Infrared light therapy can be done in clinics to relive pain but can it be done at home? Yes. The creation of home devices for infrared therapy now means you can have pain relief when you need it in the comfort of your home.
In the 1990s, scientists used red lights in the form of LEDs to grow plants in space. They noticed that the red lights helped promote growth and photosynthesis of the plant. They then started researching if its application could be applied to human muscles.
Red light therapy or RLT is known by other names such as:
- photobiomodulation (PBM)
- low level light therapy (LLLT)
- soft laser therapy
- cold laser therapy
- photonic stimulation
- low-power laser therapy (LPLT)
A lot of clinics are now including alternative light therapy treatment in the form of visible red lights, magnetic field, infrared and super pulse laser. Researchers have found that light causes changes in the body’s hormonal balance and plays an effective role in the function of the body.
How Does Infrared Light Therapy Work?
Just as our bodies metabolize food particles differently and they all play different functions in our body (eg protein, fats and carbs), our cells metabolize wavelengths of light in the same way. It is important to understand that each color of light has a unique effect on our bodies.
Different wavelengths have a different effect. For example:
|Type of light
|Near infrared light
It was discovered that red light penetrated into the skin but infrared light was able to penetrate deep into the body. The cells in our body are used to using light for regeneration, regulating circadian rhythm and healing. We use the light from sunlight everyday to accomplish these things, but the sun also has harmful ultraviolet rays.
Both the infrared and near infrared light have an incredibly huge impact on cellular health. When the mitochondria of the cells (the mitochondria is the heart of the cell – like the engine of a car) absorb the light, they convert that light into cellular energy. As the production of this cellular energy increases, so does the cell’s ability to perform its normal function.
This is why infrared and near infrared light therapy has proven to be so beneficial on such a wide range of areas.
It is important to understand that each color of light has a unique effect on our bodies. Our body metabolizes light in the same way it does food with each component providing a different benefit.
The fact that infrared can penetrate much deeper into the body than other light makes it more effective at treating internal organs, tissues, and providing relief for internal muscle and nerve pain.
Thermal light therapy is the safest, not painful and easiest alternative health treatment anyone can get, if done correctly, and produces amazing results. The deep penetrating heat and metabolic stimulation of infrared treatment is used in humans as well as animals for treatment of chronic conditions like arthritis, preventing injuries and muscle soreness. It can prevent injures when applied after hard exercise or workouts.
What is Infrared Light Therapy Used For?
There are literally thousands of clinical studies that have proven the benefits of red light and infrared light thearpy. These are:
- acne and pimples (using a combination of red and blue light in therapy has been proven to be more effective in the fight against acne than either light on its own
- chronic pain
- hair regrowth
- enhanced muscle recovery
- reduced join pain and inflammation
- skin clarity, texture and tone
- increased testosterone production in men
- fading of scars and stretch marks
- enhanced weight loss
- improved athletic performance
Who Should Avoid Red Light Therapy?
Although infrared light therapy can be very beneficial, but is not recommended for everyone. Those who should avoid it are:
- A person who has photo-sensitive skin. This can cause scarring and even burning sensation to the skin.
- A person who has porphyria. It can be too intense and damage the skin, causing pigmentation damage.
- Anyone who is sensitive to certain kinds of lights. The wavelength that infrared use is much higher than others.
Other benefit of infrared therapy in the body includes increased circulation and faster flow. Using LED light therapy has not produced any major side effects, some possible minor side effects are anxiety and depression but can be easily avoided if you are properly treated. Infrared light therapy can be useful but the best thing to do is to see that if it’s going to be safe and easy for the body to handle.
What Do I Need to Know Before Purchasing a Device to Use at Home??
Home units can be purchased (with replaceable bulbs so you can use this unit forever) and used as you need within the home environment. The cost is not excessive and the time saved (and expensive) is considerable, but there are 2 important things to consider before purchasing. These are:
- Clinically Proven Wavelengths. Make sure your device has the recommended clinically proven wavelengths. These are the mid 600 or mid 800 nanometer range.
- Sufficiently Powered Device. Many units out there are underpowered so make sure you choose one that has upwards of 100MW/cm squared. This will ensure efficient treatment times and optimal healing. If this is not visible on the box or the company won’t give you this information, it usually means the unit is under powered and they are not wanting to advertise that fact.
- Don’t Settle for a Small Handheld Device. Make sure the product can treat a large area at once.