Red Light Therapy
The History of Red Therapy Light Use
Red light therapy has been around the block. In 1903 physician Niels Ryberg Finsen won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his successful treatment of smallpox and lupus with red light. Russia uses low level laser therapy in their standard medical care (and they have since the 1970s). The Russians also published hundreds of studies over the decades on the benefits of red therapy light. Unfortunately, very few of these studies have been translated into English.
Red light therapy has largely been ignored by the US and western Europe until recently. However it’s been used in a clinical setting since the 1980s in Japan, China, Canada, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
The Benefits of Red Therapy Light
Even though the western world is behind the times with red therapy light, strong evidence supports its health benefits. It is FDA approved for chronic joint pain, slow healing wounds, wrinkles, hair loss and acne. Many others have used it successfully for other issues, like psoriasis, improved circulation and better immune function.
Here is a partial list of some benefits of Red Light Therapy:
- It helps rejuvenate facial skin and smooths skin tone.
- Red light builds collagen in the skin to reduce wrinkles.
- It helps to repair sun damage.
- Red light activates the lymphatic system for potentially improved detoxification.
- Decreases inflammation in the skin.
- Helps fade scars and stretch marks.
- Helps reduce cellulite.
- Improves hair growth to reverse balding.
- Stimulates slow healing wounds.
- Can prevent recurring cold sores, or herpes simplex.
- Helpful in the short term for carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Beneficial for skin to reduce eczema, rosacea and acne.
Here at The Tanning Company, we offer a full size Red Light Therapy bed, so you are receiving benefits for your entire body
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(appointment is required for Infrared Body Wrap)
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Some benefits explained:
1. Better Circulation and Collagen Production
When the light penetrates through the epidermal and dermal skin layers, it increases circulation to help form new capillaries. It also increases collagen production and fibroblasts. Red therapy light improves collagen levels naturally by triggering the body to produce more of its own. Since collagen comprises about 70% of the protein in our skin, it’s a big deal!
Increased collagen doesn’t just give the skin a wrinkle free glow, but its ability to improve joint health makes it great for arthritis sufferers. It can be helpful for those with a variety of painful musculoskeletal issues. The increased circulation and anti-inflammatory effects that red therapy light provides also help reduce pain and heal the body.
2. Wound Healing with Red Light Therapy
Fibroblasts in our skin synthesize collagen, maintain connective tissue and are integral to wound healing. Red therapy light stimulates fibroblasts to do their job, and increases circulation for faster wound repair time. People have also used this therapy for burns, amputation injuries, skin grafts and infected wounds. It’s been successfully used for skin damage caused by cancer treatments, including those in the mouth and mucus membranes.
In a 2014 study, researchers found that red light therapy significantly improved colitis symptoms in mice. The light therapy aided in their mucosal healing. Dentists have also successfully used red therapy lights to heal sores and abrasions in the mucus membranes of the mouth. It’s also been found to prevent recurring cold sores that occur along the mouth.
3. A Remedy for Hair Loss
Red Light Therapy may be another way to significantly reduce balding. A 24 week study demonstrated that red therapy light significantly improved hair density and hair thickness without any serious reactions. Participants wore a helmet that emitted red therapy light to achieve this effect, though it's been found that bigger devices such as the full body bed available at The Tanning Company are easier to use and benefit the rest of the body as well.
4. Recover Faster from Injury and Illness
Red light therapy increases circulation throughout the body which may help speed healing during times of illness. It also stimulates lymph system activity and phagocytosis, the process of cells cleaning house.
5. Help for the Thyroid
There are several compelling studies that look at the benefits of red light and near infrared therapy for thyroid health.
One randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study from 2013 looked at the benefits of light therapy on chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. This study showed an overall improvement in thyroid health from near infrared and light therapy. Many participants were able to reduce or eliminate their thyroid medication. In fact, a startling 47 percent of the participants no longer needed medication during the entire nine-month follow-up after the light therapy treatment. This is shocking as most people are told that they will need thyroid medication for the rest of their lives.
Other studies have shown:
- a 2010 study from Russia found that red light therapy helped 38% of participants reduce thyroid medication dosage (17% stopped medication completely)
- A 2003 study on postsurgical thyroid patients found that red light therapy reduced the need for medication by up to 75%
6. A Promising Therapy for Psoriasis
A small scale study published in the journal of Photomedicine and Laser Surgery found benefits for psoriasis sufferers. Skin plaques improved by 60-100% when treated with both red therapy light and infrared light, like that used in a sauna or the Formostar Infrared Body Wrap. The infrared helped to calm inflammation, while the shorter red wavelengths of the red light helped heal the skins surface.
7. Combined with Infrared Heat Helps Reduce Cellulite
Red light therapy is now proven to supercharge any cellulite treatment, because:
- Red light therapy is proven to reduce overall body circumference measurements of the hips, waist, thighs, and upper arms, with recent studies demonstrating the long-term effectiveness of results.
- Red & infrared are proven to boost collagen and elastin production (reversing breakdown of collagen typical to cellulite, and fixing damaged skin)
- Infrared heat improves lymphatic drainage, essential to any cellulite treatment to prevent swelling.
Most women don’t know about this little known secret, that’s why they are extremely surprised to find their cellulite almost diminished after a few red light and infrared body wrap sessions!
Frequently Asked Questions - coming soon!
In the mean time, feel free to call us for more information