Red light therapy – how it works and why

Woman with sunglasses in red light

Red light therapy (RLT)  is an increasingly popular health method that is said to have a positive impact on our collagen production, immune system and stiff joints. Because the method hasn’t been scientifically proven it is a somewhat controversial treatment, yet more and more studies indicate that there are positive effects. 

How does red light therapy work? 

During a treatment with red light you expose your skin to red light using a device, lamp or laser. The infrared light is said to be able to strengthen the mitochondria in the cells with the help of a so-called biochemical effect. Since energy is created in the mitochondria, red light can help the cells to more efficiently create energy. This in turn leads to improved functionality of the cells and they will be better equipped to repair damages and renew themselves.  

RLT is a more gentle method than laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) in how it directly stimulates regeneration of the skin, while the other methods cause controlled damage to the outer layer of the skin to induce tissue repair. RLT penetrates roughly five millimeters below the skin’s surface. 

What are the benefits of red light therapy? 

Red light therapy is a fairly new treatment method. There is therefore a need for more research to be able to prove its efficiency. However, there are a few research projects about red light therapy with promising results. They suggest that RLT may: 

  • improve the repair of damaged skin and tissue 
  • contribute to improved hair growth for people with alopecia, an autoimmune disease linked to varying degrees of hair loss 
  • improve the skin tone and increase the production of collagen which can lead to less wrinkles 
  • improve the joint health for people with degenerative osteoarthritis 
  • help mend sun damage and scars 
  • reduce symptoms such as pain and muscle spasm for people with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia 
  • help improve memory and the ability to concentrate 
  • function as a short term treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome 
  • be used as an alternative treatment for psoriasis 
  • help reduce pain and inflammation

How often should I do red light therapy treatments? 

Red light therapy is said to be most effective with more regular treatments. It is recommended that you do the treatments more often the first weeks (up to five times per week) and after that start spreading out the treatments, doing them less frequently.

Human3 Nano panel

The Human3 Nano panel. Image: Fitnessguru


“I use the Human3 Nano light panel during my morning meditation, about twice a week. The red light actually helps me focus during meditation and I feel more energized, so it’s truly a life saver during dark Swedish winters,” Sofie Kraft says. 

Read more about the Human3 Nano and purchase it here.

By: Nicky Rosenberg
Image: Pexels

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