Red light therapy – Rays that do a body good
Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough
Special to the Village News
Red light therapy (RLT) is a type of infrared treatment that has been shown to help improve skin, help heal body parts, and help with muscle tissue recovery/stiffness/soreness. Your body feels the heat but with RLT, the eyes don't see the light.
Most people use some type of lamp, device, or laser that emits the redlight. It's all about energy. Your body soaks up the red light through mitochondria. More cells are generated as the red light comes into layers of the body (from skin to tissue) and this process helps generate more cells and repairs existing cells. In turn, skin heals and muscle tissue repairs.
Contrary to popular belief, RLT isn't like hitting a tanning bed. Your body is not exposed to UV rays that are damaging.
There isn't a lot of research out there to completely guarantee the results or to prove the effectiveness of RLT, but results speak for themselves. Potentially, there are several reasons one might turn to RLT for its benefits. Many see a reduction in wrinkles and signs of skin damage. Some claim RLT helped their tendinitis by reducing inflammation, and for some it reduced pain associated with osteoarthritis.
There have been mixed results regarding RLT hair growth. Some persons with alopecia have seen improvements in hair growth, while others have not.
Interestingly, RLT has been used and helped persons with dementia to improve memory, get better sleep, and improve mood. Dental pain has even been reduced. All of the benefits and results vary, and not everyone notices all or even some of them.
Overall, RLT is safe. There are salons and even home treatment devices that can be used. Frequency and length of time spent doing RLT vary, but consistency is important. Whether RLT treatments work or not is definitely self-determined. Trying it just once or twice wouldn't be enough, so RLT is something that can be a commitment to use as part of one's regular self-care routine.
Sessions can last 15 to 30 minutes, and for best results should be done two to three times per week. Soaking up RLT rays would be a much better choice than UV rays, but of course you would not get a nice tan.