More and more patients are looking for holistic, non-invasive treatments for everything from aesthetics to medical procedures.
While there’s a time and place for invasive interventions, alternatives like red light therapy provide a range of benefits for everything from skin health to mental health.
Red light therapy might sound like some New Age technique, but several studies suggest this fast-growing therapy offers so many benefits. In this guide, we’ll explain how red light therapy works, how it compares to other treatment alternatives, and its four biggest benefits.
Table of Contents
- What does red light therapy do?
- Four Benefits of red light therapy
- Red light therapy treatment
- Performance care for your body
What does Red Light Therapy do?
Red light therapy is also known as low-level light therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation. During a red light therapy session, you’re exposed to low wavelengths of red light. But this isn’t just any light; it’s a specific wavelength that studies have found to have therapeutic benefits. For example, a 2014 study found that patients treated with red light had improved skin health and collagen density.
Unlike other forms of light therapy that use more intense light or heat, red light therapy uses low-level light at near-infrared levels. Since this light is at a lower level, it’s gentle and effective, penetrating just deeply enough into the skin to influence cellular function without causing damage or pain.
How Red Light Affects the Body
Scientists are still discovering the mechanism of how red light affects the body, but they believe the light triggers natural biological processes that repair and rejuvenate the body. It’s currently believed that red light stimulates mitochondria and drives cell metabolism. When your skin absorbs red light, it stimulates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy supply of the cell, leading to enhanced cellular activity and improved functioning. That, in turn, speeds up cell production and reduces inflammation—and the symptoms it causes, including pain.
Red Light Therapy Versus Other Treatments
So, how does red light therapy differ from other treatments, like laser therapy? Just because a treatment uses light doesn’t mean it’s the same. Here’s a quick breakdown of how red light therapy differs from laser treatments:
The light: Red light therapy uses low-level wavelengths of red light. It’s gentle and diffused, so it can treat large areas of skin without pain. Lasers, on the other hand, are intense beams of light that are more concentrated and powerful.
Skin interaction: Red light therapy boosts cellular function by stimulating mitochondria and ATP production. Later treatments work by strategically damaging the skin or targeted tissues, triggering your body’s natural healing process.
Application: You can try red light therapy for aesthetic purposes, like anti-aging treatments, or medical reasons, like pain relief. Laser treatments are more common for medical procedures, like removing moles.
Side effects: One of the biggest upsides of red light therapy is its minimal side effects. It’s safe for just about everyone, non-destructive, and doesn’t cause pain. Lasers are more intense and can lead to side effects like redness and skin irritation.
Laser treatments can be a great option for certain patients, but red light therapy is gentler and generally safer than laser therapy. It’s more versatile and pain-free, offering fewer downsides than other alternative therapies.
Four Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is a groundbreaking treatment that comes with so many mental and physical benefits. Plus, there’s no need for surgery or drugs, making it an attractive addition to care plans. While red light therapy can’t replace medical treatment, it offers a range of useful benefits.
1. Skin Health
Red light therapy plays a big role in boosting skin health. It penetrates the skin to trigger healing and rejuvenation, which makes it a popular option for treating acne, reducing wrinkles, and promoting collagen production. One study found that low-level red light stimulates anti-aging biomarkers, which makes it a great option for people with photoaged skin. Another study showed a reversal in visible signs of aging after three months of regular treatment.
Red light therapy soothes skin by stimulating collagen production, which not only improves skin elasticity but also helps manage skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. It’s a gentle but effective alternative to more invasive treatments for these painful conditions.
2. Hair Growth
It might sound too good to be true, but some studies found that low-level light therapy can stimulate hair follicles. It works by increasing blood flow and energy production in the cells of your scalp. One study found that red light therapy helps patients with alopecia areata, male pattern baldness, and chemotherapy-induced hair loss, although patients with male pattern baldness saw the most noticeable improvements. In this study, targeted areas showed an average 50% regrowth rate. That might not completely restore your hair, but it’s a marked improvement, especially for a non-invasive treatment.
3. Pain Relief and Muscle Recovery
Several studies have found that red light therapy can reduce inflammation at the cellular level. It’s no wonder why more people are using red light therapy to treat sore muscles, joint pain, and inflammation. This treatment penetrates tissues to boost cellular repair processes, making it a useful tool for anyone who wants relief from chronic pain or post-exercise recovery.
4. Mental Health Support
Red light therapy comes with so many physical benefits, but researchers are beginning to uncover its benefits for mental health, too. Scientific research in this area is still developing, but a small study of ten patients found improvements in depression symptoms after two weeks of regular treatment.
Scientists theorize that red light therapy can positively affect mood disorders by regulating sleep patterns. Its influence over cellular energy production also offers a sense of calm, making it a potentially viable holistic treatment for stress management and mental wellness.
Red Light Therapy Treatment
Low-level light therapy is gaining traction because it’s non-invasive and addresses a range of conditions. From skin health to muscle recovery, red light therapy is a versatile tool that supports all-around wellness. Here’s an overview of what you can expect during your first red light therapy session at Krysus.
Make Sure You’re a Candidate for Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is safe for most people, but it isn’t a fit for everyone. For example, if you have concerns about your skin, it’s best to first visit a dermatologist before booking red light therapy. Even a small mole or skin imperfection could be a serious condition, like cancer.
Red light therapy is also not a fit if you:
- Take medication that makes you sensitive to light
- Are pregnant
- Have epilepsy
- Have skin cancer lesions
If you get a clean bill of health by your doctor, then you’re likely a candidate for red light therapy. Some people do light therapy daily, but you’ll likely see results with once weekly treatments.
Prepare for Your Session
After booking your 30-minute appointment at Krysus, we recommend hydrating 24 hours before your red light therapy session. Eat a light snack and avoid heavy meals, caffeine, or alcohol before your visit so you’re comfortable in the pod. Arrive 15 minutes before your session to check in. Krysus’ friendly staff will lead you to your private light therapy room, where you undress and enter the pod. The pod needs access to your skin to work properly, so we recommend being nude for your treatment, although some people prefer to keep their undergarments on.
Enter Your Private Red Light Therapy Room
Every Krysus HP light therapy room has a NovoTHOR infrared therapy bed for your private use. The beds use red light and near-infrared light to treat your entire body at once. You’ll be in the bed for 20 minutes out of your 30-minute appointment, so be prepared to chill and relax during your visit. Once your treatment is over, you exit the bed, get dressed, and go about your day. Most people don’t experience any side effects or symptoms after red light therapy, although some people report aches and mild fatigue. Unlike laser therapy, there’s no risk of burns or serious skin irritation, so skin aftercare usually isn’t necessary.
Boost the Effects of Light Therapy at Home
While red light therapy can be helpful for cellular regeneration, it can only do so much. Your lifestyle can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your treatment. A healthy diet of whole foods and consistent exercise regimen can maximize the benefits of red light therapy. You’re also more likely to see results the more often you receive red light therapy, so we recommend making it a part of your daily or weekly schedule for the best results.
Performance Care For Your Body
While it can’t replace medical intervention, red light therapy is a non-invasive, holistic treatment with plenty of benefits. Studies suggest it can promote skin health, support hair growth, relieve pain, and lessen depression symptoms. There are few downsides to red light therapy, making it a viable option for anyone who wants to try a natural, drug-free treatment with minimal side effects.
Ready to try red light therapy? Krysus HP’s friendly staff is here to help. We offer an inviting, professional environment that makes red light therapy accessible and efficient. See the benefits firsthand: Book your 30-minute light therapy session now.