Red light and NIR light therapies are a safe, effective way to support better health | Benefits of red light therapy at home
Last year I decided to get an near-infrared red light. I had injured my hand and shoulder and I knew it could speed up repair, and I also had learned about the benefits of them over the years – everything from anti-aging to energy and cell nourishment. I had a wisdom tooth removal surgery coming up that I was terrified for, so it was now or never. I had experienced them at spas or Accupuncture and wanted one for years…
At first, I started out with a cheap one from Amazon, but I knew it wasn’t as good as others. They were an investment so I had to be sure I would use it and also sure that I was purchasing a good brand.
ps- After getting a good brand, I can say that my old light from Amazon was a waste of money.
I started my research and after a few months, I took the plunge and finally got a full, legit red light panel with both Red light and NIR light therapy options. I can confidently say I’m glad I got one and I’ve never looked back. In fact, I wish I had gotten it sooner.
I wanted to tell you what my experience has been as well as the companies I would trust as there are more on the market now.
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy involves having low-power red light wavelengths emitted directly through the skin. Red light can be absorbed into the skin to a depth of about eight to 10 millimeters – it has positive effects on cellular energy and multiple nervous system and metabolic processes.
This modality is now available at home, usually sold in units that are panels full of lights, that you use to shine on your body.
There are two types of light sources that are sold in panels, most of them offering both options with the touch of a button.
Red Light. Delivered at 660nm, red light is readily absorbed by surface tissues and cells, leading to enhanced skin health and healing.
Near-Infrared Light Delivered at 850nm, near infrared (NIR) light is invisible to the human eye, and penetrates into deeper tissues, leading to enhanced recovery and inflammation support.
What are the benefits?
Light therapy supports better health and is very safe. Here’s how:
- Enhanced Cellular Function and ATP Energy Production: Light therapy treatments can have systemic benefits because they work by improving cellular health across the entire body. When your cells are working more efficiently and producing more ATP energy, the better you can look and feel.
- Inflammation: Helps your body’s natural inflammation process as you recover from illness or injury.
- Improved Blood Flow & Detox: A significant increase in blood circulation follows treatment sessions. This indicates tissues are receiving more oxygen and other nutrients that are important for healing. At the same time, light helps the body and circulatory system rid itself of toxic by products.
- Sleep: Healthy light intake is essential for sleep and circadian rhythms. Our brains interpret light as a sign of when to be awake and asleep, and when to make crucial sleep hormones like melatonin. Bright blue light at night can knock your sleep cycle out of whack, but red light is a lower-intensity alternative that can help support longer, more restful sleep.
- Recovery, Healing, and Performance: Widely used by trainers and pro athletes to improve fitness, boost physical performance, and support the recovery process. Muscle cells require a great deal of energy, and grow and strengthen through a process of tears and repairs. It works by helping your body produce and use energy more efficiently.
- Skin Health and Beauty: Healthy light is crucial for skin cells, skin health, and beauty. Red and NIR light promotes balance across the body and skin by enhancing cellular respiration, making energy production more efficient, with less oxidative stress.
- Mental Acuity: Mental acuity is a measure of how well your brain processes and responds in the moment. When shined on the head, NIR wavelengths of light can reach brain cells and stimulate the mitochondria in the body’s main processing center. This can improve cellular energy production, enhance blood flow, and support better mental health.
I have also seen it is used often and successfully for hair loss and weight loss.
My experience & how to use a red light
I started using my red light once a day and then it went to a few times a week. I use it for 10-15 minutes at a time over my full body. When I use it, I have more energy and feel great. On days that I feel “off”, have a headache or feel my Lyme symptoms pop up, I use it and feel 100% better. I also like using it in the winter when there isn’t as much sun.
My light is strong and I feel the energy and warmth immediately after using it.
I’ve tested it in the morning to help ‘wake’ me up, and I’ve also tested it at night before bed. I prefer to use the red light in the morning and my infared sauna as part of my night time ritual to wind down for bed, but thats a personal preference.
When I was using it to heal my sprained shoulder and hand, it really did take the pain down and helped quite a bit. If I went a day without using it, I could tell.
If I feel a cold coming on, I’ll hop in front of it and strengthen my immune.
After workouts, it helps my muscles recover faster as I think I personally have an issue with this.
The real test was when I had 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed. The recovery and pain I had was brutal. Each day after the surgery, I decided I wanted to use the red light to see if it could penetrate my cells and help not only with wound recovery but also nerve pain and healing. I would have deep and sharp jolt of pain to my jaw most of the day. I would sit in front of the red light for 10 minutes, the pain would immediately go down! I. was. sold. All the sharp pain went away. I would shine it on the outside of my face and also open my mouth so that the light could penetrate inside the wound. I continued to do this for a long time until it was healed. The reduced pain lasted for several hours, so when it wore off, I would do the red light again. I think this positively contributed to my quick healing and am so grateful I got this before the procedure. I would recommend this to anyone who has a surgery coming up, or who has daily pain -I am witness to it really working.
I am now testing it out to see if it helps to reduce cellulite that I have on my back leg. I have heard that it does help with this but you have to be regular in using it.
My mother-in-law has pain on her feet. When she came over last year, she would put her feet right up to it each day for at least 10 minutes. She said it really helped, and so I bought her one and she said it helped take this pain away – amazing.
How to use the red light
The red light is best used on bare skin as it won’t really penetrate through clothing well. I often remove all my clothing or most of it so that the light can directly hit my skin. You can sit in front of it or stand in front of it. I often stand but I also bought a bean bag so I can sit in a relaxed position.
If you have an area where you’d like to help heal, like my wisdom tooth example, you’ll want to make sure that the light shines directly on that area. Most panels have a setting that allows you to put it on red light only or NIR light as the wavelengths are different and depending on your condition or goals, you may only want to use one. I like to keep it on the setting with both. I use it for a minimum of 3 minutes but usually 10-15 minutes. The time passes by quickly and is very relaxing. I use tanning googles as the light is very bright, but I know many people who don’t.
The red light I have – Joovv
I decided to go with the red light from Joovv. I knew that this was a trusted brand and when I reached out to others, reviews were good. I also liked the ‘look’ of them. I knew this would be a one-time and have-it-for-forever purchase, so I wanted to get a nice looking unit. I also liked how it was easy to purchase more to make full body panels. You can buy a variety of units and make them taller, or put them on a stand to be wider, or get panels to cover the back and front of your body, reducing your exposure time in front of them.
Now that I have one large panel, I don’t think I’ll purchase more panels. While it would be nice to have a set of panels set up on a stand, for me, I don’t feel its necessary. This one panel is powerful and covers most of my body in one treatment time.
All of the Joov lights come with both the red light and NIR light settings. You can choose to have one or both, based on your goals. I always choose both. There is a wealth of knowledge on their site, I recommend you clicking through to go there to read further on the benefits.
Other brands I recommend
There are some other good brands of therapy lights on the market. I don’t think they look as good or have as many options, but these are still fantastic choices so I did want to mention them.
Biolight I bought a small and affordable handheld model (about the size of a large cell phone) for my mother-in-law and she loves it. It doesn’t hang anywhere so its great for light use and travel. She uses it often and has often passed it around to family members. I do think this brand is good, the owners are good and the product is effective. This company has a fantastic ebook on red light therapy and what kind of light and for how long to use it, depending on your goals and ailment. I recommend it. Get a Biolight therapy panel here
Platinum lights This brand is also good and comes highly recommended. It is slightly cheaper than Joov, but for the look of my makeshift ’spa room’ I like the look of mine better. I know these lights are good quality and you have the option to get them with just the red light or the NIR light, if you have a specific condition that you prefer one over the other. Get a plantium light therapy panel here
Final thoughts on red light therapy
I LOVE my red light and I highly recommend you consider one to stay healthy in this day and age. It helps me to live a more healthy life. If I’m in pain or get sick, I know it can help and I can avoid any trips or calls to the doctor. I recover quicker, I have more energy, and I’ve saved a lot of money (and avoided medicine) by using my red light to help my body heal. This is important to me as I think we need to educate and help ourselves to be our own doctor. You have the wisdom inside of you to know what to do to help yourself. We have the tools we need and don’t need to always turn to drugs, or painful procedures. Sometimes we need to, but if we can help our body stay healthy, or use it in conjunction with others modalities, that is where we need to be.
This is one of the many tools I have in my toolbox to keep and maintain a healthy body. It’s simply amazing we have this kind of technology that we can bring into our home today. I am so grateful for my red light and hope you can experience it the way I have.