Red light therapy (RLT), a type of photobiomodulation or “light medicine”, is a treatment that uses low-wavelength red light to reportedly improve your skin’s appearance, help reduce chronic pain and inflammation, as well as aid in the treatment of a host of other medical concerns.
Specifically, red light penetrates the cells in your body and activates the mitochondria to work harder. The mitochondria in your cells are responsible for creating energy in your body, so when they are encouraged to work a little harder, more energy is made in your body. More energy means a more efficient immune system and cells that repair and rejuvenate faster!
Inflammation vs. Red Light
Inflammation is the Body’s Response to Attack
Inflammation occurs when chemicals from your body’s white blood cells enter your blood or tissues to protect your body from invaders. This raises the blood flow to the area of injury or infection and causes redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause fluid to leak into your tissues, resulting in swelling and may cause pain.
Inflammation can occur with injury or infection, but can also happen with autoimmune diseases like arthritis. With arthritis specifically, your body’s immune system believes it is under attack and triggers inflammation.
Inflammation can either be acute (short-lived), or chronic (long-lasting). Acute inflammation goes away after a few hours, and chronic inflammation may last months or even years.
Inflammation in general is at the heart of many medical conditions and physical problems, making it a very serious ailment. Inflammation has emerged as a key factor in serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, diabetes, and a variety of infectious diseases.
Typical Treatments for Inflammation
Acute inflammation is easier to treat than chronic inflammation. For acute inflammation, rest, ice, and proper wound care often relieve discomfort after a few days. If you have chronic inflammation, your healthcare provider may recommend supplements, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or steroid injections.
Red Light Therapy to the Rescue
Taking more medication to alleviate inflammation is something that most people do not want to do. Taking medication can have negative side effects and typically, in the case of chronic inflammation, is something you’ll need to add to your routine for a long time. Red light therapy offers a non-invasive, non-toxic, comfortable alternative to prescription medicine.
Red light therapy alleviates chronic inflammation by increasing blood flow to the damaged tissues, and it’s been found in numerous clinical trials to increase the body’s antioxidant defenses.
Dr. Michael Hamblin of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the world’s leading photomedicine researchers, concluded that one of the most reproducible effects of red light therapy is “an overall reduction in inflammation, which is particularly important for disorders of joints, traumatic injuries, lung disorders and in the brain.”
Reducing inflammation and reversing mitochondrial dysfunction are the hallmarks of red light therapy. Scientists know that near-infrared light and red light are the best at supporting the healing process in the body because they stimulate the production of cells.
Is Red Light Therapy the Right Choice to Treat Inflammation?
Red light therapy can treat inflammation in a safe way, eliminating the need for medications. Red light therapy is also FDA-approved, and when you use an RLT bed, you get anti-inflammatory benefits from head to toe.
Red light therapy increases the size of blood vessels and stimulates the growth of new blood vessels–both of which help with increased circulation. Increased circulation helps heal wounds and reduce inflammation!
Red light therapy is pain-free and the treatment is relaxing. The treatment time for red light therapy is generally between 20-30 minutes a day, making it an attractive alternative (with so many other benefits) to treating inflammation with ice. RLT is not only great for inflammation but really sets your body up for optimal functioning. RLT helps the body perform better in so many ways from increasing circulation to encouraging cell renewal to provide pain relief–incorporating it into your health routine will produce countless benefits.
Want to see for yourself how red light therapy can help with your inflammation concerns (and so much more)? Contact a 10X Health System representative to find out how. Book online today.