Full Body Photobiomodulation: 5 Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Photobiomodulation, also called red light therapy, is a treatment that uses red and near-infrared light wavelengths clinically proven to reduce pain and inflammation and improve circulation. There are plenty of benefits of red light therapy from reducing pain and inflammation to giving your workouts a boost! One type of highly versatile red light therapy is full-body photobiomodulation in a red light bed.
Full body photobiomodulation can treat a variety of common concerns and is used alongside other therapies. Keep reading to learn the benefits of adding red light therapy to your wellness routine.
A common treatment for joint pain caused by arthritis or tendonitis is cortisone injections, where a corticosteroid is injected into the affected joint. In addition to receiving an injection, it’s not uncommon for pain and inflammation to worsen in the first 48 hours following the procedure. Red light therapy is painless. Your body naturally absorbs the light properly dosed and set by a wellness professional to your unique needs, and relief is often experienced immediately.
Photobiomodulation therapy is not just a painless treatment—it’s a comfortable one. Red light therapy beds like the TheraLight 360 and FIT are built with cooling functionality that directs the heat of the bulbs away from the interior of the bed, so treatments aren’t hot. Red light therapy treatments are between three and twenty minutes, which can be the much-needed downtime someone needs. In addition to offering healing light for your physical body, a PBMT treatment can be an excellent opportunity to unplug for a few minutes.
No Side Effects
Another common treatment for pain and inflammation is over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen. Even though these medications don’t require a prescription, they do have side effects, and prolonged usage can make side effects worse. Most commonly, ibuprofen can cause stomach pain and nausea, and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause liver damage if used regularly for weeks or months.
Additionally, cortisone injections can further deteriorate joint tissue and bone, and treatments are often limited per year because of these side effects.
Red light therapy has no lasting or harmful side effects. Most individuals are in and out of the office within half an hour and can go about their day normally. Some patients experience some lightheadedness upon getting up, and red light therapy is not recommended for individuals who are sensitive to light or taking photosensitizing medications.
Red Light Therapy Can be Combined With Other Therapies
PBMT can be used in combination with other therapies, such as physical and occupational therapy, as well as alongside a diet and exercise program for weight loss. Studies show that using PBMT with other therapies can lead to better results than using the treatments independently.
Variety of Applications
Red light therapy can be used for more than resolving pain and inflammation. It has a variety of applications, even if you aren’t experiencing pain.
Preventing Injury: A full-body red light therapy session before a workout increases your circulation, helping warm up your body for intense activity and avoiding injury in the first place. Red light therapy after a workout or game can help reduce the effect of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by repairing microtears in muscle fibers that may cause DOMS.
Wound Healing: Red light therapy naturally boosts collagen production, which can aid in healing wounds and preventing the formation of scar tissue.
Wrinkles & Acne: Because red light therapy boosts collagen production, it’s also used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve overall skin elasticity. It can also help reduce the appearance of acne scarring and reduce redness by addressing inflammation caused by acne.
Mood & Sleep: Using a red light therapy device in the evening hours can help signal the body to release melatonin. Blue light from cell phones and computer screens and unnatural fluorescent light in many workplaces can disrupt our circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep at night. But red light therapy can help correct disruptions, improving our sleep patterns and overall mood.
Full Body Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Full-body red light therapy delivers healing light energy to the entire body, treating inflammation and damage that may not be apparent, such as damage caused by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals that allows free radicals to attack healthy cells and can be influenced by environmental factors such as pollution. Oxidative stress has been linked to signs of aging like wrinkles and more severe concerns like diabetes, cancer, and inflammatory diseases.
Full-body red light therapy can repair the damage done by free radicals and help return balance between antioxidants and free radicals when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Red light therapy is an excellent addition to a wellness lifestyle, even if you’re not experiencing pain.
If you’re interested in trying full-body red light therapy, click the link below to find a TheraLight Provider near you.
This blog was originally published on May 11, 2020, and was late updated on April 11, 2022.