What is Light Therapy and What Can it Do for Me?
Medical Grade Light Therapy (also called PHOTOBIOMODULATION) is the delivery of specific beneficial wavelengths of light at therapeutic energy levels. Medical Grade Light Therapy has been shown to have beneficial effects on multiple systems in our bodies. Different wavelengths at specific energy levels can influence different cells of the body. For instance blue light is very effective at treating acne, and red light for reducing skin wrinkles and aging.
Light therapy is not usually a one-and-done treatment, however, there may be a significant therapeutic result even after one treatment. In most cases though, consistent treatments are often needed over a prescribed period of time for benefits to be realized and lasting. Depending on your desired results and treatment area, treatments would be repeated at prescribed intervals. A typical recommendation is 2-3 times/week for 10-30 minutes per session. Continue for 3-4 months and then periodically for maintenance.
It is important to understand that the source of the light energy is critical. Not all Light is created equal! Be wary of the cheap offers, or the gyms and spas offering nearly free light therapy. For therapeutic results, the wavelength, energy output, and distance to the emitting device all play a critical role in how effective the treatment is. Working out at the gym or sitting in front of a light panel typically offers little to no therapeutic benefits, and can sometimes be detrimental.
What is the Difference Between Red Light and Near-Infrared?
Both are electromagnetic energy and are present in sunlight. Red light is visible to the human eye, however, infrared is not. The visible spectrum of light is wavelengths from 400-700nm. Infrared energy is 700nm – 1mm with Near-Infrared being the closest to visible light on the longer wavelength end. Ultra-Violet light is on the other end of the spectrum with wavelengths shorter than 400nm. Ultra-Violet light is not visible to the human eye. Ultra-Violet wavelengths of electromagnetic energy are responsible for skin damage as well as damage to other tissues of the body with prolonged exposure.
Red Light and Near-Infrared Therapy have increasingly received more attention in the healthcare industry as well as the skincare and wellness arenas. Both spectrums of energy provide amazing benefits. Though often confused, they provide different benefits with some overlap.
The Benefits of Near-Infrared
Infrared is classified as light energy but we generally do not see it. We sometimes can feel it as warmth. It is safe and easily absorbed by our tissues. Infrared can penetrate up to 1-1/2 inches into the body and even through bone, so its benefits can be on the surface as well as deeper into the tissue.
- Skin Rejuvenation
- Stimulation of Fibroblast and Collagen formation
- Detox & Weight Loss
- When Infrared energy enters the body, it breaks up fats and toxins in cells for release from the body.
- Boosts metabolism
- Pain Relief (such as with arthritis or TMJ jaw pain)
- Increases blood flow and reduces inflammation
- Heart Function & Diabetes
- Increases blood flow
- Retina & Central Nervous System
- Improved Sleep
- Increased memory
- Less insomnia
- Reduced anger
- Tissue Repair (Wound Healing)
- Increased blood flow
- Stimulation of Fibroblast and Collagen formation
- DNA repair
- Cell and protein growth
- Decreased pain
The Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Red Light does not penetrate as deeply as infrared and instead works better on the surface of the skin to:
- Reduce wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, burns, and other signs of UV sun damage
- Evens skin tone
- Builds Collagen
- Cellular Repair
- Increases Blood Flow
- Increases Lymphatic Drainage
- Decreases Inflammation
- Decreases Hair Loss in some people with androgenetic alopecia (a genetic disorder that causes hair loss)
The Benefits of Blue Light Therapy
Blue Light is electromagnetic energy of shorter wavelengths in the visible spectrum (about 400-500nm). Wavelengths of around 405-420 nm kill the Propionobacterium acnes or P. acnes bacteria in skin. These are the bacteria that collect in your pores and oil glands and cause breakouts. Used together with red light’s ability to reduce inflammation, blue light therapy has been shown to be safe and very effective in treating acne.
What Exactly is Red Light and Near-Infrared Doing?
To understand how red and near-infrared light help, we need to understand what is going on in our cells. We age because the cells of our body decline in their ability to perform their functions with time. All cells need fuel to do their jobs. That fuel comes from a process that occurs in the mitochondria of cells where ADP (adenosine triphosphate) is produced. ADP in essence is the substance that fuels our body. Mitochondria decrease in number with age. When mitochondria decline, ATP synthesis declines. When this occurs, systemic inflammation increases and can signal cell death.
Longer wavelengths spanning 650–>1,000 nm (red and near-infrared) improve mitochondrial complex activity, membrane potential, and ATP production. Cells can perform their functions easier, faster, and better.
Red and Near-Infrared Light help to Reduce Inflammation in Cells, Boost Energy and Efficiency
In our skin, this results in better collagen and elastin production leading to reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, better skin tone, and overall skin health.
For our brains and well-being, Near-Infrared light can penetrate as much as 1-1/2 inches through bone giving the cells in our brains a boost resulting in better memory, energy, alertness, and improved cognition.
With reduced inflammation, pain from arthritis, TMJ, and other chronic conditions can be relieved.
Not well understood, but red and near-infrared light help reduce hair loss in some cases. Most likely this is due to the boost of ADP synthesis and increased blood flow allowing the follicles to function at a higher level again.
With increased blood and lymphatic flow, all cells function better leading to better heart function, faster wound healing, decreased hair loss, weight loss, decreased inflammation, and pain relief. Have any questions? Contact Timeless Allure.