An Introduction To Light Therapy

Technology always moves forward and most areas of life are affected by technological advances, many of them change the way we work, socialize, and receive treatment. With advances in medicine and new research being conducted, one area that is beginning to shine and stand out is Light Therapy or Red Light Therapy. There are many different names for it, such as Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT), Photobiomodulation, Photobiostimulation, Low-Power Laser Therapy, Cold Laser, Soft Laser, and Low-intensity Laser therapy. Most times than not we will use the terms Red Light Therapy, or Light Therapy. So what exactly does it do?

What is Light Therapy?

Sunlight has been the center of research and interest since ancient times. It does keep the earth alive and well, so what do the rays of the sun actually do? Many people go out to get a tan on hot sunny days, so what exactly is happening? In 1903 Niels Ryberg Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for his demonstrations that chemical rays from sunlight could stimulate surrounding tissue and could also be bactericidal. In the early 1960s the use of Light therapy had a major breakthrough with the invention of laser technology. Many studies began to form, from hair growth to wound healing. Since then studies have been conducted which focused on the application of light directly on tissue and how organisms react to certain stimulations with lights or lasers. With recent studies that have given us more understanding about the actions on a cellular and tissue-based level, light therapy has been the focus of many professionals and patients alike for its benefit properties.

What Does It Do?

There are many benefits of Light therapy or Red Light Therapy. From Hair growth to wrinkle control and muscle repair and recovery. Red Light Therapy Delivers safe and concentrated wavelengths of natural light into your skin. This light is absorbed by your cells which produces stimulation at the production level of elastin, collagen, and fibroblasts. This in turn gives your circulation and ATP a boost which brings more nutrients and oxygen to your cells and tissues. This allows your body to replenish and recover in a natural way. Many gyms around the nation are starting to offer Red Light Therapy, and some dermatologist offices carry units as well because of its helpful properties and beneficial effects.

What Can It Do for me?

With such a helpful type of therapy, many people begin to ask what it can do for them. There are a variety of benefits from Red Light Therapy. Many people come to RLT for the improvement to skin health. This includes increased collagen production in the skin, increased blood and nutrient circulation, increasing mRNA in the cells, improving skin texture and reducing wrinkle severity. A study done on a small group of people found that light therapy increased Collagen production, rejuvenated skin complexion and provided improved feeling on the skin. 

Another benefit is wound healing and pain reduction. The properties of light allow reduced inflammation of the cells by stimulating circulation and nutrient and oxygen absorption. Patients have had success in using RLT as a method of pain management.

Different Types of Light Therapy

There are many different types of Light therapy and wavelength ranges. It’s important to remember this when purchasing or using units for use. These Range from 570-610nm, 611-650nm, 651-690nm, 740-780nm, and 810-850nm. These different ranges allow for specific applications and different penetration depths when applied to areas on the body. A common level to see is Red 660nm/ Near Infrared (NIR) 850nm. NIR has the deep penetration level for muscle recovery and tissue repair, while the Red allows for skin rejuvenation and collagen support.

Summary

Red light therapy or RLT is a safe way to stimulation your body on a cellular level, as well as a way to recover faster. Many people around the world are using it for the benefits and with more studies coming the potential is great. From Pain management to anti-inflammation support and muscle recovery. RLT has the potential and benefits to help anyone in their everyday life.

Chaves, Maria Emília de Abreu, et al. “Effects of Low-Power Light Therapy on Wound Healing: LASER x LED.” Anais Brasileiros De Dermatologia, Sociedade Brasileira De Dermatologia, 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4148276/. 
 “Comparison of the Effects of 665 Nm Low Level Diode Laser Hat versus and a Combination of 665 Nm and 808nm Low Level Diode Laser Scanner of Hair Growth in Androgenic Alopecia.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14764172.2017.1326609. 
Wunsch, Alexander, and Karsten Matuschka. “A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase.” Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Feb. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3926176/. 
Anders, Juanita J, et al. “Low-Level Light/Laser Therapy versus Photobiomodulation Therapy.” Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Apr. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4390214/. 
Hamblin, Michael R. “Photobiomodulation or Low-Level Laser Therapy.” Journal of Biophotonics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5215795/. 

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