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5 Possible Benefits of Red Light Therapy

March 14, 2022

Red light therapy has made its way into the public eye in recent years. Between its interesting history with our space program to the promising treatment potential, it’s not hard to see why. The various potential health benefits of red light therapy are numerous and varied, and as more and more research is done on the treatment, we will continue to get a clearer sense of the ailments it can be used to target.

A red light therapy panel glowing red.

Believe it or not, NASA paved the way for modern interest in red light therapy (also known as low-power laser therapy, photobiomodulation therapy, and several other names). The space program has reportedly experimented with using red light to grow plants in space and to heal astronaut wounds.

One similar and widely accepted medical treatment called photodynamic therapy uses red lights to kill cancer cells, according to Cleveland Clinic. So, while research is ongoing, there’s plenty of reason to expect great things from the treatment.

And since treatment is totally safe and relatively inexpensive, there’s no reason not to try it out and see if you experience any of the clinical and anecdotal perks of the treatment.

A red light in the shape of a question mark glows against a dark background.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a health and wellness treatment that uses panels to transmit a combination of red and infrared wavelengths onto the skin. Reported health benefits of red light therapy include pain relief and improved skin. It has no known side effects when used appropriately.

Interesting Fact: The invention of the first form of light therapy as a treatment for lupus was enough to win its creator the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

5 Possible Health Benefits of Red Light Therapy

So what are the possible red light therapy benefits that make this treatment worth trying out? Well, like we mentioned, there are a lot. Here are five that may have you chomping at the bit to try this exciting treatment for yourself.

Pain Relief

This is one of the most widely praised red light therapy benefits. Among the studies out there is one clinical trial (sourced from a Carex article) which found the following: “Low-power light therapy is effective in relieving pain and disability in degenerative osteoarthritis of the knee.” The study compared red light, infrared light, and a placebo, showing marked improvements in all groups but the placebo.

Energy Boost

The silhouette of a crowd raising their hands and cheering at a stage with red lights.

Who doesn’t need a little extra energy at the end of the day, right? If your energy levels feel particularly low, you might also consider speaking with a doctor about the benefits of B12 shots.

Better Sleep

In 2017, a CDC report declared that insufficient sleep had risen to the level of a “public health problem.” With such a high number of folks not getting enough quality REM time, many are looking for natural ways to catch some z’s. If that sounds like you, red light therapy might be worth a try.

Improved Skin

Medical News Today points to a large number of studies on the potential benefits of red light therapy for skin health. Application of the therapy may be used to reduce wrinkles and produce more collagen, among other promising results. One of these studies — perhaps the one of most interest to young adults — demonstrates red light therapy’s apparent facility to safely treat acne. “Safely” is the operative word here. Unlike sunlight (which may also disrupt the production of acne), red light therapy does not expose the skin to UVA and UVB rays which can cause other skin issues over time, such as skin cancer.

A barrier bisects smooth, white stones on one side and a varied, green texture on the left.

Inner Balance

The last benefit of red light therapy on our list may be a bit abstract, but sometimes the best things are. It has been said that the treatment may help some folks achieve a better inner balance. And if you find that light therapy helps you get more centered, more charged up to make the most of your day, it will no doubt be worth every penny.

Stay Safe

As with everything, we recommend you consult with and receive any treatments from a medical professional. For one thing, a doctor has the expertise to tell you if they think red light therapy is worth your time and money based on your personal background and lifestyle. It will also ensure that you don’t overdo your exposure. While no side effects have been discovered with reasonable use, going way overboard on red light therapy can, like anything, cause you health problems.

A good doctor will bring knowledge of the light panels, your biology and health background, and a planned course of treatment to the table. Why pass that expertise up?

How Often Can I Do Low-Power Laser Therapy?

The 10-15 minute treatment can be done up to 3-5 times per week!

A heart linked to a water drop.

Ready to Feel the Benefits of Red Light Therapy For Yourself?

Pick a time that works for you! Our Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician, Dr. Paula Jones, will be there to discuss your health and background before guiding you through the process.

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