Elevating your quality of life

What’s the Big Deal About Red Light Therapy?

OVERVIEW:

  • What are low wavelengths of red or near-infrared light?
  • How RLT stimulates mitochondria, enhancing cellular energy production (ATP) & leading to improved cell vitality & healing.
  • RLT’s role in skin regeneration, increasing collagen production, improving complexion, reducing aging signs, & aiding scar healing.
  • How RLT can enhance cognitive performance & mood regulation.
  • RLT’s positive impact on blood circulation & oxygenation.
  • RLT’s ability to stimulate hair growth by revitalizing hair follicles & increasing scalp blood flow.

Red Light Therapy (RLT) has been gaining traction for its wide-ranging benefits on the human body. This therapy, aka photobiomodulation, emits low wavelengths of red or near-infrared light. What’s the big deal?  This kind of light doesn’t just work superficially; its effects impact the body from the tiniest cellular structures to the largest organs. Being able to cross many barriers, RLT produces changes on various levels.  Below, you’ll find key points on the effects of RLT.

THE BIG WHY: Cellular & Mitochondrial Enhancement

An increase in ATP production in the mitochondria of cells is why scientists believe RLT can affect so many body systems & functions.

  • RLT can stimulate & energize the mitochondria.
    • What job do mitochondria perform?  They are the part of cells that provides energy for all cell functions; without power in the mitochondria, cells would die, which means we would die. 
  • Red light photons are absorbed by an enzyme within the mitochondria (cytochrome c oxidase); this interaction causes an enhanced production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (the type of energy cells need to function). 
  • When ATP increases in a cell, cell vitality also increases, & an energized cell promotes faster healing & rejuvenation 😃 .
    • Think about it: every part of our body is made of a cell, so TRILLIONS of mitochondria exist.  Imagine all of those mitochondria getting boosts of energy every day through RLT?! Your overall health would significantly improve; bodily processes would work faster & optimally!

THE EFFECTS OF RLT:

1. Skin Health and Scar Reduction

RLT’s effects on the skin are the most fun because they are the most outwardly visible & apparent.  

  • RLT accelerates skin regeneration & collagen production, which are needed to maintain skin elasticity & strength.
    • Studies have shown that RLT can significantly improve skin complexion, reduce signs of aging, & aid in healing scars by enhancing collagen creation in skin tissues.

2. Systemic Effects: Brain Function, Blood Cells, Sleep, & Hair Growth

As someone who lives by the principle of optimizing quality of life, I refuse to be someone who ages terribly, especially regarding brain performance.  On that subject, check out the research on RLT in regards to improvements in cognitive performance & mood regulation: 

  • Red Light Therapy (RLT) has been studied for its potential effects on brain function, with research suggesting several positive impacts. These effects include improvements in cognitive performance, mood regulation, & potential benefits in neurodegenerative conditions. Here are some key findings:
  •   RLT has been shown to potentially improve cognitive function, memory, & executive processing. This is believed to be due to enhanced mitochondrial function & ATP production in neurons, which upgrades neuronal health & function.
  • Studies have also indicated that RLT can have mood-stabilizing effects.
  • Neuroprotective benefits due to improvement in mitochondrial function & reduction of oxidative stress in brain cells from RLT are also possible.  Imagine what the future holds for those with brain injuries & neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s disease.
  • Due to assisting in healthy inflammation levels & stimulating healing processes in the brain, RLT has been shown to aid in recovery from TBI (traumatic brain injury) & strokes.

3. Blood Cells, Sleep, & Hair Growth

  • Exposure to red and near-infrared light might influence melatonin production and sleep quality. This aspect is particularly promising for treating sleep disorders and improving sleep patterns.
  • RLT has been shown to enhance circulation & oxygenation, contributing to better overall Blood cell function. 
  • Last but not least, RLT has been found to stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp & revitalizing hair follicles.

Have you heard of these functions & benefits of RLT?  It’s like having a bunch of supplements wrapped in one source!  I can personally speak to the benefits of RLT because I have one & it has helped tremendously with scar healing and gives me an overall sense of well-being after I use it.  

Later this week, I will post the specifications needed for an effective RLT device at home that will produce these effects!  They’re not all built the same, so please read the blog to see what you should be looking for before you spend $$ on an RLT machine that does nothing or is potentially dangerous.

ADDITIONAL INFO FOR FELLOW NERDS 😁:

  • Near-infrared light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that falls just outside the visible spectrum, beyond the red end. It is not visible to the human eye but can be detected as a sensation of warmth on the skin. Near-infrared light has wavelengths ranging from approximately 700 nanometers (nm) to about 2500 nm.

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT INTENDED AS MEDICAL INFORMATION, AS WITH ANYTHING THAT CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH, PLEASE DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PHYSICIAN FIRST.

References

  • Ferraresi, C., Hamblin, M. R., & Parizotto, N. A. “Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT) on Muscle Tissue: Performance, Fatigue, and Repair Benefited by the Power of Light.” Photonics Lasers Med. 2012.
  • Avci, P., Gupta, A., Sadasivam, M., Vecchio, D., Pam, Z., Pam, N., & Hamblin, M. R. “Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT) in Skin: Stimulating, Healing, Restoring.” Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. 2013.
  • Salehpour, F., Mahmoudi, J., Kamari, F., Sadigh-Eteghad, S., Rasta, S. H., & Hamblin, M. R. “Brain Photobiomodulation Therapy: a Narrative Review.” Molecular Neurobiology, 2018.
  • Hamilton, C. L., El Khoury, H., Hamilton, D., Nicklason, F., & Mitrofanis, J. “Can red/near-infrared light therapy help people with Alzheimer’s Disease?” *Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports*, vol. 4, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-12.
  • Salehpour, F., Mahmoudi, J., Kamari, F., Sadigh-Eteghad, S., Rasta, S. H., & Hamblin, M. R. “Brain Photobiomodulation Therapy: a Narrative Review.” *Molecular Neurobiology*, vol. 55, no. 8, 2018, pp. 6601-6636.

– Hennessy, M., & Hamblin, M. R. “Photobiomodulation and the brain: a new paradigm.” *Journal of Optics*, vol. 19, no. 1, 2017.

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At BE, we truly believe that understanding your body is the first step into taking action to accomplish your health related dreams & goals.

With this in mind, our blog is designed to be your easy-to-understand resource for grasping the how & why of the human body. Our educational but concise posts will explore the root causes of physical & mental ailments & discovering diverse treatment modalities & tips that that can optimize your mental, physical, & emotional health

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