Did you know that light can actually act as a nutrient, and play a key role in your longevity and health? This blog will shed some light (pun intended) on how the right light therapy is the next big emerging phenomenon disease management.
Phototherapy has been recognized as a healing treatment and dates back to at least 1400 BCE in India. In recent times, 18th-century doctors reported the health benefits of light therapy and how sunlight, when concentrated through the lens, could help in treating various diseases like destroying tumors and accelerating the healing process of wounds. The list continued, from physicians treating smallpox and lupus to NASA using it to help their astronauts maintain optimal muscle and bone mass and even treat chronic wounds.
Red light is just another healing modality that harnesses the power of light to treat health disorders. It is now being used in numerous health disciplines, including inflammation and pain reduction, weight loss
, hormone balancing, skin conditions, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, and anti-aging procedures. Although it seems too good to be true, the scientific research accumulated over the years indicates that it can positively affect all these areas.
Research studies suggest that red light therapy affects the adipocytes (fat stores), and help your body to essentially wash-off the fat cells and lipids
. Another study showed that red light therapy influences the hunger mechanism of your body. It was found that red light therapy controls the concentration of hormones, leptin, and ghrelin, which are associated with hunger in the human body
. Numerous other clinical studies support its reducing effect on cellulose in our bodies
Another significant advantage of red light therapy is the treatment of inflammation. It increases the blood flow to the damaged tissues and helps the body to overcome the inflammatory phase a lot quicker. Research showed that patients who had hip arthroplasty surgery and underwent red light therapy experienced a significant reduction in postoperative swelling and pain. Red light therapy is widely used among athletes and sports persons to improve muscle soreness and exercise-related pain. It plays a key role in delaying the onset of muscle soreness and hence can prove very beneficial in competitive sports. Few other recent trials demonstrated the ability of red light therapy to reduce oral inflammation, especially during orthodontic and dental surgeries.
Red light therapy also proved to play a pivotal role in combating fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. These two conditions are caused to an extent by mitochondrial dysfunction and increased inflammatory response in the body and the brain. As the red light therapy helps to alleviate inflammation and to stimulate the production of ATP, it ends up being a potential therapeutic alternative that reduces pain and increases energy. A study found out that patients who have fibromyalgia experienced a significant reduction in muscle spasms, pain, and morning stiffness after receiving therapeutic sessions of low-power laser therapy
The amazing health benefits of red light therapy does not end here. Another recent trial found that patients with chronic brain injuries displayed noticeable gains in memory, verbal learning, improved sleep, and less frequent PTSD symptoms after receiving red and NIF light therapy
. It also showed promising results in treating depression, anxiety, and traumatic brain disorder
There are fantastic health aspects of red light therapy. All these research references just consolidate the benefits of red light therapy. A drug-free approach to holistically improve your health and treat medical conditions – what more can you ask!
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- Figueiro, MG. (2012). Light Modulates Leptin and Ghrelin in Sleep-Restricted Adults. International Journal of Endocrinology. Article ID 530726. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/530726
- Montazeri, K., Mokmeli, S., & Barat, M. (2017). The Effect of Combination of Red, Infrared and Blue Wavelengths of Low-Level Laser on Reduction of Abdominal Girth: A Before-After Case Series. Journal of lasers in medical sciences, 8(Suppl 1), S22–S26. https://doi.org/10.15171/jlms.2017.s5
- Avci, P., Nyame, T. T., Gupta, G. K., Sadasivam, M., & Hamblin, M. R. (2013). Low-level laser therapy for fat layer reduction: a comprehensive review. Lasers in surgery and medicine, 45(6), 349–357. https://doi.org/10.1002/lsm.22153
- Gür, A., Karakoç, M., Nas, K., Cevik, R., Saraç, J., & Demir, E. (2002). Efficacy of low power laser therapy in fibromyalgia: a single-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lasers in medical science, 17(1), 57–61. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-002-8267-4
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Can light therapy help the brain? https://www.research.va.gov/currents/spring2015/spring2015-7.cfm
- Cassano, P., Petrie, S. R., Hamblin, M. R., Henderson, T. A., & Iosifescu, D. V. (2016). Review of transcranial photobiomodulation for major depressive disorder: targeting brain metabolism, inflammation, oxidative stress, and neurogenesis. Neurophotonics, 3(3), 031404. https://doi.org/10.1117/1.NPh.3.3.031404