What is light therapy?
10 years ago, light therapy was when you sat in front of a big white light box to get rid of the symptoms of SAD. Today, light therapy is much, much more than that.
Granted, the most popular kind of light therapy is still bright light therapy for SAD and depression treatment. It works. And if you or anyone you love is suffering from depression, please do not hesitate to try it.
Second to this, now, is red light therapy. Red light therapy is usually sought after for it’s anti-aging effects, but it has profound benefits for wound care, healing and pain relief as well.
Next we have blue light therapy, which has almost become a mainstream acne treatment. Blue light kills all kinds of nasty bacteria, even the antibiotic resistant variety, giving new hope to sufferers of long standing staph and MRSA infections.
Why do you need light therapy?
We are solar powered beings. Our eyes allow us to see, yes, but they also collect light and deliver it straight into our brains. That same light comes into direct contact with our blood on the way.
Our skin, our largest organ by far, absorbs light and produces Vitamin D – something vital for life and well being, and something you really can’t get naturally from anything else but exposure to sunlight.
What is LED Light Therapy?
Most LED light therapy devices today use this type of low power LED (Light Emitting Diodes).
LED light therapy is very popular today, especially for anti-aging and acne treatments. What’s so special about it? Is it worth the price tag?
Well, it’s not that LED light holds some extraordinary power of healing and rejuvenation. It’s light itself that holds that power, LED light is just the latest advancement in lighting technology.
LED light therapy is light therapy, just using an LED light source instead of an incandescent, fluorescent, or laser light source. LED lighting technology is not necessary to make light therapy effective, but it does have some nice benefits over other types of lights as we will see.
LEDs were NASA’s choice for red light therapy when it brought the technique into space around the year 2000. They chose this technology for its low energy requirements, as well as its low heat emission and light weight.
Those same qualities made later research more accurate, and, to date, hundreds of studies from around the world have shown the benefits of red light therapy in the fields of anti-aging, healing, and pain relief.
What Makes LED Light Therapy Special?
• No heat. There is very little heat generated with red LED light therapy, which makes the technique safer and more pleasant.
• Durable & Long Lasting. Today’s LED devices use solid state electronics and plastic or metal housing which is much more durable and long lasting than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs made of glass.
• Compact & Portable. LEDs are tiny little things, so it’s easy to pack them into a small, hand-held, portable device.
• Earth Friendly. Using LEDs for light therapy is more eco-friendly than using incandescent or fluorescent bulbs because they can produce the same amount of light but do so while using a small fraction of the energy.
When it comes to light therapy, it’s the color of the light, not the source of the light, that does the work.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is an every-day term for the science of photobiomodulation.
It has been proven effective for a wide range of healing and rejuvenating uses including anti-aging, hair loss prevention & regrowth, skin conditions, wound care, pain relief, and much more. It is a 100% natural therapy with zero side effects. And yes, it works.
What red light therapy is depends on who you ask. There are two very different ways to look at it: first, from the viewpoint of Western traditional medicine; and second, from the viewpoint of Eastern, energy medicine.
Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Yes it does.
Even though science is just beginning to learn how red light therapy works, it’s effectiveness has been known for decades and has been proven by hundreds of studies all over the world. Long before FDA approval, red light therapy has been in use by European countries, NASA, the US military, professional athletes and veterinarians.
Can I expect instant results?
Although there’s no question that red light therapy really works, it does help to set your expectations properly. Take, for example, the very popular anti-aging applications, such as the elimination of fine lines and wrinkles and hair loss. You did not age over night. So, too, you can not expect to reverse aging over night. You can expect to see gradual, consistent improvement with consistent treatment. Expect it to be about three months before you are “before and after” photo ready.
The same principle applies when using red light therapy for wound care. If a wound has been there for three months, you can not expect it to close in three days. Again, you should expect to see gradual, consistent improvement with consistent treatment.
When using red or red / infrared light for pain relief, however, you can expect to feel somewhat better right away.
However, it’s not like taking an Advil, which will cover the pain for awhile. Consistent treatment with red light therapy will often heal the cause of the pain.
So, whether you are looking to turn back the hands of time, speed the healing of any wound, or sooth your aches and pains, be assured that red light therapy really does work. Now is the time to put it to work for you!
What is Infrared Light?
Infrared light immediately follows red light on the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared (IR) light energy is broken down into three groups:
• Near Infrared, also called infrared A (IR-A). Near IR spans wavelengths 760 to 1,400 nm. Most home therapy devices use these wavelengths.
• Mid Infrared, also called infrared B (IR-B) – These wavelengths are used in many household electronic devices such as remote controls.
• Far Infrared, or IR-C– also known as long wave infrared , thermal infrared (thermal-IR). This is the largest part of the IR spectrum, used in infrared saunas.
What is Near Infrared Light Therapy
Near infrared light therapy is essentially the same as red light therapy, except infrared energy is invisible, and it penetrates the body deeper than red, reaching deep into soft tissues, muscles, joints, and bone.
Near infrared light therapy is where light therapy gets serious. The combination of red light therapy with near infrared energy is being researched for amazing things such as the reversal of traumatic brain injury, stopping and healing the debilitating effects of stroke and heart attack, and the regeneration of damaged nerves and severed spinal cords. I saw the slides of the stroke, nerve and spinal cord regeneration examples with my own eyes at the 2009 LLLT conference in Rochester, NY.
While all of that is unfortunately still years away from common practice, the power of near infrared light therapy has already been FDA approved and is available in-home for the relief of chronic pain. As with red light therapy, near infrared light therapy does not mask the symptoms of pain, it encourages the healing of the actual cause of the pain and so, in many cases, after a course of treatment with infrared light, the pain is gone for good.
What is Full Spectrum Light Therapy?
Full spectrum light therapy is process of taking in bright, natural or artificial daylight through your eyes.
The best source of full spectrum light is sunlight. We are nourished by the stimulation of sunlight primarily through the eyes and skin. Sunlight entering through the eyes goes directly into the brains hypothalamus to affect every system and cell in our bodies.
Recommendations of daily requirements for sunlight range from a minimum of 10 minutes 3 or 4 times per week to a minimum of 1 hour per day.
Why Do You Need Full Spectrum Light Therapy?
Since the invention of the light bulb in 1879, we have changed our lifestyles from an outdoor society to an indoor society.
Consideration, however, was not given to the effects of artificial lighting on human beings.
Light, with its full spectrum of radiation, is a life-sustaining element and a basic human nutrient. Relative to the power of natural outdoor illumination (100,000 lux), we are now living in the dark. Average indoor lighting is approximately 700 lux, or less than 1% of the light we are naturally intended to receive. Consequently, we suffer the physical, psychological, and emotional results of a lack of natural light, or malillumination.
Malillumination is similar to malnutrition in that natural light, with its full spectrum of radiation, including ultraviolet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and infrared radiation, is a life-sustaining element and a basic human nutrient. Exposure to natural light is necessary for overall human wellness and longevity. Light therapy treats the effects of “malillumination.”
What are the symptons of malillumination?
- decreased sex drive
- low vitamin d levels
- weakened immune system • depression
- weakened, fragile bones
- decreased ability to pay attention or concentrate
- increased cravings for carbohydrates, sugar, and caffeine