4 Ways Red Light Therapy Helps You Feel Better
From seasonal depression to physical health to skin conditions, many people are reporting the benefits of red light therapy to help to treat numerous ailments. But, is it truly effective?
Red light therapy, also referred to as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), can help make you feel better in a number of ways. Keep reading to see what red light therapy can help you achieve!
1. Resolves Skin Concerns and Boosts Confidence
PBMT has been shown to help with various skin issues, such as:
- Wrinkles: Red light therapy helps decrease the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as it naturally boosts your production of collagen in your body.
- Sun damage: PBMT can also be used for sun damage through targeted photodynamic therapy. It can remove rough scaly skin patches and actinic keratosis patches caused by over exposure to the sun.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots): Many people experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after a skin trauma like acne or an abrasion. And, this condition can also become worse by scratching, picking, or squeezing. While these marks typically fade with time, they can last for years and this could really impact your self-confidence.
The primary way red light therapy helps to repair and regenerate youthful skin is by increasing collagen production, the hemi protein making up most of your extracellular matrix (a substance your cells float in). Through collagen, your skin gains bounce and structure. A lot of skin problems occur when collagen is compromised. For instance, as your production of collagen drops when you age, your skin slowly begins losing its elasticity and causes wrinkles.
2. Improves Sleep, Mood, and Mental Health
The part of your brain in charge of your circadian rhythm is your hypothalamus, and it’s impacted by outside forces like dark and light. Your hypothalamus sends out the hormone melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy. And, this cycle can be disrupted by prolonged light exposure when it doesn’t signal your brain it’s time for rest. Now you’ll see why it’s harder to fall asleep after spending time on your smartphone.
Obtaining quality sleep at night is an ideal way of practicing self-care. But, the overload of blue light from smartphones, televisions, and computers can throw off your circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep at an ideal time.
People can continue to play and work long past sundown because of things like:
- Floor lamps
- Artificial lights
- Phone screens
Interrupting the circadian rhythm is associated with various problems, including depression.
Also, people require natural light. Your circadian rhythm was set long before light bulbs were invented, therefore being exposed to the sun’s natural light is essential for regulating this cycle. While you may spend your entire workday under fluorescent bulbs, they don’t replace sunlight.
In the wintertime, natural light can be very limited, particularly in northern areas. But, laptop and phone screens emit blue light, which can mimic the sun’s natural light. But,When you obtain blue light at the wrong time, such as just when you’re getting home from work at the end of the day, it could disrupt your circadian rhythm and trick your body into thinking it’s time to stay awake.
PBMT in the evening could signal to your body it’s time to start winding down and correct your circadian rhythm. When you get better sleep, you just feel better.
3. Fights Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Inflammation isn’t usually harmful. It’s a natural part of your body’s immune response. For instance, redness around a healing wound is a form of inflammation. When there’s a part of your body that becomes inflamed, your white blood cell production is increased and rushed to the inflamed area to:
- Remove waste products
- Fight infection
- Initiate repair
Usually, the inflammation helps with protecting and repairing your body and resolving on its own.
The issue with inflammation, however, is when it’s incorrectly initiated, like with an autoimmune disease, for instance, or inflammation is prolonged, like with a chronic joint disease, the inflammation begins attacking healthy cells or causes damage rather than repairing the issue.
Red light therapy can be used in a lot of situations like these for helping repair damage and resolve inflammation for individuals experiencing:
- Muscle injury
- Acute joint injury
Photobiomodulation therapy sessions for these types of injuries and conditions are typically brief, often lasting between five to 15 minutes. You’re usually out of the clinic in 30 minutes.
4. Improves Physical Health
PBMT can be used as part of a workout program. It can decrease your risk of injury while exercising by helping to warm your body before the activity and increase circulation.
You might have seen PBMT offered at your neighborhood gym. This is because red light therapy is ideal for helping beginner fitness enthusiasts and athletes with their exercise program. It’s used prior to workout sessions to help increase circulation temporarily or warm muscles up through vasodilation. Warming up your joints and muscles prior to beginning a high-intensity exercise activity is essential to prevent injury.
Not to mention, using PBMT after a workout can help to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This is the soreness you generally experience the following day after a high-intensity workout.
Begin Your Red Light Therapy Journey Today
Self-care is essential for your overall health. With PBMT use, you’re doing something good for your body, your patients, or clients that could have a positive effect on both your, or their, physical and mental well-being.
If you’re a provider and are ready to add whole body photobiomodulation services to your facility, please complete our form, and one of our representatives will be in touch with you.
If you’d like to try red light therapy for yourself, please click the below link to find a nearby provider who offers TheraLight Full Body Photobiomodulation light bed services. There are more than 100 locations offering TheraLight photobiomodulation services worldwide, so you’ll be sure to find one near you.