Do you suffer from hair loss? Accelerated ageing? Weight loss issues? Neurological diseases? Depression and/or anxiety? Autoimmune diseases? Delayed healing? Reduced joint function or pain? Lack of energy? Thyroid issues? Poor sleep? Among others?
Chances are you have one or more of the conditions listed in this article. In fact, I can almost guarantee it.
This article is about a powerful therapy that beneficially impacts all of the above, known as red and near infrared light therapy.
As most of you might know, we’ve spent the past 15 years testing and researching therapies effectively used in clinics, by doctors and practitioners. It is our utmost goal to remain integer with our community and only share, educate and provide you with devices and therapies which actually deliver therapeutic results.
In this article, you will learn about red and near-infrared light and discover the incredible healing power of this therapy! If you already use this therapy, you’ll know just how amazing it is and if you haven’t tried it out yet, well you’re in for a treat.
Before we dive into light therapy let’s cover some general understanding.
Colours of daylight
A small part of the light spectrum from roughly 400nm to 700nm is visible to the human eye. These different wavelengths influence our systems in very distinct ways, and both are essential to the balance of our body and mind. Our sunlight contains all different colours of the spectrum. Each of these colours have a different wavelength and therefore different energies associated.
Artificial light does not cover all spectrums as natural light does. While daylight varies all over the day – going from red to blue during midday and then back to red. Artificial lighting stays the same spectrum all day long and all night long.
Blue light is also being found in large quantities in artificial light of digital devices such as your smart phone, laptop and tablet as well as in office and house lighting. Blue light is a natural part of the sunlight spectrum, however when the dosage is too much it disrupts us, altering our circadian rhythm and everything that depends on it. See blog here to learn about blue light.
At the highest end of the visible spectrum is red light, also known as photobiomodulation and low level light therapy. Red light goes from a little over 600nm to around 700nm. Red light has positive effects on regeneration processes in retinal pathologies, stroke, neurotrauma and neurodegeneration, memory, mood disorders, pain and wound healing by counteracting mitochondrial issues.
Past 700nm, no longer visible to the human eye is near infrared light which starts from 700nm to a little over 1,100nm.
The amazing health effects on our bodies are specifically from the red and near infrared wavelengths.
What are the different types of light therapies?
The sunrays produce different wavelengths of UV (ultraviolet) rays including UV-A and UV-B. UV-B rays interact with a protein in the skin converting it to Vitamin D3 which is the active form of Vitamin D.
Phototherapy using UV-A and UV-B light can also be effective for the management of psoriasis. Ultraviolet light therapy is beneficial for relieving the signs of a number of skin conditions including a form of skin cancer called T cell lymphoma.
Blue light actually sets the circadian rhythm in our brain, which in turn regulates numerous different neurotransmitters and hormones.
Unfortunately instead of rising and sleeping with the sun, we created artificial daytime by turning on our house lights, watching TV, playing on our phones… All of these and more contain high energy vibrational blue light. So if you work in front of a computer all day, or are exposed to artificial light several hours in one go, blue light blocking glasses can do wonders! I wear mine everyday in front of my computer and it makes a really big difference.
A large body of research demonstrates the excessive exposure to blue light can impact our sleep and sleep-wake bio rhythms:
- Not only does blue light inhibit melatonin it also stimulates the production of cortisol, a major stress hormone which interferes with sleep
- Exposure to blue light shortens sleep time and leads to more awakenings throughout the night
- In some studies, it has shown that blue light aggressively inhibits the production of melatonin thus impacting sleep and our natural circadian rhythm
- Blue light suppresses melatonin for more than twice as long as other visible light wavelengths
- Room light that’s rich in blue wavelength light from high-efficiency light sources also suppresses melatonin
Far-infrared light has a wavelength of about 3000 nm to 0.1 mm. Far infrared can penetrate the deepest layers of the skin and reach soft tissues.
The health benefits of far-infrared light could be attributed to its ability to generate heat and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. It may also increase blood circulation, improve heart functions, reduce pain, boost energy levels, and control blood pressure.
Red light therapy acts on the mitochondria (energy powerhouses) in our cells to increase cellular energy.
Red light therapy can help to reduce damage, inflammation and control inflammation in the affected tissues. It can also encourage the production of collagen in the skin and thus, reduce the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. It involves exposure of the affected tissues to low levels of red light to stimulate natural healing and repair processes.
Near-infrared light works similarly to red light by stimulating the mitochondrial functions, increasing metabolism, promoting tissue repair, and reducing inflammation.
A human deficiency in light
Light is an often underappreciated and undervalued promotor and predictor of health. Two common light related health issues that many people face:
1) Vitamin D deficiency – so a lack of UV light exposure
2)Circadian rhythm disruption – meaning not enough sunshine during the morning and day and too much artificial blue light at night
Just these two issues alone are major underlying causes for a whole host of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, metabolic disease, neurodegenerative disease, heart disease and so forth.
How does red and near-infrared light therapy work?
- Biochemical effect on cells to increase mitochondrial function
- Increased and improved ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production
- Increased mitochondrial function results in cells to function more efficiently, repair damage and rejuvenate themselves by restoring health at the cellular level
- Stimulation of DNA and RNA synthesis
- Promote an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant defence of a cell resulting in stress resistance (concept of hormesis)
- Activate the lymphatic system
- Increase blood flow, circulation and thereby better oxygenation and delivery of nutrients to your cells and tissues
- Formation of new capillaries
- Improving and boosting natural production of collagen and fibroblasts which are important for our skin health and reduction of wrinkles and cellulite
- Restoring and repairing damaged soft connective tissue
- Increase the quality of life, decrease pain, muscle spasms and stiffness
- Supports hashimotos by destroying autoantibodies, supporting regeneration of damaged tissues and improving thyroid functions
- Stimulating or decreasing inflammation
- Supports weight loss by disintegrating fat cells and facilitating the removal from the body
- Reducing oxidative stress levels and free radical damage – associated with ageing
- Increase melatonin production, thus improving sleep quality
- Improvement in cognitive performance by improved cellular repair of damaged neurons, protection of neurons and decreased brain inflammation