteins). This HSP helps your body, especially other proteins, protect against other heat, and HSP allows the body to get more minerals into the cells that need it. In addition, it has been found that there are many more benefits to sauna, such as protection against heart failure / heart disease and the reduction of pain complaints such as those of inflammation.
So both have their own properties and function. I can therefore recommend that you let your body enjoy both options if you have the opportunity.
Will a cheap Red Light Therapy lamp or mask also work?
That completely depends on the technology in the lamp or mask and what you want to achieve. The lamps and masks that I have seen and tested (I have special measuring equipment for this), some not even cheap, have too little and / or not specific enough light to do what is advertised. It is true that it still depends on your goal and the time you want to sacrifice.
In some cases, such a mask or lamp can indeed provide improvements to the skin. For this you have to hold the lamp against the skin or extremely close to the skin, and you need more time before the effect occurs. this is often many times longer than that of an expensive LED light module. You cannot expect a deeper effect than the skin from such a device, even if it would be on all day. This simply requires a lot more light intensity (irradiation intensity).
I have more questions about light therapy, what now?
More answers and technical explanations and data can be found in the 'FAQ'and in the articles that specifically highlight one benefit. Here you will immediately find the links to the scientific studies.
Can't find the answers to your questions? send an email.
Have fun with your new red light therapy :)