The Difference Between Full Body & Targeted Red Light Therapy Devices

the difference between targeted and full body red light therapy devices

The Difference Between Full Body and Targeted Red Light Therapy Devices

Red light therapy (RLT) offers many health and wellness benefits. Yet, it’s important to consider how you use this technology to gain the full benefits. Some treatments involve full body red light therapy, while others take a targeted approach.

These two approaches to photobiomodulation therapy have different purposes. Knowing more about these can help you achieve the best outcomes for you.

Full Body Red Light Therapy Devices

Full body RLT is done with a bed that uses red and near-infrared light. Exposure to light helps activate positive changes to the cells, bringing various health benefits. You might use the full body type of RLT to improve broad health measures like:

  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Sports performance

You can gain exposure to your full body at once by using a red light therapy bed, which provides specified treatment without getting too hot. Receiving RLT for the whole body allows the healing wavelengths to enter as much surface area as possible to provide maximum benefits.

This increased exposure can encourage cellular changes that support your body’s processes against oxidative stress, inflammation, and other damage throughout the body, including issues you may not be aware of. Also, full exposure can help on a systemic level within the body to promote better circulation and sleep.

Full body RLT helps promote overall health and wellness, whether or not you’re trying to target a specific health concern. Further, full body RLT may provide faster results because of the increased exposure to healing wavelengths.

A downside of this method is that you may have occasions to focus the light on specific parts of the body to target inflammation or wounds. In this case, you may want to use targeted RLT instead. Nonetheless, a bed like Theralight can bring this technology within reach and help clinics offer this treatment to their clients.

Targeted Red Light Therapy Devices

Targeted RLT may be carried out with a laser device, panel, or another handheld, portable device that allows you or a practitioner to focus on a particular area of your body. So, you might target the red light in specific ways like these:

  • On the skin of your face to address wrinkles
  • On a wound on the skin to encourage healing
  • On an injury of your wrist to manage pain and inflammation

One popular application of the targeted approach is in skin care. Dermatologists and other skin care professionals use this method to reduce hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and inflammation from severe acne. Nonetheless, this approach can also target specific body parts to address arthritis, an injury, joint pain, or another location-specific concern.

These targeted treatments can be beneficial, as they offer higher-powered laser treatment to specific body parts. A downside to this treatment is a lack of standardization in light dosage for particular applications. Incorrect dosage can lead to skin tissue overheating (too high) or ineffective treatments (too low). Also, the cellular change potential is limited by only directing the light wavelengths at small portions of the body.

Full Body vs. Targeted Red Light Therapy

You can see that both types of RLT devices provide the benefits of this modality. They both offer red and near-infrared wavelengths that stimulate cell energy transport through mitochondrial activation to carry out healing processes. The two methods vary in the surface area they cover at one time.

It’s possible to use both types of RLT to complement one another. You may turn to a bed for full body red light therapy to provide overall wellness and healing throughout the body. Then, a handheld device may work better for targeted treatments for specific problem areas, such as joints. A benefit of both types is that you can often combine this non-invasive therapy with other forms of treatment. Also, they can both be customized to provide the right amount of treatment needed for each situation.

A red light therapy provider can help determine whether full body or targeted treatment is best for each situation. Also, they can guide you on whether it’s okay to combine this therapy with other treatments within a personalized care plan.

The article was originally published December 14, 2021, and was last updated December 12, 2022.