Red Light Therapy: Passing Trend or Legit Health Benefits?

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Red light therapy was originally developed by NASA scientists who were trying to accelerate growth in the cells of plants. It was soon discovered that the same accelerated cell growth and repair could be applied to human cells, and so red light therapy was developed.


Red light therapy works by producing chemical reactions in your cells that produce more energy, allowing cells to repair themselves and grow much quicker. But what exactly are the health benefits of this popular technique?

Weight Loss

The exact reason for red light therapy’s success in aiding weight loss has not been clinically proven. But researchers believe it helps to dissolve lipids in the body, as well as having an effect on appetite regulation. 

Several studies conducted from 2011 onwards have shown that red light therapy:

  • Reduces cellulite
  • Is an effective “body contouring” method
  • Helps with targeted weight loss approaches
  • Reduces body fat 
  • Helps to control insulin levels

While red light therapy may not achieve weight loss on its own, it has been proven to significantly boost the results of dieting and exercise.

Sleep

We all know what it’s like to have a bad night’s sleep. But for some of us, bad sleep is a chronic issue. In fact, it’s estimated that 50-70 million adults in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder.

Red light therapy can help with sleep issues such as insomnia because light has a huge impact on our sleep cycles. For example, blue light is a surefire way to struggle with your sleep and, unfortunately, we’re all exposed to a huge amount of blue light due to the amount of time we spend staring at our screens and devices.

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Red light, on the other hand, is conducive to sleep. It’s been shown to improve sleep in people suffering from PTSD, head trauma, and other common sources of poor sleeping patterns.

Injuries

Infrared light is now widely used in the treatment of injuries, particularly amongst elite professional athletes and sports teams. It is thought to promote faster healing of injury in two main ways: 

i) By increasing injury indicator chemicals around the injury site (such as nitric oxide) and therefore, stimulating the body’s injury healing response 
ii) Promoting increased circulation around the injury
 

Luckily, this type of treatment is no longer restricted to pro athletes. You can get the benefits with at-home red light therapy devices, such as those mentioned in this Red LED Light Therapy review by OGLF

Wounds

You’ll find plenty of anecdotal testimony about the power of red light therapy to speed up the healing of wounds. But some research has also been conducted to examine the validity of those claims. 

Research published in 2014 suggests that red light therapy can help to heal wounds in several ways, including: 

  • Increasing fibroblasts (collagen producing cells in the skin)
  • Accelerating the production of collagen in the skin
  • The reduction of inflammation
  • Encouraging angiogenesis (when new blood vessels form) 

Depression

As we’ve already established, red light can help to ease the effects of many sleep disorders. This ability to influence our natural biorhythms is also thought to be the reason that red light therapy can be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of depression. 

It’s thought to be particularly effective for Seasonal Affective Disorder, where symptoms of depression are reported due to decreased daylight and interrupted sleep patterns. However, positive results have also been reported in the treatment of major depression.

Hair Loss

Androgenetic alopecia is hair loss caused by an increased presence of male hormones (androgens) in the body. It’s the most common form of hair loss and is also known as “male-pattern balding.”

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Modern red light therapy devices have evolved to be hugely effective at penetrating the skin deeply enough to stimulate hair growth in those suffering from androgenetic alopecia. It can be a welcome alternative to chemical solutions or more invasive hair replacement treatments.

Arthritis and Joint Stiffness

Unfortunately, joint stiffness and arthritis affect a large proportion of the population, and not always in old age as is typically assumed. Joint stiffness can also be a result of injury and other degenerative conditions.

Red light therapy has been proven to:

  • Reduce pain and stiffness as a result of osteoarthritis
  • Increase the range of motion in joints
  • Reduce morning stiffness in joints
  • Stimulate the regeneration of cartilage

So, if you’re suffering from any of the health issues here, why not give red light therapy a try? Whether you use an FDA approved at-home device or book an appointment at a clinic, the research shows that you’ll soon see some results. 


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