What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy (RLT) is a controversial therapeutic technique that uses red low-level wavelengths of light to treat skin issues, such as wrinkles, scars, a persistent wounds, among other conditions.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Red light is thought to work by producing a biochemical effect in cells that strengthens the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell - it's where the cell's energy is created. The energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things is called ATP(adenosine triphosphate). By increasing the function of the mitochondria using RLT, a cell can make more ATP. With more energy, cells can function more efficiently, rejuvenate themselves, and repair damage.
Red light therapy beds are non invasive. It does not cause damages to the skin's surface. The light emitted by RLT penetrates roughly 5 millimeters below the skin's surface.
- promotes wound healing
- improves hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia
- help for the short-term treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome
- stimulates healing of slow-healing wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers
- reduces psoriasis lesions
- aids with short-term relief of pain and morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis
- reduces some of the side effects of cancer treatments, including oral mucositis
- improves skin complexion and builds collagen to diminish wrinkles
- helps to mend sun damage
- prevents recurring cold sores from herpes simplex virus infections
- improves the health of joints in people with degenerative osteoarthritis of the knee
- helps diminish scars
- relieves pain and inflammation in people with pain in the Achilles tendons
History of Red Light Therapy
In the early 1990s, RLT was used by scientist to help grow plants in space. The scientist found that the intense light from the red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) helped promote growth and photosynthesis of plant cells.
Red light, was then studied for its potential application in medicine, more specifically to find out if RLT could increase energy inside human cells. The researchers hoped that RLT could be an effective way to treat the muscle atrophy, show wound healing, and bone density issues caused by weightlessness during space travel.
You may have heard of red light therapy by its other names, which include:
- Photobiomodulation (PBM)
- low level light therapy (LLLT)
- soft laser therapy
- cold laser therapy
- photonic stimulation
- low-power laser therapy (LPLT)
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