What Can Red Light Therapy Do For Inflammation?
Inflammation is one of those two-sided responses of the human body. When you cut yourself, inflammation is a good thing. It happens when your immune system sends fighter cells (white blood cells) to start the healing process. Inflammation not only facilitates healing, but also helps to keep germs, like bacteria, out of the wound. However, it’s not always a good thing. Sometimes, inflammation becomes chronic, and this can have damaging effects on your body.
There are many ways to ward off inflammation, including holistic methods like red light therapy. We’ll explore the potential health impact that inflammation can have on your body and look at what red light therapy from Lumi Red can do for you.
What Is Chronic Inflammation, And Why Is It Bad?
There are two main types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation refers to inflammatory triggers that happen temporarily. You bump your toe or maybe scrape your finger against the sharp side of the knife. The inflammation that happens following these events plays an important role in helping your body heal.
Chronic inflammation rather refers to inflammatory responses that develop gradually and last for a long period of time. In this case, inflammation is no longer a “good” thing in your body. Instead, it can become something that causes a lot of damage to your organs, joints, and otherwise healthy tissues.
One of the main concerns about chronic inflammation is the fact that it’s not easy to detect. If you have a wound, then you can visually observe the inflammation that develops in the surrounding tissue. With chronic inflammation, which some experts refer to as “low-grade” inflammation, you cannot really see it. Instead, it develops slowly over time and, in the process, can cause health problems for you.
There are many studies that have taken a closer look at chronic inflammation and the many effects it can have on the human body. Through scientific research, this type of inflammation has been linked to a number of health problems, including serious diseases.
If you have low-grade inflammation that is not addressed, it can possibly become one of the root factors involved in diseases like:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chron’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Alzheimer’s disease
This is only a small list of chronic health conditions that may hold a strong link to this low-grade inflammation.
The question now is - how does chronic inflammation lead to these conditions? The answer depends on a couple of factors, but generally, we have to focus on the fact that your body is now constantly sending more pro-inflammatory cells to certain areas of your body. Perhaps you had an injury in the area previously, and even though you are better, your body is still sending these cells to the site. Chronic inflammation can be systemic as well, which means in this case, these cells are sent to different areas throughout your body.
The consistent inflammatory response that happens in certain areas can then attack healthy tissue. When this happens, health problems generally follow.
To give you a better idea of how this works, let’s consider an example - rheumatoid arthritis.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system continuously sends out these inflammatory cells to joints. As the cells reach the joints, the inflammatory responses “attack” the joint tissue.
Other substances are also sent to your joints in rheumatoid arthritis. In the end, this causes inflammation to rise up continuously in the area and damages your joint tissue. As joint tissue is damaged by rheumatoid arthritis and this consistent inflammatory response, you start to experience pain in the affected areas. Sometimes, the damage is so severe that it causes your joints to become deformed.
What Causes Chronic Inflammation?
We’ve taken a closer look at what chronic inflammation is and what it can do to your body. Now, let’s consider why it happens. There are actually a number of potential causes behind chronic inflammation. Knowing about them can help you better understand potential preventative measures that you can take - and this can essentially assist in reducing the risk of complications.
However, there are some cases where you don’t have significant control over the causes of chronic inflammation.
First, there are medical issues that can actually result in this type of inflammation. This includes the development of autoimmune diseases. In autoimmune diseases, your immune system attacks tissue that is actually healthy. This triggers consistent inflammatory responses. The inflammation can then further damage these tissues. Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are two examples.
If you’re exposed to certain toxins, then this can also be a reason behind chronic inflammation. One example would be working at an industrial facility where you’re exposed to certain chemicals on a daily basis.
In cases where you have acute inflammation that requires further treatment, it can also become chronic. For example, if you have an injury that becomes infected, failure to treat it can lead to consistent inflammatory responses in the area. ot
Other than these, the causes behind chronic inflammation often lie in our lifestyles. This is why it’s important to understand what lifestyle factors can actually contribute to or even cause chronic inflammation to develop:
- Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products
- Drinking alcohol excessively
- Being overweight or obese
- Not exercising enough or pushing yourself too much
Another factor that can affect inflammation in your body is stress. While an acute stress response is useful, as it puts your body into a “fight or flight” state, when stress becomes chronic, you constantly have these hormones, like cortisol, circulating through your body. This can also cause inflammatory responses.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work For Inflammation?
The conventional treatment for chronic inflammation generally includes anti-inflammatory drugs. This may consist of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, also known as NSAIDs, or even corticosteroid injections. These medications generally provide short-term relief, and drugs used for conditions that cause chronic inflammation may sometimes cause serious side effects.
These are some of the reasons why people are looking for alternative ways to treat inflammation and reduce the impact it has on their bodies and health. This also brings us to red light therapy, a technique that’s seen a significant amount of interest in recent years.
Red light therapy is used to help in treating a wide range of conditions today. Amongst the many uses for red light therapy, there is inflammation. The technology seems to be exceptional when it comes to lowering chronic inflammation in the human body. The best news - it doesn’t come with the side effects linked to some of the pharmaceuticals that doctors usually prescribe when you have inflammatory conditions.
First, let’s consider what red light therapy is. It’s essentially concentrated light that a device delivers into your body. Apart from landing on your skin, the light can also penetrate into your body and affect your cells. This is where the benefits of red light therapy come in.
As the concentrated light hits your cells, mitochondria start to absorb it. The mitochondria is like the “power house” of your cells and play a critical role in making sure your cells have enough energy to function properly.
Red light therapy also has other effects on your body. When it comes to inflammation specifically, these are the main advantages that you should focus on:
- Blood circulation: When the light from this technology hits blood vessels, it triggers the release of substances by the endothelium. This substance is a vasodilator, which means it helps to dilate blood vessels. In turn, this results in an increase in blood circulation. When this happens, your body can deliver more important nutrients to areas that are affected by inflammation. This increase in blood circulation also helps to bring inflammation down.
- Antioxidant activity: Free radicals are molecules that cause oxidative stress in your body. This oxidative stress can be damaging and even contribute to your low-grade inflammation. Your body’s antioxidant activity and capacity are involved in fighting off these free radicals. Red light therapy also helps to boost the antioxidant capacity of your body, which then contributes to a further reduction in chronic inflammation.
Red light therapy is a holistic technology that helps to encourage homeostasis among your cells. By harnessing the power of special red lights, Lumi Red is able to help bring down inflammatory responses in your body. We believe that there is always an answer to chronic conditions - and when conventional medicines fail, red light therapy might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Lumi Red offers a diverse selection of red light therapy devices. This includes both full-body panels and targeted options, giving you the diversity you need to address the inflammatory conditions you’re struggling with. Browse our range of devices to find one that is perfectly suitable for your individual needs.
- Pahwa, A. Goyal, I. Jialal. Chronic Inflammation. StatPearls. Last Updated 7 August 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/
Understanding acute and chronic inflammation. Harvard Health Publishing. Published 1 April 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-acute-and-chronic-inflammation
Inflammation. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/21660-inflammation
- Keszler, B. Lindemer, D. Weihrauch, et al. Red/Near Infrared Light Stimulates Release of an Endothelium Dependent Vasodilator and Rescues Vascular Dysfunction in a Diabetes Model. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Published 1 December 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5699925/