Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that may help skin, muscle tissue, and other parts of your body heal. It exposes you to low levels of red or near-infrared light. Infrared light is a type of energy your eyes can’t see, but your body can feel as heat. Red light is similar to infrared, but you can see it.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
When you expose your skin to red light, a part of your cells called the mitochondria, or the “powerhouse” of your cells, soak it up and make more energy, also known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). By increasing the function of the mitochondria using RLT, a cell can make more ATP. With more energy, cells can function more efficiently, rejuvenate themselves, and repair damage.
RLT is different from laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) therapies because it doesn’t cause damage to the skin surface. Laser and pulsed light therapies work by causing controlled damage to the outer layer of the skin, which then induces tissue repair. RLT is safe, natural, non-invasive, and painless. Rather than causing damage it directly stimulates regeneration of the skin. The light emitted by RLT penetrates roughly 5 millimeters below the skin’s surface.
Infrared therapy is widely used in the fields of medicine, dentistry, and autoimmune diseases. The therapy is safe and natural, which enables it to be offered as an alternative treatment for various health conditions like muscle pain, joint stiffness, and arthritis, to name a few.
Infrared therapy has many roles in the human body. These include detoxification, pain relief, reduction of muscle tension, relaxation, improved circulation, weight loss, skin purification, lowered side effects of diabetes, boosting of the immune system, and lowering of blood pressure.
Currently, there is more research being done on the many ways RLT is effective. However, there’s some evidence to suggest that RLT may have the following benefits: