Call Us Today (815) 274-7459

Red Light Therapy

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. These little energy production plants are sensitive to light within the visible red spectrum frequency. We get visible, red spectrum light from the sun, but modern life keeps us indoors, perhaps more than our bodies would like. This may become problematic because our cells rely on red light to stimulate the mitochondria so they can become more active— to produce more adenosine tri phosphate (ATP) which is the actual energy currency our cells use. The bonus ATP paycheck for the cells allows them to spend a little extra currency on activity the cell didn’t have the energy to do: clean house- break down and clean up metabolic junk, bring in some new collagen and spruce the place up, update the plumbing fixtures with new micro blood vessel formation, i.e. neovascurlization. Cosmetically, 12 sessions of red light therapy stimulates new collagen and blood vessel formation in the face which helps clear the complexion and smooth wrinkles. RLT has been demonstrated to decrease inflammation in the body, promote tissue repair and speed wound healing in the skin. Improving skin health The potential for using RLT as a way to rejuvenate the skin has led to a large number of studies. As the review in the journal Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery notes, RLT may help rejuvenate the skin by:
  • increasing collagen production in the skin, which gives the skin its elasticity
  • increasing fibroblast production, which helps produce collagen and other tissue fibers
  • increasing circulation between blood and tissue cells
  • protecting cells from damage
  • increasing mRNA in the cells, which helps stimulate the cell
  • improving facial texture
  • reducing fine lines
  • reducing wrinkle severity
A clinical trial in the journal Photomedicine and Laser Surgery explored light treatment for some basic skin issues in a small group of 136 people. The researchers found that these light therapies could:
  • rejuvenate the skin
  • improve the complexion
  • improve the feeling of the skin
Wound healing Red light may also be helpful in speeding up wound healing. Research in the journal Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia highlights the fact that light therapy may help wound healing in a few ways, such as by:
  • reducing inflammation in the cells
  • stimulating new blood vessels to form, which doctors call angiogenesis
  • increasing helpful fibroblasts in the skin
  • increasing collagen production in the skin
More studies in humans can help confirm these results. Hair growth A small study in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy explored the effect of low-level light on people with alopecia. The study revealed that people who received RLT had improved hair density, compared with those in a control group. Reducing pain RLT may also be an effective treatment for pain in people with certain conditions. A review in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine compiled the results of many studies surrounding RLT and musculoskeletal disorders. The research indicated that RLT could effectively reduce pain in adults with different musculoskeletal disorders. The researchers note that practitioners who stick to the specific dosage recommendations seem to increase the effectiveness of the therapy. Enhancing bone recovery A review in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology examines the potential for RLT in treating facial bone defects. The researchers’ results indicate that RLT may help accelerate healing after treatment for facial bone defects. The review also notes that the therapy helped reduce inflammation and pain during the process. However, the researchers did call for a more standardized approach to determine whether or not the therapy is effective. Anti-inflammatory benefits As research in the journal AIMS Biophysics notes, many of the conditions that RLT treats have their roots in inflammation. Although the exact reason is not yet clear, RLT has significant anti-inflammatory effects in the body. These effects are both local, where practitioners apply the light, and systemic, in other tissues and organs in the body. The researchers explain that the helpful anti-inflammatory effects of RLT, and the potential uses for this therapy, are abundant. Further research may help us understand if it may help with chronic inflammatory issues such as: However, as the review in Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery explains, the collected research found that in many cases, the very specific wavelengths made relatively little difference during treatment. With that said, the frequency for most RLT sessions will typically vary within a range, similar to the wavelengths in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology paper.