You’ve probably seen the buzz lately about using red light therapy for your wellness, but let’s dissect what it is, how it works and if it’s something you would benefit from.
What is Red Light (or Infrared) Therapy?
Red light is a spectrum of wavelengths on the light spectrum that contain both near and far infrared wavelengths. Red Light therapy is a non-invasive form of photobiomodulation. That means that this therapy uses light to modulate your biology. It is not the same as UV light which has different wavelengths Because it’s not UV light, your skin won’t get burnt by red light like it would from the sun.
In recent decades there have been more than 5,000 studies done on the benefits of red light therapy for a number of ailments. Just search Pub Med to see them.
Near Infrared Light Vs. Far Infrared Light
On the light spectrum, the infrared wavelengths are something we can’t see, but we can feel. Both near and far infrared light benefits the body but in different ways. That’s why, in my home, I employ the use of both, with different devices that I will share about later.
Overall, red light helps strengthen the mitochondria which are the powerhouse of your cells. The strengthening happens because infrared light maximizes the effectiveness of the enzyme called cytochrome c oxidase which binds with oxygen to create ATP. When your mitochondria are strong, they are able to produce more ATP (think energy), take waste out, bring nutrients in, and optimize cellular repair and apoptosis.
The different spectrums of red light range from 600nm to 1,100nm.
Near Infrared (Also called NIR)
NIR are short wavelengths that mimic natural sunlight and raise your core temperature faster. The body recognizes this form of light and receives it willingly because it’s similar to your natural energy. It helps to eliminate heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body and can aid in reducing the body’s radioactive load.
Far Infrared (Also called FIR)
FIR utilizes longer wavelengths that create a deep penetrating heat that inspires sweating at lower temperatures. It improves oxygenation and promotes toxin discharge of cells as well as the exchange of nutrients between cells
The Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy
This list is not exhaustive but here are some of the benefits that can happen using red light.
- Improves circulation and blood flow
- Supports anti-aging
- Supercharges endocrine hormones like testosterone, thyroid hormones, and female sex hormones
- Aids in improving eyesight
- Aids in lessening and even remitting depression
- Can help relieve pain
- Ignites deep tissue rejuvenation
- Improves circadian rhythm
- Supports hair growth
- Naturally increases melatonin
- Stimulates the immune system
- Improves skin conditions
- Can help remove plaque from arteries
- Targeted/spot treatment help (depending on the type of device you have)
- Beats screen fatigue
- Can help lessen inflammation in the body – especially the lungs, brain, and spinal cord
- Supports collagen production
- Kills pathogens related to infections and viruses
- Helps to eliminate autoimmune and cancer-causing toxins in the body
Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMFS)
It’s important when looking at devices to bring into your home that you consider the amount of EMF the device creates. Of course, when not in use, unplugging any device is going to eliminate all EMFs, but when it is plugged in and you’re using it, only buy devices that are low to no EMFs. The devices I recommend (and use) below all fit the low/no EMF category.
How Often to do Infrared Red Light Therapy
It really depends on where you are on your healing journey as to how often you do infrared therapies. For someone relatively healthy and in more of a maintenance mode, 2-3 times a week is sufficient. For another person who is in the middle of healing from long-term chronic symptoms and even a cancer diagnosis, utilizing infrared therapy 4-6 days per week is beneficial. If you do it that often though, it’s important to use binders and electrolytes as well as pay attention to your body and symptoms. Each session can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 60 minutes at a time and if you are using a portable red light you’ll want to sit 6-12 inches away from it for your session.
Be aware that sometimes, it’s necessary to give the body and immune system a break from extensive detox so it can take care of what it needs to through the detox therapies you’ve already done.
Contraindications of Doing Infrared Light Therapy
If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, or are on blood thinners be sure to consult your doctor before utilizing this therapy. Similarly, nothing in this article is considered medical advice, it is only for educational purposes, so I always recommend running anything new that you’re trying by your doctor.
Types of Red Light Devices
Individual red lights are beneficial for targeting or spot-treating areas of the body like the abdomen or the thyroid or even the eyes.
This is the one I own at home. This light emits mostly near-infrared with some far infrared. It emits zero EMFs and is portable. I move it from room to room wherever I need it and it is great for spot-treating. I also love to keep this by my computer at my desk in my office to help mitigate blue light and pamper my eyes. Get 5% off your order using my link and code: FEASTINGONJOY
This is the one that I used when I was at Hope 4 Cancer. This is a mobile near-infrared device that can be for spot treating different parts of the body. I enjoy this one because it’s on wheels and is easy to lie on a bed and have the red light shining above you. By stretching the light arm over you and keeping the switch at a distance from you, you can lessen the low EMFs that come from it.
Infrared saunas (and the dome I mention below) are extremely beneficial for the bodily excretion of heavy metals, plastics, drug residues, acidic wastes and various chemicals. I have owned my sauna for 8 years and use it every single week multiple times per week. It is still just like brand new. They make both NIR and FIR saunas as well and are superior craftsmanship. It is tested to be low EMF and is made of hypoallergenic basswood. You can use my link above and code: FeastingOnJoy for $600 off.
This is my far infrared light dome that is lined in its entirety with infrared heaters. The inside reaches up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit but because of its body-shaped size, it is able to raise your core temperature higher than an infrared sauna can. It can accommodate people up to 6’5” tall with a shoulder width of 22”. It’s a great device for EMF-sensitive users because the only EMFs come from the controller which can be placed away from the dome itself.
I also love my sauna dome because it is Ozone ready (which neutralizes bacteria and viruses). That means that I can plug in my medical-grade ozone machine to this sauna dome and fill the dome with ozone during my session.
The dome is also beneficial because you have to lie down to use it. Laying down while doing infrared light therapy helps relieve your nervous and cardiovascular systems and helps your body to relax more.